The 12-man team hopes to raise £50,000 for lifeboat causes by cruising the 2,000 mile route, from Poole to Poole via John O’Groats

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A volunteer water rescue team is hoping to raise funds for search and rescue efforts by circumnavigating the UK in nine days, nine hours and nine minutes.

The 999 challenge is the brainchild of the Watersafe UK Search & Rescue Team (WUKSART) and will see a team of 12 attempt the 2,000 mile passage from Poole to Poole via John O’Groats.

The vessel that the team has acquired for this voyage is a three-year old Parker 750 Baltic RIB, equipped with a Simrad chart plotter, radar and depth sensor.

They will embark on this epic journey in June, when daylight hours will give them the best chance of completing the trip on schedule.

Chris Carter from WUKSART told MBM: “The North of Scotland should be the trickiest bit, but it depends on conditions.

“We only know of a handful of people who have ever completed this journey in this kind of craft.”
This is not the first time that WUKSART has attempted the 999 challenge, after an effort last September ended with a broken RIB and a string of tough questions to answer.

Nonetheless, they are determined to complete the voyage this summer, with team leader Nigel Cobb aiming to stay on board the RIB for the entire journey, as the rest of the four-man crew rotate in and out from the two back-up vessels.

The WUKSART team hopes to raise £50,000 from their efforts, with the proceeds being split with the RNLI.

For this reason, RNLI locations in Penzance, Fishguard and Harwich (among others) will provide their overnight stop-off points.

MBM will be closely following the progress of WUKSART and the 999 challenge, but in the meantime, you can show your support by donating on their JustGiving page.