Blind ex-sailor Alan Lock completes South Pole trek

A former Royal Navy sailor has become the first visually impaired person to trek to the South Pole.

Alan Lock, 31, from Clevedon, North Somerset, was part of a team which battled temperatures as low as -35C to cover almost 1,000km in 39 days.

Mr Lock, who lost his sight to macular degeneration, dragged a 60kg sled during the challenge.

"It feels amazing to have made it to the South Pole, what an adventure," he said.

"The high point is having the opportunity to make this expedition in the first place.

"Reaching the pole, having been only one of a handful of people to have ever walked here, is a fantastic experience.

"There have been difficulties with the terrain but this has all been made possible for me by my great team members."

Ten marathons

The trip, which started on 22 November, has raised £15,000 for the charity Sightsavers, which aids blind people in the developing world, and Guide Dogs for the Blind, based in San Francisco.

Mr Lock undertook the challenge with two sighted team-mates, Andrew Jensen and Richard Smith, whom he met while studying for an MBA in the United States, and guide Hannah McKean.

The team completed the trek on Tuesday.

Mr Lock lost his sight in six weeks while training as a Royal Navy officer nine years ago.

Since then, he has undertaken challenges including 10 marathons, and set a Guinness World Record in 2008 when he became the first visually impaired person to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

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