Prince Harry meets Dagenham amputee veteran ahead of solo Atlantic row bid

PUBLISHED: 11:34 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 03 January 2018

Prince Harry visits 'rowing marine' Lee Spencer. Picture: The Endeavour Fund

Prince Harry visits 'rowing marine' Lee Spencer. Picture: The Endeavour Fund

The Endeavour Fund

A Dagenham amputee veteran met Prince Harry ahead of his double world record rowing attempt.

Former Royal Marine Lee Spencer hopes to become the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported from the mainlands of Europe and South America.

The 48-year-old will also try to beat the current able bodied record for the 3,500-mile journey of 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes.

Raised in Ingleby Road, Lee attended William Ford Church of England School and Bishops Ward Roman Catholic Boys School, now called All Saints Catholic School.

He served 24 years in the Royal Marines completely unscathed, before losing his right leg in Surrey in 2014.

He had stopped to help a motorist on the M3 when he was hit by flying debris.

Lee’s now taking on the epic row across the Atlantic Ocean for The Endeavour Fund and The Royal Marines Charity.

Meeting the Prince before leaving for Gibraltar for final preparations tomorrow, Lee said: “Prince Harry’s support and the work he and the Endeavour Fund do has made a very big difference to many people’s lives and in a very real way.

“When you meet him you feel an overwhelming sense of fellowship and I particularly respect the fact he has kept and will continue to keep wounded and injured servicemen and women in the nation’s conscience and that he genuinely cares.

He added: “I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to share the details and reasons why I am doing my challenge with Prince Harry directly.

“It has made me incredibly proud and determined and I will carry with me his words of support across every one of the 3,500 Atlantic Ocean miles I am about to face.”

Lee and three ex-servicemen became the first all-amputee crew to row the ocean in 2016, completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 47 days.

He now faces 30 foot waves in nothing more than a seven-metre-long boat when he starts his journey on January 18.

“I don’t believe anyone should be defined by something they can’t do or their limitations,” Lee said.

“It’s about rediscovering who you are, not redefining who you are and being labelled.”

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