Posted on January 10, 2019
Lee Spencer, aka ‘The Rowing Marine’, made a symbolic departure from Gibraltar to start the record attempt which will then officially begin in Portugal. He was due to start his challenge last month but had to postpone because of the weather.
In 2016, the former Commando was one of four wounded military veterans to become the first all-amputee team to row across an ocean. The four men all had disabilities, but arrived at the finish line in Antigua in January 2016 and finished a respectable eighth place overall.
He was awarded an Endeavour Fund medal by the Princes for his 2016 Atlantic row. Forces News spoke to Mr Spencer in November 2018 where he reflected on his life before the disability: Mr Spencer said he: “Always defined myself by my physicality. Then I woke up the next day as a disabled person, which I looked at negatively. So I have tried to redefine myself and what it means to be disabled. It was only after my row across the Atlantic last year that I realised nothing had changed – apart from there was now a bit less of me.”
Despite losing a leg in January 2014, he’s hoping to beat the existing able-bodied record of 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The former Royal Marine was injured outside of service, when he stopped to help a stranded motorist on the M3 and was hit by debris.