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Devon amputee marine Lee Spencer breaks Atlantic row record

Lee Spencer. Credit: Anthony Upton/LNP

A former Royal Marine from Devon who lost his leg in an accident has completed the fastest unsupported solo row across the Atlantic.

Lee Spencer finished the crossing from mainland Europe to South America in 60 days, smashing the able-bodied record for the route by 36 days.

The 49-year-old, from Horrabridge in Devon, said he hoped his trip will inspire “all those who seek to rediscover themselves” and prove "no-one should be defined by disability".

Lee completed the epic trek in 60 days. Credit: Anthony Upton/LNP

I have proved that a disability hasn’t stopped me being who I was before, someone who defined themselves by their physicality.

I don’t believe anyone should be defined by something they can’t do or their limitations. No-one should redefine themselves or be labelled.

Having completed this solo trans-Atlantic row I want people to see that with the right support it is still possible to lead a fulfilling life. I am passionate about it and that’s why I made this crossing.

– Lee Spencer

Mr Spencer, who served in the armed forces for 24 years, plotted his epic journey to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund.

Lee served in the armed forces for 24 years. Credit: Anthony Upton/LNP

He arrived in Cayenne, French Guiana, on Monday - having faced 40ft waves and a bout of gastroenteritis during the voyage, while sleeping for just two hours at a time.

Upon arriving, the married father of two said he was "exhausted" and looking forward to having a beer and relaxing.

3,800
miles between Portugal and French Guiana
60
the number of days Lee took to complete his trip

Right now, I’m exhausted. The thing I am looking forward to most, obviously, is a beer and then relaxing.

There were many incredible moments at sea, I had many highs and many lows. More than once I was convinced it was all over. I was fortunate enough, however, to see some incredible marine life including several sharks, a mahi-mahi, turtles, lots of flying fish and when the pod of four sperm whales swam under the boat, I could smell the breath from their blowholes. You don’t get that every day.

– Lee Spencer