Paralympian Angela Madsen Dies While Trying To Row Across Pacific Ocean
While attempting to row across the Pacfic Ocean alone, three-time Paralympic rower Angela Madsen died at the age of 60. This according to Madsen’s wife Deb Madsen.
Madsen’s body was recovered by the Coast Guard, although the cause of her death has yet to be revealed. Had Madsen successfully rowed across the Pacific, she would have become the first paralympian, the oldest women and first openly gay athlete to accomplish the feat.
In a statement on Tuesday, Deb issued a statement regarding the passing of her wife on the RowofLife Facebook page in which she said:
“With extreme sadness I must announce that Angela Madsen will not complete her solo row to Hawaii. I received her last text Saturday night. Sunday she was not responding to my text messages. When I checked the main message inbox she had not returned any messages. When I looked at the tracking it did not appear that she was rowing the boat, but rather that is was drifting. Knowing she was planning to enter the water to fix her hardware to deploy the para-anchor from the bow, I was concerned she did not text when she got back on the boat. She was about as far from any land as she could get and the communication can be a challenge, I was hopeful but still had a feeling of heaviness in my chest. Soraya contacted the US Coast Guard and explained our concern. They diverted a Cargo Ship to render aid. German registered ship, Polynesia, answered to call. They were in route to Tahiti from Oakland. They were 11-12 hours from RowofLife. In the meantime, the US Coast Guard, sent a C17 for a fly over about 8-9pm. The plane saw Angela in the water, apparently deceased, tethered to RowofLife but was unable to relay that information due to poor satellite coverage. When the Polynesia arrived about 11PM Monday night they found and recovered Angela’s body. RowofLife is adrift and we are working on its recovery. Angela is now in route to Tahiti without me, which was not our agreement. Angela was living her dream. She loved being on the water as you could see from the photos she sent. Please be patient with me as I am not a phone person and I’m pretty overwhelmed with tasks at the moment. I am sad but ok. I never planned a life without her so be patient with me while I figure all of this out. Thank you for all your support. Angela was truly touched by your support. Thank you to the US Coast Guard and the Captain and Crew of the Polynesia. Deb.”
Angela Madsen was a former U.S. Marine veteran, had qualified for the paralympic games back in 2008 as a part of their rowing team. She later participated in track and field events during the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games, during which she won the bronze medal in shot put in 2012.