MISSION COMPLETE: The veteran celebrates after finishing the epic challenge

A ROYAL Marine has set a new Atlantic rowing record after crossing solo and unsupported, despite having lost a leg.

Lee Spencer, 49 completed the crossing in 60 days and broke the able-bodies record by 36 days.

The ‘Rowing Marine’ spent months in Gibraltar training for the 5,600km voyage which saw him row from Portimao, Portugal to Cayenne in French Guiana.  

Mr Spencer said: “If I can beat an able-bodied record as a disabled man, and that’s the reason why I wanted to do this, to prove that no one should be defined by disability.

“That’s been the driving force behind the two and half years of putting this row together. And every day that I’ve been rowing, that’s been going through my mind.”

ROWING MARINE: Spencer training in Gibraltar ahead of the voyage

He survived three tours of Afghanistan before losing a leg in 2014, when he was hit by debris on the M3 while helping a motorist.

The veteran told the BBC: “I didn’t get much sleep but I’ve done 24 years as a Royal Marine, so I’m quite used to hardship.

“The hardest thing for me personally was being solo. When you’re faced with a problem, or you’re a little bit scared, my whole working career has been as part of a team, but being solo, I found that quite difficult.”

Mr Spencer undertook the challenge to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund.

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