19 September 2005

UK: Scuba Divers to dive the English Channel for charity

At the end of September, founder and President of men's cancer charity – the Orchid Cancer Appeal – Colin Osborne, and six other highly experienced scuba divers are aiming to be the first to relay dive the English Channel...

Colin Osborne stated, "Why do the event? For two reasons. Firstly it has never been done before, and whilst it will be cold and the logistics involved are immense, we are not just looking to achieve a World Record. We are looking to help the battle against male cancers, as it is far from won."

"Secondly, 2005 is my tenth year in remission. This is not a day I thought I'd see when I was told I had three months to live ten years ago". Colin nearly lost the fight in 1996 due to his delay in seeking medical attention for a lump. What had begun as testicular cancer (which has a cure rate of over 97% if caught early enough) ended up with his chances of survival being less than 20% and 18 months of debilitating and distressing treatment.

Due to the skill and research of his Oncologist – Professor Tim Oliver, and his fantastic team at Bart's Hospital, Colin's life was saved. He set up The Orchid Cancer Appeal with Professor Oliver in 1996 and we were the 1st registered charity dedicated to funding research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of male cancers and raising awareness of these potentially fatal diseases.

Colin observed, "the first ever fundraising event I ever undertook for The Orchid Cancer Appeal was a sponsored dive in the lake at Ilford Gold Club to see how many golf balls I could retrieve. This Cross Channel Scuba Challenge may be a bit more challenging than the lake at Ilford, but the reasons are the same, to make everyone more aware of male cancers, so that we can all fight the battle together. We are aiming to dive the week starting 24th September but this is dependent on weather conditions, however we have a six day window of Neap Tides".

Angus Somerville, Chief Executive of The Orchid Cancer Charity Appeal stated, "Colin's idea of a Cross Channel Scuba Challenge is characteristic of the approach he has taken to raising the visibility of male cancer, since he founded Orchid back in 1996. It's novel, exciting, dependent on team effort, and makes people stop and take notice. 10,000 Millimetres Under the Sea (with apologies to Jules Verne) seeks to increase awareness of male cancer and raise funds for the charity's work into prevention diagnosis and treatment of testicular, prostate and penile cancers.

A group of experienced BSAC, IANTD, PADI, TDI and Royal Navy qualified divers will swim at a depth of 10 meters all the way from England to France. This demands technical competence, physical stamina and of course the good old British weather to be kind to us. When they complete this, they will land a place in the record books!

Please take time to support these divers as they attempt the first ever relay dive of the Channel, by buying a raffle ticket, making a donation, or even turning up to wave them off – although, you could do all three!

What is great news for divers is that the raffle is a diving one, with a top prize of a week's holiday for two to the Red Sea. If you can dive, there's also a dive pack, and if you don't then you can learn on an Open Water Course courtesy of Longwood Holidays and the Red Sea Diving College. (Conditions apply).

The following are sponsors for this important event:

  • Vivaldi Potato by Naturally Best (main sponsor)
  • Active Scuba
  • Charterhouse
  • Datum Press
  • Goodman Baylis
  • IST Proline
  • Longwood Holidays
  • Mindon Tiling
  • Ocean Reef
  • PADI
  • Royal Navy Diver Training Schools
  • Sport Diver Magazine
  • Sea & Sea
  • St X Design
  • Suunto
  • Timunta Sea
  • Virgin United

    For details sbout great diving raffle prizes or the Orchid Cancer Charity, visit: Orchid Cancer Charity

    "We are hugely delighted that a number of dive shops, inland sites and diving clubs from all agencies have said they will support us by selling these diving raffle tickets. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who is helping us with this event," stated Colin Osborne.

    Source: www.divenews.com


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