Save Our Seas (SOS) is a grassroots effort to eliminate plastic bags in Australia. Founded by Ian Thomson, the “No Plastic Bags” campaign is gaining momentum with major and minor sponsors coming aboard. On his website, SOSOceanRacing.com, Ian has created an exciting membership package which allows the public to support the cause of eliminating plastic bags to help preserve marine animal life. The website also includes several pictures of marine life and plastic bags.
About Ian Thomson
Ian Thomson has always been competitive. As a child, he played cricket. Later he became a windsurfer and received his Windsurfing Master Certificate. Now, his love for the ocean has given Ian what he calls his true passion: yacht racing. Since 2005, Ian has raced in Australia’s premier yacht races. Ian lives and works as a commercial skipper in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, located along the Gold Coast in Queensland. Read a first-hand account of "Sailing the Whitsundays", written by Nomadic Matt.
Another passion of Ian’s is sea turtles. In fact, he wears a turtle around his neck. He says a turtle is a Fijian symbol of long life. Simple things kill turtles and one of the most common is death by plastic bag. Turtles mistake the plastic bag for jelly fish, their favorite food. Once the turtle swallows the plastic bag, it can’t regurgitate the bag because a turtle’s throat has a spine with the bones pointing backwards. The turtle will die.
To create awareness for the damage that plastic bags do to our environment, Ian decided to use his competitive yacht racing to spread his message of ‘No Plastic Bags’. Putting the two together, Ian will attempt to break the world record for sailing non-stop solo unassisted around his continent of Australia. To set the world record, Ian plans to sail the 12,593 kilometers (6800 nautical miles) trip in 50 days.
The journey will be an interactive sailing venture. Fans and enthusiast will be able to follow the adventure on the SOS Ocean Sailing website and watch live streaming video from onboard the vessel. To make the trip, Ian will be sailing a Farr 36 Yacht. See the deck plan, interior, photos, and learn more about the Farr 36 Yacht.
Ian Is Ambitious
Ian is not afraid to set ambitious goals! His world record attempt itself is extremely ambitious, but so is his goal for reducing plastic bags. Ian states: “My mission is to raise awareness and initially get our (plastic bag) consumption down by half in the first year.”
Ian goes on to say, “To put it simply, breaking a world record is just the beginning. To become the world’s plastic bag campaign sailor, sailing in the biggest solo ocean races of the world is my goal. The 2012 Vendee Globe, arguably the world's toughest ocean race is my ultimate goal. However, I will need corporate backing to achieve this goal. I want to start in Australia and then take my campaign everywhere. We are not asking people to stand in front of bulldozers to save a tree or jump in a boat in front of a whaling fleet, all we are asking is to stop using plastic bags. The alternative is so simple and actually cheaper in the long run.”
South Australia, a neighboring state to Queensland, has already banned plastic bags. Ian’s hope is to take Australia to the same level and beyond. He says he will be campaigning his local, state, and federal governments to either ban plastic bags or enforce a plastic bag tax. Eventually, SOS Ocean Racing will become a charitable organization and will campaign the world to be plastic bag free.