Adventurer pulls off world first
Jordan Wylie, the Gray Page sponsored fund-raiser and adventurer, has pulled off a world-first.
He rowed unsupported across one the world’s most dangerous bodies of waters, the Bab el-Mandeb Straits.
“This was the toughest thing I’ve ever done,” Jordon told the UK news provider Mail Online.
The Straits, some 18 miles across at their narrowest point, link the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The strategic waterway is not only a busy shipping lane but also a geo-political fault line.
Its waters have seen terrorism, smuggling and piracy and, most recently, turbulence from the civil war in Yemen.
“There were many logistical challenges,” Jordon said, shortly after completing the crossing in early October.
Paramount were security concerns. Before setting off from the Djibouti coast he spent days monitoring traffic, tides and sea states. “I had regular excellent intelligence updates daily from Gray Page,” said Jordan told the Mail Online.
He also tuned-in to the chatter between the masters of commercial ships as they exchanged warnings about suspicious vessels.
Rowing in temperatures of up to 38C it took Jordan 13 hours and 42 minutes to cross from Khôr ‘Angar on the Djibouti side of the Straits to Perim Island in Yemen and then back to the Djibouti shore, making landfall at Ras Siyyan.
He suffered sun burn on the return journey, blistered hands and dehydration.
Jordan trained for 12 months to be ready for the challenge, including sessions with double Olympic champion Alex Gregory and Olympic medallist James Foad.
The days just before the row were spent at the Khôr ‘Angar camp in Djibouti waiting for the most suitable conditions.
Jordan, a former soldier with the British army, serving with the King’sRoyal Hussars, was raising money for three charities – Frontline Children, Epilepsy Action and Seafarers UK.
Some of the money raised will go towards the costs of building a school for war refugees in As’Eyla in the southwest of Djibouti.
To support Jordan’s charity work visit www.jordanwylie.org/charity.