Brendon Prince: Paddleboarder completes round-trip of mainland Britain

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Brendon Prince: 'What an adventure'

A sea safety campaigner has become the first person to circumnavigate mainland Britain on a paddleboard.

Brendon Prince, 48, set off from Torquay, Devon, on 27 April and arrived back in his hometown on Tuesday.

A flotilla of fellow paddleboarders escorted Mr Prince to shore after he completed the 2,500 mile (4,203km) challenge in 141 days.

The father-of-three said: "The only time I've felt like this was Christmas Day when I was about eight."

Mr Prince said he had been called "crazy quite a few times a day" for taking on the challenge.

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There were emotional scenes in Torbay as Mr Prince was welcomed home by his family and hundreds of well-wishers

He said: "I think you have to have a massive motivation, and, for me, it's all about water safety."

Mr Prince was an off-duty lifeguard at Mawgan Porth beach in north Cornwall in October 2014 when three people drowned.

He pulled two people from the water but was unable to save their lives.

Seeing the impact of the deaths on the victims' families drove Mr Prince to set up the Above Water charity, which teaches children about water safety.

He said he wanted water safety to be taught to children annually in schools.

Image source, Will Reddaway
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Brendon Prince, seen here before he set off, said he wanted water safety to be taught to children annually in schools

He said the incident was also the motivation behind the challenge.

"When you are getting up at 05:00 in the morning to put on soaking wet kit and paddle when no-one will see you for days, it's that motivation there, so I channel it and use it," he said.

He said he was hoping to do good "for the sake of those families and many others that will hopefully never have to experience that".

Mr Prince also said the experience of his trek had changed the way he looked at life.

Image source, Will Reddaway
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Setting off from Cornwall: The 05:00 starts in wet gear and wet weather were part of the paddle

He said the trip had included the highs of getting through difficult situations, seeing amazing wildlife and meeting people.

There had also been lows, including the first day when a two-hour paddle to Dartmouth took eight hours, he said, adding that he fell off 14 times.

"I am a changed person," he said.

"What a privilege to have paddled for 141 days, and do what I have done, and make a difference."

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