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Blind American attempts Cuba-to-US kayak crossing

Published on Apr 26, 2014 6:11 AM
Blind US athlete Peter Crowley (Second left) and his son Peter Crowley Jr (left) pose with the Cuban (left) and US flags at the Marina Hemingway in Havana, on April 25, 2014 before the former attempts to cross the Straight of Florida between the coasts of Cuba and the US in a kayak. -- PHOTO: AFP

HAVANA (AFP) - A 56-year-old blind American set off in a kayak on Friday in an attempt to cross the treacherous Florida Straits that separate Cuba and the United States.

Peter Crowley left Havana at 12:35 pm (1635 GMT) in his red boat, accompanied by his son who is guiding him from a separate blue kayak.

As he forges the 150km stretch of shark-infested waters in a push to reach Key West, Florida within 24 hours, a catamaran sailboat will also be following along.

"It means so much to me," said the athlete, a married father of three, who since birth has suffered from optic atrophy - a malformation that prevents the optic nerve from functioning properly.

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