A BASINGSTOKE adventurer who has embarked on a mission to row 4,000 miles across the Indian Ocean with an epileptic cancer survivor, may have spotted a great white shark.

James Ketchell and Ashley Wilson have now set off on their epic row, following a false start last month.

The pair had been patiently waiting in Australia to re-start their mission, after their boat suffered minor damage, and managed to re-launch their boat on July 2.

Posting on James’ blog on Saturday, Euan Blake, from the communications team, said James and Ashley had experienced an “eye-opening” 72 hours.

He said: “They’ve reached the 250km mark, well past the beautiful coral reefs of the Abrolhos Islands 40km west of Geraldton, which just about marks the edge of the continental shelf.

“One of Ash’s wishes when rowing was to see wildlife, and he’s already had sight of some of the ocean’s greatest creatures.”

As they crossed the continental shelf the pair had already seen dolphins popping out of the water and a whale, believed to be a hump back.

But it was a shark, spotted by 36-year-old Ashley, that has been the highlight of their trip so far.

The dorsal fin appeared not too far from the boat, and it is thought it could have been a 4.5m great white, spotted only a week previously by fishermen off the West Coast.

Euan said: “As Ash was concentrating on rowing he couldn’t see any more of the magnificent creature so couldn’t be sure to its exact size.”

He said the rowers are in “good spirit” but added that the supporting winds they had expected had not materialised, making rowing tough as they battle to make headway across the ocean.

Thirty-two-year-old James, 32, a Scout Ambassador who has rowed the Atlantic, climbed Everest and cycled around the world, is hoping to break a world record with Ashley by becoming the fastest pair to row across the Indian Ocean, in less than 86 days.

Euan said: “Its a long way to go still and with the world record in sight the boys are rowing to make history!”

James and Ashley are raising funds and awareness for The Scout Association, Young Epilepsy and the Elifar Foundation.

They will be taking part in live sponsored calls during the row to raise extra funds.

Contact Euan on 447854 155514.

To support the causes by donating visit nothings-impossible.co.uk.