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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Disability won’t stop Jim taking on his tall ship challenge

AN ASPATRIA man has not let his disability get in the way of the challenge of a lifetime.

tall ship jim
SAIL AHOY: Jim Pearson of Aspatria is going on the tall ship ‘Lord Nelson’ sailing from Belfast to Whitehaven

Jim Pearson, 55, of Beacons Close, is setting sail on a tall ship despite being 30 per cent disabled.

Jim, who injured his back and right leg in an industrial accident more than 30 years ago, will sail from Belfast next month on board the Lord Nelson.

It is one of only two tall ships in the world that has been designed with the needs of disabled people in mind - the other is the Tenacious.

Both ships are run by registered charity the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Jim, who works part time as a handyman, said: “I’m excited. I’m not nervous at all yet. I know that there will be people on the ship who are much worse off than me and that hasn’t put them off. I’m at that age when you just stop worrying about things.”

Each ship is able to take a crew of 40 aged 16 years and over, who sail alongside the professional crew of 10. The crew will be made up of 20 able-bodied voyagers and 20 disabled voyagers, including up to eight wheelchair users.

The ships have been designed with features to ensure that everyone on board can take an active part in running the ship.

Jim will set sail from Belfast on June 29 and drop anchor on July 6 in Whitehaven.

He has also volunteered to work on the Lord Nelson when it docks in Liverpool for maintenance works in July.

Jim is looking for sponsorship to help the charity and anyone who wishes to make a contribution can email him at jimpea2001@yahoo.co.uk.

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