FRIENDS from the region are to join two others as they prepare for a rowing feat from New York to London next year.

The team of serving and former Royal Marines, from across the UK, have pledged to row 3,700 miles across treacherous North Atlantic ocean, in order to raise awareness and funds for two major charities.

Matt Mason, Joel McGlynn, Dom Rogers and Ian Clinton will embark on the 'dangerous mission,' which they claim has only been attempted by 72 people.

Mr McGlynn, 29, from Marton, near Middlesbrough, and Mr Clinton, also 29, from Thornaby, near Stockton, will endure the lengthy challenge which could take around 60 days to complete.

The team are hoping to raise awareness and money for The Royal Marines Charity, and also the plastic-prevention charity, Plastic Oceans.

Close friends and former colleagues, Mr McGlynn and Mr Clinton, have previously served in Afghanistan but said preparing for a challenge like this is helped by adopting the "right mindset."

Mr McGlynn said: "I am doing it because I wanted to challenge myself, I wanted to be able to do something that no one else has done – it's about having the right mindset."

Their particular route from New York's Brooklyn Bridge to London has never been attempted, although rowing across the Atlantic has been attempted by other people.

In the run up to the mission, Mr McGlynn said he had already visited Teesside schools.

He said the mission would especially raise awareness of a growing plastic pollution problem.

He said: "It's been amazing, we've been in schools talking about the challenge and the row.

"I've done a presentation from Plastic Oceans, where I've spoken. Children take a lot more in than adults – in my eyes and I want my daughter to look at me one day, and question why I ever used plastic."

Major General Stickland, commandant at the General Royal Marines said the challenge would make history.

He said: "It's a brilliant idea and a historic journey – this 3,700-mile ocean row across the North Atlantic perfectly embodies the spirit and ethos of the Royal Marines.

"Pioneering adventures such as this serve to inspire boys and girls into service with the Royal Marines. Raising money for two great causes, The Royal Marines Charity and Plastic Oceans, this row will, in particular, raise awareness of the global issue of plastic in our oceans.

"A thoroughly worthwhile endeavour and I wish the team the very best of luck for a safe journey.”

Their mission will take place in May 2020.