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Ex-Marine breaks Atlantic Record

Lee Spencer celebrating his atlantic crossing
Lee Spencer celebrating his atlantic crossing Image credit: bbc.co.uk

Lee Spencer has become the first disabled person to row across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to South America unsupported and unaccompanied.

The former Royal Marine was forced to leave his role after a life-changing accident when he was struck by debris from a car engine in 2014 losing his right leg underneath the knee after he was trying to help an injured motorist.

Raising money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund Spencer completed his journey on Monday 11th March at 04:06 GMT (01:06 local time) when he rowed into Cayenne, French Guiana after 60 days at sea.

Determined to beat the record, which was held by a non-disabled rower, Spencer only packed enough food which would last for 90 days.

He was spurred on by people such as England football manager Gareth Southgate who sent him a video of support.

Lee told the BBC: "I got told about the video ... and it was one of the first things I watched when I got a signal."

Southgate wasn’t the only famous face to back Lee’s adventure, the likes of Prince Harry, Ross Kemp and Joanna Lumley all gave him their best wishes when he set off from Portugal on 9th January.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing, the 49-year-old was forced to stop in the Canary Islands where he had to fix his navigation system.

After his 3,800 mile journey Spencer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "If I can beat a record, an able-bodied record, as a disabled man ... that is the reason why I wanted to do this - to prove that no one should be defined by disability."

He broke the record by 36 days.

Lee Spencer celebrated his achievement by having a beer and relaxing with his wife and two children.