It’s not the sharks that worry Victor Mooney, who is rowing across the Atlantic Ocean alone.
He’s more concerned about people not getting tested for HIV/AIDS.
“It’s been difficult,” Mooney, 48, told The News about his jeopardous journey, during a stopover in the Dominican Republic.
The Queens man, who lost a brother to AIDS in 1983, has spent 10 years trying to raise awareness for the virus with an ambitious 5,000-mile voyage from Africa to the U.S.
Despite losing 80 pounds and surviving a harrowing encounter when a shark took a bite of his boat, Mooney is closer to reaching his goal than ever before.
“The shark was just something that happened,” he said. “I’m not upset with the shark. The shark was hungry, and so was I.”
The Forest Hills resident, whose other brother is HIV-positive, believes there is a cure. But until then, he’s paddling forward.
“We need to focus on prevention and education and tell people to never give up,” said Mooney, whose past sailing efforts failed due to problems with weather and equipment.
But this journey — his fourth and final, according to a promise he made to his family — appears to be successful.
Mooney left Gran Canaria off the coast of Africa on Feb. 19 in a 24-foot boat, custom made with wood and reinforced with fiberglass. He arrived at St. Martin 128 days later.
That’s not to say it has gone swimmingly.