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Two Hampshire firefighters have rowed across the Atlantic, battling extreme conditions over 64 days to raise vital funds for The Fire Fighters Charity and Solent Mind.
Stu Vince from St Mary’s Fire Station in Southampton and Craig Sadler from Cosham Fire Station in Portsmouth set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 12 December and arrived to crowds of supporters lining the shore in Antigua on 15 February.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is known as the world’s toughest row – and for Stu and Craig, who’d never rowed a distance like it before, it proved a tremendous challenge.
Having both overcome mental health problems themselves, they wanted to test themselves to the limit to not only raise vital funds for two charities close to their hearts, but also awareness of the mental health challenges they face every day.
“As serving fire fighters, Stu & Craig have had to overcome some form of mental health problem during their working life,” they stated before the challenge. “Coping with the loss of colleagues at work, the regular pressures of making life and death decisions whilst attending a wide variety of life threatening incidents or daily pressures such as keeping a roof over their families’ heads.
“It is of no surprise that over the last few years we have all witnessed a dramatic increase in mental health issues in the workplace which is why the team are determined to do something about it, for everyone’s benefit.”
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