Lympstone man takes on 3,000-mile rowing challenge

Oscar Stone from Lympstone (in sunglasses) out on the water

Oscar Stone from Lympstone (in sunglasses) out on the water - Credit: Oscar Stone

A Lympstone Royal Marine is among a four-man crew currently rowing from Gran Canaria to Barbados in a seven-metre boat. 

Oscar Stone and his friends, known as the Atlantic Dagger team, are undertaking the 3,000-mile journey to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity. 

They set off in December and are currently 800 miles off the coast of Barbados, expecting to arrive in about two weeks. 

Oscar Stone, one of the Atlantic Dagger rowing team

Oscar Stone, one of the Atlantic Dagger rowing team - Credit: Oscar Stone

Oscar is originally from New Zealand and moved to the UK to join the Marines. He trained at the Lympstone Commando Centre and then served with 42 Commando in Plymouth before returning to live in Lympstone. During his time in the Marines he served all over the world, spending time in the polar regions of northern Norway, the deserts of Oman, in Vietnam and the South China Sea. 

The rest of the crew are former Royal Marines Jason Gardiner from Bristol and Mitch Hutchcraft from Peterborough, along with Conor Patterson, a Merchant Navy deck officer from Plymouth. Mitch and Conor joined only a few weeks before the departure date, after two original members of the team had to drop out. 

The Atlantic Dagger rowing team on board their boat the Danielle

The Atlantic Dagger rowing team on board their boat the Danielle - Credit: Jack Broughton

The team are taking it in turns to row in pairs, two hours on and two hours’ rest, all around the clock. 

The group had to raise £30,000 to cover the costs of the project before getting their boat, the Danielle, on the water. They did it mainly by obtaining corporate sponsorship and holding their own fundraising events, as well as inviting contributions via their crowdfunding page.  

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Oscar’s friend Jack Broughton, who is managing social media for the Atlantic Dagger team, said: “They had to work their socks off to raise the money. They went round to literally hundreds of companies asking for sponsorship, and most of the money came from companies paying for the coverage.” 

He described Oscar as ‘a gleaming bloke' and said: “I don’t think you could meet a more salt-of-the-earth, happy person.” 

He said the team have been rowing, on average, 60 to 70 nautical miles every 24 hours, and have had good weather conditions. 

To donate to the fundraising, visit the crew's GoFundMe page.