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So close. . . . British rower Peter Bird was forced to abandon his 10,000 -mile solo odyssey across the Pacific Ocean just 33 miles short of his goal. He hit high seas that would have swept him into the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast. A Navy patrol ship plucked the London photographer from 13 -foot waves before he reached the jagged coral. His 34-foot boat sank while being towed to safety. Mr. Bird would have been the first person to row the Pacific alone.

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