Disabled former UK Royal Marine breaks Atlantic rowing record

A former British Royal Marine who lost part of his right leg in a car accident five years ago completed the fastest-ever solo rowing trip across the Atlantic Ocean early Monday.

Lee Spencer, 49, arrived in Cayenne, French Guiana 60 days after setting off from Portimao, Portugal — beating the able-bodied record for an east-to-west crossing by a whopping 36 days.

“It’s just beginning to sink in that I’ve got the record,” Spencer told Sky News after his epic journey. ” … The thing that kept me going has been proving that no one should be defined by disability and no one should be defined by something they’re not good at.”

Spencer served 24 years in the Royal Marines and completed three tours of duty in Afghanistan as well as one in Iraq, according to the BBC. He lost his right leg below the knee in 2014 when he was struck by debris while helping a driver who had wrecked on the side of the M3 motorway in southern England.

Spencer told Sky News that he had spotted sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and sperm whales during his journey, which he undertook to raise money for two charities: the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund, which assists injured British servicemen and women.

“Bits of it were amazing, and bits of it were a bit traumatic and tricky,” said Spencer, who had to stop in the Canary Islands early in his journey to replace his craft’s navigation system.

According to Sky News, Spencer has raised 49,000 British pounds (approximately $64,400) for the two charities.

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