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Blind daredevil to take on English Channel swim

United Kingdom,Human Interest/Society,Sports, Tue, 01 May 2012 IANS

London, May 1 (IANS) A 43-year-old blind Scottish adventurer is determined to complete his 101st extreme challenge this year by swimming the English Channel.


Dean Dunbar is training to swim the English Channel to raise money for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Families Association and the Perth & Kinross Society for the Blind.


His death-defying activities include jumping off cliffs, riding on the wings of a plane, waterfall climbing and even mountain biking, The Sun reported, adding that he was the first registered blind person in the world to bungee jump from a helicopter and be thrown from a human catapult.


Having grown up in Scotland's Edinburgh city, Dunbar was not born as blind. He had perfect vision up until the age of nine when he noticed that he could no longer read what his teacher was writing on the board.


He said: "After a few weeks my parents took me to a doctor and I was diagnosed with rod and cone dystrophy (an inherited progressive disease which causes deterioration of the cone and rod photoreceptor cells and often results in blindness)."


To raise money for the blind school where he had gone as a child and worked as an adult Dunbar decided to do a tandem skydive in 1998.


He said: "I can't describe the feeling I got from the whole experience.


"They say that drug addicts keep taking drugs so they can get the same feeling of their first high and I feel exactly the same about the sky diving.


"I've tried white water rafting, rock climbing and I was even shot out of a human catapult in Somerset. I've turned into a complete adrenaline junkie."


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