Adventurer faces Rockall solo occupation challenge

11 June 2014: Adventurer Nick Hancock is one week into his attempt to set two new endurance records by living solo for 60 days on the desolate and remote granite islet of Rockall – with a helping hand from Inmarsat.


The 39-year-old is aiming to beat the current 40-day solo record set by SAS veteran Tom McClean nearly 20 years ago and the 42-day record set by three Greenpeace campaigners in 1997.

The uninhabited islet in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is 230 miles (370 kms) west of the Outer Hebrides and has been described as the most isolated oceanic rock in the world.

Charity challenge

Nick, who is raising money for charity Help for Heroes, was transported there on 5 June and had to haul all the kit he needs for the challenge up the steep and slippery rock.

This  includes lightweight and highly portable satellite communications equipment, supplied by Inmarsat and partner Wireless Innovations. Inmarsat will also be providing him with free airtime for the duration of his stay.

One of his first tasks was to send a message to his support team confirming he had successfully landed.

Peace of mind

For peace of mind, Nick will be using Inmarsat’s recently launched IsatPhone 2 satellite phone, which offers unrivalled battery life.

The splash-proof and rugged IsatPhone 2 comes with an assistance button for use in an emergency.

The father-of-one will be broadcasting live to various BBC programmes, including The One Show, via Inmarsat’s game-changing BGAN HDR service, accessed through a small and lightweight Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710 terminal.

Superior quality

Its portfolio of high data streaming rates delivers superior video quality anywhere in the world – even from a rock in the middle of the ocean.

In addition, Nick will be using BGAN, Inmarsat’s global broadband connectivity service, to transmit blogs, update his Facebook page and tweet about his experiences

He will also be using the service to send film footage made while on Rockall for a documentary about his record attempt, to be screened by US TV network NBC.

Wind turbine

All of Nick’s satcoms will be powered by a small wind turbine and his living accommodation is a converted 8-foot (2.4 metres) plastic water tank.

He has lashed the tank to Hall’s Ledge, the only flat part of Rockall, which measures just 11 by 4 feet (3.3 x 1.2 metres).

“Inmarsat’s services are integral to the challenge. It’s so remote that without the technology I’d be sat on the rock on my own for two months,” said Nick, a chartered surveyor from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Morale boost

“I’m very self-sufficient but the communications technology will help to keep up my morale. I’ll be able talk to my family and keep in touch via email and Facebook.

“Through live broadcasting, blogging and Twitter, it will also allow me to spread the word across the world and reach an audience who would otherwise be unaware of what I’m doing – hopefully raising money for Help for Heroes in the process.”

Inmarsat sponsorship:
Rockall Solo: