On his return from an operational tour with the British Army, in 2011 Thomas suffered a life changing accident playing rugby and was paralysed from the chest down.
Spring 2021 will see Thomas set out around the world, taking the purpose built, high performance catamaran Artemis through the world's most daunting oceans and to some of the most beautiful and remote outcrops of land.
Expedition Thomas Hughes
Thomas graduated from Loughborough University in 2006, and commissioned into the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) in 2007. On his return from Afghanistan in 2011, he suffered a severe spinal injury whilst playing rugby, which initially left him completely paralysed from the chest down, and unable to move or feel his hands.
Since his injury, Thomas has completed a Defence Fellowship at Oxford University, a Masters degree with Glasgow University, and, following medical discharge in 2013, has completed a PhD in International Relations with the University of St Andrews. He has qualified as both a rebreather diver and a scuba diving instructor with the British Sub Aqua Club, and is an ambassador for their Diving for All programme, which teaches those with disabilities how to scuba dive.
He is currently planning and will lead a round-the-world sailing and diving expedition, in a purpose built sailing yacht, which departs in Spring 2021.
For two years, Artemis will be home, an expeditionary diving platform, and will transport him to the most challenging, beautiful and interesting places in the world.
Artemis will head west following the trade winds, ultimately to circumnavigate the globe and overcome a myriad of challenging conditions. On the way will be a number of opportunities to explore, inform and inspire a deeper understanding of our oceans, which have shaped our history, and influence our climate, our economies, and ultimately our future.
Aboard will be some of the newest and most innovative all-terrain mobility equipment, to enable Thomas to explore places not previously accessible to wheelchair users.
An experienced diver, for Thomas being underwater gives an incredible feeling of freedom where he can do things that can’t be done so easily on land. He will use that freedom to explore the oceans' diverse and challenging environment.