Lee Spencer ‘The Rowing Marine’ is in the final preparation stages to row over 3,500 miles across the Atlantic ocean in a bid to become the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported from mainland Europe to mainland South America.
Setting off on 18 January 2018 for this new Guinness World Record, Lee will also attempt to beat the current able bodied record of 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes, gaining a second Guinness World Record proving there is life beyond injury.
Lee ‘The Rowing Marine’ is on a personal mission to challenge the perceptions around disabilities. This is a man who served 24 years in The Royal Marines without suffering any life changing injuries, who simply pulled over to help a motorist on the M3 while off duty when his life changed forever.
Lee was born in Dagenham, lives in Devon and was made in the Royal Marine’s. Despite surviving 24 years as a Marine and three operational tours of Afghanistan unscathed, Lee lost his right leg when he stopped to help a motorist on the M3 in Surrey in 2014. Lee was hit by flying debris as he made his way to the stricken vehicle and his right leg was severed in the impact.
Stroke by stroke, 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, Lee will be challenging the very definition of disability and its negative connotations starting in Gibralter in January and concluding in Venezuela.
Lee commented: “I don’t believe anyone should be defined by something they can’t do or their limitations. It’s about rediscovering who you are, not redefining who you are and being labelled. I feel passionately about raising awareness of this and challenging these preconceptions. Disabilities vary and they aren’t just physical either, I hope I am able to inspire all those who seek to rediscover themselves and raise awareness and funds for two very worthy charities who have supported and inspired me ”.
During this feat of extraordinary physical and mental endurance, Lee will battle 30 foot waves and 3,500 miles of unpredictable Ocean in nothing more than a 7 metre long ocean rowing boat. Suffering from sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue, sea-sickness, fear and solitude Lee will be out of helicopter range and totally unsupported on the water.
Lee feels passionately about helping keep wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women at the forefront of people’s minds alongside challenging the embedded preconceptions that impact all those with disabilities. The double Guinness World Record attempt will raise awareness and money for the Royal Marines Charity and The Endeavour Fund (part of The Royal Foundation), which supports wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation.