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Police Sergeant to climb Mount Everest 30 January 2008

POLICE Sergeant Phil Drowley will make a second attempt to summit Mount Everest in May.

Phil, 40, of Douglas, attempted to climb the world’s highest mountain in March 2006, reaching almost 8,500 – the summit an agonising 350 metres higher.

But on March 29 he will leave the Island for Everest, hoping to summit in mid-May before returning to the Island in June. Phil is grateful to the Chief Constable Mike Langdon for granting him unpaid leave to make the attempt.

Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK has presented him with a Manx flag to take to the summit, and Phil – who is financing the expedition himself – hopes the ascent will raise a lot of money for the Isle of Man Families and Friends of Ronald McDonald House.

He explained:

‘This has been my dream since 1999 when a colleague, Kevin Willson, came into my office and invited me to climb Kilimanjaro for charity. Once I had experienced that climb, I knew I had to go higher.’

Over the last eight years Phil has climbed all over the world and some of his notable ascents include the highest mountains in Europe, South America, North America as well as returning to climb the highest peak in Africa with his partner Lorraine Taylor.

In November 2005 Phil went to Tibet to climb in the Himalayas, reaching the summit of Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain in the world at 8,201 metres (see picture). On the summit, the only mountain visibly higher – at another 650 metres - was Everest. He knew he had to climb it.

Trekking with Phil into Everest base camp in early April will be work colleagues Keith Kinrade and Kevin Willson, both of whom climbed Kilimanjaro with him at the beginning of his eight year journey.

Phil said:

‘Whilst Kevin saw sense and did not go on climbing, I have done a few trips with Keith and it will be fitting to finish off my dream by sharing the experience with Kevin and Keith. They will stay at base camp for a night before returning home.’

The original Kilimanjaro climb, which involved two other police officers James Hyatt and Lynne McEvoy, raised more than £15,000 for local charity, the main beneficiary being the Isle of Man Families and Friends of Ronald McDonald House. The charity supports all the Ronald McDonald houses throughout the UK.

Phil explained:

‘Over the years I have been very moved to hear from friends and work colleagues whose children have needed to travel off the Island to attend Alder Hey hospitals in Glasgow, Liverpool, Belfast and Birmingham. The primary purpose of the houses is to allow mums and dads to be close to their children at their time of need. The houses survive from charitable donations.’

The patron of the locally registered charity Sir Miles Walker and Chairman Andrew Kelly have welcomed Phil’s offer of support.

Sir Miles Walker said:

‘We welcome Phil back, he has helped us in the past and we are glad he is offering his help again. We thank him for his continued support.’

Mr Kelly said:

‘We wish Phil the best of look in achieving his dream and thank him for raising much needed funds for our charity. In fact I give my heartfelt thanks not only to Phil but also to the police service on the Island who over the years have been tremendous in offering ongoing support to the charity.’

Phil added:

‘If I can raise any money at all and do my small bit then I’ll be happy. I have the backing of my bosses to raise money for charity and thanks to them I will be allowed to place collection boxes at the front counter of local police stations to allow anyone who wishes to drop off donations to do so.’

Alternatively anyone wishing to donate can contact Phil at his place of work which is Lord Street Police station in Douglas. Telephone 631212.

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