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Knowing they could potentially be battling waves, blistering winds and the biting cold, Warsash cadets and Solent University students are preparing to leave their home comforts to spend 24 hours in a life raft.
On Friday 10 March 2017 at 3pm, 24 brave officer cadets and students will climb into liferafts which will be secured to two buoys in the River Hamble – and they'll remain there for the following 24 hours. Only the tether to buoys at the head of our pier will keep them from experiencing being cast adrift for real.
The day-long challenge is in aid of Sail 4 Cancer, a specialist sailing respite charity, and will test the cadets’ courage, self-confidence, teamwork and endurance.
Senior Lecturer Ian Arnold, who is co-ordinating the event, said: "This will be the fourth year running that our cadets have supported the 24 hour life raft challenge. This year, with help from Solent Students’ Union, we have also recruited university students from the main campus and even one member of staff!
“All equipment is provided. Those participating just need to turn up, keep focused on the challenge and raise lots of money for this great cause. We wish them all the best of luck!”
Companies supporting this year’s challenge include Survitec Group, who are providing the liferafts; Sunsail Events, who are providing life jackets and foul weather gear; Sodexo, who are providing hot food to help sustain the cadets through the challenge; and The Warsash Association, who are supporting the team and will be providing each of the participants with a souvenir to help them remember what they have achieved.
Officer cadet, Elizabeth Stanley, is preparing to brave the elements and experience what every sailor hopes they never have to do for real: “No matter who you turn to recently, you see someone who has been affected by cancer. Even if I can do some little to help, a little is better than nothing at all.”
Taking part for the second year in a row is Zachary St-John Carleton-Green: “As a veteran of the 2016 liferaft challenge I know exactly what I’m letting myself in for, however I think that Sail 4 Cancer is such a worthwhile cause that I’m willing to go through the challenge for a second time. Whilst I have been fortunate enough not to lose any close family to cancer, I have seen friends whose family have struggled, so anything we can do to help ease that burden and remind them that as a society we care, isn’t too much to ask!”
Last year the cadets who took part in the liferaft challenge raised over £12,000 for Sail 4 Cancer. All cadets, students and staff participating for 2017 are doing all they can to raise as much as possible.
To find out more about the liferaft challenge, who is taking part, and to donate, visit the Sail 4 Cancer fundraising page.
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