4 British women rescued after being stranded for 16 hours in the Atlantic Ocean

Four British women have been rescued after becoming stranded in the mid-Atlantic Ocean for more than 16 hours when their rowing boat capsized, robbing them of their oars.

The crew sent a distress signal at 9.08am on Saturday, when they were 400 nautical miles from Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

Gemma Chalk, Clare Lanyon, Jane McIntosh and Olivia Wilson were forced to abandon their charity attempt to break the women's speed record for rowing nearly 3,000 miles across the Atlantic between Gran Canaria and Barbados.

Their ocean rowing boat Fire Ant had capsized several times, causing them to lose the oars and global positioning system and leaving them with no way to navigate or manoeuvre.

After managing to contact them on a satellite phone, the UK Coastguard asked them to activate an emergency beacon before sending a mayday broadcast to other ships in the area.

The quartet, who are said to be "well", were finally rescued at 1.25am on Sunday by a bulk carrier on its way to Canada.

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