top of page

Ex-Marine overcomes his fear of water to row across the Atlantic alone in 119 days

[Sept 28, 2021: Stuti Mishra]

Dave ‘Dinger’ Bell’s journey was marked by several struggles, including a huge storm, jellyfish stings and his fear of open water. (CREDIT: Twitter/Dave ‘Dinger’ Bell )

A former Royal Marine who has a fear of open water has become the first person to row solo and unsupported from North America to the UK - a 3,000 mile journey which is exceptionally dangerous due to the freezing weather and powerful currents.

In his solar-powered boat, Dave 'Dinger' Bell, 49, sailed from New York to the UK while battling tropical storms, 10ft waves, and a fear of open water.

Bell, who described being physically sick and trembling while rowing across the ocean, battled tropical storms and 10ft waves before safely arriving in Newyln, Cornwall, after spending 119 days at sea alone.


Photos shared on Twitter showed Bell’s family and friends welcoming him home at Newlyn Harbour with fanfare.

The journey was marked by several struggles, including a huge storm, jellyfish stings and Bell’s fear of open water. His team kept his followers informed with regular updates on social media.


His last hurdle, however, was to face heavy winds that made him change his destination from Falmouth to Newlyn.

The former Royal Marine (pictured approaching Newlyn) battled tropical storms, 10ft high waves and his self-confessed fear of open water. (CREDIT: JustFocusPhoto/BNPS)

“I didn’t want to finish in the Scillies — I wanted to make the mainland.” “It was a race against time,” Bell said, describing his non-stop rowing for 40 hours in harsh weather off the Isles of Scilly.

A Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat was sent to guide him in for the last three miles. “Dinger has gone from seeing nobody to starting to see people and having real conversations with people, albeit it shouting!” read an update on Twitter. “Incredibly, Dinger has not slept in 40 hours!”

“I’m never doing anything dangerous ever again,” Bell told the BBC upon arrival.


Organizers said it had “been a nail-biting couple of days waiting for him to arrive”.

Bell said his endeavours are to raise funds for two charities — the Special Boat Service Association and Rock 2 Recovery, UK.

For more international good news stories check out our Global Good section at The Brighter Side of News.


Like these kind of feel good stories? Get the Brighter Side of News' newsletter.


Most Recent Stories

bottom of page