A KENDAL paramedic is preparing to tackle 40-foot waves and hurricane-strength winds as he trains for a mammoth 4,600-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Bruises, blisters, sleep deprivation and scorching temperatures are certainties during the attempt as Tom Riley and teammates work around the clock and rest in shifts.

The group is aiming to raise £20,000 to help tackle plastic pollution and support the wellbeing of emergency service workers in the process.

Mr Riley, 31, said: “I've been thinking about this for ten years, and now is the time to put my plans into action.

"It's an extraordinary challenge and we're also raising money for causes close to my heart.

"As a paramedic, I have really seen the toll these last two years has taken on my colleagues, so I’m really pleased to be raising funds for a mental health charity that supports emergency service staff."

Under the banner 'Mainland 2 Mainland Atlantic Four', the team will attempt to row from Portugal to French Guiana, beginning in December.

It is expected the effort will take 60 days, although this could extend to as many as 100 depending on the weather. The team is aiming to be the first to row from mainland Europe to mainland South America in a pure class boat, which is designed to eliminate any advantage provided by the wind.

Mr Riley is no stranger to a challenge, with previous adventures including a 15,000-mile, round-the-world cycle and a trek to Everest Base Camp.

He will be joined in the boat by Rob Lucas, 31, of Sheffield, James Davidson, 38, of Edinburgh, and Justin Coleman, 55, of Leicester.

The money the team raises will be donated to Surfers Against Sewage, which works to tackle plastic pollution and protect the UK coastline, and Our Blue Light, which promotes the 'physical and mental wellbeing of persons working for the emergency services and their families' across the UK.

The team has been training hard, rowing hundreds of miles on rowing machines and in the boat that will be taken across the Atlantic.

To follow the group's progress, make a donation or become a sponsor, visit m2matlanticfour.com. Alternatively, search for 'M2M Atlantic Four' on Facebook or follow @m2matlanticfour on Twitter.