Simply Scuba are proud to support Ocean Revival, a team of four serving and former Royal Marine Commandos who will be attempting a 3,700 mile colossal challenge to row from London to New York. It is statistically the worlds most dangerous row! This is their story...
In May 2020, 4 serving and former Royal Marine Commandos will be rowing from Brooklyn Bridge, New York in the USA, to Tower Bridge in London. The route is over 3,700 miles and will see the team rowing for 2 hours on and 2 hours off continually, for up to 70 days. The route has never been completed unsupported and is statistically the most dangerous crossing an Ocean Rower can do. The North Atlantic with its huge cold rolling swells and unpredictable weather systems will mean the route is tough enough, but throw in the notoriously unpredictable English Channel and the Thames, with their strong currents and forever changing winds, as well as the fact it is the busiest shipping lane in the world and an incredibly busy river, means the task the team faces cannot be underestimated.
The team were all members of Zulu Company, 45 Commando RM and served together in Nadi Ali South, Helmand Province, Afghanistan during the Operational tour of Herrick 14. This is an extremely positive position to be in as a team for one of many reasons; one is that the team are used to being under extreme pressure in an arduous setting. Live operations against an unpredictable enemy force is both physically and mentally extremely taxing. Patrolling with over 110lbs of kit in 40+ degree Celsius heat is tough enough, throw in an aggressive and relentless enemy using multiple methods of attack in to the mix and stress levels begin to rise! This experience has given the team the knowledge they can rely on each other and also be able to deal with the potential stress and anxiety that we will inevitably feel.
Matt the Ocean Revival 2020 Team Lead recently spent 2 weeks Scuba Diving in Belize, as a Padi Rescue diver, he was able to get onto a military expedition that offers members of the military diving community a chance to improve their diving skill sets and expand their diving experience. The expedition covered numerous dives, including 3 of the 5 Northern Hemisphere Atolls and the Big Blue hole. The expedition was great and the diving phenomenal, however, one issue was a reoccurring theme...PLASTIC. Islands that were unoccupied were simply covered in plastic waste washed ashore, microplastics formed long linear piles along the high tide mark and when swimming during their down time, plastic was clearly visible floating and drifting towards the shore line. It was a real eye opener for Matt and had a huge effect on the way he now views consumption.
This is one of the reasons the team have taken on Plastic Oceans UK as one of their two charities. Plastic Oceans UK focus on educating both adults and kids about the effects our plastic addiction is having on the marine environment, how ecosystems are being damaged beyond repair and our food chain is now full of microplastic. They also highlight alternatives to single use plastics, offering people solutions to the epidemic that are literally suffocating our Oceans; on top of this, Plastic Oceans UK invest in Scientific research in a bid to understand just how big the issue is and the devasting effects plastic is having. A truly global problem, we all must do our bit!
The other charity is the Royal Marines Charity, a charity that is focussed on helping injured past and present Royal Marines and the families of those killed in action. They are phenomenal charity highlighted by the fact that their current project is building a £2 million Mental Health Centre aimed at helping sufferers of mental health and PTSD. A charity close to the teams hearts and one that members of the team could potentially find themselves calling on in the future.
The team are absolutely delighted to have Simply Scuba on board (excuse the pun) as members of our 500 club, they will be supplying some much-needed equipment that will facilitate a safe and hopefully comfortable crossing!! We hope to write a number of blogs up until we depart in May 2020, introducing our boat and some of the training and PR events we have conducted!
Find out more information about Ocean Revival and their challenge here.