AN Aberdeenshire man is hoping to become the first person in Scotland to complete a solo row across the northern Atlantic Ocean from Canada back to the country, in a boat he is building himself.

Peter Rhodes, 35, will undertake the gruelling 2000-nautical-mile row next year with the aim of raising £50,000 for Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, after its staff played a major role in saving the life of his new-born son last year.

Cedar, who celebrated his first birthday on Monday, was just nine days old when he fell ill and had to receive life-saving care to stabilise his condition in Aberdeen before being flown to Glasgow for emergency heart surgery.

The experience has inspired Peter to raise money through the Grampian Health Board Endowment Fund, which will be used to provide additional amenities for Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital’s patients and staff, as well as help pay for research and equipment.

The 35-year-old has worked as a rope access manager at Sparrows for the past three years and the company has become his principal sponsor. The firm’s support has allowed Peter

to begin building the six-metre-long fibreglass vessel in his family garage in Alford, Aberdeenshire.

Peter moved to Aberdeenshire five years ago with his wife, Kate. As well as Cedar, their youngest child, they have three other children: Heidi (6), Poppy (4) and Zach (3).

The row is scheduled to start in May 2020 and expected to take

50 days, beginning at St Johns in Canada and ending in Oban.

Rhodes said: “Helping with fundraising is the least we can do to repay the team at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital for saving Cedar’s life. More people have climbed Mount Everest than rowed the Atlantic, so this challenge provides that opportunity. Aiming to be the first person to complete the journey in Scotland has made me even more determined.

“I’m extremely grateful for the support from my family and Sparrows.”