Prince William joins Royal Navy submariners raising money to support colleagues' mental health
The Prince of Wales has joined a team of Royal Navy submariners who took on a Transatlantic rowing challenge to raise money in support of the mental health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Prince William, Commander-in-Chief of the Submarine Service, released a YouTube video of himself taking to the water in a rowing boat with the crew for a training session on Dorney Lake in Buckinghamshire.
HMS Oardacious was set up in 2019 to fundraise to provide mental health and wellbeing support to the submarine community.
£110,000 has been raised so far from the HMS Oardacious team taking on the world's toughest row – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – an annual 3,000-mile challenge from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Nelsons Dockyard in Antigua.
In January 2023, four serving Royal Navy submariners became the fastest military team in history to row the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, completing it in 35 days, 17 hours and 19 minutes.
Watch: Prince of Wales joins HMS Oardacious team on Dorney Lake.
In the short film, Prince William meets co-founders Lieutenant Commander Callum Fraser and Lieutenant Commander Hugo Mitchell-Heggs, as well as Chief Petty Officer Jon Norfolk who took part in the 2022 team, and Lieutenant Isobel Rawlinson who is looking to captain an all-female team in 2024.
The Prince of Wales takes to the water and does his bit of rowing as he chats to the members of HMS Oardacious which have crews lined up for the event in 2024.
Speaking during the film, the prince said said: "Understanding our support networks is crucial because a lot of people don't have those support networks and being able to form close bonds and realise that the only way we are going to get through all of this is to support each other and pull each other through."
The video has been released as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs until Sunday, 21 May.
It follows visits by the Princess of Wales to the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in Bath and the Anna Freud Centre in London to highlight the event.