KOTA KINABALU (6th October 2011): British ocean rower Roz Savage who was in Sabah last year to lend her support in halting a coal-fired power plant, a project that has since been scrapped, has become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
Savage arrived in Mauritius on Oct 4, five months after setting off from Fremantle in Australia as part of her goal to cross the Indian Ocean, having conquered the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 to 2006, followed by the Pacific Ocean last year.
Named as a United Nations Climate Hero and athlete ambassador for 350.org, an international campaign that is building a movement to unite the world on solutions to the climate crisis, Savage uses her ocean voyages to raise awareness and inspire action on environmental issues.
Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) today congratulated Savage for creating a world record, describing her as a role model for groups and individuals worldwide who are working tirelessly to safeguard the planet from further environmental degradation.
Green SURF spokesperson Cynthia Ong said Savage had heard from 350.org of the coalition’s efforts to stop the 300 megawatt coal plant on Sabah’s east coast, while traveling in the region after completing the Pacific Ocean row.
“Her message is simple -- that each of us can make a difference in caring for and respecting the earth. In July last year, she campaigned alongside Green SURF for clean energy for Sabah as an alternative to a proposed coal-fired power plant.
“Savage carried a banner with a message of support for clean energy in Sabah, and took this up to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, before diving with the same message in waters off here, and parasailing with the banner in Tanjung Aru,” Ong said in a statement today.
The Government cancelled the proposed coal plant at Kampung Sinakut in Lahad Datu in February this year, following concerns raised by various stakeholders including Green SURF.
Ong said Green SURF was proud of Savage’s “Big Three” feat, in reference to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, and felt honoured that she supported the coalition in asking for clean energy in Sabah.
Savage, who was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010, worked as a management consultant in London before it dawned on her that her materialistic lifestyle was not the path to happiness, and was having an appalling impact on the environment.
During a Press conference in Kota Kinabalu last year, Savage was quoted as saying that the intelligent choice for any modern, forward looking country is clean, renewable energy.
“Every day I ask myself what I can do to make my world a better place. I urge you to do the same. Let’s look after this planet. It’s the only one we’ve got,” Savage was further quoted as saying.
In a blog posting from her Sabah trip, Savage stressed on the need to switch to renewable energies, steering a course that will meet energy needs in future.
After crossing the Indian Ocean, Savage has now rowed over 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles), taken 5 million oar strokes, and spent over 500 days at sea.