Real test of survival - for good cause

29 March 2010

Survival ChallengeThree UCT alumni are heading for unfamiliar territory that will disconnect them from the world and push them to their limits.

For 30 days, from 1 April, they will have to make their own shelters and survive wild animals and insects, with no readily available food, cellphones or television.

In addition, Dr Jonathan Starke (MBChB 2001), Saul Kornik (BBusSc 1999) and Nick Bennett (BA 2005) will have to work with seven other participants to succeed in the Life2TheLimit "selfless endurance"experience.

"But perhaps above all the challenges will be the psychological impact of an extreme situation, and making sure we stay mentally strong," noted Starke.

The survival challenge takes place on a forest-dense South Pacific tropical island, which is 10km by 4km in size, and whose highest peak stands at 200 metres.

The group will be dropped off on a 500-metre-long stretch of beach, each member carrying only what they can fit in a five-litre bag. There is one fresh-water river leading to the beach, but participants will need to go upstream to avoid the estuary at the mouth of the river. There are no coconut trees and no visible edible plants, but the sea has coral aplenty and bountiful marine life.

All of this is to raise funds for local charity organisations that address many of the problems facing local communities.

Starke has completed expeditions before, mostly for the South African National Antarctic Programme, supporting research teams in remote areas. But this one will not only test him in a difficult situation, but will also catch the country's eye, inspire people and encourage them to donate.

For more information visit Life 2 The Limit.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.