28 December 2018: As ever, the past year has seen Inmarsat support a large number of adventurers as they tested their endurance for important causes all around the world.
Staying safe in remote and hostile environments is paramount, whether that is on a mountain slope or far out at sea. With globally available and ever-reliable connectivity, we ensure help is just a phone call away.
To raise awareness of issues such as the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on service men and women – and much-needed funds – these brave individuals and teams need to be able to share the story of their challenges with supporters, via their own digital presence and through media coverage. With Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband, they can post videos, images and reports, and broadcast live from wherever their sense of adventure takes them.
As the year comes to a close, we take a look back at just some of the endeavours we were proud to support with a wide range of our land and maritime satellite services.
In January, a team of wounded ex-military personnel made a call to their support team back in the UK from the summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. It was the culmination of the first 65 Degrees North challenge of the year, followed in June by a successful expedition to Alaska to conquer Mount Denali.
Inmarsat is a long-term sponsor of 65 Degrees North, who use extreme challenges as a form of rehabilitation, and will again be providing satcoms for the organisation’s next challenge – climbing Everest in April 2019.
Other adventurers also aimed high, with Mission Himalaya, a team of serving military wounded, injured and sick (WIS) personnel and veterans successfully summiting Mera Peak on 11 November to mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice, and Himalayan Venture 18 celebrating 100 years of the RAF.
We have also been supporting two former Royal Marines as they undertake a colossal endeavour to cross the five biggest islands on earth. Since November 2016, Expedition 5’s Louis Nethercott and Anthony Lambert have trekked, climbed, rafted and sledged their way across Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Greenland. Now there is only Baffin Island to conquer as they aim to set a new world record for unsupported crossings by human power, while raising awareness of mental health issues in the military.
Former soldier turned entrepreneur and author Jordan Wylie turned to Inmarsat for essential connectivity for his Running Dangerously project, which saw him run in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan to raise money to educate three children in each of the conflict-torn countries. Next year will see him take on more extreme endeavours to build a school in Djibouti, East Africa.
There were also plenty of challenges to be had on the water. In April, Laura Bingham, Pip Stewart and Ness Knight completed a world-first expedition – paddling the entire length of the Essequibo river in South America from source to sea. Throughout the 10-week, 630-mile (1,041km) endeavour they posted blogs and video via Inmarsat that charted the gruelling physical and emotional toll.
And the adventures continue into 2019 and beyond. Right now, the four-strong Row4Ocean team and former Royal Marine Tim Crockett are undertaking separate transatlantic challenges. UK sailing legend Tracy Edwards has just set out on her three-year Maiden Factor voyage to promote access to education for girls from all backgrounds and countries, and to raise funds to help young women realise their full potential.