Bear Grylls and Team Depart UK for North West Passage Expedition with help from Pure Technology
London, 10th August 2010: Final preparations are underway as Bear Grylls and Team prepare to embark on their Future Capital Partners sponsored expedition to navigate the legendary North West Passage using a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) for the first time in history!
With just over three weeks to go, Bear Grylls and his team of four intrepid explorers (Tim Levy, Dave Pearce, David Segel and Ben Jones) along with their support and logistics team (including John Coffey and David Smith), are making the final preparations for their expedition to navigate 5700 nautical miles of the infamous ice strewn North West Passage, linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans via the Arctic. The team will undertake the expedition on a customised Zodiac RIB, christened ‘Arctic Wolf’ by the team - the first time a RIB will have been used to navigate the entire North West Passage.
The 14 day expedition, which departs Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada on 28th August and is due to arrive at Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories, Canada around 11th September, has been set up to increase awareness of the effects of Global Warming and to raise money for UK Charity Global Angels. The North West Passage remains frozen for many months of the year and offers a journey fraught with dangers and on-going challenges (polar bears, hypothermia, frostbite, snow blindness, sunstroke and dehydration to name a few), so it’s crucial the team has the right kit and technology to support it on this forthcoming adventure.
Bear Grylls, extreme explorer comments: “It has been a dream of mine for many years to try and follow in some of the greatest pioneers’ footsteps to achieve what so many explorers died attempting - to travel the North West Passage. And, along the way we hope to raise vital and life-saving funds for children all around the world. The small boat and ice will provide some of the biggest challenges, but we have a great team and with some luck and careful planning, we will pull this off, God willing.”
The team is heavily reliant on technology that will act as a lifeline throughout the duration of the expedition. UK technology services company, Pure Technology, who will be providing the communications and IT support needed to undertake such an arduous adventure, is only too aware of the challenges that lie ahead in terms of ensuring the team can communicate with the outside world, the support ship and the boat itself in a life threatening situation.
Danny Long, managing director of Pure Technology explains: “At Pure Technology, we see the Bear Grylls/Future Capital Partners North West Passage expedition as an opportunity to push the communications boundaries. Technology is in our blood and to be able to deliver a solution regardless of the environment is seen as an excellent achievement and a credit to all involved. I personally consider it an honour to assist in an expedition that has never before been attempted, and this has come about due to the trust that is placed in us by our client, Future Capital Partners.
“Our PureXtreme offering was created to allow us to push the boundaries for communications delivery, to support and address these challenges in extreme conditions such as this. Its focus is to provide a life line which traditionally could only have been supported via ship to ship, or VHF broadcast. It’s 104 years since Roald Amundsen first conquered the passage by sea, and this expedition will be following in his footsteps by attempting it for the first time in a RIB. It’s an extremely exciting adventure to be involved in.”
Bear adds: “Communications support will be vital to us - weather can change in the blink of an eye and we have to keep on top of the latest met reports. I hope to bring the whole team back safe and sound, having successfully travelled on one of the most remote ice routes on earth in a small open boat!”
Expedition leader John Coffey supports this ethos fully and says: “With so many things dependent on communication, from instant messaging to sending a report via satellite phone, reliability is a priority. From day one when I started planning our North West Passage Expedition, it became apparent that the need for a robust and cost-effective communications system was imperative. It was when we met with Pure Technology through Tim Levy at Future Capital Partners, that we found an organisation that could deliver exactly what was required to suit our very specific needs.”
Tim Levy, CEO and founder of Future Capital Partners, the primary expedition sponsor and provider of Future Fuels, a investment partnership that will fund and build a renewable fuel plant in the North of England, says: “I’ve worked with Pure Technology for many years so feel confident we have the right communications in place to support the trip and help ensure its success. The data services that are linking the laptops on the RIB are a life line to the crew. In the event of engine failure, the Panasonic Toughbook CF 30’s, sourced by Pure Technology, will enable us to diagnose and troubleshoot issues to achieve resolution. We also have a fully managed remote support package 24/7 and having this in place is crucial to the team as we navigate the Arctic Circle’s icy waters in a RIB!
“In terms of offering advice to others keen to plan expeditions similar to this, it is clear that anything is possible if you have the right team and support in place, and you are passionate enough and truly believe in the end goal.”
Notes to editors:
The team is limited with regard to the items it can carry due to weight - from the amount of socks packed to the amount of food it carries - so unless it’s critically needed, it won’t make the trip. The team requires the ability to communicate throughout the expedition’s duration and its communications list includes the following items:
Panasonic Toughbook CF 30 plus PureXtreme laptop cases supplied by Pure Technology
Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone, supplied by Pure Technology - the only phone that works in the Arctic!
Simrad Handheld VHF x 3
Simrad Boat EPIRB
McMurdo FastFind PLB with GPS
Image one: Laptop, case, jacket – Pure Technology PureXtreme kit supplied for Bear Grylls and Team for their FCP North West Passage Expedition
Image two: onboard the RIB – Pure Technology PureXtreme out in the field
About Pure Technology
Pure Technology is an independent technology support company with offices in the UK and Australia. Operating 24/7 support services for a variety of organisations across a broad range of platforms, its core focus is on the delivery of high calibre solutions tailored to meet the individual requirements of an organisation, regardless of environment or location. Services focus on provision of traditional IT support, critical systems monitoring, integration of disaster recovery platforms, as well as a comprehensive range of offsite data management services.