Adventurer plans another assault on Rockall

Nick Hancock inside his 'rockpod'. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Nick Hancock inside his 'rockpod'. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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ADVENTURER Nick Hancock is set to launch a fresh assault on Britain’s loneliest outpost.

The chartered surveyor from Ratho was last year forced to abandon an attempt to land on Rockall, a tiny remote rock in the Atlantic, where he planned to live alone for 60 days in his yellow “rockpod” 

Heavy seas meant he could not even step off the boat and had to make the 15-hour return trip to Leverburgh on Harris.

But now he is planning a new bid – despite his wife’s opposition.

Mr Hancock, 38, is aiming to set two new endurance records – the longest solo occupation of Rockall, beating the current 42 days; and the longest occupation of Rockall in history. He is also raising money for the charity Help for Heroes.

He has contacted the same boat charter company on Harris he used for his attempt last May and wants to try again in less than three months’ time.

Angus Campbell of Kilda Cruises confirmed Mr Hancock had provisionally booked an attempt for the end of May.

“He has been in touch and is looking at getting out around then – and is trying to get the necessary funding and arrangements in place,” said Mr Campbell. “But he has made the provisional booking. Hopefully it will be more successful this time.”

Rockall – an eroded volcano 260 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, which measures just 100ft wide and 70ft high – is constantly pounded by 3000 miles of Atlantic swell. The world’s largest recorded oceanic waves of more than 95ft were recorded there in 2000.

Less than 100 people have landed on Rockall and only four have ever slept on it. But Mr Hancock created his yellow living pod from an 8ft water tank and made it cosy with spray-on insulation foam in a bid to survive there for 60 days.

Mr Hancock had taken all food and water with him, but the swell around the rock when he arrived made it impossible to scramble on.

He also admitted wife Pamela did not want him to go but understood “it’s something I must do”. The couple have a two-year-old son, Freddie.

The first record for time spent on Rockall was 40 days set by former SAS soldier Tom McClean in 1985. His occupation record was broken in 1997 by three Greenpeace activists who stayed there for 42 days in protest at North Atlantic oil exploration.