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Lee Spencer: Amputee Marine from Devon breaks Atlantic row record

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Lee Spencer

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Lee Spencer wants to show “no one should be defined by disability”

A former Royal Marine 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, breaking the able-bodied record for the route by 36 days.

Mr Spencer, 49, from Horrabridge, Devon, said he wanted to prove “no-one should be defined by disability”.

He became the first disabled person to row from continent to continent.

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.

He set off on the 3,800-mile crossing from Portugal in January and finished in French Guiana on Monday.

The previous able-bodied record for the east to west route was 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes, by Stein Hoff in 2002.

Mr Spencer encountered whales, dolphins and turtles and has gathered some big-name supporters along the way, including Prince Harry, Ross Kemp and Joanna Lumley – who gave him a goodbye kiss.

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Media captionAmputee completes Atlantic row bid

He set off on 9 January but was forced to stop in the Canary Islands to fix his navigation system.

The former Marine’s “fantastic achievement” has been hailed on social media.

Mr Spencer lost his right leg beneath the knee in 2014 when he was struck by debris from a car engine after he stopped to help an injured motorist.

He previously said he was so determined to make the trip in record time he had only taken 90 days’ worth of food.

In 2016 Mr Spencer was part of a team of four ex-servicemen who became the first amputees to cross the Atlantic.

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