Blind Japanese sailor completes continuous Pacific voyage

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Reuters

Picture caption

Blind sailor Mitsuhiro Iwamoto (L) celebrates together with his navigator Doug Smith

A blind Japanese sailor has accomplished a continuous Pacific crossing, reportedly making him the primary visually impaired individual to take action.

Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, 52, sailed the eight,700-mile (14,000 km) crossing with the assistance of a sighted navigator.

His 12m (40 ft) yacht made port in Fukushima on Saturday morning, ending his two-month journey.

He left California on 24 February with Doug Smith, an American navigator who assisted him.

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His first try on the journey in 2013 led to failure after his boat struck a whale and sank. He needed to be rescued by the Japanese army.

Talking on the port of Iwaki, he advised Japan’s Kyodo Information that finishing the problem on his second try was a “dream come true”.

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Reuters

Picture caption

Mr Iwamoto made port in Fukushima on Saturday morning

“I am the happiest individual on earth,” he mentioned, in accordance with the information company.

Mr Iwamoto, who misplaced his sight aged 16, steered the vessel whereas Mr Smith gave him verbal steerage, advising him on wind instructions and potential hazards.

He’s the primary blind individual to efficiently sail throughout the Pacific with out stopping, the Japan Blind Crusing Affiliation says.

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Getty Pictures

Picture caption

Mr Iwamoto needed to be rescued on his first try in 2013

Decided to make the crossing second time round, Mr Iwamoto – a Japanese citizen who at present lives in San Diego – took half in triathlons.

“We undertake this voyage not just for private accomplishment, however to ship a message that something is feasible when folks come collectively,” Iwamoto wrote on his web site.

He and Mr Smith made the voyage to boost cash for charity and for efforts to forestall ailments that trigger blindness.

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