Forces Charities

Stranded: Former Paratrooper Isolates On Uninhabited Island During Lockdown

New lockdown measures forced Chris Lewis to halt his fundraising challenge to walk the entire UK coastline.

A former paratrooper is isolating on an uninhabited island in Scotland after new lockdown measures, put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, halted his fundraising push to walk the entire UK coastline.

Accompanied by his pet dog Jet, former paratrooper Chris Lewis set off in 2017 and has since walked 12,000 miles.

His new conditions leave him with no running water, electricity or central heating, on an uninhabited island called Hildasay.

He is in the only house on the island, which he says has just been sitting since its owner passed away around 2014.

“When the family had an idea that I was here on the island, they said that they’d be more than happy for me to have the keys,” he said.

“It’s got no running water, no electric, no gas, heating or anything like this, so it’s the shell of the house, but you know it’s four walls and that’s where we’re going to be for the remainder of the lockdown,” he added.

Former paratrooper Chris Lewis and his dog Jet on Hildesay (Picture: Chris Lewis).
Chris Lewis and Jet (Picture: Chris Lewis).

Mr Lewis started the challenge to raise money for the military charity SSAFA, who assisted him in getting his life back together when he left the Army.

His fundraising now totals more than £124,000, and it is still going up each day.

At the same time, he gets food and heating supplies through a combination of foraging and picking up supplies transported from mainland Shetland.

Mr Lewis said: “I appreciate where I am but it’s not easy work. You have to work for it. Where I get supplies dropped off is down at the pier and it’s about 5/600 metres up to the house, so I’m forever going down bringing up barrels of water, bags of coal.

“You have to work just for the simple and basic things like water and having heat in the evening because believe me it sounds idyllic being here, but once it gets dark, that’s it I have no light and it suddenly gets very cold”.

Chris and his four-legged friend aim to finish the challenge, once lockdown ends.