Organiser of this paddle and Co-Founder of Stand Up Projects, Tim Campbell, said: “We heard about MissionShip – a boat that will sail around to remote island communities providing health care to those who are currently dying of preventable diseases – through a friend and after seeing the boat 90% complete and learning UNICEF’s data that 5.9 million kids under the age of five will die this year from preventable diseases, we at Stand Up Projects were compelled to do what we could to help raise awareness and hopefully the needed funds.
“Stand Up Paddling is what we do, so we did an open water crossing to help,” he added.
The crew of ten men who completed the paddle included 79-year-old Trevor Wadsworth from England who comes to Phuket every year to paddle his sea canoe, Tim Campbell, Richard Jones, Martin Jandke, Cameron McKay, Daniel Villota, Kit Fordham, Luke Remmers, Pradis Thipmongkon, and Alexander Moehring.
Campbell said: “On an adventure like this you immediately bond and encourage each other through having a few laughs and stirring each other up. Everyone at some point takes the lead and sets the pace.
“With the amazing backdrop of tropical islands and clear aqua coloured water it definitely helps you find the extra strength needed to push on.
“We camped overnight on a remote island beach and couldn’t help ourselves as the full moon rose high in the sky. We all got up from around the camp fire and circled around the island we were camping on to take in the spectacular nights sky.
“With a few blisters on hands, and some sunburn, all of us made the last paddle stroke and touched the shores of Phuket, where we were welcomed by family and friends,” he said.
Patrick Vickers, the Founder and builder of MissionShip, informed us that the boat is 90% complete but that the project had come to a halt due of a shortage of a few remaining items such as masts, sails and rigging.
“MissionShip only needs US$60,000 (B2.06 million) to finish the building of the boat and Stand Up Projects, through this recent paddle, have managed to raise around B40,000 and kickstart this push to help raise the remainder of needed funds.
“This is obviously well short of the total amount needed but since their paddle more people have been getting in contact and generously making donations,” Vickers said.
“The whole idea of the paddle was to bring to people’s attention this massive health issue and put the call out to those of us who have the fortunate opportunity to receive health care whenever they want, to donate the amount of a weekend meal, a coffee, anything which will go towards giving those less fortunate a chance,” added Campbell.
All the action of the paddle trip can be seen at www.facebook.com/StandUpProjects.