Wednesday, April 6, 2011

85 year old man crosses Atlantic on raft to raise water awareness

Anthony Smith, David Hildred, Andrew Bainbrigde, John RussellA grandfather from London and his three-man crew have successfully crossed the Atlantic on a raft made of pipes after 66 days at sea.

Anthony Smith, 85, wanted to complete the 2,800-mile (4,596km) voyage to highlight the fact a billion people worldwide live without clean water.

The former BBC Tomorrow's World presenter hopes to have raised £50,000 for the charity WaterAid.

They set sail from the Canary Islands and reached the Caribbean on Wednesday.

Mr Smith recruited the team of "mature and intrepid gentlemen" - aged between 56 and 61 - by placing an advert in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

It read: "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew.

"Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only."

The 85-year-old was a science correspondent and presenter on the BBC programme, which was axed in 2003 after 40 years.

Speaking ahead of the trip Mr Smith said: "Water strikes at the very heart of need.

"To voyage almost 3,000 miles upon the salty kind will make us intensely aware of places in the world that are without adequate supplies."

Their vessel, named the An-Tiki, was constructed out of 12m (39ft) lengths of pipe.

It was powered by a 400-square-foot sail and steered using twin rudders and oars, travelling at an average speed of four knots. ...

via BBC News - Presenter, 85, crosses Atlantic on raft for WaterAid.

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