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"Calamity Crew": Senior sailors struggling along on Atlantic voyage

CORNWALL, England -- There's a reason Steve Weise and Bob Shapiro are being called the "Calamity Crew."

Their boat, The Nora, isn't so much an accident waiting to happen as it is an accident that keeps happening -- over and over again.

Most recently, a fireman had to put out a blaze on board when a burning candle tipped over as boat hit the bottom at low tide.

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The Nora off the coast of Cornwall, England

Another time, rescue services had to be called out at night off Scotland. And before that, they needed help off the coast of Ireland.

So, how many times have they had to call for assistance during their voyage? "We called the Coast Guard 29 times," said Weise.

And that's just since the boat left Norway last summer. Nora has needed the help of the Norwegian rescue services, the Danish, the Scottish, the Irish, and now the English. Not that it's fazed Weise.

"I bought a boat in Norway, and I'm sailing it home!"

But other people are fed up.

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Bob Shapiro (left) and Steve Weise (right) are determined to cross the Atlantic in their boat, The Nora

CBS News

"You're not capable of managing a ship, or a boat shall I say," one man told Weise during a BBC report.

"If the lifeboat has to go out, every time the lifeboat goes out is risking danger," another man said.

Weise, from California, and Shapiro from Idaho, are both 71 years old. They seem to be having the time of their lives. They've become famous, but not in a good way.

One local told CBS News he doesn't think the men are taking the situation very seriously.

As for Weise and Shapiro, they're new to this. "Never done it before. Total diaper kid."

Luckily, the weather's turned bad and The Nora is not going anywhere for a while. Lucky for Steve, Bob, and for the rescue crews.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.