No bar­rier to sail­ing

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

Au­dio nav­i­ga­tion equip­ment and tac­tile charts have been used by blind army veter­ans learn­ing to sail off the coast of East Anglia.

The six for­mer ser­vice per­son­nel took part in the event which was or­gan­ised by Blind Veter­ans UK and the East Anglian Sail­ing Trust.

The au­dio nav­i­ga­tion de­vice in­cluded a flux­gate com­pass that beeps when the boat goes off course, al­low­ing a vi­sion-im­paired helms­man to steer. Tac­tile charts fea­ture raised ar­eas to show the po­si­tion of land­marks like sand­banks, while the use of a Dis­cov­ery Pen de­liv­ers au­dio in­for­ma­tion, which helped the veter­ans par­take in pas­sage plan­ning.

Roan Webb, who was dis­charged from the Royal Ar­tillery due to sight loss, said: ‘I went sail­ing for one day and en­joyed it so much that I asked to come back for a sec­ond. I had an­other fan­tas­tic day on the wa­ter and I’m think­ing of be­com­ing a mem­ber of a club.’

For fur­ther de­tails of Blind Veter­ans UK, visit www.blind­vet­er­ans.org.uk.

The veter­ans used au­dio nav­i­ga­tion units to help them sail

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