LISBURN PENSIONER AIMS TO SAIL A BATH ACROSS THE IRISH SEA
by JENNY MONROE
|Mervyn tries the bath for size||Mark Collier of Friends ln Action, Mervyn Kinkead who is sailing across the Irish Sea in a bath, Lisburn Mayor Paul Porter and Phil Kane of Marie Curie Cancer Care at Lagan Valley Island. US2710-108A0|
WHEN Lisburn pensioner Mervyn Kinkead said he was going to take a bath he didnt mean instead of a shower.
For the 65-year-old is aiming to do what no-one has ever done before - cross the Irish Sea to Scotland in a standard household tub!
When an engineer friend of Mervyn came up with the madcap scheme to launch the bath - with stabilisers and an outboard motor - from Donaghadee and head east, the plucky Lisburn man agreed to give it a go and attempt to sail it singlehandedly to Portpatrick.
Mervyn, who lives off the Antrim Road, said: "Its all in aid of charity. I hope to make the trip as soon as possible, certainly by September at the latest, but a lot depends on weather conditions. I may be a bit mad, but hopefully I've got some sense too.
"We have tested the bath in ideal conditions and there is no doubt it can work. We've also applied to Guinness World Records to see if we can get our efforts recognised."
Despite having no real sailing experience, apart from going out in an inflatable dinghy, Mervyn is looking forward to taking on the challenge.
He said: "My friend, who is an experienced sailor, will be following me in his boat and guiding me in the right direction. We will be taking all the necessary safety precautions and I am just hoping the big ferries stay well away.
"I'm looking forward to giving it a go. If anything goes wrong I will beable to swim to the boat but fingers crossed it should all be ok."
The two charities benefiting from Mervyn's endeavours are Marie Curie Cancer Care and the 'Water for Life' project run by Friends in Action.
Marie Curie Cancer Care provides high quality nursing, totally free, so that people with terminal illnesses can stay at home supported by their families.
Friends in Action is a Christian charity with a base in Lisburn which is working in the West African state of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world. The 'Water for Life' project provides people in villages with a safe reliable source of clean water through the drilling of deep bore wells that provide safe water all year round for villages, schools, clinics and other mission projects. The charity volunteer teams from Northern Ireland to Burkina Faso to help the full-time staff with drilling.