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Last Updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
South Pole bid for amputee Marine
Antarctic
Captain Jim Bonney will embark on a 730-mile expedition
A Royal Marine who had a leg removed to after plunging 1,000ft (304.8m) is bidding to become the first below-knee amputee to ski to the South Pole.

Captain Jim Bonney, 26, will be part of a seven-man team which sets off on the 55-day ice-marathon in a year's time.

The 730-mile Polar Quest expedition will be made up of Royal Marines (RM) and Navy personnel, as well as a cadet.

Captain Bonney currently trains injured recruits back to fitness at RM Commando Training Centre at Lympstone in Devon.

Prosthetic surgery

Captain Bonney's career as a Commando seemed to have ended in 2001 when he fell during a bid to scale Mount Hunter in Alaska.

His right ankle was so badly injured he faced having it pinned, making it inflexible and effectively ending his Marine career.

After researching advances in prosthetic surgery, he convinced a surgeon to amputate his right leg below the knee and had a false one fitted.

After the operation he passed the Marines' annual fitness test and returned to work as a Commando - the first with an amputated leg in the service's history.

He successfully completed a gruelling eight-mile trek carrying 25kg (55lb) of weight and a weapon over rough ground within the two-hour requirement.

The progress of Captain Bonney and his expedition colleagues will be monitored through a Polar Watch interactive internet site that will be run by Exmouth Community College.


SEE ALSO:
Briton 'to solve polar mystery'
01 Oct 04  |  Southern Counties
Men in tough race to North Pole
27 Sep 04  |  Hereford/Worcs
Scots duo to take on South Pole
04 Sep 04  |  Scotland
Islanders plan Polar charity trek
13 Aug 04  |  Guernsey


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