Liverpool dad, 63, attempts world record 300 mile boat pull across land for suicide awareness

“Each mile we complete, we celebrate the life of a young person.”

A 63-year-old dad of two from Speke is attempting to set a new world record by pulling his boat 300 miles over land.

The challenge runs throughout April and will see serial fundraiser and adventurer Bernie Hollywood OBE cover 10 miles a day.

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The ‘Boat Pull Challenge’ aims to raise awareness of young people’s mental health issues and each mile of the trip represents one of the 300 people between 11 and 18 years old who lose their lives to suicide each year.

“Each mile we complete, we celebrate the life of a young person. We want to raise awareness of this and get people talking about their mental health,” Bernie told BBC Radio Merseyside.

Bernie Hollywood: Photo: BoatOfHope

Bernie has given himself a target of raising £1million for his chosen charities, whil pulling his beloved boat – The Boat of Hope - around the Ministry of Defence Base at Lyneham and his solo row across the Atlantic later this year.

What’s been said

“The pull is going really well so far, as I’m based at the Ministry of Defence base, I do get support from the odd trooper that comes along which is great,” says Bernie.

“I’m pulling the boat 300 miles in total across the base, the reason for this is figures show that 300 young people aged between 11 and 18 who lose their lives to suicide each year.

“So, with each mile we complete, we celebrate the life of a young person. We want to raise awareness of this and get people talking about their mental health.

“I’ve been supporting my charities and social enterprises, and adventuring for 40 years now – taking on challenges that put my physical and mental endurance to the test is something I feel is always worthwhile when supporting a crucial cause.”

What is The Boat of Hope campaign?

The Boat of Hope campaign (#boatofhope) is a collaborative fundraising effort, with various contributors joining in to share their pro bono support and expertise, helping to raise awareness of Bernie’s challenge and the fantastic charities he is supporting.

Bernie Hollywood’s Boat of Hope. Photo: Twitter/boatofhope

How can you donate?

If you go to the Boat of Hope website www.theboatofhope.com you can find out how to donate, how to get involved and all the information regarding each campaign that’s running.

Who is Bernie Hollywood OBE?

Born in Liverpool, Bernie is adventurer and mental health advocate who takes on eye-watering challenges in an effort to raise money for relevant charities, and to help start dicussions around Young People’s mental health.

The majority of his challenges include his boat, Boat Of Hope, whether its sailing it across the sea or pulling it throughout an army base.

Some of his toughest challnges include reaching the Geographic Poles, climbing some of the world’s highest mountains, trekking unsupported through deserts and running 41 marathons back-to-back in just 20 days.

What’s next for Bernie?

The adventurer will also be attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in December as part of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

He will spend up to 90 days completely isolated at sea as he looks to row 3,000 miles with ‘up to 4 hours sleep each night, at best.’

His Boat of Hope will be officially named the ‘City of Liverpool’ for the voyage.

“Rowing solo across the Atlantic will, of course, be a huge physical and mental challenge, so it will be a great comfort to me to know that I am not alone and that the city so close to my heart will be with me all the way,” he told LiverpoolWorld.