In November, I was delighted to meet four remarkable men, David, Sam, Juniour and Will at the King & Queen pub in Hamble who are about to row across the Atlantic to raise money for the Royal Marine Charity. This organisation does vital work to help veterans who are struggling with mental and physical injuries to recover.
This crew of four – two serving Royal Marines from Lima company 42 Commando and two Royal Marine Afghanistan veterans – are embarking on an unsupported ocean row 3000 miles across the Atlantic, from Gran Canaria to Barbados as part of the Cockleshell Endeavour. It was a pleasure to chat with them to learn more about the adventure, how the idea started and the physical training involved.
Their small boat, Endurance, was moored on the river Hamble during the preparation phase and I was invited to take a quick trip around the harbour to experience what life on-board such a small vessel would feel like. Needless to say, I definitely need to work on my rowing skills and completely take my hat off to them for taking on such a huge challenge for such a great cause.
Ahead of their journey, I raised this issue of support for veterans in the House of Commons. While we have made substantial progress in the ways we support veterans from all branches of the military, there is still much more work to do. The guys were also congratulated by the both the Leader and the Speaker of the House of Commons.
The crew are planning to start their journey in December and donations to the charity can be made by clicking here.
I wish them good luck for a safe journey across the Atlantic and look forward to buying them a beer on their return.