Cornwall

Cornwall surf therapy for Plymouth amputee Marine

Royal Marine Ben McBean, who lost an arm and a leg when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan, has taken up surfing.

Marine McBean took part in a surf therapy course for armed services amputees at Polzeath in Cornwall.

Organiser Surf Action was set up by Cornishman Rich Emerson who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following his service in Iraq.

He says surfing gives people back their confidence and helps beat depression.

Marine McBean, 23, from Plymouth, Devon, said: "It's one of those things that I'd never thought I'd do.

"It is weird surfing with one arm and a leg.

"But my aim is two or three seconds standing up."

He was joined by another Marine, Nicholas Gibbons, 19, from Sheffield, who lost his right lower leg in Afghanistan in 2008.

He said: "You think your life is at an end.

"But I've done more stuff than I've ever done before.

"I'd never done surfing before but it's awesome."

Mr Emerson said: "They are quite anxious to start with.

"But once they are in the water you can see the difference on their face. They are smiling and laughing.

"All their woes are left behind and they are just having fun.

"That's what we are trying to do."

This is the second year the camp, based on scheme set up for US marines, has run in the UK.

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