A RAFT made by a Sowerby Bridge engineer has set sail on an incredible ocean voyage for charity.
Rick Davis spent a month on the Canary island of La Gomera helping to build the 2-9ft vessel from plastic water pipes.
The An-Tiki is currently midway across the Atlantic, carrying a four-man crew on a 2,800-mile trip to the Bahamas to raise money for WaterAid.
Rick, 60, who has previously rebuilt a classic E-type Jaguar from scratch and last year sailed the Atlantic himself, said: “I’ve built and rebuilt boats and classic cars.
“But this is the first time I’ve helped to put a raft together. It’s been great, being a part of this adventure.
“I was asked to get involved in the project by a friend of mine, and my job was on the fabrication side, and then with assembling the various components.”
The raft, equipped with satellite technology powered by solar panels, has two of his former schoolmates on board – David Hildred and Andy Bainbridge.
All three went to Ashville College in Harrogate.
Rick said: “I had no idea that I would be working with two former schoolmates until we all arrived in La Gomera.
“It was an extraordinary coincidence and it certainly gave us plenty to talk about.”
His former schoolfriends signed up for the adventure after spotting a newspaper advert five years ago.
It read: “Three crew wanted. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only”. It had been placed by 84-year-old Anthony Smith, an adventurer, broadcaster and writer.
An-Tiki set sail last week with the journey expected to take between 60 and 70 days.
You can visit www.gasballoon.com/antiki to track the raft or www.justgiving.com/antiki to donate.
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