On August 23rd Ian Rivers, former SAS soldier, touched down at St Marys Harbour, concluding his epic solo unsupported row. Ian has made history becoming the first person to row unsupported from New York to the Isles of Scilly by successfully completing his strenuous challenge.
Ian’s journey was far from plain sailing. He capsized on three occasions, resulting in his vessel Sentinel turning upside down and the cabin filling with water. The numerous storms they endured caused significant damage to the Sentinel; Ian had to repair the steering and construct a new rudder. He lost most of his communication devices, and he could only charge the batteries by using a solar panel. When asked what pushed him through to keep going through the multiple storms and capsizes, Ian responded, “The determination to get to the finish and complete the adventure. They were just daily problems which I dealt with one by one.”
In addition to the substantial damage to his boat, Ian also suffered injuries during his time at sea. In the worst capsize, he hit his head, back and shoulder and sustained several broken ribs and concussion. His full trauma kit, supplied by Safeguard Medical, was vital for attending to his injuries. Ian used the zinc oxide tape to support his broken ribs and dressings to cover his wounds. He also used the burns dressings after the cooker boiled over his legs, and the scissors and head torch were used frequently. For Ian to claim an unsupported row, he was not allowed any assistance. By having his trauma kit on board, he was able to complete the challenge successfully and safely entirely solo. Ian commented, “It was great to have the equipment which is easy to use and helped to speed the recovery up. It eased any worries I had about recovering from the injuries and allowed me to concentrate on rowing.”
Ians’ time in the Special Forces fired his passion for pure navigation. He spent 27 years in the military, including serving with the SAS and became a trained mountain guide and ocean yacht-master, navigating all the world’s major mountain ranges, deserts, and oceans. This extensive training prepared him for his row. Ian commented, “It gave me the resilience to know that problems could be solved and the patience to know that you needed to wait, to think and then work through them.” The most challenging aspect of the journey for Ian was the isolation. Even though Ian does not like being on his own, he spent 85 days at sea without communication or assistance, demonstrating his extraordinary ability and strength of character.
Ian’s Special Forces background and commitment to the Armed Forces is honourable and is the reason why Prometheus Medical sponsored his incredible challenge. Prometheus Medical (Part of Safeguard Medical) has years of experience supporting the military with elite medical training. Prometheus also supports major industrial, private companies, individual clients, emergency responders and charitable organisations.
The record-breaking row not only raised money for the Special Air Service Regimental Association (SASRA) and St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford, but it also raised awareness of the mental health challenges facing serving and veteran personnel. Prometheus Medical is proud to have sponsored Ian on his record-breaking journey and supplied him with a full trauma kit to ensure he could complete his journey as safely as possible.