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Atlantic row servicemen raise £1m

A group of injured British servicemen who rowed across the Atlantic are celebrating reaching their £1 million fundraising target, as well as the launch of a book documenting their own journeys to recovery.

HEROIC: (left to right) Alex Mackenzie, Rory Mackenzie, Neil Heritage, Will Dixon, Carl Anstey and Ed Janvrin reached Barbados in January.
HEROIC: (left to right) Alex Mackenzie, Rory Mackenzie, Neil Heritage, Will Dixon, Carl Anstey and Ed Janvrin reached Barbados in January.

The six-man team, co-led by Alex Mackenzie, 33, from Troon, spent 51 days at sea in a bid to raise £1m for wounded soldiers. Four of the team lost limbs during service in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Named Row2Recovery, they battled through difficulties to complete the 3000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, arriving in Barbados in January. The men have now reached their target, which will be distributed to charities Help for Heroes, the Soldiers' Charity and SAAFA – the forces' family charity.

They also announced Row2Recovery will now be run as a charity, helping wounded troops and encouraging them to take up rowing. A book documenting their efforts from the battlefield to the boat is also being published.

Row2Recovery co-founder Ed Janvrin, 33, who left the army in 2008 after serving with the Gurkhas, said: "We are proud to announce Row2Recovery, a campaign to raise £1m for wounded service personnel, has achieved and surpassed its fundraising target.

"We believe The Row To Recovery book, written by Sam Peters, will continue to inspire people long into the future and hope it spurs people on to achieve great things."

Mr Janvrin and co-founder Mr Mackenzie, who left the army in 2008 after serving tours of Iraq and Afghanistan with the Parachute Regiment, were joined by four amputees.

Lieutenant Will Dixon, 28, platoon commander with Third Battalion, The Rifles, lost his left leg below the knee in December 2009.

Corporal Neil Heritage, 32, needed a double above-knee amputation after a suicide bomb blast in Iraq in November 2004.

Corporal Rory Mackenzie, 30, lost his right leg in Basra City in January 2007, and Lance Corporal Carl Anstey, 27, needs a leg brace after he was hit by the blast from a grenade in Afghanistan in January 2009.

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