John Haskell


Ocean rower, father, firefighter.

“I chose the title above as at this moment in my life these are the biggest and most memorable ‘labels’ I feel I have.

Ocean Rower- when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago it hit me like a sledgehammer. Before, during and after her operation and treatment the charity Breast Cancer Care gave us so much support I wanted to do something to raise money to repay back the kindness we received as a family from them. Probably have to admit to having a bit of a mid life crisis too. This coincided with being offered the loan of an ocean row boat. By far the biggest expense of the campaign. It took me less than a second to become committed to the row.

How naive was I?
After a two year campaign myself and rowing partner spent 45days, 22 hours and 19 minutes at sea. We endured broken bones, open salt sores that didn’t heal for weeks, sleep deprivation, isolation. Not to mention nearly being run down by a supertanker, 50 foot waves, sharks and no hot food due to cooker failures from the salt water. I lost four stone due to not being able to stomach rehydrated rations made with cold water. Sounds horrific? I would do it again without a second thought. Why? I have no idea……….
I’m now introduced as ”Hi this is John, he’s rowed the Atlantic”

Father, having children has been the best chapter of my life. To have such unconditional love and adoration from another human being went far beyond expectation. I sometimes feel slight panic from the responsibility of being a father. I’m lucky I have such a great dad he’s still my role model and I use his values, principles and ‘headology’ day to day with my role as a father.

I’ve been a firefighter for 23 years. Doing some of the things we have to do does make me look at life a bit different. I feel frustrated when I see how trivial things make people worry so much.. It really is true when you see or hear the slogan ‘one life! Live it!’

It was almost an epiphany when I came across the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. I even named my ocean row campaign ‘Atlantic Dash’ after coming across the poem. Google it, it could make you look at life a bit different.
It makes it all the more poignant because I found it whilst leaving a message of condolence on a website in memory of two firefighters who died in high rise fire.”

John Haskell

Ocean rower, father, firefighter., .

Community contributions

Jon raised thousands of pounds for charities by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.


Connected with

Between The Lines is  a dynamic art project in which each subject nominates the next subject based on the principles and ideals of the project.


Nominated by: Marco Zeraschi

Nominated in turn: Considering.

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