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Royal Marine pair to make history in canoe race


Two Royal Marines who were injured in Afghanistan plan to paddle 125 miles in 30 hours as part of the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon.
The efforts of Captain Jon White, 28, and Colour Sergeant Lee John Waters, 37, will support the work of SSAFA Forces Help and the Royal Marines Association.
Jon, from Taunton-based 40 Commando, is a triple amputee after he was injured by an IED blast in Sangin, Afghanistan in June 2010. The explosion resulted in the loss of both of his legs and his right arm at the elbow. His partner, Lee, was Captain White’s troop Sergeant on Operation Herrick 12 at Patrol Base Mahboob before he was shot three times while on tour; in his jaw, in the left hand, and his left foot.
Jon, from Honiton, Devon, and Lee, from Portsmouth, will be the only injured serviceman participating in the marathon, now in its 64th year, when it takes place over Easter weekend. The pair will have to complete the course non-stop, continuing through the night as they encounter 77 locks and weirs, known as portages. The portages pose the greatest challenge to the team as they will have to get in and out of the boat which is especially difficult for Jon.
He said: “It’s not that easy for me to get in and out of the boat and carry the kayak. I’ll probably have to swap my prosthetic legs to walk a mile which will definitely slow us down a bit.
“Due to this, we will have a support group, which includes my wife Becky, working with us overnight. Our aim is to complete the marathon in under 30 hours and we hope to do this with the support of family and friends.”

This is Somerset.

Good luck to the pair of them.

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