Men of Iron: Firm gives police officers new boat as they bid to row across the Atlantic

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Two policemen from South Tyneside who are determined to become record breakers when they row the Atlantic will now do it in style in a new boat.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Sean McGuigan and Pc Paul Snowdon are planning on rowing 3,000 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Talisker Whiskey Challenge.

The pair, who are both based at South Tyneside Area Command, will be raising funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

To help them fund the trip and raise as much cash as possible, they have embarked on a fundraising mission in the run-up to the event in December.

Now the duo have received a huge boost to their campaign after company DC Iron, based on Whickham Industrial Estate, stepped in to pay for a new boat – named The Men of Iron – which the pair will use to complete their gruelling challenge.

Sgt McGuigan, a former Royal Marine, said: “When we were approached by DC Iron offering to buy us a new boat we were more than happy to accept.

“Having the boat really does take the pressure off us a little bit and has given us a huge boost.

“We are 100 per cent confident we are going to do this, but to have other people coming on board and have that amount of faith in us – it is encouraging.”

The two officers will have 90 days to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge but are aiming to do it in 40. The current record is 42 days.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge will start on December 15, and will see competitors row from La Gomera harbour in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua.

The pair aim to row for 24 hours a day in two-hour slots.

Sgt McGuigan said: “The training is going really well and I am able to fit in at least three hours a day for rowing.

“I’m feeling as strong as I ever have, and a lot of people have come forward to sponsor us.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a charity founded by the former England and Newcastle football manager to fund projects at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which will benefit cancer patients from across North East England and Cumbria.

For more information and to help sponsor the two police officers’ Atlantic mission, visit www.northeastatlanticchallenge.co.uk

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