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Ex-Royal Marine hero in record bid to trek the world's biggest five islands

Published 03/09/2016

Undated handout photo of Louis Nethercott, a former Royal Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who is aiming to inspire others by crossing the world's five largest islands in a mammoth year-long challenge. PA
Undated handout photo of Louis Nethercott, a former Royal Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who is aiming to inspire others by crossing the world's five largest islands in a mammoth year-long challenge. PA

A former Royal Marine suffering from the scars of war is aiming to inspire others by crossing the world's five largest islands in a mammoth year-long challenge.

Louis Nethercott will trek the desert, jungle and mountains as he attempts to set a world record with fellow ex-Marine Anthony Lambert.

The pair will endeavour to become the first people in history to trek through Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Greenland and Baffin Island using just their survival skills.

Mr Nethercott was medically discharged f rom the military earlier this year after a decade during which he served across the world including deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 in which comrades were killed and injured.

The 27-year-old said his life changed "dramatically" after that tour, leading him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He said: " I saw some pretty bad stuff, some hairy situations. On coming home from that particular tour, things didn't quite add up for me. Something had changed, and changed dramatically.

"It was a different world when I came back."

Mr Nethercott, who was a mental health ambassador for the Invictus Games in Orlando earlier this year, said he is taking on the Expedition Five challenge to satisfy his thirst for adventure and raise awareness of how PTSD can affect members of the military.

He said: " It is so important to me to inspire other guys who have battled similar problems to me. I want to show everybody that despite experiencing a setback, life is not over if you don't want it to be.

"It is about looking the dark days in the eye and saying you've come out the other end stronger."

The Bristolian, who now lives in Wiltshire, said he is looking forward to the challenge, which is being supported by military charity Help for Heroes, who have grant funded £10,000 for the expedition.

He said: "I am most excited about exploring parts of the world people may never have been to before. Also, just getting back to the simple things in life; appreciating water when you're thirsty, food when you're hungry and a bed when you're tired."

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