John Haskell completed his third Atlantic row after setting off from Tenerife in the Canary Islands on Sunday, December 3.
The father of two arrived in Antigua on Tuesday, January 16, after rowing more than 3,000 miles and spending more than 44 days at sea with 11 people on a rowboat.
He said: “I arrived in Antigua on Tuesday finishing my third Atlantic crossing by rowboat which took 44 days. I was the captain of a unique 12-seater rowing boat. I lost nearly three stone in body weight and there were some serious weight losses with everybody.
“When you are rowing in three or four sessions a day, 12 hours a day you are only using 8,000 calories but only absorbing 6,000 you can still lose weight. But if nobody stays on top of any nutrition the weight loss can be drastic.”
The ex-firefighter suffers from PTSD after becoming seriously affected by incidents such as helping search for five-year-old April Jones in 2012, whose body was never found – and cradling a five-year-old boy who died in a car crash.
He started rowing across the Atlantic in 2011 where he rowed from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 46 days and says it helps with his condition.
During his exhibition, he encountered Ocean Swells that increased in length due to storms, extreme heat, six moon cycles and plenty of sea creatures such as dolphins and whales.
He added: “It was quite scary during the storms, as you can see big clouds coming over the horizon and then they hit you. We had twenty to twenty-five-foot swells which could have capsized the boat but didn’t as it rolled over 90 degrees before it was back again.
“On the plus side, we encountered turtles, Portuguese men of war jellyfish, dolphins, Whales and birds around the boat it was amazing to be that close to nature as they popped up from the water and the sunset and sunrises give you a real sense of wow.
“I have done it because of the challenge of it and just the absolute satisfaction beyond the ocean and I love it as it helped me get better as it was healing for my PTSD.”
Mr Haskell plans to sail across the Indian Ocean from Perth, Western Australia to Africa in 2024.