Tineke takes to tall ship exploit

A passionate sailor who has battled serious health issues from a young age is about to take on the adventure of a lifetime as she embarks on a 46-day, tall ship sailing expedition in the southern hemisphere.


Tineke Dixon, 46, from Exmouth, was born with a hole in her heart. She spent much of her childhood battling severe illness and relied on the use of a wheelchair.

There was little the medics could do for her at the time of her diagnosis but after medical advances Tineke underwent a heart and lung transplant in 1988 and ten years later went through a kidney transplant, which was donated by her mum.

Since then Tineke has made the most of her much-improved health, and developed a passion for sailing as well as spending time helping charities close to her heart.

Tineke, who joined South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust in 2009 and works as a programme manager, said: “I used to be quite an adventurous person but sometimes the more mundane things in life take over. With my love of sailing and desire to help the chari- ties who helped me so much I felt the need to reaffirm a few things and go completely overboard!”

Tineke will sail on Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship, and will travel 5,200 nautical miles over 46 days. The crew is made up of able-bodied and disabled sailors and leaves Auckland, New Zealand on January 11. Tineke will sail through the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn and will complete the trip when she arrives in Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

Tineke added: “I want the world to know how fantastic transplantation is. I want to ensure that others have access to the support that gets us from the cosseting of paediatric care into the self-determination of adult life.”

Tineke has set herself the target of raising £5,200 (to match the nautical miles of the trip) for each of the three charities who have helped her throughout her life: Heartline, The Somerville Foundation, and Papworth Hospital Charity.

Visit Tineke’s Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/teams/CapeHorn

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.