Veterans

Former Royal Marine Breaks World Records After Completing Solo Atlantic Row

Lee Spencer began his crossing in January, aiming to become the first disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the ocean.

A former Royal Marine has successfully completed his attempt at a world record transatlantic row, having set off from Gibraltar in early January.

Lee Spencer, also known as the 'Rowing Marine', set out to become the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic, east to west, from Europe to South America.

"The overwhelming emotion I'm feeling having finished is relief," says Mr Spencer.

"I didn't allow myself to think I was going to be completing it until I could literally see the finish line." 

The veteran had his right leg amputated below the knee following an incident in January 2014.

The former Royal Marine was injured outside of service, when he stopped to help a stranded motorist on the M3 and was hit by debris.

As well as achieving his goal of becoming the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic, the veteran also beat the able-bodied record for crossing the ocean by 36 days.

He took on the challenge in aid of the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund.

As he neared the end of his 3,500-mile challenge, the England football team manager, Gareth Southgate, sent a "good luck" message.

Mr Southgate said:

"Keep digging, we're all very proud of what you're doing."

Also showing his support was Paralympic Gold Medalist Jonnie Peacock, who said:

"What you're doing is incredible."

He added: "You're going to face a time where you want to stop, but trust me, in a couple of months you're going to be home and you're going to be so proud of what you've done."

According to the online live tracker, Lee arrived at his final destination, Cayenne, in French Guiana after 60 days at sea.

The previous able-bodied record for the journey was 96 days.

Mr Spencer, who served in the armed forces for 24 years, set out to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick British service personnel.