Four Royal Marines aim to become the first people to row 3,700 miles from New York to London – to shine a light on the “astronomical problem” of plastic pollution.
The intrepid explorers, who served alongside each other with 45 Commando in Afghanistan, will spend 60 days at sea in a bid to complete the world’s most dangerous row.
They plan to tackle the gruelling North Atlantic Ocean crossing – which includes consecutive two hour periods of rowing broken up by two hour rest periods – WITHOUT a support boat.
The team is made up of ex-marines Joel McGlynn, 28, Dom Rogers, 30, Reece Clayton, 32, and serving marine Matt Mason, 29.
They will battle ferocious weather systems, freezing swells over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, sleep deprivation and sea sickness.
Only 57 people in history have rowed across the North Atlantic and the crossing has been attempted a total of 72 times, with 29 successes.
Six people have died making the attempt – but nobody has tried to row directly from New York to London before.
The marines will make the attempt in June 2020 in a specially-adapted ocean rowing boat.
It has been publicly backed by Bear Grylls, who described the Commandos as “truly inspirational”, and marine-turned-MP Johnny Mercer is their ambassador.
Shocking statistics such as 12.7million tonnes of plastic entering oceans every year inspired the fundraising element of their mission, titled Ocean Survival 2020.
Dom said: “We’re planning to do the row in just 60 days.
“We’ll be doing it alone with no back-up support but will have our own GPS tracking systems and will carry enough food to last us 60 days.
“If the weather turns, we’ll have to call May Day and hope someone comes to our rescue.
“It’s going to be dangerous and hard but we’ve got the backing of the Royal Marines and we can’t wait for the challenge.”
The marines, who are all fathers, fear the damaging effect of plastic pollution on generations to come.
Dom, a dad-of-two, added: “Raising awareness of plastic pollution is the perfect cause and a great way of getting people to realise just how serious the issue.
“I worry that if we don’t do something about it now, then our children and grandchildren could be left with a massive problem.
“This is not what nature intended.
“Survival of the fittest is a mechanism of natural selection; plastic was not something formed naturally on this planet, plastic is a man made natural destroyer.”
They wrote on their website: “Plastic in our Oceans is an astronomical problem that is hugely affecting the ecological systems that are vital not just to Marine Life but also human.
“According to ‘Science Journal’, 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year, causing havoc with our oceans food systems and Marine Life, and the problem is only getting worse.
“Ocean revival is a team of serving and former serving Royal Marine Commandos, who have fought alongside each other in 45 Commando.
“They have now teamed up to take the fight against plastic by rowing across the North Atlantic Ocean, rowing a route that has never been completed before and one that is statistically the most dangerous and arduous ocean row to attempt.
“Ocean Revival 2020 is fighting back by attempting to raise awareness and help keep momentum in the fight against plastic in our oceans; a fight the team would love you to join them on.”
The team have set a fundraising target of £50,000 with plans to donate it to Plastic Oceans and the Royal Marines Charity.
They are also seeking sponsors to help fund their preparation. Regatta are providing clothing to help them through tricky conditions and Yorkshire-based Milestone Flooring are also confirmed sponsors.
The team need to raise around £60,000 before they set off from New York in 2020.