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Baumstein Ends Journey Across the Pacific

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By Marisa Ramiccio

After a week at sea, School of Public Administration alumna Sonya Baumstein has safely ended her attempt at rowing solo across the Pacific.

Baumstein was picked up by the Japanese Coast Guard and towed safely back to shore on June 14, after sending out a distress signal. Since her departure from Choshi, Japan, on June 7, Baumstein has battled bad weather and lost a piece of critical equipment. In a statement posted on, team leader Andrew Cull said that under those circumstances, Baumstein and her team had a bad feeling about continuing the journey.

"While we couldn't put our finger on it, something felt wrong. Our expedition experience has taught us that when that feeling doesn't go away, you pay attention. As we prepared to leave normal Coast Guard range, that feeling only got stronger. As a team, we felt that combined with incoming weather, losing a piece of critical equipment with a single backup, it would be irresponsible to continue. Perhaps more importantly, none of us could justify putting responder's lives at risk by pushing further."

It would have taken Baumstein approximately five months to row from Japan to San Francisco, California. Cull said that Baumstein has not decided whether or not she will attempt the 6,000-mile journey again.

 Update: Baumstein thanked her supporters and posted a picture of her GPS on Instagram. Read her post here.

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