Rockall adventurer survives storm

Nick Hancock, who is attempting to break the record for staying on the islet Rockall, has been in touch with his support team to confirm that he has survived a severe storm in the region in the early hours of today (Wednesday) but he has lost vital supplies.

There was nothing he could do but sit it out in his RockPod as the gale hit and large waves rolled in to the side of the rock he is on and swept over it for several hours.

Although he has not been able to get out and make a full damage assessment until the conditions abate properly, he said that he believes four barrels of rations lashed to the rock have worked loose and been swept away.

The Edinburgh-based chartered surveyor will make a final decision later on what his options are after he has spoken to the cruise boat operator who took him to Rockall. The operator was understood to be on a voyage to St Kilda and immediately uncontactable.

Nick, who is on day 28 of his attempt to get into the record books and raise funds for the armed forces charity Help For Heroes, told his team: “It may be that I have lost barrels with more than two weeks of supplies. If that is the case, I may be unable to continue for 60 days as I had planned.”

The current record for a solo occupation of Rockall is 40 days set by Tom McClean in 1995. Three members of Greenpeace also stayed on for 42 days in 1997.

Stornoway coastguard said that Force 8 winds were forecast in the Rockall area last night.

Captain Angus Smith, who skippered the boat taking Nick to Rockall, has this morning been researching the various weather systems which could affect Nick’s stay.

He said: “I am not a professional forecaster but he should now be over the worst. For the immediate future, the winds should lessen and move to the west so they will not be straight on to Nick’s side of the rock.”