NEW YORK – A New Yorker who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean for AIDS awareness has arrived home in Brooklyn, ending a 21-month journey.
Victor Mooney arrived at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Friday and plans a ceremony at the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, he said on Saturday.
"I'm happy to be in Brooklyn," Mooney said. "I still haven't absorbed it."
The 49-year-old rows in memory of his brother who died of AIDS in 1983. He says his goal is to spur people to get tested for HIV.
After failing on three previous attempts to row solo across the Atlantic, Mooney set off from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa on Feb. 19, 2014.
Mooney arrived at the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten in June 2014 and began making his way up the East Coast.
He lost 80 pounds and encountered numerous setbacks during the journey.
Mooney was robbed of his passport and food on an island off Haiti in November 2014; his passport was later recovered.
This past August, the Coast Guard rescued him off North Carolina after his boat hit a submerged cypress stump and began taking on water. The boat was repaired, and he continued on his way.
"I'm just grateful that I've been able to continue and to never give up," Mooney said. "It's just to encourage folks to get tested for HIV in memory of my brother."