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Spirit of Malabo gets water cannon salute on way to Equatorial Guinea

During 72nd Session of the UNGA last month in New York, my President, His Excellency, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said put her in the museum - Sr. Don Victor Mooney

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, October 15, 2017 / -- The New York City Fire Department (NYFD) bestowed high honors to the Spirit of Malabo for its decommissioning and send-off ceremony at the Gateway Marina in Brooklyn on October 12. The Brazilian built rowboat now heads to Museum Modern Art Equatorial Guinea, where she'll be on permanent display in the city of Malabo. The ceremony was also designed to coincide with the 49th Anniversary of the Independence of Equatorial Guinea.

On his fourth try to cross the Atlantic Ocean, Victor Mooney rowed the Spirit of Malabo from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, which is located off the coast of West Africa to New York's Brooklyn Bridge. The five-thousand mile plus journey took twenty-one months.

The transatlantic row was for AIDS awareness and to memorialize the countless numbers of Africans that died during the transatlantic slave trade and worked on plantations in the Americas and Caribbean. The vessel was sponsored by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea along with numerous partners both locally, nationally and worldwide.

Speaking with News 12 Brooklyn at the ceremony, Sr. Don Victor Mooney said, Never Give Up.

On the sidelines, during 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly last month in New York, my President, His Excellency, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said put her in the museum, said Sr. Don Victor Mooney.

With United Nations matters underway, Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative for Equatorial Guinea couldn't attend the ceremony, but that didn't persuade him from receiving updates during the act. His counterpart, Ambassador François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, sent a note of appreciation, but also couldn't attend because of previous engagements.

In 2009, on Mooney's second attempt, his water desalinator failed, which triggered him to activate a EPIRB. An EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, is a distress beacon used by mariners worldwide to alert Search and Rescue (SAR) forces that they are in distress. From airbase in Dakar, Senegal, France dispatched a military reconnaissance plane that pinpointed Mooney's position, which aided a Spanish fishing vessel to rescue him.

The Permanent Mission for India to the United Nations sent Mr. Anjani Kuma. Other guests included Retired Adjunct Officer, Matar Diop Kane of Gendarmarine in Senegal. On Mooney's first attempt in 2006, Officer Kane coordinated a rescue mission when his homemade boat sunk off of Goree Island.

The Borough President of the Bronx, the Honorable Ruben Diaz issued a proclamation. Brooklyn’s Cultural Museum of African Art, a crew from the FDNY Marine Unit, Organization for Black Maritime Graduates, Gateway Marina workers and boaters inscribed messages of solidarity and blessings on the Spirit of Malabo. The Spirit of Malabo was painted in the national colors of Brazil.

The Spirit of Malabo is scheduled to reach Equatorial Guinea around the global commemoration for World AIDS Day – December 1, 2017.

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