Eddystone memorial row for Monty
Television presenter Monty Hall and fisherman's daughter Rachel Cole are to take on an epic challenge in memory of the RNLI's most legendary rescue.
The duo, who are both volunteers for the RNLI in Dartmouth, will row 70 miles from their home, around the Eddystone Lighthouse and back.
The date for their expedition – September 7 – will mark the 175th anniversary of the audacious bid to rescue the passengers of the SS Forfarshire which hit rocks off Northumberland. The keeper of a nearby lighthouse, William Darling and his 23-year-old daughter Grace, attempted the rescue with Grace famously holding the boat steady in the storm while her father loaded the survivors.
The row, to be done from Dartmouth, is expected to take a gruelling 48 hours.
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Both rowers have powerful reasons for wanting to raise money for the RNLI; Miss Cole's father perished in a fishing accident when she was 14 and the ashes of Mr Hall's best friend, a Royal Marine killed in Iraq, were scattered by Salcombe RNLI crew.
Mr Hall said: "The spirit of both my friend and Rachel's father will accompany us throughout what promises to be a brutal 48 hours.
"But if we are to honour their memories and the extraordinary commitment of the RNLI crews, we had to make sure this was a suitable challenge."
To donate: www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GraceDarlingMemorialRow