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Scots charity adventurer lands on Rockall

Nick Hancock, the man who is attempting to spend 60 days and nights on Rockall Island. Picture: TSPL

Nick Hancock, the man who is attempting to spend 60 days and nights on Rockall Island. Picture: TSPL

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

Scots adventurer Nick Hancock has landed on Rockall, the remotest outpost in the UK, in a charity bid to live alone on the Atlantic rock for a record-breaking 60 days.

Nick Hancock hopes 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.

A message beamed via satellite through his GPS device to his support team at 8.21am said: “Message: If you’re reading this then Nick and the RockPod are successfully up on & attached to Hall’s Ledge on Rockall.”

Mr Hancock, a chartered surveyor based in Edinburgh, left South Harris on Wednesday and arrived this morning.

Just over 100 people have set foot on the island, which is hard to access. Only four people have ever spent the night.

It sticks 20 metres out the North Atlantic ocean and anyone who wants to land has to scramble up a steep rocky cliff face.

There is just one space flat enough to sleep on and it is just three metres wide.

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.

While on Rockall, the 39-year-old will live in a converted 8ft yellow water tank which he will have to winch onto the rock. It will be 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 said: “I will be keeping in touch with my wife Pamela and my son Freddie, who is two, through Skype. I will also be in regular voice and text contact with my support team on the mainland.”

Nick 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.

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.

SEE ALSO:

Scots Rockall record attempt postponed

 

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