Warsash cadets get ready to cast-off for charity fundraiser

Twenty-four hours in a life-raft in the River Hamble. That’s the challenge facing cadets from Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.

On Friday 13 March 2015, while some will be laughing their way to raising money for Comic Relief, an intrepid group of 43 cadets will brave the elements and spend 24 hours in a life raft in aid of Sail 4 Cancer, a specialist cancer respite charity with a sporting focus.

An experience every seafarer hopes they never have to undergo for real, the challenge tests the cadets’ courage, self-confidence, team-building skills and endurance.

The cadets will board their raft, which will be tethered to buoys at the end of the Academy's pier head and afloat in the waters of the River Hamble, as if they were cast adrift with their boat sinking behind them.

Supported for the second year running, as well as a chance to boost their training, the challenge helps raise awareness of the difficulties faced by families living with cancer in the UK.

Cadet Liaison Officer David Baker says: “Last year's challenge was a great success and this year's team wants to do just as well, if not better. We've even got someone taking part who did it last year!”

“It's a great experience for the cadets and a good opportunity to enhance their training. We're pleased to be supporting Sail 4 Cancer once again,” he continued.

Previous challenger and cadet Matt Shipman says: “Last year the challenge was cold, wet with force eight winds and most people sat in four inches of water. It’s an unpleasant experience but a valuable one. I know first-hand how sailing can give relief from problems, which is why I'm willing to do it all again for Sail 4 Cancer." 

Donations to Sail 4 Cancer can be made via the Team Warsash Sail 4 Cancer webpage: http://www.sail4cancer.org/team-warsash-liferaft-challenge-2015.

Sail 4 Cancer’s Fundraising Manager, Lizette van Niekerk, says: “I'm delighted that Warsash Maritime Academy has put a team together again to take on the life-raft challenge. Last year's team raised a phenomenal amount of money, which helped us provide much-needed respite breaks for families who are going through a very difficult time. I'm confident that this year's team will do just as well.”

Companies supporting this year’s challenge include Survitec Group, who are providing the life-rafts, Sunsail Events, who are providing life jackets and foul weather gear, and Sodexo, who are providing hot food to help sustain the cadets through the challenge. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8201 3642 or press.office@solent.ac.uk

About Warsash Sail 4 Cancer Challenge

Media are welcome to attend the start/finish of the challenge, and can be taken out on the water. The challenge starts at 5pm on Friday 13 March 2015 and finishes at 5pm on Saturday 14 March 2015. The life-rafts will be tethered at Warsash Maritime Academy’s pier head. If you plan to attend, please contact Natalie Laishley on 07711 496570 so access can be arranged. There is a video of last year’s challenge on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WafkLPLIk4Information about the individuals taking part in the challenge, including their motivations for getting involved, are available on the Team Warsash Sail4Cancer webpage: http://www.sail4cancer.org/team-warsash-liferaft-challenge-2015.

About Southampton Solent University

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded ‘Gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

About Warsash Maritime Academy

Warsash Maritime Academy, the commercial maritime arm of Southampton Solent University, has provided first class education, training, consultancy and research services to the international maritime industry for nearly 70 years. WMA enrols more than 9,500 students a year and provides internationally recognised certification programmes for both navigation (deck) and engineer officers from Officer Cadet level up to Master Mariner and Chief Engineer respectively.  These programmes are approved by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). The Academy also offers a comprehensive range of mandatory and non-mandatory short safety courses to the maritime industry, developing skills such as fire-fighting and sea survival, as well as continuous professional development modules for more experienced seafarers. 

About Sail 4 Cancer

Sail 4 Cancer was set up in 2001 by a group of keen sailors who had all lost a close friend or relative to cancer. Sail 4 Cancer is primarily a provider of water-based respite days and holidays for families affected by cancer.  The charity also makes grants to cancer care centres and supports research into the positive effects of exercise (e.g. sailing) and how it can help prevent cancer and aid recovery post diagnosis. Sail 4 Cancer is UK Registered Charity Number 1090133.www.sail4cancer.org.


About Us

Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.



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Last year the challenge was cold, wet with force eight winds and most people sat in four inches of water. It’s an unpleasant experience but a valuable one. I know first-hand how sailing can give relief from problems, which is why I'm willing to do it all again for Sail 4 Cancer.
Cadet Matt Shipman