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Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010
East Yorkshire adventurer attempts to claim remote rock
Andy strangeway in Inchcolm
Andy Strangeway during his Scottish island mission.

An adventurer from East Yorkshire is planning to land on a disputed rock in the North Atlantic and claim it for Britain.

There are hundreds of islands in Scotland. Many are uninhabited and very difficult to access - except for one man.

Self-employed painter and decorator Andy Strangeway from Full Sutton, has already made it into the record books as the first to visit all 162 islands.

It was a mission that took four years to complete, battling the notorious Scottish weather conditions to land and sleep on the islands - all over 40 hectares, which ended in August of 2007.

Now his latest venture - which is planned for the summer - will be a lot more challenging as it will involve landing on Rockall, an isolated rock 180 miles west of Scotland that is constantly being pounded by huge Atlantic swells.

Surrounded by rich fishing grounds and oil reserves, Rockall is about 25 metres wide at its base and stands 70 feet tall. It is a disputed territory with three other countries - Ireland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands - also claiming sovereignty of the area.

"We landed [on Rockall] in 1955, it was at the height of the Cold War. We raised the flag and put the Queen's plaque on there claiming it for Britain and the disputes been going on continuously ever since," said Andy.

Andy Strangeway sailing towards Rockall
Andy Strangeway sailing towards Rockall in 2008

"While researching this it came to my attention that the Queen's plaque is no longer on there. So we obviously need it back up there as soon as possible."

Planning permission from the UK authorities had to be sought before the adventurer can place a plaque on the disputed rock.

This will be Andy's second attempt since failing his first in 2008 after huge waves prevented him from landing on the rock. Rockall lies outside the air sea rescue zone, this coupled with the harsh conditions meant Andy had to abandon his expedition.

But now he is hoping for a safe landing on his next trip: "We try to avoid the thought of getting washed off ... but the largest recorded waves in the world are recorded out there at 29 metres.

"It's approximately a day and a half sail out [to Rockall from Scotland].

"We'll get out there and we'll launch the tender. It's quite possible we could be jumping off on a 20 metre swell, that's when the waves are going up and down and you just hope to cling on and not fall back in."




SEE ALSO
No man is one island for explorer
14 Dec 07 |  Scotland
Scotland: Islands decline?
11 Dec 03 |  Politics Show

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