A one-armed Irishman has completed a solo 4,000-mile trip home across the Atlantic Ocean.
Garry Crothers, 64, was on his yacht off the coast of Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, when the coronavirus pandemic rang out. The man from Co. Derry, Northern Ireland could not get a flight back home and was afraid he would miss his daughter’s September wedding.
With his wits, grit and determination, Crothers ran his yacht, which normally is run by two people, by himself and made the 37-day trek back home across the Atlantic.
Crothers made it home Sunday and was welcomed by his friends, family, neighbors and dignitaries. He was met with a fresh pint of Guinness and Champagne upon arrival.
Crothers lost his arm two years ago after it had to be amputated following complications stemming from a 2008 motorcycle accident. Since his surgery, he got heavily involved in sailing and Foyle Sailability in Northern Ireland, a cross-border voluntary organization that delivers sailing opportunities for people with disabilities.
His trek was not easy, as he battled storms, was forced to briefly dock in Spain as well as in Co. Cork before making it back home to Derry.
In a Facebook post, the mayor of Derry City and Strabane said "Garry's story is one of great determination, persistence and passion - an inspiration to us all."