17 July 2014: Day 43 of the Rockall Solo challenge sees Nick Hancock officially setting a new solo occupation world record and raising in excess of £7,000 for the Help the Heroes charity.
Nick has endured the harshest and toughest of times on the inhospitable granite islet, which has included surviving a gale force storm with 15-foot (4.57-metre) waves that dislodged his pod from its precarious position.
While the original plan was to spend 60 days living on isolated Atlantic rock of Rockall, the challenge had to be cut short due to invaluable food supplies being lost in the storm.
Despite the nerve-racking experience, Nick has managed to break the existing 40-day solo record set by SAS veteran Tom McLean nearly 30 years ago and the 42-day record set by three Greenpeace campaigners in 1997.
“The storm that hit on 1 July was the worst experience of my life and I have never been so scared,” said Nick.
“It was obvious that I would now not be able to complete my goal of 60 days here, but I thought I still had enough food to reach the records. I spent much of the day on the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 speaking to the coastguard, Kilda Cruises, Iain MacIver and my wife trying to discover what my options were.
“I would like to thank Inmarsat and Wireless Innovation as without the excellent and reliable communications they have provided me with, I may have had no option but to pull the plug on the expedition and call out the coastguard.”
Throughout his endurance test, Nick has been able to share his experience, both the highs and the lows, thanks to Inmarsat free airtime and a Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710 terminal – allowing him to stream live video via BGAN HDR. In addition, Nick was given an IsatPhone 2 by Inmarsat partner Wireless Innovation.
He has been able to blog, update his social media sites, and raise the profile of his charity fundraising challenge via a series of media interviews over Skype.
“Inmarsat was amazing, allowing me the airtime to do Skype interviews and upload the video I’ve recorded to NBC,” he added.
He also mentioned throughout the Rockall Solo challenge how Inmarsat’s satellite communications helped him emotionally by enabling him to stay in contact with family and friends.
Nick is due to be collected from Rockall on Saturday 19 July by Kilda Cruises, taking his total record-breaking number of days spent on Rockall up to 45.