Cornwall

Rowing challenge for Dartmoor spine crush victim

Hugo Turner
Image caption Mr Turner needed to undergo surgery for neck reconstruction after his accident

A man who was told he would never walk again after an accident in Cornwall is going to row the Atlantic.

At the age of 17, Hugo Turner from Dartmoor, crushed his C7 vertebrae in a diving accident at a beach in Rock, north Cornwall.

The damage to his spinal cord meant Mr Turner needed to undergo neck surgery before walking again.

Six years after his accident, Mr Turner is planning to row between the Canary Islands and Barbados.

The 3,000 mile trans-Atlantic crossing will be carried out by a small team of four. The other rowers are Mr Turner's twin brother Ross, and two friends, Greg Symondson and Adam Wolley.

The team hopes to raise £150,000 for Spinal Research.

Paralysis 'cure'

Mr Turner said: "My life was put on hold for two years - they said I would never be able to play sport again. By rowing the Atlantic I want raise vital funds to research a cure for paralysis.

"I am fortunate enough to able to attempt to row the Atlantic and realise how close I was to being paralysed.

"This will be a very personal challenge for me at every level."

The crew will pull approximately one million strokes, deal with cramped conditions, constant exposure to the elements, painful salt sores and blisters, and the risk of powerful storms with waves of up to 30 feet.

Before they depart at the beginning of December, all crew members will undergo extensive sea survival skills, remote first aid and navigation training.

By taking part in the trans-Atlantic crossing, the crew will set the world records for the youngest four-man crew and the first twins to row across any ocean in the world.

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