Nothing can stop soldier in his bid to row 128 miles

The boat Nick Townsend and his half-brother Jason Rice will row from Weymouth to Jersey

The boat Nick Townsend and his half-brother Jason Rice will row from Weymouth to Jersey

Portsmouth Guildhall. Photo: Malcolm Wells

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FORMER soldier Nick Townsend’s stoic sense of duty is only matched by his high level of determination.

The 30-year-old, of Emsworth, was once the victim of a rocket attack in Afghanistan, losing two pints of blood and suffering 11 shrapnel wounds to his leg.

But just two months after the incident in 2007 he was on the front line, back in control of his men as a corporal in the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Now Nick, who served six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, will help his colleagues in the army by rowing 128 miles for Help for Heroes.

He said he wants to raise as much cash as possible when he rows from Weymouth to Jersey after seeing friends suffer worse.

He said: ‘It’s mainly my friends who have been more seriously injured than me, watching them go through 
the whole rehabilitation process.

‘At the time my injury was very serious, it hit the main artery in my leg.

‘You’ve got three minutes to patch it up or you die.

‘I was back out patrolling two months because they stopped the bleeding on the ground and I got taken back to Bastion.

‘Then the surgeon did an amazing job.

‘Everyone pulled “son your tour is over” but I said “I’ll be back out soon, don’t worry about it”.

‘Even on the aeroplane back to the UK I was standing up and trying to get mobility.’

For Nick, not going back was never an option.

He added: ‘I was section commander, you spend time training, teaching your men and to have them facing the danger you’re not facing, you can’t sleep at night.

‘I used to fall asleep thinking of Afghanistan, dreaming of Afghanistan, and waking up hoping no 
one I knew or anyone got injured.

‘I wanted to get back out there and lead my men again.’

Together with half-brother and boat-builder Jason Rice, 39, he will do the challenging row, only having rowed 200m in Chichester Harbour.

To donate to the brothers’ cause, visit justgiving.com/NickTownsend1

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