Student recovers from broken neck to face record-breaking Atlantic challenge

Ocean Rowing

A man who was told that he would never play sport again is aiming to set a new world record as one quarter of the youngest four-man crew to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Hugo Turner, 23, suffered a crushed vertebra at the base of his neck in a freak diving accident six years ago. He underwent neck surgery to repair the damage to his spinal cord, and was only able to walk again after lengthy rehabilitation.

However, the Loughborough University student is now in training to undertake a 3,000 mile row with his twin brother and two university friends, in the hope of raising £150,000 for Spinal Research.

“My life was put on hold for two years – they said I would never be able to play sport again,” Turner told BBC News. “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 quartet – which also includes Ross Turner, Greg Symondson, and Adam Wolley – will pull roughly one million strokes as they row from the Canary Islands to Barbados, and the Turner brothers will also become the first twins to successfully row across an ocean.

The crew will depart from San Sebastian, La Gomera, Canary Islands, on December 4th, and hope to arrive in Barbados by February 2012.

For more information about the crew’s trans-Atlantic challenge, and for details of how to sponsor the trip, visit The Atlantic 4 website.

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