Proudly supported by Just Rifles, Rifleman Craig Wood is aiming to sail around the world on his Beneteau Oceanis 46.
Rifleman Craig Wood joined 2nd Battalion, The Rifles aged 17, and deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan less than a year later. Craig was caught in a Taliban bomb blast as a wire-detonated IED device exploded beside him whilst on a foot patrol.
14 days after being placed in a medically induced coma, Craig awoke in Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital to find he had lost both his legs above the knee and his left hand. Craig was one of the youngest servicemen to be injured during the conflict in Afghanistan.
Over the course of the next eight months, Craig learnt to walk again, and completed a further four years rehabilitation at Headley Court. Craig recalls: "I had all kinds of issues -- your stumps change and surgery alters things. You get knock-backs and have to re-learn the basics of walking all over again."
Craig's immense courage and positive mental attitude have seen him re-gain optimism about his future, determined to do the things he loves: travel and wind-surfing. Speaking of his deployment to Afghanistan, Craig says: "I thought it was a nice birthday present when I first went. It was the excitement, the action, the chance of travelling the world." Two years after his deployment when Craig was walking again, he recalls ringing up his dad: "I said, 'Yeah we're going windsurfing, let's do it.' And he was like, 'yeah alright' and that was a really big step in my recovery."
For Craig, getting back onto the water was a huge milestone. His stoic ambition has seen him train for the 2016 Paralympics, sail the British coastline, and now the steepest challenge so far: sailing around the word. With the wear and tear of boat life, Craig found he needed a new set of sails last year, and Just Rifles stepped up to help.
Currently in the Aegean Sea, Craig and his crew (ex-military dog handler Nicole plus dog Tweedy) are 15 months into their voyage, and have so far sailed to 9 different countries on their Beneteau Oceanis 46, named Sirius.