sail-world.com -- Blind Japanese sailor's hopes dashed, rescued from liferaft
Blind Japanese sailor's hopes dashed, rescued from liferaft
Sun, 23 Jun 2013
It was a sad end to the voyage for a highly experienced blind sailor when he and his crewmate had to be rescued from their life raft after abandoning their sinking yacht in the Pacific on Friday. While it is not known what caused their 13m yacht Aeolus to be taking on water, sea conditions were very rough at the time of the abandonment.
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force on Friday reported that they rescued the blind sailor and his crew. According to the Japan Times, sailor Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, 46, and newscaster Jiro Shinbo, 57, were rescued at around 6:15 p.m. about 600nm southeast of Kinkasan Island in Miyagi Prefecture, the Coast Guard said.
They were taken to the MSDF’s Atsugi Base in Kanagawa Prefecture and appeared healthy, officials said.
Iwamoto, an active participant in yacht races for the visually impaired in and outside of Japan, left Onahama port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with Shinbo last Sunday. They were bound for San Diego, California.
Earlier Friday, an MSDF search-and-rescue aircraft tried to rescue the pair after their backers told the Coast Guard in the morning that their 6-ton yacht, the Aeolus, was taking on water.
Conditions were so bad that the amphibious aircraft was unable to and to pick up them from their life raft.
The MSDF sent another amphibious aircraft to the area to relieve the first plane, which was running low on fuel after spending an hour trying to rescue the pair.
Iwamoto and Shinbo left Osaka on June 8 and called at Iwaki, where they presented two training yachts to a high school and other clubs that lost their yachts in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, their office said.
They had planned to arrive in San Diego in August, a plan now disappointingly dashed.
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]