Three-time Paralympian Angela Madsen died while trying to row across the Pacific Ocean. Madsen, 60, departed from Los Angeles in a 20-foot rowboat in April hoping to become the first paraplegic and oldest woman to row from California to Hawaii alone.
Madsen's goal was to row about 12 hours every day and reach Hawaii in four months. She was about halfway through her journey, rowing a total of 1,114 nautical miles, when she radioed her wife, Debra, and the filmmaker Soraya Simi who was creating a documentary about her journey. She said she was going into the water to fix the boat's bow anchor.
A few hours later, when Madsen failed to report in, a search and rescue operation was initiated. When rescuers located her boat, they found Madsen was deceased.
"Angela was a warrior, as fierce as they come. A life forged by unbelievable hardship, she overcame it all and championed the exact path she envisioned for herself since she was a little girl," Debra and Soraya wrote in a statement. "To row an ocean solo was her biggest goal. She knew the risks better than any of us and was willing to take those risks because being at sea made her happier than anything else. She told us time and again that if she died trying, that is how she wanted to go. "
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