Man seriously injured in cliff fall and swept out to sea during coastal challenge

A Yorkshire man was seriously injured in a cliff fall and was also washed out to sea as he embarked on an epic tour of the UK coastline.

Jim Morton is strolling along the East Yorkshire coastline and the Humber Estuary this week as he continues his epic quest to travel the entire UK coastline.

The trip is not only to fulfill “a lifelong ambition”, but also to help the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which supports former Gurkha servicemen and their dependents.

Read more: Yorkshire man who calls himself ‘the village idiot’ on a mission to visit every civil parish in England

Jim Morton, 61, spoke to Hull Live while in Robin Hood’s Bay and said: “I estimate it at around seven and a half miles and I’ve done around 4,800 so far.

“It’s been my life’s ambition to walk along the shores of Britain, but I figured that by doing it, I might as well try to earn some money for a good cause.”

Jim walks with a rucksack with a Gurkha flag and a Royal Navy flag as he was a former naval officer.

“The reason I chose to do this for the Gurkhas is that my first ship in the Royal Navy in 1977 was actually HMS Gurkha.

“Not only did we have Royal Marines on board, but we also had Gurkhas, so I’ve had an affinity with the Gurkhas since 1977.”

Jim set out from his home in Penistone, South Yorkshire, and walked for three and a half days to reach the sea at Widnes in Merseyside.

He then marched north to Scotland and crossed the border on May 9, 2021.

“It took me eight months and 10 days to circumnavigate Scotland and Scotland was 3,838 miles,” Jim said.

He returned to England at the end of January.

“I’m absolutely flying this coast, it’s like releasing the handbrakes. I think I just wanted to get back to Yorkshire.”

“People say how long I think it will take? I based my initial estimate on 350 days of walking at 20 miles a day, with 50 days off.

“Well, I’ve already had 47 days off, so I think I’m going to be out on my days off due to unforeseen circumstances, like being in hospital.”

Jim narrowly escaped when a cliff collapsed on the Isle of Skye and he had to be rescued by the Coastguard helicopter.

Jim Morton walked from Flamborough Head to Bridlington on February 6 and had this wonderful view of seals basking in the sand at Flamborough Head.
Jim Morton walked from Flamborough Head to Bridlington on February 6 and had this wonderful view of seals basking in the sand at Flamborough Head.

The 61-year-old was flown to Inverness, where he remained in hospital for three days.

He had a brain bleed, a broken thumb, and numerous cuts and bruises.

“I was also swept out to sea twice while crossing a river when the current was just too strong. This was near Cape Wrath.”

Jim is accompanied on his trip by his wife, Susan, who drives the RV where they spend most nights.

Susan also takes care of their two West Highland Terriers, Shorna and Maisie.

“I have the easy job, I just get out of the van and walk. And Sue seals it with all the driving of a large motorhome, which was fun on some of the narrow little lanes in Scotland.

“She also takes care of the social media side and the booking of campsites.”

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This is not Jim’s first adventurous hike.

“In 2020 I became the first person to drive around the Yorkshire border,” he said.

“It was 567 miles and it took me 29 days and I did it in 2020 as a practice walk for it.”

So far Jim has already raised over £12,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

“It’s almost enough to build two houses after the massive earthquake they had in 2015,” said Jim, referring to the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, which left more than 3 million people homeless.

To continue following Jim’s journey along the British coast, his aptly named ‘I might be gone for a while’ Facebook page is available. here.

To donate to Jim’s fundraiser for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Click here.

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