Blind Japanese sailor completes non-stop Pacific voyage

A blind Japanese sailor completed his non-stop Pacific voyage on Saturday, local media reported, also becoming the first sightless person on record to navigate a vessel across the vast ocean.

Mitsuhiro Iwamoto arrived at port in Fukushima in his 12-metre sailboat on Saturday morning. Iwamoto started his voyage two months before from California, U.S.A.

Iwamoto, a 52-year-old San Diego resident, sailed from the US city on February 24. During his voyage Doug Smith, an American navigator who verbally helped him by offering information such as wind directions.

This was his second attempt after his initial voyage was cut short six years ago. At that time his yacht hit a whale and sank.

“I’m home. Thank you,” Iwamoto told the welcoming party after his yacht sailed into Fukushima, ending a journey of some 14,000 kilometres.

“I didn’t give up and I made a dream come true,” Iwamoto quoted at Japan’s Kyodo News..

It was the first Pacific crossing by a blind sailor, Kyodo News said.

Meanwhile, Iwamoto, who lost his sight at the age of 16, made the voyage to raise funds for charity, including efforts to prevent blinding diseases, according to his website.