Sobering moment for Atlantic oarsman Sean

ATLANTIC oarsman Sean McGowan knew there had to be a certain madness which persuaded him to embark on a solo boat row across the Atlantic.

But on getting ashore in Antigua on May 4 he was somewhat taken aback when he was approached by a well-wisher who suggested he should sign into the world famous rehab Priory Clinic in London.

The funny sequel to his 118-day journey in which he almost faced death on at least four occasions emerged last night at Limerick City Hall when he was given a reception by Mayor Kevin Kiely.

Sean said: “For three days I had what was known as land legs. After so long at sea, I couldn’t walk straight and swayed. At the hotel I went down to get two large jugs of juice and as I walked erratically through the lobby, a man approached and said he was connected to the Priory Clinic.

“Seeing the way I was swaying with two jugs of liquid, he thought I had fallen off the wagon and was getting very drunk.”

Sean said his advice to others with a love of seagoing was not to try and do what he did.

He said: “It is horrific. Somebody will be killed. It is madness.”

But he conceded there are certain people who would never be put off by such a challenge.

His exertion led to his weight plummeting from nearly 15 stone to 10 stone.

But, with a diet of big steaks every day, he is getting back some condition.

At sea, he ate a lot of fish which he caught. “I don’t want to see fish for a long time to come on the table in front of me,” he said.

The rower now plans to write a book on his voyage, having kept a daily log.

Sean works with business advice company, Prodigium.

After his boat, Tess, is shipped back home, he plans to put it up for sale.

At last night’s reception, he was accompanied by his wife, Lorraine, and their children, Rachel, 15, Daniel, 13, Chloe, 11, and Patrick, 10.

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