Cadets go overboard to raise cash for cancer charity

A group of officer cadets from Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), which is part of Southampton Solent University, are preparing to brave the elements and spend 24 hours in a liferaft to raise funds for sailing respite charity, Sail 4 Cancer.

On Friday 21 March, 39 cadets will experience first-hand what it would be like to be cast adrift with their ship sinking behind them. They will spend 24 hours in five liferafts which will be secured to two buoys in the River Hamble.

This is the first time that a maritime academy has taken part in Sail 4 Cancer’s 24 hour liferaft challenge, which raises funds to provide respite breaks for families affected by cancer.

David Baker, cadet liaison officer of the WMA, was keen for the Academy’s cadets to get involved. He commented, “This challenge is a chance to enhance their training, and a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness for those facing far longer and more difficult challenges - UK families living with cancer.”

Thomas Jones, officer cadet (sponsored by Maersk Crewing Ltd) wishes he’d known about the charity when he lost his mother to cancer. He said, “I feel that this charity would have helped me deal with the stress of the situation. They support people by helping to take their minds off things and creating some great lasting memories.”

Sail4Cancer was delighted that so many cadets volunteered for the challenge, so much so that an extra liferaft was needed.

Lizette van Niekerk, fundraising manager of Sail 4 Cancer said, “The response from the staff and cadets of the Warsash Maritime Academy has been absolutely wonderful. They have enthusiastically taken on this difficult challenge and will help us to provide much-needed respite breaks for families who are going through a very difficult time.”

Four of the liferafts have been provided by Ocean Safety and a fifth by Clyde Marine Training.

Each cadet has been given a target of £200 to raise for the charity. Donations can be made through a link to the Team Warsash Sail 4 Cancer webpage; they have already raised £6,500.

For more information visit Warsash Superyacht Academy.

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