Best of Brooklyn: Sendoff ceremony for boat that crossed Atlantic

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BROOKLYN -

A Bedford-Stuyvesant man says he rowed across the Atlantic Ocean to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Two years later, he and supporters came together to pay tribute to the boat that made it possible.

A ceremony Thursday at the Gateway Marina served as a sendoff for the vessel, called The Spirit of Malabo.

News 12 captured Victor Mooney's first moments on land in 2015, after his mission encouraging people to get tested for HIV, which is how he lost his brother.

Mooney was in a tiny boat for 21 months in his fourth attempt at crossing the Atlantic. He survived on fish and, in times of desperation, toothpaste.Through it all, he says he never gave up.

"Anything is possible," he says.

Some in the rowing community have been skeptical of Mooney's feat, but there was nothing but admiration from Thursday's crowd. Dennis Siry, of the FDNY's marine operations, has been following Mooney's journey and calls it simply "unbelievable."

In a few days, the boat will head to a modern art museum in West-Central Africa.

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