1. ITV Report

Prince Harry meets 'Rowing Marine' amputee veteran ahead of solo world record attempt

An amputee veteran met Prince Harry ahead of his attempt to set a new record for rowing unaided across the Atlantic.

Former Royal Marine Lee Spencer is preparing to row solo and unsupported between the mainlands of Europe and South America to raise awareness for the Endeavour Fund, a charity co- founded by Prince Harry.

He is also hoping to break the able-bodied record set by Stein Hoff in 2002 who made the trip in just 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes.

Prince Harry described the challenge as a 'massive task'. Credit: Endeavour Fund

Mr Spencer made the trip once before a year ago but was rowing alongside three other disabled veterans as part of the Row2Recovery team.

The group set a record in 2015-2016 as the first all-amputee four-man rowing team to cross the Atlantic.

But this time Mr Spencer, who has been dubbed the 'Rowing Marine', will be going it alone.

Lee Spencer last undertook the challenge with three other disabled veterans. Credit: Row2Recovery

Meeting the Prince before he sets off for Gibraltar to start his journey on January 18, Mr Spencer said: "When you go outside (leave the military), you think I'm going to miss the lads, miss the laughs, the camaraderie and everything that goes with it. But actually it's the sense of service, sense of doing something that matters.

"And you allowing me to do this for the Endeavour Fund has allowed me to carry that on."

The Prince said Mr Spencer choosing to raise awareness for the Endeavour Fund meant "a hell of a lot" to other veterans.

"This is a massive task you're taking on," he said. "But you've already done it once."

He joked: "Fine, you've got three less people but you won't have to make conversation and you will get to sleep when you want to sleep."

After meeting the Prince, Mr Spencer said: "Prince Harry’s support and the work he and the Endeavour Fund do has made a very big difference to many people’s lives and in a very real way. "When you meet him you feel an overwhelming sense of fellowship and I particularly respect the fact he has kept and will continue to keep wounded and injured servicemen and women in the nations conscience and that he genuinely cares."

Lee Spencer has been dubbed the Rowing Marine. Credit: ITV News

I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to share the details and reasons why I am doing my challenge with Prince Harry directly. It has made me incredibly proud and determined and I will carry with me his words of support across every one of the 3,500 Atlantic ocean miles I am about to face.

– Lee Spencer

Mr Spencer served in the Royal Marines for 24 years and survived three tours in Afghanistan without injury.

But he lost his leg when he was hit by flying debris from a car accident on the M3 motorway in Surrey while he was helping a motorist who had crashed.