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Japan coast guard rescues 1st of 2 British adventurers

Sarah Outen and Charlie Martell, on separate rowing bids in the Pacific Ocean, caught in storm.

sarah outen 6 8 2012 Enlarge
Sarah Outen of Britain checks the radio system inside the narrow cabin of her rowing boat 'Gulliver' at a marina in Yokosuka, surburban Tokyo, on April 11, 2012, before leaving for her adventure crossing the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Canada. (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan's coast guard rescued Sarah Outen today, the first to two British adventurers on separate solo rowing bids in the Pacific.

Outen and Charlie Martell were caught in turbulent seas whipped up by tropical storm Mawar in the western Pacific, a Japanese coast guard officer told Agence France-Presse.

The 27-year-old Outen was attempting to row, kayak and cycle her way around the world.

AFP reported she was about 560 miles off the coast of Sendai, northeast of Tokyo, when she radioed for help Thursday.

"Sarah is now safe aboard the recovery vessel sent by the Japanese Coast Guard," her team, London2London wrote on her blog. "We are awaiting final confirmation of details of Sarah's arrival in Japan and will let you know more once we have further information."

According to The Associated Press, Outen posted on her blog that her 22-foot vessel had rolled and was damaged.

Earlier today, she tweeted that the coast guard was now expected to arrive earlier than first thought.

Coast guard helicopters and planes kept her rowboat under surveillance and a cargo ship, Texas Highway, was standing close by until the coast guard arrived.  

She's traveled more than 11,000 miles, or halfway to her goal.

"Focusing on calm trying 2 block out wind and waves. Visualizing family and friends pulling us in," Outen said on Twitter.

Outen became the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean in 2009.

Martell was about 280 miles north of Outen's rowboat on Friday morning, according to The Guardian.

Martell, a British Army lieutenant, had hoped to claim the record for the fastest crossing of the north Pacific.

He set sail from Choshi, east of Tokyo, on May 5 bound for San Francisco, but was hit by 50-foot waves, The Guardian reported.

He was strapped in the rear cabin of 22-foot rowboat Blossom, awaiting a coast guard boat that was expected to reach him around noon on Saturday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/120608/coast-guard-japan-sarah-outen-pacific-ocean-sos