Arctic trip planned for search and rescue pair

Francine Davis and Colin Watson
Francine Davis and Colin Watson

While the snow might have put some Sussex residents off their New Year’s fitness resolutions, spare a thought for two volunteer members of Sussex Search and Rescue, who will be trekking across the Arctic tundra in Norway to raise funds.

Francine Davis and Colin Watson are currently training come rain, snow or shine for this challenge.

Sussex Search and Rescue is the primary organisation used by Sussex Police when vulnerable people go missing.

The unit is on call 24/7, 365 days a year and is staffed by volunteers.

As a charity the unit receives no external funding other than by way of donations.

Members of Sussex Search and Rescue can often be found shaking buckets outside your local supermarket or undertaking wild and wonderful challenges such as this.

On February 17, Francine and Colin will depart for the 120km expedition. The route will take them across the Norwegian Finnmark Plateau, from Alta to Karasjok, over frozen lakes 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

The trek will be done on skis, pulling a sledge weighing 40kg in temperatures as low as -45º

Colin said, “Having travelled in similar conditions before, I know just how hard it can be to cope with the relentless cold.

“We wanted to really challenge ourselves as we are asking people to sponsor our efforts.”

Francine has been using triathlons as a means of training for her forthcoming ordeal.

She said, “I started training for this Arctic trip last February and needed some goals, and training with the East Grinstead Triathlon Club has been great in keeping me motivated and on track.”

They re aiming to raise £3,000 to go towards new search equipment and a new search vehicle.

If you would like to support the duo in their efforts to reach their fundraising

target then donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Arctic-Challenge2013

For more information on the great work done by Sussex Search and Rescue go to

www.sussar.org