September 6, 2009

Fla. brothers break trans-ocean record

Two Florida brothers set a record for a trans-Atlantic journey in a 21-foot fishing boat, the smallest powerboat to make the trip, they reported on their blog.

Ralph Brown, 50 of Spring Hill and Robert Brown, 52, of Merritt Island left Tampa, Fla., June 27 and arrived in London Friday, they said on their Web site,

It is exciting that we are actually here. Ralph Brown told the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times in a telephone interview. By the way, it is a beautiful place.

The trip of almost 7,000 miles also set a record for longest ocean journey in a flats boat and for being the first flats boat to make it across the Atlantic Ocean, the Times reported Sunday.

The brothers made the trip in a boat designed by Ralph Brown, who owns Dream Boats in Hudson, Fla. In Greenland, they collided with an iceberg, slammed into rocks and almost ran out of fuel and money.

The brothers set a Guinness record in 2007 for a 1,400 mile journey in a similar boat from Atlantic Beach, N.C., to Bermuda to New York Harbor, the newspaper said.

The current trip was conducted to honor three of Ralph Brown's fellow U.S. Marine, who died in 1980 in a failed attempt to rescue American hostages from Iran. The brothers said they are trying to raise $3 million for charities benefiting wounded heroes.

The two sailors will travel to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, after their London stop.