News And Finally

Saturday 30 August 2014

Adventurer begins stint on Rockall

Published 05/06/2014 | 21:17

  • Share
Greenpeace activists were among the previous visitors to Rockall.

An adventurer hoping to set a new record for occupying a remote island in the Atlantic has landed safely.

  • Share
  • Go To

Nick Hancock aims to spend 60 days on Rockall, an extinct volcano which lies about 260 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.

A previous attempt last year ended after rough seas prevented him from landing.

He set sail for the remote outcrop yesterday and landed today.

In an email sent from his laptop in his living pod, he confirmed that all was well and that his equipment seemed to be in good working order.

He wrote: "All well on Rockall. Landing went smoothly and no kit damaged, so couldn't be a better start really."

The current occupation record is 42 days which was set by three Greenpeace campaigners in 1997. The 40-day solo record was set in 1985 by the SAS veteran Tom McClean.

Mr Hancock, 39, a chartered surveyor based in Edinburgh, will spend the next 60 days living in a converted 8ft yellow water tank powered by a small wind turbine and solar panels for charging his satellite communications.

He will live on Hall's Ledge, a small flatter part, that is just 11ft by 4ft.

Occasionally, he will scramble up to the summit for exercise. His survival items include army rations.

He is hoping to raise £10,000 for Help The Heroes and he has asked for the public to support his aim by donating through: www.justgiving.com/rockallsolo.

While on Rockall he will keep in touch with his wife Pamela and two-year-old son Freddie through Skype.

Known as one of the places named in the Shipping Forecast, Rockall is just over 82 feet wide by 68 feet high.

The Union Flag was hoisted on the island on 18 September 1955, and a plaque cemented on Hall's Ledge, to stake the UK's claim.

Since then there have been a series of international arguments over which country it actually belongs to with Ireland, Iceland and Denmark (on behalf of the Faroes) having all staked claims.

Mr McClean lived on the rock to validate Rockall's right to be an island, and therefore to be a sovereign part of British territory, the Scottish Government website states.

There are no trees or bushes on the rock, just algae, seaweeds and black lichen.

Six species of animal and just over 20 species of seabird have been recorded on or near Rockall.

Press Association

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in World News