Blind sailor to try voyage again SAILING

August 11, 1993|By Doug Brown

Hank Dekker, bidding to become the first blind person to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean, hopes to start for the journey for the second time Monday or Tuesday.

Dekker had to turn back less than 200 miles into the trip 12 days ago because of electronics failures and a three-inch crack in the hull of his 30-foot sailboat.

Dekker had planned to leave this week, but repairs are being made to his boat in Atlantic City, N.J., and are taking longer than expected.

"The boat was struck by lightning," said Pat Maurer, public information coordinator of the National Federation of the Blind, the Baltimore-based organization that is sponsoring Dekker's trip. "At the time, Hank didn't realize it was the lightning that caused the electrical problems. When repairmen opened things up, the copper wires had melted. The radio had to be replaced and the global positioning device rebuilt."

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