Ten kayakers braved a 40-mile journey this weekend to raise almost $30,000 for child sex abuse prevention charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets.

Scars co-founder and executive director Debi Ray-Rivers said: “Scars truly appreciates all the hard work, valuable time and the campaigning for donations that the participants put towards our cause.

“Scars’s vision is to have a community without child sexual abuse and we are doing everything we can to end the shame and pain associated with this issue. It is through the generous financial support from the kayakers, their friends, families and colleagues, corporations and the community that we can continue to make great strides in educating adults in sexual abuse prevention and ultimately preserve the innocence of children. Thank you ever so much.”

Ms Ray-Rivers said the group, who are still collecting donations, had ideal weather conditions on both Saturday and Sunday as they paddled from Somerset Long Bay to Clearwater Beach and back,

Mike Krefta, Simon Kimberley, Alex Winfield, Simon Arnott, Jerry Rivers, Erik Soria, Chris Conway, Matt Pifer, Bror Muller and David Stubbs left Somerset Long Bay at sunrise on Saturday and arrived at Clearwater Beach at 3.30pm.

They left on the return leg at sunrise on Sunday and finished up at Somerset Long Bay at 1.30pm — although one kayaker had to pull out because of injury.

Organiser Jerry Rivers said that nine out of the ten kayakers who took part worked in the insurance and reinsurance industry.

The group hoped that more donations after the event would mean they would beat last year’s total and reach $40,000 this year.

Scars’s child sexual abuse prevention training is free for adults and the funds raised will help cover the cost of purchasing and publishing the material and equipment used.

The money will also go towards the general operating expenses to organise, host and generate awareness.

Scars has trained more than 6,000 people who work with children in a bid to prevent, recognise and react responsibly to child sex abuse.

By Lisa Simpson The Royal Gazette