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Luxury ship rescues elite rowers in Atlantic

Two elite rowers competing this week in a race across the Atlantic are now on a luxury cruise, thanks to a giant wave that sank their 26-foot-long rowboat.

The U.K.’s Guardian reports that British rower Tom Fancett and his Dutch-Russian teammate, Tom Sauer, both 23, were rescued early today by the 1,080-passenger Crystal Serenity — one of the most luxurious ships at sea.

The TeamTom duo were about 500 miles southwest of the Canary Islands on the way to Barbados when what they describe as an enormous wave capsized their vessel.

“We desperately tried to turn the boat back up again but to no avail,” the Guardian quotes them as saying in a message to racing organizers. “We managed to get the life raft and life jackets out during some very nervous and difficult moments. We entered the life raft and saw our dream literally sink in the ocean.”

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The rowers floated in the water for about 10 hours before being rescued by the 13-deck-high Crystal Cruises ship, which was crossing the Atlantic, too, on its way from Europe to the Caribbean. The Guardian says the vessel was 120 miles away when it first got the distress call and sped through the night to the scene of the sinking.

“We are … very happy to be alive and very grateful to our rescuers,” the rowers are quoted as saying.

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