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Army veteran trying to break world record on remote island needs rescue. ‘Owe them all my life’

A U.S. Navy destroyer cuts a circuitous path during a training exercise off the east coast of San Clemente Island in a 2013 file image. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

An army veteran and oceanographer was rescued from a small island in the North Atlantic Ocean while trying to break a world record.

Christopher “Cam” Cameron planned to live on Rockall — an inhospitable, rocky islet off the western coast of Scotland — for 60 days, according to a news release from the Rockall Expedition, a charity.

His intention was to break the record of time spent on the barren rock while raising about $63,000 for military charities.

But Cameron’s intrepid endeavor, which began on May 30, came to an early end on June 28 after a bout of bad weather.

“A lot of Cam’s equipment was destroyed by the wind and waves, and on several occasions overnight, he was almost swept away,” the release said.

The island itself is only about 8,440 square feet, making it slightly bigger than three average American homes. Only five people have ever survived more than a single night on the sea-washed granite slab located hundreds of miles from civilization, according to Rockall Expedition.

“I spoke to Cam at 08:30 BST on Wednesday, and we discussed the forecast for the coming days,” the expedition’s communications manager said in the release. “It was apparent Cam had suffered a really rough night, and we needed to make a quick decision on whether to abort the expedition or push on.”

Cameron, a former infantry soldier and marine biologist from Buckie, eventually radioed for help and was airlifted to safety by a British coastguard helicopter.

“I would not be here were it not for the courageous efforts of HM Coastguard” and others who assisted in his extraction, Cameron wrote in a Facebook post on June 29. “I owe them all my life.”

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on June 29.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him home and hope that any future adventures will be a little less risky,” Cameron’s family said in the release.“Why couldn’t he just have bought a sports car in the first place?”

Buckie is about 185 miles north of Edinburgh.


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