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Tauranga man to become first paraplegic to sail solo across Pacific

by Rebecca Savory on 16 Oct 2014
Jonathan Martins is due to arrive in Tauranga this week to become the first paraplegic to sail solo across the Pacific. Supplied .
A flotilla of vessels will welcome home a Tauranga man as he sails the final stretch of a massive journey to become the first paraplegic to sail solo across the Pacific Ocean.

Jonathan Martins faced his fair share of challenges during the past three years but will soon complete the record-making journey - nearly a year in the making.

The past decade of his life had revolved around sailing, living in his yacht Ramana berthed at the Tauranga marina.

When a serious skydiving accident on New Year's Day 2012 left him a paraplegic, Mr Martins' love for the sea never faltered.

'But from the very first minutes, I had vowed to myself that if I lived, and no matter what physical condition I'd be in, that I was to return to my yacht and still sail the seas,' he said.

He left Tauranga with three friends for Sint Maarten in the Caribbean last summer where he used his savings to invest in an 11-metre yacht.

The group planned to fix up the yacht before filming a documentary about their simple life while sailing it home to Tauranga, but unforeseen challenges and repairs caused Mr Martins' savings to dwindle.

He flew two of his crewmen home and continued to Panama with only one Click here to read the full story.
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