Sailors row from Portsmouth to Paris and back in 48 hours

Sailors from a Portsmouth Royal Navy minehunter crew have rowed 805 miles - to Disneyland Paris and back - in 48 hours to raise money for their shipmate’s son who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Nine-year-old Ethan John, the son of Able Seaman Craig John, was in remission after a battle with thyroid cancer but was told last week it had returned.

The 45 members of the Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2 Crew 3 (MCM2 Crew 3) have been fundraising in support of the event.

AB Craig John said: “The crew is doing a 48 hour row from Portsmouth Naval Base to Disneyland Paris and back, which is roughly about 720 miles and they are raising money to send my son, who has got thyroid cancer, to Disneyland”

“The crew phoned me and said they were doing this and I was quite amazed to be honest. The crew’s support has just been amazing, as well as everyone back home. We just weren’t expecting it at all.”

The crew’s support has just been amazing, as well as everyone back home. We just weren’t expecting it at all.

AB Craig John

The team aims to raise £3000 to send Ethan on the trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris. If the target is not quite met then the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Trust have pledged to donate the final amount in support of Ethan. The charity will also offer on-going support to Ethan and his family over the coming months.

Petty Officer Simon Smyth has organised the event in less than a week.

He said: “We heard about Ethan’s diagnosis on Tuesday last week and by Thursday I had the whole crew on board to support this fantastic event. We just knew we needed to do something and it’s been an amazing outpouring of support from the crew, the squadron and RNRM Children’s Trust.”

If you would like to donate to the cause, please contact the RNRM Children’s Trust and state your support for Ethan John and the Royal Navy rowing challenge. Their contact details are:

E-mail:  caseworkers@rnrmchildrensfund.org.uk

Telephone: 023 9263 9536