INTREPID rower Jock Wishart and five fellow oarsmen have achieved a world first by rowing 450 miles to reach the magnetic North Pole.
And they used equipment from Portsmouth-based Raymarine to help spot submerged icebergs when the going got really tough.
Row To The Pole was an extreme feat of endurance, as the team rowed the Old Pulteney ‘ice boat’ equipped with Raymarine’s safety, communications and navigational equipment to arrive at the magnetic North Pole’s certified position of 78° 35.7N 104° 11.9W.
Jock said: ‘Of particular value was the thermal imaging camera, which enabled us to reveal semi-submerged growlers. This was vital during the toughest 36 hour push to the Pole.
‘We encountered so much ice along that stretch and we really needed to be able to spot the hazards and the ice ahead as we made the final leg to the Pole.’
The team lived for almost a month on the compact boat, sleeping in shifts between gruelling rowing stints and surviving on 7,000 calorie-per day dry rations.
One of their reasons for doing the challenge was to raise awareness of the dramatic effect of climate change on the ice around the Polar regions and the team was able to gather important environmental data and study wildlife during the voyage.
Jock added: ‘This has been probably one of the most daunting and challenging ocean rowing expeditions ever undertaken and without using the navigational and safety equipment from Raymarine, our chances of success would have been much lower.’
The row was recorded for a BBC documentary.