British yachtsman Keith White, who set sail from the Cayman Islands in 2016 en route for Britain, has died.
An icon in the disability community, Mr. White, 70, was known for his long, solo journeys, made even more impressive by the fact that he was only able to use his right hand.
Mr. White lost the use of his left hand in car accident in 1991, but he never let that hold him back.
“I get a lot of motivation from other disabled people, because what I’m doing gives them the motivation to do things,” Mr. White told the Cayman Compass in April 2016. “I tell them you can do anything you want to do.”
A tribute from Dart Sailability, a British advocacy group for disabled sailors, said Mr. White died suddenly at his home on Jan. 17.
The Dart Sailability tribute, written by Tim Trent, who knew him personally, described Mr. White as “a self-effacing man, with a ready smile, a self-deprecating sense of humour, the courage of a lion, and the determination of a Jack Russell terrier.”
Facebook posts by Mr. White showed that he continued sailing on his boat, Marathon, until his final days.
His nonstop journey from Cayman to southwest England’s Dartmouth in 2016 made him the first physically disabled sailor to complete such a journey.
Before embarking on the trip, he said was cautious but never afraid of making long, solo trips.
“I don’t think fear comes into it, because you’ve got a job to do, and you get on with it,” he said. “Life’s too short. You do as much as you can while you can.”
In 2005, Mr. White became the first solo, disabled yachtsman to sail clockwise around the U.K. In 2007, again alone and with no backup, he sailed from the U.K. to the U.S. East Coast and back again.