Man on a river mis­sion

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Lach­lan Durling

Co­bram will be get­ting a visit from a man on a mis­sion, trav­el­ling the Mur­ray River for Movem­ber.

Koo Wee Rup re­tired mo­tor me­chanic Peter Scott, 58, and a few mates are em­bark­ing on an epic six-week, so­lar-pow­ered jour­ney along the length of the Mur­ray River in a pur­pose-built boat — all in the name of men’s health.

Mr Scott is trip­ping down the world’s third long­est nav­i­ga­ble river to raise aware­ness and to ed­u­cate oth­ers about men’s health and should be in Co­bram on Oc­to­ber 30 if ev­ery­thing goes to plan.

The goal is to raise $15 000 and aware­ness for men’s health char­ity, the Movem­ber Foun­da­tion.

The trip is a high stakes jour­ney, with Mr Scott could also be farewelling his life­long beard if he raises enough funds.

Kick­ing off on Mon­day, Mr Scott left Jin­gel­lic and will dock at Lake Alexan­d­rina roughly 50 days later.

The adventure will see him nav­i­gate 2300 km, cov­er­ing 50 km a day, with the trav­el­ling at a steady pace of 5-10 km/h, only run­ning on so­lar power to re­duce bat­tery use.

‘‘It’ll de­pend on the day how far I get, on a sunny day I could get 50-60 km and, on cloudy days, it could be more of a fish­ing day,’’ Mr Scott said.

He has spent the past 18 months build­ing Stray Cur­rent, named to sig­nify the use of so­lar power and the flow of the river to power the ves­sel.

‘‘The event’s re­ally come up fast, but the prepa­ra­tion is go­ing re­ally well so far,’’ he said.

‘‘There are a few last-minute things to do but it’s al­most scary how eas­ily it’s all com­ing to­gether — I’ve got a sticker on the back say­ing, ‘what could pos­si­bly go wrong?’’’

Through­out the trip, Mr Scott will in­vite peo­ple on board, hop­ing to spark open con­ver­sa­tions among mates and to in­spire men to take a more ac­tive ap­proach with their health.

Fu­elled by a fam­ily his­tory of de­pres­sion and his grand­fa­ther’s sui­cide, Mr Scott is de­ter­mined for more men to share their ex­pe­ri­ences and, in the process, raise aware­ness of men’s health is­sues.

Three out of four sui­cides in Aus­tralia are men, with 450 Vic­to­rian men dy­ing by sui­cide each year.

‘‘With farm­ers do­ing it tough in the drought, I thought the Movem­ber Foun­da­tion would be good to sup­port,’’ Mr Scott said.

‘‘As well as an ex-mo­tor me­chanic I’m also an ex-teacher and so we had a lot to do with Movem­ber through the school.’’

In be­tween his five-hour day stints, Mr Scott will be stop­ping in at towns along the way to charge the boat bat­ter­ies and rattle the fundrais­ing tin. Planned stops in­clude Al­bury, Corowa, Co­bram, Tocumwal, Echuca, Mor­gan, Barmah, Swan Hill, Clay­ton Bay, Mil­dura, Went­worth, Ren­mark, Berri, Mathoura, Man­num, Mur­ray Bridge and Goolwa.

‘‘I’ll be part­ner­ing with busi­nesses to stand out the front and rattle the tin, but I’m look­ing to ad­ver­tise them on the boat too,’’ Mr Scott said.

‘‘My goal is to get ev­ery­one along the way to do­nate just one coin to the cause.

‘‘I’m hop­ing for $15 000 but we’ll see how that goes.’’

Movem­ber Foun­da­tion Aus­tralia coun­try di­rec­tor Rachel Carr said sup­port from peo­ple like Mr Scott was im­por­tant to get the mes­sage out.

‘‘I’ve seen men in my life go through tough times and heard first-hand the im­pact that men’s health is­sues such as prostate can­cer, tes­tic­u­lar can­cer and sui­cide have on Aussie men,’’ she said.

‘‘Be­ing part of the Movem­ber move­ment is about rais­ing the vol­ume on men’s health and I’ll be join­ing our Mo Bros and Sis­tas in shout­ing from the rooftops this Movem­ber.

‘‘There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done — but with each Mo grown, dol­lar raised and story shared by our Movem­ber com­mu­nity we get closer to our goal of stop­ping men dy­ing too young.’’

To sign up or do­nate to Mr Scott’s trip visit: give.ev­ery­day­­tains-to-the-mouth-stray­cur­rent

River trip: Peter Scott is em­bark­ing on an epic six-week jour­ney along the Mur­ray River, all in the name of men’s health.

Fam­ily: Peter Scott with his daugh­ter Krystie and wife Anne.

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