Portland to host 7-day liferaft survival challenge

Wayne Ingram hopes to raise up to £20,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital by spending seven days and nights on a liferaft afloat in Portland Marina

Former army medic Wayne Ingram will attempt to spend seven days and seven nights in a liferaft next month to raise money for charity.

The prolific fundraiser plans to survive afloat in Portland Marina from May 18-25 with only three ration pack meals and a 1-litre bottle of water for sustenance.

He hopes to catch fish using a basic liferaft survival fishing kit and make drinking water using a solar still and a manual osmosis pump.

Wayne Ingram - serial fundraiserWayne’s efforts have already attracted more than £1,900 in donations for Great Ormond Street Hospital, and he hopes to raise a grand total of £20,000.

But it won’t be easy for Wayne. Even thought he has served on HMS Brazen, he admits to getting both seasick and claustrophobic.

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“I get seasick watching my daughters during their swimming lessons, so I will certainly be out of my comfort zone,” he told MBY.

Claustrophobia seems like an even more pressing issue as 6’2” Wayne will be quite cosy in his four-person liferaft, which was kindly donated by Ocean Safety.

“I must have been some sort of buffoon, because I thought a four-person liferaft would be huge,” he adds. In reality, a four-man liferaft has a smaller cubic volume than a British Leyland Mini.

“It’s designed so that you have to be close to each other to keep in the warmth,” Wayne continues.

“But the downside is it’s very unstable on the water because the bottom isn’t rigid. It’s basically a floating tent with inflatable sides.”

Wayne Ingram with his four-man liferaft
Wayne plans to combat cabin fever by keeping a daily blog using a tablet and a GoPro, both of which will be recharged by Powertraveller portable solar panels.

However, if he does make it through the 168 hours of discomfort and hunger, Wayne is assured of a place in the history books as no previous liferaft survival record exists.

The science of liferaft survival

Dr Joe Costello from the Department of Sport & Exercise Science at Portsmouth University will be on hand to measure how Wayne’s body reacts.

Regular BMI, urine and blood sugar tests will be taken. Dr Costello hopes to make people think more about sea safety.

“There’s very limited information about liferaft survival, so we want to make people aware of how tough it really is,” he says.

As if this challenge didn’t sound gruelling enough, Wayne already has plans for an even more ambitious fundraiser: “I would quite happily set myself adrift at sea for research,” he adds.

“If anybody comes up with a feasible plan, I’d be happy to talk it through, but it would have to be in an area with very little shipping traffic.”

To donate to Wayne’s liferaft survival challenge, visit his JustGiving page or for more info, head to wayneingram.com.


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