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Firefighters take on Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

TWO firefighters have embarked on a gruelling challenge to raise awareness of mental health by rowing across the Atlantic. 

Stu Vince from Redbridge Fire Station and Craig Sadler from Cosham and Waterlooville Fire Station have set off on the “world’s toughest row” this week. 

The duo has taken on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge which will see them tackling harsh conditions as they row the Atlantic over Christmas and New Year. 

They set up their rowing team, Minds Matter, to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues. 

The challenge is 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean and they set off from La Gomera, Canary Islands in their boat, Patience on December 12. 

They were planning to make the journey in December 2020 but had to postpone their trip due to Stu, station manager at Redbridge, suffering a serious back injury.

After battling through injury, serious family illness, personal stresses and working on the frontline throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the firefighters are back on the water preparing for their 3,000-mile row.

Craig is a watch manager at Cosham Fire Station and is also trained as a Mental Health First Aider within HIWFRS

They aim to raise £50,000 to share between their two charities, the Firefighters Charity and Mind Solent.

To follow their progress, search for ‘@mindsmatterarc’ on social media.

Earlier this year, local army commando Jack Jarvis entered the Guinness World Records when he rowed across the Atlantic in just 111 days. 

Setting off from Portugal he often rowed for 15 hours a day.

In total, he travelled 4,500 nautical miles solo.

Jack, from Hamble-le-Rice raised more than £60,000 for his chosen charity, brainstrust. 

He celebrated arriving in Miami, USA, by lighting a hand-held flare and waving the Union Flag as he stepped ashore for the first time in months.

He said he was “so pleased I was able to raise such a huge amount of money for brainstrust.”

The charity is a  UK-based brain tumour charity which provides personalised support to people with a brain tumour and their loved ones.

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