What's Happening in Rochdale blog

Storm hits floating firefighters

Brave firefighters Andy Waterhouse and Pete Griffiths were hit by a hurricane as they attempted to sail around the country in an inflatable boat to raise cash for charity.

The two men, who are based at Heywood Fire Station, still raised thousands of pounds for charity for their attempt to circumnavigate the UK coastline in nine days, nine hours and nine minutes.

Money raised from the trip will go to the New York Fire Department Foundation and the UK Firefighters Charity to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America. So far the duo have collected nearly £5,000 but they are hoping to reach a target of £20,000.

The route of the trip had to be altered after they were hit by gale force winds of up to 90mph in Scotland from the tail end of Hurricane Katia.

Andy, 34, from Syke, in Rochdale, said: “It was hard work and very long days and was mentally and physically draining.

“Some days we had to go out in force eight or nine gales and on others we had to come in due to health and safety reasons. But it was a trip of a lifetime.

“We managed to go around the majority of it and it was all done for charity.”

The team also helped two canoeists who were struggling in water close to North Berwick during the storm.

Andy added: “We had come in because of the weather and we saw the lifeboat crew going out and told them who we were and asked if we could help.”

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