Daredevil dad makes dreams come true with 5,000km solo voyage on homemade raft

During his epic two month journey, Andrzej Łagowski from the village of Wisznice near the Belarussian border will encounter over 100 locks as he passes through over eight countries on his raft equipped with just a tent, refrigerator and camping stove. Gmina Wisznice/Facebook/Andrzej Łagowski

A swashbuckling dad is to make his dreams come true by going on a 5,000 km voyage through eight countries on a homemade raft.

Logistics driver and amateur sailor Andrzej Łagowski from the village of Wisznice near the Belarussian border, said he came up with the idea for the mammoth trip after watching rafting videos on YouTube.

Putting together his raft using a plank of wood, 12 plastic barrels and a motorboat engine, the 44-year-old said he came up with the idea for the mammoth trip after watching rafting videos on YouTube.Andrzej Łagowski

He told Radio Lublin: “The expedition will not be the easiest one, but it is worth making.

I joke that this is my midlife crisis. Some people buy convertibles, others do other stupid things.

Setting sail from Kazimierz Dolny in May, Andrzej plans to head north to Bydgoszcz before making a westward turn towards Berlin, travelling across the country to Dortmund then down the Rhine towards Austria before passing through Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and his final destination on the Black Sea.Gmina Wisznice/Facebook

“The idea came from the Internet. I started watching various films about rafting trips, about rafting on boats, rafting on the Danube and the Vistula. 

“I decided that I would combine it all, that I would do one large project from the Vistula to the Black Sea.”

Measuring 6 meters long by 2.5 meters wide, the raft took about six months to build.Gmina Wisznice/Facebook

Putting together his raft using a plank of wood, 12 plastic barrels and a motorboat engine, the 44-year-old dad-of-three plans to set sail from Kazimierz Dolny in May, head north to Bydgoszcz before making a westward turn towards Berlin, travelling across the country to Dortmund then down the Rhine towards Austria before passing through Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and his final destination on the Black Sea.

Łagowski told TFN: “I checked the regulations in several countries and they are very similar to those in Poland. Most European countries have the same regulations.

Andrzej will also be flying a specially built flag of Wisznice, showing a white horse tied to a tree.Gmina Wisznice/Facebook

“The raft has navigation lights, rescue equipment, so everything is in accordance with the regulations. I have a motorboat helmsman's license and I believe that it is enough.

Expected to take around two months using 1,200 litres of fuel, Łagowski will also be flying a specially built flag of Wisznice, showing a white horse tied to a tree.

Andrzej jokes that he is going through a midlife crisis but adds the voyage will be his dream come true.Andrzej Łagowski

Mayor of the Wisznice commune, Piotr Dragan, told local media: “We would like to thank Mr. Andrzej that he wants to promote the Wisznice commune in this expedition and we will help as much as we can.

“What do I think? A great daredevil, because for two months on a boat in solitude, where you will also sail against the tide - you need to have great courage and boldness to decide on such a trip.”

Łagowski added: “I will do everything in my power to implement my plan. I want to thank everyone who helped me make this dream come true, my neighbour was a great help and the sponsors, friends and strangers who contributed funds. It's always worth having dreams and making them come true.”