Record-Breaking Long Paddle Uses Icom Marine VHF for Support
Last year, one of our dealers, Spares Marine, approached us to help someone they were most impressed with and assisting them with a world record attempt. Coming from a trusted customer, we were delighted to help but perhaps at the time didn't realise how big the project would become. The project was 'The Long Paddle', undertaken by Brendan Prince who circumnavigated mainland Britain on a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Board, the first person ever to complete this challenge and achieve the world record for longest ever journey by SUP. Over the course of the Long Paddle, Brendan completed the 2,500 miles (4,203km) challenge in just 141 days. He also raised a huge amount of money for various charities and raised media awareness of safety on the water. Brendan’s motivation for this challenge came in north Cornwall in October 2014 when three people drowned. As an off-duty lifeguard he pulled two people from the water but was unable to save their lives. The death’s impact on the victims' families drove Brendan to set up the Above Water charity, which teaches children about water safety and embark on this major challenge. Brendan needed VHF radios to support his attempt. That's where Spares Marine, an online business based in Torquay specialising in replacement parts for boats became involved. Brendan said, 'Comms on a world record attempt like this are essential. Spares Marine supported us by supplying the Icom IC-M37E buoyant marine VHF handheld so each team member had a VHF radio.’ Brendan said, 'VHF radio was so important for the day-to-day communication with land support plus interaction with vessels on the water, as well as HM Coastguard, Vessel Traffic Services, RNLI, Coastwatch and Lifeguards. VHF is essential…you cannot and should not attempt a challenge of this nature without a radio.' Brendan used the radios daily to communicate with large vessels, letting them know his presence which was essential for his safety. He said, ‘the IC-M37E worked perfectly the whole time despite the fairly brutal conditions it had to contend with. I especially like the mic's ‘water-clear' function, very useful for keeping clear communications.’ During the Long Paddle Brendan saw Britain’s fabulous wildlife and stunning coastline. He said,’ From the north of Scotland to west Wales or Norfolk, I met some amazing people. It’s incredible how we are all so different in such a small area. Fabulous people with different accents, humour and way of life. I love the coastal community of Britain.’ Apart from the obvious world record, Brendan feels that he has become a better paddler and waterman. In addition he said, 'my knowledge of water movement and ability to read the weather has reached a new level of understanding. I've also gained a voice to speak more about water safety and people are listening. So to the future, has he got anything planned? Brendan said, 'Yes, possibly some more new world firsts! At the moment they are secret so watch this space.’ He added, ‘You can still sponsor the Long Paddle. Sponsorship to fund the worlds first water safety app is essential for us to hit our target and get it FREE and into schools for next September. Please sponsor via our website www.thelongpaddle.co.uk'. If you are looking for a spare part or piece of equipment for your boat, visit the Spares Marine website at https://www.sparesmarine.co.uk. As well as being an Icom accessory and parts reseller, Spares Marine are an authorised EPIRB, PLB and MOB AIS service centre.