Follow Saltwater Stone

Ocean Signal: Ocean Signal-Backed Carbon Zerow Becomes First Carbon Neutral Team to Row the Atlantic

Press release   •   Feb 06, 2018 10:02 GMT

Carbon Zerow, sponsored by Ocean Signal, celebrate after finishing the 2017/18 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Credit: Ted Martin

A ground-breaking Atlantic rowing team sponsored by Ocean Signal as Electrical Safety Equipment Partner is celebrating an historic success after completing the 2017/18 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

In addition to facing all the daunting trials and tribulations expected when navigating 3000 miles across the ocean in a 9-metre boat, Carbon Zerow has also become the first carbon neutral team to row the Atlantic subject to verification by The Carbon Trust.

With a time of 45 days, 13 hours and 01 minutes, the British-American Carbon Zerow team of UK-based Kyle Smith and James Lamb, plus Brian Kerr and Philip Van Benthem, who live in Washington DC, finished 15th place overall and second in their class.

They pledged to be carbon neutral for the challenge, meaning that they were committed to ensuring their project will result in no net increase in the global emission of Green House Gases (GHG) with the aim of setting a precedent for future carbon neutral expeditions and inspiring people to make sustainable lifestyle choices.

The rowers faced true adversity from the start after losing some of the most essential pieces of equipment in the first four days of the expedition. They had to overcame watermaker breakages, satellite phone issues, battery, auto helm and centreboard breakages to complete their task. They lost their freshwater maker almost immediately after setting off and had to spend hours each day hand-pumping fresh water. The crew also had to steer by hand in ferocious weather after one of their autohelms failed. Their batteries struggled to charge, their main satellite phone broke, and their two centreboards, which provide stability in the rough seas, were broken off by the force of the ocean.

In an update during the race, Van Benthem wrote: "This is certainly one of the most challenging things I have ever undertaken. Every mile I row, I think of the friends, family and sponsors who supported me. I strive to achieve this lofty goal of rowing the ocean, not just for me, but for them too.”

The team also provided regular three-line poems for their followers effectively conveying their mood, such as:

"Today was quite hard.
The seas were heavy and slow.
So we pulled harder."

“The rain drove in sheets
Lightning flashed in the distance
Tired eyes watched on.”

Ocean Signal supplied the team with four rescueME PLB1 Personal Locator Beacons, a SafeSea E100G EPIRB and a SafeSea V100 VHF handheld radio.

Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1 is the world’s smallest personal locator beacon and is specifically designed to be small and light enough to carry or attach to clothing for instant access to emergency services at the press of a button. The Ocean Signal SafeSea EPIRB will be attached to the boat and also communicates a survivor’s location to the rescue authorities. It has the longest quoted operational battery life in the industry with enough capacity to operate the EPIRB continuously, typically for four whole days (96 hours). The rugged and fully waterproof SafeSeaV100 VHF features ergonomic design, durable laser etched keypad, high contrast backlit LCD and backlit keys and is supplied with all the 21 international simplex channels required. A highly efficient transmitter helps to maximise the battery life.

For more information on Carbon Zerow, go to their website at, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @carbonzerow

For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, visit


For further information, please contact:

James Hewitt

Ocean Signal

Tel: +44 (0)1843 282930



Jules Riegal

Saltwater Stone

Tel: +44(0)1202 669244


About Ocean Signal

Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal™ is dedicated to providing the technology and quality of product that will set industry standards.

Ocean Signal’s product portfolio consists of the rescueME range of products, including the rescueME PLB1, the rescueME MOB1, the rescueME EPIRB1 and the rescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare, plus the AIS Alarm Box, and the SafeSea range of GMDSS products, including the E100 and E100G EPIRB, S100 SART and V100 handheld VHF radio, as well as the M100 and M100X professional MSLD and E101V float-free EPIRB with integrated voyage data record memory capsule. They provide both recreational and commercial mariners with simple to use, compact and affordable life-saving solutions. All products are engineered by a highly experienced team of marine electronics professionals.

Ocean Signal products are trusted by high-profile sailors, rowers, surfers and powerboat racing teams. Providing some of the world’s best competitors and adventurers with vital safety and communication devices, the company’s rescueME MOB1 has been selected to enhance safety standards for crew taking part in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. Ocean Signal has also sponsored the crew of Simply Fun with rescueME MOB1s, rescueME PLBs and a rescueME EPIRB1 in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 16-man crew of Triton with rescueME MOB1s in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,record-breaking sailor Andrea Mura in the single-handed OSTAR race, Mini Transat 2015 solo sailor Lizzy Foreman, Atlantic rowing duo Ocean Valour, Venture Cup offshore powerboat race team Cinzano, kite racer Gina Hewson and canoeist Adam Weymouth.

Safety and communication products from Ocean Signal offer exceptional value, meeting or exceeding international technical and safety standards. Careful design and innovation provides commercial shipping, fishing and recreational users the confidence that their Ocean Signal equipment will work to, and beyond, their expectations when it is needed most.