Bass Conqueror

In 1979 Kenneth Kerr’s first attempt to row 2100 miles across the Atlantic ended after 58 days when his vessel, the 13ft dinghy Bass Conqueror, was capsized. Finding his transmitter and inflatable lift-raft nearby, his distress signal was picked up by a British Airways Concorde en-route to New York. The coastguards were alerted and a spotter aircraft passed on his position to a German carrier ship which detoured to his rescue. Five months later Bass Conqueror was found washed up on the Irish coast.

An Orkney Spinner flat-bottomed rowing boat, Bass Conqueror was specially fitted out for his first attempt in 1979 by a boat builder in Kenneth’s home town of Port Seaton, East Lothian, and named after a product brewed by sponsor Tennent’s.

May 21st 1980, Kenneth Kerr began his second attempt to row across the Atlantic. On August 13th he was spotted 500 miles off the coast of Ireland by a cargo ship, who gave him food and water. His last radio transmission was received on October 25th, but Kenneth was never seen or heard from again.

Bass Conqueror was recovered by a Norwegian rescue team near Stavanger on January 26th 1981.