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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 2 February 2011
An-Tiki raft crossing Atlantic with Stroud man onboard
The An-Tiki vessel
The raft is built from 12-metre lengths of water and gas pipes sealed at each end

A 61-year-old solicitor from Stroud has joined a team led by an octogenarian captain attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a raft made of pipes.

John Russell is one of only four people onboard the An-Tiki vessel built from lengths of water and gas pipes.

His captain is former BBC Tomorrow's World presenter Anthony Smith, 84, who formed the crew after placing an advert in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The team are aiming to raise £50,000 for the WaterAid charity.

'Must be OAP'

It will take around 70 days, using ocean currents, to sail the 2,800-mile voyage from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas.

The newspaper advert read: "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only."

Mr Smith said: "Most people my age are happy with a trip to Sainsburys every Tuesday, or maybe helping out fixing the church hall roof.

The four-man crew sailing the An-Tiki across the Atlantic Ocean
The combined age of the four-man crew aboard the An-Tiki is 258

"What I want to show is that you don't have to be satisfied with a trip to the supermarket. You can do other things."

Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's famous 1947 Kon-Tiki voyage, the An-Tiki is built from 12-metre lengths of pipe, sealed at each end.

The raft is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communications powered by solar panels.




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