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RD&E doctors set to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean


Two Emergency Medicine doctors at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust are swapping their scrubs for the sea as they attempt to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, in aid of Devon Air Ambulance.

Charlie Fleury and Rosie Alterman, who make up the ‘EmergenSea Girls’, are planning to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2020. The pair are both hoping to break the female pair world record for the race, as well as using the row as an opportunity to study the physiology and psychology behind women participating in ultra-endurance sports.

Charlie and Rosie, who have been working in the RD&E’s Emergency Department since 2017, will be rowing 3000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua, often considered as the world’s toughest rowing race thanks to its huge physical and mental challenges.

Charlie said: “Our dream to row the Atlantic began in an unconventional manner, digging snow holes to escape the toe-numbing -16°C conditions during a Polar medicine expedition in Norway. We began to think of other extreme environments that would test our mental and physical limits and decided to participate in the 2020 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Perhaps such an idea was the result of mild hypothermia but neither of us were willing to let this dream falter and so here we are, rewarmed and raring to go for whatever the seas have in store for us.

“We both work as Middle Grade Doctors in the RD&E’s Emergency Department alongside studying for a Masters in Extreme Medicine at the University of Exeter. This has inspired us to use the row as an opportunity to further study the psychology and physiology of women in ultra-endurance sporting events whilst supporting the Devon Air Ambulance, a charity we work closely with on a regular basis.”

To find out more about their journey, or to donate, please visit:


Added 14 August 2019

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