Adventurer ‘on home stretch’ in bid to beat record for longest stay on Rockall

Chris Cameron is aiming to spend 60 days on Rockall (Cam Cameron/PA)
Chris Cameron is aiming to spend 60 days on Rockall (Cam Cameron/PA)

An adventurer has said he feels like he is on the home stretch after passing the halfway mark in his bid to break the world record for the longest stay on a remote uninhabited North Atlantic rock.

Chris “Cam” Cameron has now spent 24 days on Rockall and is hoping to break the current record of 45 days while raising funds for armed forces charities.

While he had company from radio operators Nobby Styles and Emil Bergmann for the first four days, he has since been on his own on the rock, which is situated around 220 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.

He has faced difficult weather conditions in recent days and is now preparing for another week of storms from the weekend, which are likely to mar his birthday on Sunday when he will turn 54.

Mr Cameron on the rock
Mr Cameron has been on the rock since the end of May (MPV HIRTA/PA)

Loneliness is another challenge, but Mr Cameron said the difficulties he is facing are worth it to raise money for the causes he is supporting.

The married father-of-two told the PA news agency: “I’m feeling better now. I’m on the home stretch, it’s just this next week of storms.

“The wind is picking up now and I’m waiting for this southerly gale-force wind to hit me, possibly at the weekend, so I’m just prepping for that now, I’m not looking forward to that.

“I’ve got a separate safety tether that goes from my climbing harness out through the land pod on to a bolt which is completely independent of the land pod, so if everything gets washed away I’ll still be on the rock.

“I’ve got a dry suit, emergency position-indicating radio beacon, life jackets, VHF radio, torches, rations in a grab bag ready to go in case I lose everything.”

Mr Cameron is staying in a land pod on the rock where there is little space – he said it takes about 10 seconds to move from one end to the other.

After getting up at sunrise and breakfasting on porridge and coffee, his day is spent checking all the equipment is secure, writing his diary, sending messages and taking photos.

He has little human contact, apart from some radio messaging from passing vessels, but there is a lot of wildlife to keep him company.

He has seen guillemots, kittiwakes and gannets, as well as minke whales and two seals that visit every morning.

He said: “I’m just taking it each day at a time and looking forward to getting home. I’m on the home run and just want to get this storm done with now.

“I’ve missed my daughter’s birthday, I missed my mother’s birthday, and my birthday is this Sunday so I’m going to miss my birthday at home.

“It’s been difficult but it’s not supposed to be easy.”

Mr Cameron is staying in a pod (Cam Cameron/

The current 45-day record for staying on Rockall was set by Nick Hancock in June and July 2014.

Mr Cameron, an army veteran who served for six years with the Gordon Highlanders, hopes to spend 60 days on the rock.

The expedition aims to raise £50,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and the Army Benevolent Fund The Soldiers’ Charity.

Mr Cameron, whose daughters are 13 and 15, grew up in Buckie in Moray, trained as a marine biologist and oceanographer in Aberdeen, and also holds a teaching certificate.

Now based in Wiltshire, he works as a senior trainer for Babcock International Group, providing specialist training to military personnel within the UK.

Rockall is an isolated granite islet that the UK has claimed sovereignty over since 1955.

It stands about 70ft above sea level and is around 300ft in circumference.

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