ACTION man Mark Beaumont last night described the terrifying moment his tiny rowing boat was flipped over by a massive wave.
Mark, 29, and five crewmates came close to death when their vessel capsized in the Atlantic last month.
The Scot told how he he was left trapped upside down in the boat.
He said: “It pitched up without warning. I was upside down and fighting to get my shoes out of the rowing straps. They were stuck.
“I managed to pull my feet free and kicked for the surface.”
The crew were trying to break the 30-day record for rowing across the Atlantic. They were 520 miles from the finish in Barbados on day 27.
Mark, from Newburgh, Fife, added: “We survived so ultimately the expedition was a success.”
SCOTS ADVENTURER Mark Beaumont’s ill-fated record attempt boat has been salvaged after floating at sea for a full year, he revealed today.
• Boat found with currency and equipment still on board
• Vessel ran aground on the Florida shoreline
• ‘Sarah G’ was adrift at sea for a year
The £70,000 vessel capsized after being hit by a massive wave during the the trans-Atlantic mission, forcing the six-strong British and Irish crew to escape into a lifecraft.
Mark made several dives into the depths of the freezing ocean to retrieve vital life-saving equipment but the rest of the cargo of the 36ft fibreglass craft, named Sara G, was thought to be lost.
The Perthshire 30-year-old, who has just returned from a cycling trip in Malaysia, said the boat’s recovery was “incredible”.
It had been spotted drifting in the Carribean several times in the past 12 months by the US coastguard but it had been deemed too expensive and complicated to recover.
However it finally ran aground on the Florida shoreline at the weekend.
It still contains wallets, food and hundreds of dollars and pounds abandoned when the men had to flee for their safety.
US salvage expert Mark Hutchings, owner of TowBoatUS on Key Largo, Florida, told how he spied upturned The Sara G which is covered in what looks like bullet holes.
He said: “We salvage boats every few days but this one is unique. I’ve never seen one like it.
“Sitting there, it looked like an upside down sailboat.
“I’ve seen some boats come apart after just a few days on the water. This was was out there for a year so its a pretty substantial boat. Some stuff on board was destroyed but other things were totally intact.”
He added: “It still smells pretty bad in there.”
He said personal items would be returned to the rowers as soon as possible.
The boat itself has suffered substantial damage, including several suspected gun shot holes where people have tried to sink it, fearing it was a shipping hazard.
The state-of-the-art craft was on-course to break the 32-day east to west cross-Atlantic rowing record in January last year.
Mark and his crew, rowing in two-hour shifts, had covered more than 2,000 miles in 27 days when the freak waves picked the boat up by the stern, rotated it and capsized it.
The men endured a terrifying three-hour wait on the lifecraft before being picked up by a passing ship and brought to safety.
Another Perthshire adventurer, Benno Rawlinson from Abernethy is now trying to smash the rowing record.
He and his team have so-far rowed almost 1,500 miles after setting off from Gran Canaria on January 18.
Mark Beaumont became famous in 2008 after breaking the record for cycling around the world - completing his 18,297 miles in 194 days and 17 hoursSo it's a story with a happy ending after all! And the mighty ocean is certainly not grasping or greedy like some government we know!!!