Freeze a jolly good fellow - Angler wears lobster thong to boost autism charity fund

IT'S A BIT NIPPY: Mark Hilliard at sea in his lobster thong

IT'S A BIT NIPPY: Mark Hilliard at sea in his lobster thong

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A FUNDRAISER faced freezing temperatures on the sea for a good cause.

Mark Hilliard spent three hours sea fishing wearing only a lobster thong in a bid to raise money for Autism Wessex.

The stunt raised a few eyebrows when Mark set out aboard friend Josh Simmonds’ boat along with paying customers who were out for a day’s fishing.

Mark, 45, said: “Josh warned them about what I was planning to do but I don’t think they actually believed it until we got out to sea and I stripped off.

“However, they were all very supportive when they found out it was for charity and I raised £500 which is fantastic.”

Mark, from Weymouth, chose Autism Wessex because his son, 23, lives with the condition.

He said: “They are just so helpful for parents whose children have special needs.”

Mark had planned to complete the fundraiser on December 23, but the event had to be postponed due to the bad weather.

He said: “It was good fun but I’m glad it’s over.

“In the pictures it looks like it was a fabulous, sunny day, but the wind was icy cold.”

He added: “I was fully clothed when we set out, then when we were out at sea I started the challenge.

“I managed about three hours until I was really starting to feel the effects.”

The day was also a success as a fishing expedition and the group caught 11 large Conger eels and several whiting. Mark’s son Luke landed the biggest catch with a seven-foot Conger weighing 60lb.

Mark said: “I’d like to say thank you to everyone who donated, to the charity itself for their support, my family and friends and Josh, who took the boat out that day to let me complete the challenge.”

To donate to Mark’s fundraising total, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkHilliard

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