A Stithians man has led a team of six who rowed the equivalent of the Cornish coastline within 24 hours - or at least the equivalent distance on rowing machines.

The team was made up of three men from Cornwall and three from Somerset, who rowed in tandem relay on Lemon Quay, in Truro, covering the 296 miles that are equivalent to rowing around the entire county.

The six men, known as Ailla’s Angels, undertook the task to raise funds for The Cornwall Birth And Baby Appeal – BABA run by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, after one of them experienced first hand the work of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nearly three years ago.

Andy Mulhern, the team captain, said: “My little girl Ailla had an extremely difficult birth and received treatment at Treliske’s NICU, including resuscitation and a great deal of life-saving intervention. My family and I are so grateful to the doctors and nurses, that we call Ailla’s Angels – they literally saved Ailla’s life. As a very small thank you, we wanted to raise funds to help buy equipment for other poorly babies. So I floated the idea of a rowing relay to friends, that had supported a previous fundraising trek two years ago, and thankfully they were keen to take up the challenge.”

The team was made up of Andy Mulhern and Rob Pentecost from Carharrack and Stephen Holley from Stithians, as well as Simon Evans, Danny Gamble and Antony Reed from Somerset.

Many businesses from the city supported the team with donations of food and drinks, to help the rowers through the long miles, as well as a banner, a gazebo, t-shirts, and the use of rowing machines.

Friends and family also got involved, from shaking collection tins, to hopping aboard the third rowing machine and helping to clock off the miles.

Together the team raised more than £3,500 For BABA, which has a target of £500,000 to equip and enhance the environments in the maternity and neonatal units at Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Karen Murrish, fundraising manager for BABA, said: “It is astounding to think about what this team has achieved. When you actually stop and think about rowing for that amount of time I think that you really appreciate their huge effort and commitment to raising funds for the appeal. On behalf of the maternity and neonatal teams here at the hospital and all of those families that will benefit from the appeal, I want to say a truly heartfelt thank you. I saw the blisters on the hands of one of the team members so I know that they deserve every single donation. Thank you.”

Andy added: “We not only met our original rowing target, we made such good progress that we covered extra miles to ensure we also rounded the Isles of Scilly. We all feel a massive sense of achievement, thanks to everyone rallying around with all kinds of support.”

Donations are still open at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/CornishCoastChallenge