MDL champions pioneering sea and land-based crossing for quadruple amputee
12 June 2024

MDL Marinas is thrilled to offer its support to Alex Lewis, as he attempts the ground-breaking challenge 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. 

Beginning and ending his journey at the charming Cornish retreat, The Pig in Harlyn Bay, the Pig 2 Pig challenge marks Alex’s first major UK event. Accompanied by a team of skilled rowers, Alex is scheduled to stop at various harbours on the 350-mile ‘wet leg’, including three of MDL’s renowned marinas: Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth, Devon-based Torquay Marina and Sparkes Marina on Hayling Island in Portsmouth. 

At each of these scheduled stopovers, MDL has offered to support Alex and his team with free berthing for Alex’s boat, and a specially adapted Flying 15 rowing boat (created by Rannoch Adventure in collaboration with Bath University), together with two support vessels. 

In addition, MDL Marinas is offering complimentary car parking for four accompanying vehicles that will provide accommodation for the support crew and rowers throughout the challenge.

“We are thrilled to be supporting Alex as he attempts to become the world’s first quadruple amputee to row across the South of England,” 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.”  

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

Alex’s story

After contracting Strep A in 2013, Alex 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, Alex was told he would need £4 million of Assisted Technology (AT) to support him daily to lead an independent life. After a chance meeting with an Imperial College PhD student (who was studying Biomechatronics and looking for amputee subjects to take part in trials of his innovative new technology), Alex has gone on to work with numerous universities up and down the UK on a variety of incredible AT-led projects.

Alex has since dedicated his life advocating for better AT, setting 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. 

Having worked in the UK, Ethiopia and the Ukraine, Alex comments: “The importance of education, sustainable programmes and affordability is key to helping the end user. 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!”

To learn more about the Pig 2 Pig challenge, visit

For the chance to offer support by donating, visit:

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