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Fort Victoria rows the Suez Canal

RFA Fort Victoria rows the Suez Canal
27 June 2016
The crew of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Victoria carried out a mammoth charity row to raise money for those in need last month.

After completing operations in the Mediterranean, including giving aid to refugees, RFA Fort Victoria set sail for the Gulf.  

The transit included one of the world’s most iconic waterways, the Suez Canal, a distance of 164 kilometres (km).  

Their work in the Mediterranean had a big impact on the crew and as a result Third Officer (3/O) Drew Arnold created a challenge to raise funds for Médecins Sans Frontières.

The Ship took 11 hours 41 minutes to transit the Suez Canal consequently 3/O Arnold challenged the crew to row 164km in less time.

There was no shortage of volunteers as all elements of Fort Victoria Ship’s Company were represented including the RFA, Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF), the Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group (FEWSG) and 45 Commando Force Protection took up this daunting challenge.

Due to rising temperatures the marathon row started at 8.00 am with three teams of four people, rowing for one hour at a time. 

What made this challenge even tougher is the fact that there was only one rowing machine so the volunteers had to work throughout the day, including the hottest period from mid-morning to late afternoon.

The row was successfully completed, with the crew finishing the 164 km in 11 hours 14 minutes, 27 minutes ahead of the Ship’s Suez transit time.  

This means in theory that when the Ship was at the 157.7 km point the rowers had completed their transit of the Suez Canal.

So far an excess of £300 has been raised for Médecins Sans Frontières.

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