A HEREFORDSHIRE man is celebrating reaching dry land after rowing more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Martin Heseltine, 62, from Walford, near Ross-on-Wye, has spent the last 50 days all at sea as part of a four-man vegan crew rowing from Lanzarote to Antigua to raise money for men's mental health charity Humen and Chepstow animal sanctuary, the Dean Farm Trust.

Not an adventure to be taken lightly, Martin and the crew rowed non-stop in alternating two-hour shifts, using muscle power alone and with no backup vessel to cover the 3,200 mile distance.

The team faced storms, sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue and, at times, huge seas. They also had to cope with injury when crew member Matt Pritchard, more famously known as plant-loving prankster and chef The Dirty Vegan, tore a lateral muscle forcing him to take a break from rowing for several days, while Martin battled with painful tendonitis in his leg.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do in the middle of the Atlantic other than keep on going,” said Martin.

“It’s very often a case of mind over matter but the teamwork of the crew together is absolutely vital."

With only a tiny cabin for shelter no larger than a double bed, Martin, Matt, skipper Billy Taylor and blogger Johnny Ward had to share this space for cooking, eating, sleeping and navigating.

“There’s not even a chance to stand up as the boat’s motion makes that impossible, so we are all looking forward to stretching our legs on dry land once we’ve cleared customs and landed,” said Martin.

A former ocean yachtsman, Martin is no stranger to adventure, having spent much of his life on the high seas, but this particular challenge pushed all the crew to the extreme, with no toilet in the specially built boat, which features multiple individual watertight hull compartments to prevent sinking in case of shark attack.

Fortunately the crew have not had to deal with sharks, but have enjoyed the company of dolphins, flying fish and even a squid which landed on the deck. You can read more about their charity row at Monkeyfistadventures.com

Dean Farm Trust founder, Mary Frankland, said: “We are so proud and thankful to Matt, Billy, Martin and Johnny for all of their hard work to raise much-needed funds and awareness for our little sanctuary. Our residents can’t wait to see the boys on their return to the UK and thank them for their amazing support.”

To donate to the Atlantic Dash fundraiser for Dean Farm Trust, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/atlantic-dash-dean-farm-trust