Challenged Athletes Foundation to Support Amputee’s Trans-pacific Voyage: Return to Sea Will Serve to Inspire Others

Share Article

At the end of this month, July 2011, above-knee amputee sailor John Silverwood will depart on his first major sea voyage since 2005, when his 55-foot catamaran Emerald Jane ran aground and broke apart on a South Pacific atoll while being pounded by 30-foot waves.

News Image
“I hope this trip shows other amputees that they have the ability – and the courage – to follow their dreams and not let anything stand in the way of their goals," said John Silverwood.

At the end of this month, July 2011, above-knee amputee sailor John Silverwood will depart on his first major sea voyage since 2005, when his 55-foot catamaran Emerald Jane ran aground and broke apart on a South Pacific atoll while being pounded by 30-foot waves. Accompanied by his 15 year-old son Jack, John will set out from San Diego and cross the Pacific to Hawaii to complete the first leg of the trip. From Hawaii John will singlehandedly sail the boat to the return port of San Francisco. John, who became an amputee when the Emerald Jane’s mast fell on his leg during the wreck, will feature the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) logo on the hull of his ship and will fly a CAF flag to honor the organization and to inspire others with physical disabilities to realize that anything is possible.

Just five years ago the experienced open ocean sailor was lying in a San Diego hospital bed, unsure if he would ever be able to captain another boat. John’s remarkable story – and that of his family, who also survived the wreck of the Emerald Jane – was the subject of the CBS broadcast series Live to Tell: Black Wave, I Survived on Biography Channel, and the Discovery Channel series I Shouldn’t Be Alive. A best-selling book penned by John and his wife Jean, Black Wave, recounts the family’s two years at sea and their harrowing escape from the shipwreck.

“I’m an amputee, but that doesn’t keep me from doing what I love most: sailing,” said Silverwood. “I hope this trip shows other amputees that they have the ability – and the courage – to follow their dreams and not let anything stand in the way of their goals.”

Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $30 million has been raised and almost 5,000 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, log on to http://www.challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Christie Buchanan

Roy Perkins
Visit website