Quadruple amputee set to row south of England

Two rowers in a boat with a flag.

Alex Lewis is attempting to become the first ever quadruple amputee to row offshore across the south of England from Falmouth to Dover, before hand cycling the return land-based journey back to Falmouth.

He’s beginning and ending his journey at The Pig in Harlyn Bay, Cornwall. The Pig 2 Pig challenge marks Lewis’ first major UK event. He is scheduled to stop at various harbours on the 350-mile wet leg, including three of MDL’s marinas: Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth, Devon-based Torquay Marina and Sparkes Marina on Hayling Island. These are offering free berthing for both his two support vessels and his adapted Flying 15 rowing boat (created by Rannoch Adventure in collaboration with Bath University).

After contracting Strep A in 2013, Lewis suffered complications which led to septicaemia, toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis resulting in the loss of all four limbs and part of his face.

After undergoing intensive treatment, Lewis was told he would need £4 million of Assisted Technology (AT) to lead an independent life. A chance meeting with an PhD student who was looking for subjects to take part in new technology trials, led Lewis to working with numerous universities up and down the UK on a variety of AT-led projects.

Lewis has since set up the FLOAT Foundation (For the Love of Assistive Technology) as a vehicle to drive change in and around the development of Med Tech and Assistive Technology.

“The importance of education, sustainable programmes and affordability is key to helping the end user,” says Lewis. “Whether it’s wheelchairs, prosthetics or a walking frame for your grandmother, inspiring the next generation to see what’s possible when collaboration and great people work together to make a difference; that’s where I fit.

“The Pig 2 Pig is primarily my way of supporting three amazing charities but also an attempt to achieve a world first. No quadruple amputee has ever rowed across the South of England, because the equipment and boat has never been designed – or redesigned. With the help of Bath University and Rannoch Adventure this is now possible. Plus, it’s 30 days of camping, fireside stories and a lot of chafing, bring it on.”

Following completion of his offshore-based journey to Dover, Lewis will spend 16 days hand cycling 649 miles back, stopping at various schools and businesses, engaging with communities and raising funds for Hospitality Action, The Murray Parish Trust and The Alex Lewis FLOAT Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be supporting Alex,” says Tim Mayer, MDL’s sales and marketing director. “Alex has overcome extraordinary obstacles to achieve what he has – a real testament to his remarkable courage and fortitude against all odds. We wish him and the team the very best of luck on this latest challenge and look forward to welcoming them to our marinas.”

Continue reading about MDL Marinas.

Spotlight Job

OEM business development manager UK

Southampton (hybrid)

Vetus is seeking a dynamic and highly motivated OEM business development manager to join its team in the UK. In this pivotal role, you will be responsible for preparing and implementing a comprehensive account plan, aimed at achieving ambitious sales and marketing objectives.

Full job description »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content