deaf person rows atlantic

Mo O’Brien becomes the first deaf person to row across the Atlantic Ocean; Team helps raise thousands for UK charities

BALLERUP, DENMARK – 49 days since setting sail from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, Mo O’Brien has now officially become the first deaf1 person to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Sponsored by ReSound, Mo and her team, the Oarsome Foursome, have ranked 24th in this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, after docking at Antigua on 31st January, finishing a grueling race against 39 other teams.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is an incredibly tough undertaking for anyone, let alone a person with a profound hearing loss such as Mo O’Brien. More people have climbed Mount Everest than rowed across the Atlantic Ocean.2 Therefore, having the right kit and hearing tech was essential to create the best possible environment for Mo. During the race, Mo relied on the newest ReSound high-performance hearing aids.

I’m so immensely proud that I’ve achieved this extremely hard challenge, and to experience this with my daughter and my teammates is the icing on the cake. Out on the ocean, it was incredibly helpful that my hearing aids enabled me to focus on rowing and communicating, day and night, and I could relax with music, without feeling limited by my hearing loss.”

Mo O’Brien

“We’re happy and amazed with the new historic milestone, which Mo and her team have achieved,” said Christina Molt-Wengel, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, GN Hearing. “Despite her profound hearing loss, Mo has not only set a world record, she has also inspired us with her courage and determination. Mo perfectly encapsulates our ‘hear more, do more, be more’ spirit and the idea of healthy hearing.”

Mo’s spectacular achievement shows that hearing loss and wearing hearing aids need to be reframed as common, rather than a daunting limitation stopping people doing what they want. 

In addition to the fantastic achievement of completing the race, the team have raised an incredible £50,000 for three UK charities: Cornwall Blood Bikes, Carefree, and Exmouth & Lympstone Hospiscare. Their fundraising page is still opened for donations. Alongside ReSound, Coldplay, MUTU System, and Crown Records Management are also Oarsome Foursome sponsors.


  1. According to WHO: Deaf people mostly have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. Available at: (Last accessed: January 29, 2020)

  2. Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. 2019. The Challenge. Available at: (Last accessed: January 29, 2020)

  3. WHO 2019. Deafness and hearing loss. Available at:   
    (Last accessed: January 29, 2020

Source: ReSound