Swazie Turner has just returned from an epic adventure in the Falkland Islands having pushed himself in his wheelchair 72 miles from Port San Carlos to Stanley, the capital of the Islands, to raise money for charity.
Ron Swazie Turner, a former policeman and fireman, who earlier this year completed the John O'Groats to Lands End journey in a record-breaking 45 days, hopes to raise £10,000 for charity.
Swazie said: "When I arrived at Port San Carlos I was absolutely mortified. I couldn't believe the hills and the tracks I was going to have to negotiate. However on the following day when we set out I knew there was no way I was not going to do it. I was quite prepared to literally crawl up on my belly and drag my chair up the hills. "I did six hours solid pushing each day and paid a high price in as much as my hands started to tear and they did bleed quite a lot. These hills were almost vertical and the tracks were horrendous to negotiate. I fell out of my chair twice and I've got a couple of chunks out of my leg but that's par for the course. "The response I received from the local people was absolutely fantastic. I raised over £2000 when I was in the Islands, which represents almost a pound for each Islander. The Falklands are a beautiful place and I am planning to return next year for a holiday."
Swazie, who is based on the Wirral, North West England, planned his trip after meeting Richard Helleur, a Falkland's veteran, on his John O'Groats to Lands End travels. A serving fireman and former member of the Parachute Regiment, Richard took part in the famous battle of Goose Green. This was the first time Richard had returned to the Islands since the 1982 Conflict.
Swazie and Richard were joined on the 'yomp' by Terry Peck, the former Falkland Island's chief of police who evaded capture and lived rough for three weeks when the Islands were invaded, as well as other supporters. The challenge was completed in four days. Swazie completed his marathon journey by laying a wreath at the Liberation Monument in Stanley on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Swazie is raising money for the South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA 82), which exists to promote a sense of pride and comradeship among the veterans of the South Atlantic campaign and is raising money for a pilgrimage in 2002 for veterans to return to the Islands, and the Clatterbridge Cancer Gene Appeal on the Wirrall.
Sukey Cameron, the Falkland Islands Government UK Representative, said: "Swazie has achieved a remarkable feat and we are pleased to have been able to support him in this challenge. "
The Falkland Islands Go