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AIDS activist Victor J. Mooney to row 1,500 mls to NY

-was robbed off the coast of Haiti by pirates; suffered heavy damage to boat
HIV/AIDS activist Victor J. Mooney who was in the Virgin Islands during August and September this year is now preparing to make his final 1,500 mile row to New York, USA following a number of unfortunate events in the Caribbean Sea. Photo: VINO/File
Mooney was robbed by pirates off Haiti in October and his boat damaged to the point where it must undergo extensive repairs following which he will depart for New York. Photo: VINO/File
Mooney was robbed by pirates off Haiti in October and his boat damaged to the point where it must undergo extensive repairs following which he will depart for New York. Photo: VINO/File
The Spirit of Malabo boards Ms. Diana for a 40 nautical mile tow from Turtle Island, Haiti to the Port of Cap Haitian. The Brazilian built ocean rowboat arrives this week in Miami by Haiti Shipping Lines. Photo: Provided
The Spirit of Malabo boards Ms. Diana for a 40 nautical mile tow from Turtle Island, Haiti to the Port of Cap Haitian. The Brazilian built ocean rowboat arrives this week in Miami by Haiti Shipping Lines. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – HIV/AIDS activist Victor J. Mooney who was in the Virgin Islands during August and September this year is now preparing to make his final 1,500 mile row to New York, USA following a number of unfortunate events in the Caribbean Sea.

Mooney, 49, of Queens, New York, was robbed by pirates off the coast of Haiti while he was heading home in October 2014, according to his public relations firm. This comes after being attacked by sharks and suffering rough seas and hunger on his way to the Caribbean from West Africa.

In the ordeals that he suffered his boat - Spirit of Malabo - also was badly damaged in the process and he needed help to carry out the extensive repairs to it.

The rower had departed Las Palmas, Canary Islands after leaving the coast of West Africa on February 19, 2014 and made stops in Sint Maarten, here in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The recovery of the Spirit of Malabo was supported by US Embassy in Haiti, US Coast Guard, Office of US Congresswoman Grace Meng, Haitian Coast Guard, Haitian National Police, Haiti Embassy in Washington, DC, residents of Turtle Island, Haiti and The Republic of Equatorial Guinea. He is expected to launch the repaired rowboat and leave for New York in February 2015.

Speaking on behalf of Mooney, Lisa Samuels of GC Media told this news site that on World AIDS Day, Mr. Mooney was invited to The White House to be a part of America’s continued pursuit of ending the epidemic. “This year’s annual gathering of government officials, scientists, clergy, private sector and activists is 'Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation,” she said.

The Spirit of Malabo will be presented to the United Nations during the opening of the General Assembly in September 2015, she added.

In a ten year quest that took three failed attempts, Mooney successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in June becoming the first African-American to achieve this feat. Mooney’s journey was in honour of his brother who died of AIDS in 1983 and aimed at encouraging voluntary HIV testing.

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