Royal Marines

Triple Amputee Afghanistan Veteran Gets Ready For Open Sea Charity Swim

The former Royal Marine is hoping to raise £400,000 for veterans charity REORG.

A former Royal Marine is preparing to take on a 1,000m open water swim for charity.

Mark Ormrod, 37, is hoping to raise £400,000 for veterans charity REORG and spread awareness about the work they do.

He lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan in 2007 after an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion, becoming the UK's first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict.

Since the incident, Mr Ormrod has gone on to become a motivational speaker, participating in the Invictus Games and routinely setting himself intense physical challenges.

In an interview with Forces News, the former marine opened up about the challenges involved in his latest trial and the difficulties he has faced while preparing.

"It's been a little bit challenging in that when I first jumped into a swimming pool, so freshwater, after I had lost my limbs, I found that if I didn't have air in my lungs, that I sank.

Mark Ormrod training in the sea for his charity swim (Picture: Mark Ormrod/Youtube).

"So I had to have at least a little bit of air in there or I would sink to the bottom.

"So, I developed a whole new swimming technique based around that and then when I jumped in the sea, and it's salt water, and I've got a wetsuit on, I found the opposite and I was super buoyant.

"It was hard to stay down, so now we've had to develop a new technique and a new way of swimming, several new ways of swimming, that make swimming in the sea a little bit more manageable.

"So we've kind of figured it out, we've got as best as I think we can get, now it's just a case of fighting fatigue and hoping that the currents aren't too strong."

He added: "The things you can do with the human body is phenomenal and I know I'm missing a few bits and pieces from that body, but I can still do some really cool things by adapting and adjusting what I do.

"So I get excited, it's like an adventure, every new event is like an adventure where I go into it completely new, most of the time, and then try and figure things out as we go."

Mr Ormrod said after months of training he's feeling "pretty much good to go".

He's hoping to inspire others, who may be struggling, to reach out and take up some physical activities if they think it could help.

Mark Ormrod has completed a number of challenges (Picture: Mark Ormrod/Youtube).

He said: "I've found that even in the sea when you've got waves slapping you in the face and all those creepy crawlies underneath you and everything, and you can't really see very far, you've got goggles on, if you relax and just accept that's going to happen, that's the way it is and try to enjoy it, you actually do.

"If there's anyone out there who is struggling and they think some sort of sport or physical activity can help them, find a way to make it happen.

"Sometimes it takes a lot of courage if you're on your own to step through that gym maybe pick a phone up first, send an email first, you know gauge the place, find a group that enjoys kayaking or paddleboarding, whatever it is and go and get involved with them.

"They're out there, they're all over the place, these groups that share these passions that go out there and enjoy themselves, just go get involved and see the positive effect it has on your life."

Mr Ormrod's swim is due to take place on 28 May, and donations can be made on his JustGiving page.