1. ITV Report

Essex Police Officer plans to row the Atlantic

An Essex police officer who's planning to row the Atlantic says she's dong it to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

PC Dawn Wood, from the force's marine unit, will take on the 3,000 mile journey next month.

PC Dawn Wood Credit: Essex Police

She will become the 7th woman in the world to have completed the challenge but is going for gold to beat the current world record holder for the fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Kiko Matthews, who rowed 3,000 miles in 49 days.

Dawn aims to raise £25,000 for the Marine Conservation Society. She’ll spend the time when she’s not rowing taking samples of the water for scientists to test the levels of micro plastics present.

Over the last few months, Dawn has spent her free time training for the challenge and raising awareness of plastic pollution by going into schools and talking to children about the harm it causes to marine life. She’s also been sharing her tips on how to cut down on single-use plastics.

“Plastic pollution is a problem for every animal and human being on this planet, which is one of the reasons I’m doing such a, some people say crazy, some people say brave, some people say inspirational, challenge, I’ve been a skipper on the Essex Police Marine Unit for the past 16 years and during that time, the amount of rubbish I’ve seen floating around the coastline and washing up on the coast, it just makes you really sad.”

– PC Dawn Wood

On January 4 Dawn will be leaving Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands in her solar powered ocean rowing boat to row herself to Barbados. She aims to row 3,000 miles in less than 49 days.