Military veteran who was trying to live on Rockall for 60 days rescued

Military veteran who was trying to live on Rockall for 60 days rescued

June 29, 2023

Military veteran, 53, who was trying to live on uninhabited Atlantic islet Rockall for 60 days in charity fundraiser is rescued by coastguards 32 days in after he was almost swept away by waves and his equipment destroyed

  • Much of Chris Cameron’s gear and equipment was destroyed by the conditions 

An adventurer who was attempting to break the record for the longest solo stay on Rockall has been rescued by the Martine and Coastguard Agency.  

Former teacher and army veteran Chris Cameron, 53,  was hoping to break the record set by Nick Hancock of 45 days in 2014, however poor weather conditions meant the expedition had to be terminated.

Mr Cameron landed on the uninhabitable islet, which is based 229 miles from the Outer Hebrides, in May.

Much of his equipment was destroyed by wind and waves, and he was almost swept away at several points throughout the night.

A fixed-wing aircraft was sent out to support the rescue and he was brought to safety by coastguards before 6pm.

Chris Cameron who has landed on Rockall, a remote uninhabited North Atlantic rock, in a bid to break the world record for the longest stay there and raise funds for armed forces charities

Rockall is located 229 miles off the Outer Hebrides

The ex-military veteran was staying on a small stretch of rock which was approximately 4m by 1.5m

A statement published on a Twitter account created for Mr Cameron’s challenge reads: ‘Cam has now been recovered from Rockall, and is safe and in good hands.

‘We will post further updates in the coming days. We will not be conducting interviews at this time.’

He was joined by mountaineer Emil Bergmann and radio operator Adrian Styles, who helped him establish his base on the rock.

Mr Cameron called in a Mayday after weather conditions worsened, prompting the coastguard to start coordinating the rescue operation.

The explorer told the Times earlier this month that upon landing on the desolate rock, he had initially struggled with the ‘cold and misty’ nights and the ‘stinking’ guano, which forms a glossy sheen over the rock.

The slippery conditions make for a treacherous environment, Mr Cameron acknowledged.

He said: ‘I tend to stay in the landpod if it’s like that as it’s too risky otherwise.’

The rock is approximately 25m by 22m and stands at just over 17m tall.

Mr Cameron, who is originally from Buckie, in Banffshire, was hoping to raise £50,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as the ABF the Soldiers’ Charity.

The ex-military man set up camp upon Hall’s Ledge, which sits near the top of Rockall and measures 4m by 1.5m.

His diet was completely made up from Ministry of Defence (MoD) ration packs, which he described as ‘fantastic’ and ‘much better than they were when I served in the infantry’.

Harry Brayford, expedition communications and shoreside manager, conformed he has spoken to Mr Cameron since his rescue, stating he is in ‘remarkably good spirits’.

He said: ‘I spoke to Cam at 8.30am BST on Wednesday and we discussed the forecast for the coming days.

‘It was apparent Cam had suffered a really rough night and we needed to make a quick decision on whether to abort the expedition or push on.

‘We looked at a number of options to safely extract Cam if required, but it quickly became apparent the most appropriate option was for him to issue a ‘mayday’ call, which was picked up by HM Coastguard at Stornoway.

‘They have co-ordinated the rescue mission and as well as deploying vessels in the immediate vicinity, they deployed both rotary and fixed-wing coastguard aircraft to assist him.

‘He was winched onto the coastguard helicopter just before 6pm BST and then flown back to dry land.’

Mr Brayford thanked the coastguard on behalf of Mr Cameron for rescuing him.

He added: ‘It’s disappointing to have to abort such an immense expedition, and whilst it was not an easy decision to make, it was the right one without question.

‘I’ve spoken to Cam this evening and he’s in remarkably good spirits considering. He’s very much looking forward to a beer and a proper bed to sleep in.’

A statement from Mr Cameron’s family said: ‘We are hugely proud of all his achievements, but also that he had the courage to make what must have been a very difficult decision in the face of such dreadful weather.

Mr Cameron pictured next to the landpod he was staying in for the expedition 

The adventurer was looking to break the record set by Nick Hancock who managed 45 days living on the rock in 2014 (pictured)

‘We are looking forward to welcoming him home and hope that any future adventures will be a little less risky.’

His family joked: ‘Why couldn’t he just have bought a sports car in the first place?’

A documentary about Mr Cameron’s challenge, named Rockall, The Edge of Existence, is currently being produced.

Aaron Wheeler, director of the documentary, said: ‘We’re glad Cam is safely back on dry land and look forward to watching through the footage that Cam recorded during his occupation to tell the story of his adventure.’

Donations can still be made via:

Source: Read Full Article