Join TV presenter Lorraine Kelly as hundreds of paddlers will ‘Row the Atlantic on the Thames’.

The challenge needs 500 people to share the 3,241-mile distance on the River Thames, the equivalent of crossing the Atlantic.

The Longridge Activity Centre near Marlow is hosting and organising the event throughout the weekend of April 23 and 24. 

Lorraine Kelly has become an ambassador for the challenge and will be at the event on Saturday (April 23) at 10am.

She said: “How do you fancy joining me for a really fun event. 

“It is going to raise funds for RNLI and the brilliant Longridge Activity Centre.

“All you have to do is row across the Atlantic!

“But here’s the thing it can be done on the River Thames.”

The event is in aid of both Longridge and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to promote, educate and provide support and safety on the water.

In 2021, there were 205 casualties rescued around the coast after getting in trouble while kayaking or canoeing, of which almost a fifth were in the South East.

Claire Cardwell, RNLI fundraising lead for the South East, said: "The RNLI is extremely grateful to everyone at Longridge for choosing our charity as a beneficiary of the wonderful event this spring, and for everyone helping us row the equivalent of the Atlantic together!

"Keeping a modern fleet of lifeboats ever ready to go to the rescue from our lifeboat stations on the Thames and the coast is an expensive business.

"Then there is crew training, running a lifeguard service on more than 248 popular beaches, and campaigning to prevent drowning through our water safety messaging."

The event is open to all abilities from beginners to pro water sports enthusiasts.

The sessions are suitable for children five and above who can enter in double canoes under the supervision of a responsible adult. 

Inexperienced participants can receive two hours of training from coaches at the Longridge Activity Centre for a small fee.

There is a £25 entry fee to cover the use of boats, paddles and buoyancy aids where required.

In addition, £10 is payable for a compulsory competency course for inexperienced paddlers only. 

Michael Prager, chairman for the RNLI South Bucks and Thames fundraising branch, said: "As a local fundraising RNLI branch, we do lots of work to teach young people how to enjoy the water and be safe on the inland Thames.

"Working with Longridge Activity Centre on the ‘Row the Atlantic’ initiative has been a great fit considering their efforts in providing exciting water sports activities to young people in a secure environment.

"Together, we made sure the plans were as safe as possible for those who would participate in the challenge."

The event will not be accepting sign ups on the day so anyone looking to sign up should visit here.