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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes makes tracks with Flookburgh search and rescue team

THE world’s most experienced explorer took a spin on the sands with a Flookburgh search and rescue team.

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ANOTHER ADVENTURE: A specially-adapted Land Rover Defenders at Morecambe Bay and, inset, Sir Ranulph Fiennes with Mike Davis from the Bay Search and Rescue team

Bay Search and Rescue had the chance to try out two Land Rover “wolf spec” Defender 110s – and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes also came along for the ride.

In 1997, Land Rover agreed to sponsor an expedition conceived by Sir Ranulph to drive around the world. However, his plan of driving round the world, including crossing the Bering Strait – which lies between Russia and Alaska – had to be called off after funding for two amphibious vehicles was pulled.

British car company Land Rover was taken over by BMW and consequently the trip was cancelled.

But 15 years on, Sir Ranulph was led out into Morecambe Bay by the Bay Search and Rescue Team in one of the vehicles.

Members of the Flookburgh-based team led the mini-expedition to ensure the party remained safe.

Chairman Gary Parsons said the team enjoyed meeting the explorer, who famously ran seven marathons on seven continents within a week, despite having a heart bypass only four months before.

Mr Parsons said: “We took him out into the bay, which was a unique experience.

“We took him out into some of the most dangerous gullies of the bay and Sir Ranulph really enjoyed it.

“According to the Guinness Book of Records, he is the most experienced explorer and to have a man of that experience was very exciting.

“He had quite a bit to say about his expeditions in the past.

“At the safety briefing I explained to him and his support crew the dangers of the bay.

“I said we’d be going out into a particular bit and then returning. When the water flooded in behind us he said he couldn’t believe how quickly the water came in by six or seven miles with such force. He said he’d never seen anything like it before.”

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