A Coventry staff sergeant helped put the British Army in the record books by canoeing down one of the most inhospitable rivers in the world.
Stuart Silvester, aged 30, from Coundon, was one of a 12-strong squad to descend the White Volta river in Africa.
The team, from Five General Support Medical Regiment, based at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, navigated a total of 1,071km in 32 days.
The team started the journey in early November, at a remote location deep in primary and secondary jungle in the north of Ghana.
They travelled up to 45km per day in six canoes, in temperatures averaging 38C to 42C. They navigated 30 rapids, dealt with the dangers of five team members falling into the crocodile-infested waters (including one total capsize) and traversed one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.
A British Army team had tried and failed to complete the descent in 1999.
Team leader Captain Mike Tomkins, now back in the UK, said: "This is a huge achievement. We are all ecstatic - as well as more than a little tired. It was an awesome experience and one we will all remember for many years to come."
The best maps the team could find were nearly 60 years old and often wildly inaccurate.
"We would suddenly come across huge bends in the river which were not on the maps. We managed to keep track of our location using GPS systems and talking to people in local villages."
The team used Canadian-built tandem canoes, in which they also carried their rations, supplies and equipment to set up camp beside the river. They were supported by a land-based team of three, driving a Land Rover specially-adapted for the terrain.
Each day, the team would get on the water at 5.30am and paddle until 10am, when the extreme heat dictated they stay in the shade. They would set off again at about 2pm and paddle for a further two hours.
Capt Tomkins said: "No matter where we stopped, no matter how seemingly isolated or remote the location, you could guarantee that within minutes we would have local people turn up at our camp. We would always have to ask permission to stay from the chief of the tribe - and they never said no."