UPDATE (June 14, 2015): Sonya Baumstein has been rescued off the coast of Japan after she sent a distress signal on Saturday.
Baumstein was attempting to be the first solo female rower to cross the Pacific, but she finished 155 miles into the 6,000 mile trip because of bad weather conditions.
A freighter rescued her Saturday afternoon and delivered her to the Japanese coast guard that evening, according to the Associated Press.
Original post published June 7, 2015:
Sonya Baumstein departed Choshi, Japan, to attempt a feat no other woman has ever accomplished: to row a boat solo across the Pacific Ocean.
Rowing in a custom-made boat with no motor, sails or backup team, Baumstein, 30, plans to reach San Francisco in late September, having traveled about 6,000 miles across three different currents: Kuroshio, Pacific, and California.
“I worked three years of my life for this,” the Port Townsend, Washington, native told the Associated Press, “It’s going to get bad at times. I just keep my eyes on the prize.”
— Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld) May 12, 2015
Although she’ll be making the journey alone, a support team awaits her ashore, connected via GPS and satellite phone, if anything goes wrong, the AP reported.
“Once she leaves Japan, the next person she’ll see will be in San Francisco,” Andrew Cull, her trainer, told Reuters. She’s driven. Maybe a little bit bullheaded. She gets an idea in her head and will do anything necessary to get it done.
Her father, Darryl Baumstein, told Reuters, “I’m completely fearful and I think it’s kind of ridiculous, but it’s her goal. Everything in life is about taking chances.”
Though previously attempted, the rowing expedition has yet to be successfully completed by a woman.
Rower Sarah Outen attempted the trip twice in 2012 and 2013, but failed both times because of harsh weather conditions and navigational issues.
Two men have successfully made the trip before. According to records from the Ocean Rowing Society, Gerard d’Aboville and Emmanuel Coindre embarked on solo expeditions across the Pacific in 1991 and 2005.