Fundraiser completes 56-mile rowing challenge in memory of brothers who died in boating accident

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

Fundraiser Jamie Mills has completed a 56 mile rowing challenge at sea more than four hours early, 25 years after his two brothers died in a boating accident off Llandudno.

Mr Mills was part of a six-man team that completed the 56 mile journey from Douglas in the Isle of Man last Friday, arriving to the cheers from friends, family and passers by.

On completion of his row he said: “I’m very, very emotional and very, very happy. They’re (family) obviously pleased I’m back, especially my mum.

“My mum’s been brilliant. I explained that obviously I wouldn’t take any chances, I have more respect for the sea than 99 per cent of the population, but she said go and do what you’ve got to do, as long as you don’t take any chances and we haven’t.

“My kids have always been behind me.”

The row had double meaning for Mr Mills, who was also doing the row for his son who was diagnosed with cleft lip and palate recently.

The six-man team also included Daniel James, Gerwyn Lewis, Dryden Glyndwr Jones and Nathan Midgley with all helping raise money for the Cleft Lip Palate Association and a number of others including the British Tinnitus Association, which was in memory of Mr James’ father.

Between the six members, none of them had any rowing experience before the ride, which made the early finish even more remarkable.

Mr Mills said: “We’ve reached the target and we’ve done it in style. None of us are pros, we only picked the oars up in April – that was the first time any of us have rowed.”

He said the row wouldn’t have been possible without Conwy Sea Rowing Club who had been big supporters, providing them with a boat.

The support from the community continued with the fundraising tally already having reached more than £20,000.

Although the row is over Mr Mills said he was planning to continue rowing, although not the same kind of distances.

He added: “Everyone that knows me knows I lived in the pub and had a bit of a beer belly so this is the fittest I have been in my life! I think I’ll carry on - but just as a hobby this time though.”

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