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Never Leave A Man Behind

22/06/20

MICK DAWSON is a former Royal Marines Commando, now a sailor, motivational speaker and adventurer. He saw active service in the Falklands War at the age of seventeen and then again in the Middle East. Following on from his military career he pursued his lifelong passion for the ocean. Mick became a professional sailor and then one of the most experienced and successful ocean rowers in the world.

His new book, Never Leave A Man Behind, is available to purchase from the 25th June 2020. 

Mick tells the story of kayaking around the Falkland Islands with friend and fellow Royal Marines veteran Steve Grenham, who was struggling to cope with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the extraordinary tale of his 2,500-mile voyage in a rowing boat with his friend and former Royal Marine Commando Steve 'Sparky' Sparkes, who was not only a rowing novice, but also blind.

Sparky and Mick succeeded in rowing across the finish line after a truly epic voyage of over 2,500 miles from Monterey Bay in California to Waikiki, Hawaii. They'd hoped to break the record for a two-man rowboat and finish in less than fifty-five days, but a hurricane interfered with their plans. It took them eighty-two days, sixteen hours and fifty-four minutes to complete the race, but it was an even greater achievement for that, and Sparky became the first visually impaired person to row across the Pacific.

The race with Sparky was the second expedition of an organisation Mick had set up a few years earlier, The Cockleshell Endeavour, designed to help another former Royal Marine and friend, Steve Grenham, by kayaking with him around the Falklands, where both former commandos served during the 1982 conflict with Argentina.

Mick tells not one, but two epic stories of lending a helping hand to fellow military veterans, one traumatised, one blind. Through two voyages, which would have been challenging for ocean experts, let alone novices, Mick helped Steve and Sparky to surmount difficulties in their own lives in triumphant fashion.

These are incredibly moving stories, very well told, of remarkable men, helping each other to achieve almost impossible goals.

Steve Grenham and Steve Sparkes were two men who had both been let down badly by the system put in place to support veterans struggling with physical and mental health issues. Mick felt an ocean adventure could help them. He was right but had no idea how life-changing those ocean adventures would become, for all of them.

It's a brilliant tale of the incredibly positive role the the #RMfamily and RMA - The Royal Marines Charity has played in everything that the Cockleshell Endeavour has tried to achieve.

 

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