3 November 2016: Two former Royal Marines Commandos aim to trek across the five biggest islands on Earth, to raise awareness of the mental health issues faced by members of the armed forces.
Louis Nethercott and Anthony Lambert will set out on the Expedition 5 world record attempt this month, starting out in Borneo before tackling Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Greenland and Baffin Island.
The two veterans, who will travel on foot and unsupported, will count on satellite communications equipment supplied by Inmarsat to stay safe and connected as their adventure takes them well off the beaten track. Along with food, water, shelter, medical supplies and clothing, Anthony and Louis will carry an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone each and a compact IsatHub terminal to use with their own smartphones and apps.
This means they can call for help in an emergency, conduct media interviews, update social media and their website with reports and images, and also keep in touch with family and friends back home. IsatPhone 2 offers the additional reassurance of GPS tracking and an assistance button that instantly sends location details.
The men, who served together in Afghanistan, have spent nearly a year planning and training for the challenge. They decided to undertake the adventure in order to draw attention to mental health conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder, which caused Louis to be medically discharged from service.
They will navigate an east to west route across Borneo that they have plotted using World War II maps kept in the Bodleian Library, cross referenced with satellite images. By air, the distance is 540 miles (869 km), but on the ground they must carve a tortuous path through virtually impenetrable rainforest, a vast mountain range, and a network of powerful rivers – all in temperatures of up to 35°C with 80 per cent-plus humidity.
Louis said: “The support that Inmarsat is providing is integral to the safety of the expedition. Knowing that we will be able to indicate our current location and call for help should something untoward happen is absolutely essential for an expedition of this nature.
“Another incredible element that Inmarsat’s support will add to the adventure is the ability to send information, pictures and videos back to our audience in the UK. This will mean we can share our journey as close to real time as possible, aiding engagement with our sponsors, our support network and medical staff, and helping us raise funds for our chosen charities – the Royal Marines Charity and Help for Heroes.”