Blind Japanese Sailor Completes Non-Stop Pacific Voyage

A blind Japanese sailor has completed a non-stop Pacific crossing, reportedly making him the first visually impaired person to do so.

Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, 52, sailed the 8,700-mile (14,000 km) crossing with the help of a sighted navigator.

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

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


Blind sailor, Mitsuhiro Iwamoto (left), celebrates his 2-month journey of crossing the Pacific ocean with his navigator, Doug Smith (right) on the bow of their sail boat.

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

His first attempt at the journey in 2013 ended in failure after his boat struck a whale and sank. He had to be rescued by the Japanese military.

Speaking at the port of Iwaki, he told Japan’s Kyodo News that completing the challenge on his second attempt was a “dream come true.”

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