A British soldier had a Jaws-like moment as he set a world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, all while raising more than £62,000 for charity.
After setting sail from Portugal in December, Jack Jarvis found himself navigating shark infested waters as he attempted to break the world record and raise money for Braintrust, a charity that helps people diagnosed with brain tumours and cancer.
Jarvis, who’s from Southampton, has now become the first person to row all 4,500 nautical miles between Portugal and Miami – a tiresome journey that stretched across 111 days.
He has also raised an incredible £62,265 for Braintrust, something he was inspired to do after his grandfather sadly passed away from a brain tumour in 2007.
Although he was alone throughout the entire journey, he had a few sharp-toothed visitors along the way.
Speaking of his journey, the 28-year-old told the Daily Star: “I saw some incredible wildlife… a marlin, a shark. It was a white tip oceanic shark. I was rowing along and I saw this fin in the water, it was almost like a Jaws moment you know you see it stalking the boat, it was really exciting.
“So yeah it was stalking the boat, I stuck my hand in and was able to get some good pictures of it. I got my GoPro and stuck my hand in the water and everyone’s been like ‘you’re mental'”.
“But I thought as long as I can keep my eye on it and I didn’t lose sight of it, I felt pretty safe because I thought if it comes closer than I like then I’ll just bring my hand up out the water and I’m safe on the boat,” he continued.
The soldier explained how the shark ‘hung around’ for five or 10 minutes before it ‘shot off’, noting that it was probably as surprised to see him and he was to see it.
Still, we wouldn’t recommend putting a GoPro in the water if you do see a surprising shark.
That wasn’t Jarvis’ only encounter as he undertook his mammoth row as at one point, a marlin rocked up the soldier’s boat.
Jarvis added that the sensation tipped him off to the sea creature’s presence: “You get used to knowing what it feels like to go over a wave and this was different.”
“It hit my boat and the boat basically rocked and I was like that’s not a wave and that’s when I saw the grey sort of marlin outline and then I started GoPro-ing, and it was when I looked at the footage I was like, ‘wow a marlin’.”
But not all the moments during Jarvis’ 111-day sail were as special as these, as he recalled to LADbible some of the lowest points of the journey.
“The lowest point was definitely the last 36 hours, so there’s a current that flows south to north at basically three-four knots, and the wind on top of that was going south to north at 20 knots so I was getting absolutely thrown up the coast really aggressively.”
Jarvis also thought that due to these bad conditions, he may have missed his family when they traveled from the UK to greet him at the end of his journey, which would have been extremely disappointing for him as he ‘didn’t want to let them down’.
However, when he eventually made it to the final inlet and was reunited with his family, the 2 years of planning and 111 days out at sea all then seemed worth it.
Upon reaching dry land and setting the World Record, Jarvis didn’t waste any time making up his lost calories and his first meal consisted of a burger, chips, two chocolate milkshakes, a bottle of Corona and a can of coke.
He noted that while the combination was ‘bit weird’ drinks wise, it ‘tasted amazing’.