Blind California Sailor Crashes Boat in Hawaii
John Berg, who is legally blind, ended a remarkable journey through the Pacific Ocean in a devastating crash which destroyed the boat he had been living on for 14 years.
The 40-foot, voice-activated boat named “Seaquel” completed its final sail when it crashed into reef while en route to Kona, Hawaii, according to Hawaiinewsnow.com. Navigational error due to a failure in the voice-activated equipment was cited as the cause of the crash, according to a local resident.
The navigation system did not identify that the boat had gotten too close to the shore, which sent the boat into the surf.
Berg, who is described as an accomplished sailor by his friends, was accompanied by a female passenger.
Both Berg and his sailing mate were uninjured, although it took them some time and effort to find shore under the cover of darkness.
The vessel which includes some of the latest voice technology for boats did not have insurance and is a total loss. It has reportedly been looted by thieves who have stripped the Sequel of valuable equipment, including the boat’s steering wheel, bimini and winches.
Seaquel is reportedly scheduled to be removed by a salvage company hired by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources in order to avoid further damage to the reef.