Irish Sea 'human hamster wheel' sinks

Chris Todd The 35-year-old had described the 66-mile sea crossing as the equivalent of "spending 48 hours on a stepping machine in the gym without getting any sleep"

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A Wiltshire man has abandoned his bid to walk across the Irish Sea, after his giant floating hamster wheel sank.

Chris Todd, from Bromham, gave up 10 hours after starting out from north Wales for the Irish Republic when the rudders on his "Tredalo" failed.

He planned to try again, but the Tredalo broke up and sank in heavy seas as it was being towed back for repairs.

"So I'm afraid I don't have the Tredalo any more - but I've solved the problem of where to store it," Mr Todd said.

It took the 35-year-old engineer just under a year to build the raft in his back garden.

Mr Todd had hoped to make the crossing between Trearddur Bay near Holyhead to Greystones Harbour by walking the wheel for up to 48 hours.

'Just gutted'

"When I set off on Sunday the conditions were ideal and the forecast was really good," said Mr Todd.

Chris Todd Mr Todd was expecting to consume 30 litres of water and 36,000 calories

"Then the wind started to pick up and the waves - which were pretty nasty out there - started to give the raft a bit of a battering.

"But the wheel was coping really well with the waves and the progress was far better then I could have ever hoped.

"Unfortunately the rudders weren't and they failed - I'm just gutted they weren't stronger - if they had been I would probably be in Ireland."

Rudderless, Mr Todd said he was left with "no option than to take a tow" back to Wales with the safety boat.

'Raise more'

"I think I was about 26 miles out at the time the rudders gave way - which was almost half way," said Mr Todd.

"But sadly in the heavy seas after two hours of towing the craft - it disintegrated and sank so I'm afraid I don't have the Tredalo any more."

Mr Todd was hoping to raise £20,000 for the Wiltshire Blind Association and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

"Such an enormous effort and to get nearly half way across the Irish Sea - I was hoping to raise a bit more for the RNLI and the Wiltshire Blind Association," he said.

"So I'm hoping people will recognise the effort and the spirit in which it was undertaken and perhaps donate a little to help the charities."

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