Riding the reef for Beyond Blue

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Aidan Gallagher (author), LSML-S Joshua Matthews (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266), Beyond Blue

Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Brian Semple gets some kilometres up for the Sirius 'Ride the Reef' charity fundraising event for Beyond Blue. (photo: LSML-S Joshua Matthews)
Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Brian Semple gets some kilometres up for the Sirius 'Ride the Reef' charity fundraising event for Beyond Blue.

As HMAS Sirius was about to commence transiting through the Great Barrier Reef on return from a successful South East Asian deployment, Lieutenant Commander Neil Krauklis was limbering up on the bridge wing waiting for the starter’s whistle to begin pedalling for the charity fundraising event 'Ride the Reef for Beyond Blue'.
 
For the following 72 hours the ship's company took turns at riding an exercise bike non-stop to simulate riding the Great Barrier Reef from start to finish. Whether it was riding through the tropical heat of North Queensland by day, or gale force winds off the coast of Rockhampton by night, the crew battled whatever conditions were thrown at them (and a deteriorating exercise bike) to ride a total of 2175.6km; 210km further than the ship travelled over the same period!
 
The aim of the ride was to raise awareness and support for the ship's charity, Beyond Blue, which is working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, and supporting recovery, management and resilience.
 
Event organiser Leading Seaman Marine Technician Martin Tideswell expressed his gratitude for Beyond Blue.
 
"It is an excellent cause that I feel very passionate about because they helped me out in the past when I needed it," he said.
"It was great to do my bit to raise awareness for the work they do."
 
As with most things, those with a competitive nature quickly came to the fore, vying for the fastest ride. Few came close though to Lieutenant Commander Krauklis who covered 41.3 km over his one hour time slot.
 
The charity ride has raised over $1,500 for Beyond Blue thanks to the Sirius riders who 'bought' their time slots for the ride and donations from family and friends who follow their loved ones on the Sirius Facebook page. Donations can still be made at www.mycause.com.au; search for 'ride for beyond blue'.
 
If you or someone you know might be suffering from anxiety or depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au.