[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 15 August, 2003, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Bear completes Arctic journey
Bear Grylls and his crew arrive at John O'Groats after crossing the North Atlantic
Bear Grylls and his crew arrive at John O'Groats after crossing the North Atlantic
Adventurer Bear Grylls has crossed the North Atlantic in an inflatable boat.

Along with three other crew, the 29-year-old completed the 3,500 mile journey at John O'Groats in the north of Scotland on Friday.

The team set off from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on 31 July on the route which took them just south of the Arctic Circle.

They endured plunging temperatures and negotiated some of the most treacherous seas in the world to make it to Scotland.

The team are not thought to be the first to have made the perilous journey.

We've come through some pretty frightening waters right up north near the Arctic Circle
Bear Grylls

Grylls said: "It's amazing, we've been genuinely dreaming of seeing the Scottish coastline for 3,000 miles.

"We've come through some pretty frightening waters right up north near the Arctic Circle. Home has definitely taken on a new meaning."

Grylls, along with meteorologist Mick Crosthwaite, navigator Nigel Thompson and Royal Navy engineer Lieutenant Andy Leivers, was hoping to have raised thousands of pounds for the Prince's Trust.

The men revealed they came close to putting out a Mayday signal twice during the crossing.

"There were times in force eights, off Greenland with freezing cold water, waves breaking over the boat with icebergs around in the middle of the night when we all really feared for our lives and I don't want to go through that again for a while," said Grylls.

Andy Livers, Mick Crosswaite and Bear Grylls celebrate
Andy Livers, Mick Crosswaite and Bear Grylls celebrate on dry land

"I never imagined it would be quite as bad as it was. A lot of those waters are very uncharted for weather and so accurate forecasting just doesn't exist.

"You feel very vulnerable but all we wanted to do was just be safe and I think that feeling of being safe was just with us for so long that we just wanted to get on to dry land."

The crew's journey, which included brief stops in Iceland and Greenland, was monitored by a satellite tracking system.

The boat, designed and manufactured at a factory St David's in Wales, had an aluminium hull and was powered by a 450hp in-board diesel engine.

In 1998 Grylls, then 23, became the youngest Briton to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

His triumph came just three years after he broke his back in a freefall parachuting accident, while serving with the SAS in Africa.




SEE ALSO:
Adventurer's arctic record attempt
09 Jan 03  |  England
Britain's new wave of explorers
15 Jan 03  |  UK News
Inflatable's ocean crossing attempt
29 Apr 03  |  South West Wales


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific