Recovering from injuries – both physical and mental – and building a new life outside the military is a tough challenge for former servicemen and women.
65 Degrees North (65DN) believes adventure can play a vital role in rehabilitation by forging bonds through shared adversity and attaining new skills. By promoting the spirit of adventure to overcome disability, the aims to inspire and motivate others to succeed.
Its latest adventure sees a five-strong team tackling Mount Vinson, at 16,050ft (4,892m) the highest peak in Antarctica. Supported by serving and ex-servicemen, former Royal Marines
Danny Claricoates and James ‘Flo’ Nightingale will push themselves to the limit.
Danny Claricoates and James ‘Flo’ Nightingale
The team will carry essential safety and communications equipment supplied by Inmarsat. A lightweight BGAN terminal, two rugged IsatPhone 2 satellite phones, and a compact IsatHub terminal to use with their own smart devices will supply them with all the connectivity they need.
Despite being at the bottom of the world, they will be able to call for help in an emergency or seek medical assistance. The team will also be able to stay in close contact with 65DN HQ in the UK, send photos, video and updates for their social media platforms, and even take part in live media interviews from the slopes.
Expedition leader Richard Morgan is a former Royal Marine Commando who is trained in both desert and cold weather combat and survival. He saw for himself how taking on an extreme challenge can aid rehabilitation when he helped former soldier Peter Bowker achieve his ambition to become the world’s first amputee to cross the Greenland ice cap unsupported. He and two other 65DN team members will climb alongside Danny and James.
James, who received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, joined the Royal Marines in 1997 and completed two tours of Afghanistan before being shot in the face in 2009. Since then he has undergone extensive reconstruction surgery.
He was a member of the British Military team at the inaugural Invictus Games, and helped raise over £100,000 for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund in a North Pole challenge. He and Danny successfully summited Kilimanjaro in February 2016 with 65 Degrees North.
Danny joined the Royal Marines in 2003, specialising as a reconnaissance officer. Following his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2006 he was awarded the Military Cross. During his second tour there he witnessed the deaths of members of his patrol troop in an IED attack on their vehicle. Danny was medically discharged in 2011 following a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He now runs a business offering outdoor activities to young people.
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