A veteran who hoped to set a world record for living on a tiny remote islet has been rescued by the coastguard due to poor weather conditions.
Chris “Cam” Cameron, an army veteran who served with the Gordon Highlanders, spent 32 days on the islet of Rockall – just over half of his 60-day target.
The veteran hoped to beat the world record of 45 days, set by Nick Hancock in 2014.
Mr Cameron – now based in Wiltshire – took on the challenge in order to raise money for veterans’ charities before bad weather conditions gave him no choice but to abandon the challenge.
Much of his equipment was destroyed by wind and waves, and he was almost swept away at several points throughout the night.
He was brought to safety by coastguards before 6pm and is said to be in “good hands”.
A statement published on a Twitter account created for Mr Cameron’s challenge reads: “Cam has now been recovered from Rockall, and is safe and in good hands.
“We will post further updates in the coming days. We will not be conducting interviews at this time.”
The uninhabited rock is 230 miles west of North Uist and is a mere 30m wide and 21m long.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed a search-and-rescue team was dispatched after receiving Mr Cameron’s distress call.
A fixed-wing aircraft was sent out to support the rescue.
Harry Brayford, expedition communications and shoreside manager, conformed he has spoken to Mr Cameron since his rescue, stating he is in “remarkably good spirits”.
He said: “I spoke to Cam at 8.30am BST on Wednesday and we discussed the forecast for the coming days.
*** 18:00 UTC – 28/06/2023 ***Cam has now been recovered from Rockall, and is safe and in good hands. We will post further updates in the coming days.We will not be conducting interviews at this time.
— Rockall Expedition (@Rockall2023) June 28, 2023
“It was apparent Cam had suffered a really rough night and we needed to make a quick decision on whether to abort the expedition or push on.
“We looked at a number of options to safely extract Cam if required, but it quickly became apparent the most appropriate option was for him to issue a ‘mayday’ call, which was picked up by HM Coastguard at Stornoway.
“They have co-ordinated the rescue mission and as well as deploying vessels in the immediate vicinity, they deployed both rotary and fixed-wing coastguard aircraft to assist him.
“He was winched onto the coastguard helicopter just before 6pm BST and then flown back to dry land.”
Mr Brayford thanked the coastguard on behalf of Mr Cameron for rescuing him.
He added: “It’s disappointing to have to abort such an immense expedition, and whilst it was not an easy decision to make, it was the right one without question.
“I’ve spoken to Cam this evening and he’s in remarkably good spirits considering. He’s very much looking forward to a beer and a proper bed to sleep in.”
A statement from Mr Cameron’s family said: “We are hugely proud of all his achievements, but also that he had the courage to make what must have been a very difficult decision in the face of such dreadful weather.
“We are looking forward to welcoming him home and hope that any future adventures will be a little less risky.”
His family joked: “Why couldn’t he just have bought a sports car in the first place?”
A documentary about Mr Cameron’s challenge, named Rockall, The Edge of Existence, is currently being produced.
Aaron Wheeler, director of the documentary, said: “We’re glad Cam is safely back on dry land and look forward to watching through the footage that Cam recorded during his occupation to tell the story of his adventure.”
Donations can still be made via: https://www.justgiving.com/page/rockallexped
Information on the documentary can be found at: www.rockalldoc.com