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Man attempting solo row to Scotland rescued off Shinnecock

A rower in need of medical attention was rescued about 50 miles south of Shinnecock Inlet, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.

The First Coast Guard District command center in Boston received a call on Friday from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Falmouth, United Kingdom, that a person aboard a 24-foot ocean rowing craft, Alliance Trust, had sustained serious injuries, including a head laceration, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.

The rescued man, Niall Iain Macdonald, 39, of Scotland, was attempting to row solo from New York City to Stornoway, Scotland, according to his website.

A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended that the rower be medevaced because of his injuries.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish crew, based in Bayonne, New Jersey, brought a Coast Guard emergency medical technician from another boat, and they located the injured rower about midnight Friday.

"We only had about 50 feet of visibility because the fog was so thick offshore, making it difficult to locate the boat," Lt. James Provost, commanding officer of the Sailfish, said in a statement. "We were communicating with the rower by satellite phone and we had him vector us in by flashing a light."

The EMT went aboard the rowing vessel and assessed Macdonald's condition. It was determined that the rower could be transferred to the cutter, where he was treated for his injuries during transit back to Bayonne, according to the Coast Guard.

"When we first came upon him, he was in a lot of pain," Provost said of the rower, whose face was covered in blood from a head laceration. "He was very thankful that we were there to help him and he was very relieved we were there."

The rower was taken to Bayonne Hospital, but a Coast Guard spokeswoman didn't know whether he remained in the hospital Saturday morning.

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