Blind man to paddleboard across seven lochs in seven days
By Laura Piper, STV News – 8th August, 2016.
Dean Dunbar has set out on the challenge with his dog Commander Stumpy and two friends.
One morning, at the age of nine, Dean Dunbar went to school and couldn’t read the blackboard.
It was going to be OK though, doctors said. Although things seemed blurry then, no doubt his sight would likely return by the time he turned 20.
It didn’t. In 1996, at the age of 27, Dean’s sight dropped so suddenly and steeply, he was advised to start learning Braille and get a guide dog.
From then on Dean was registered blind.
“I had two choices,” he says. “I could sit at home and moan a lot, or I could get out there and do something.”
Dean gamely chose the second option and his compulsion to try anything and everything took over.
Since then, he has bungee jumped out of a helicopter, been thrown from a human catapult, taken a sledge over a waterfall and driven a tank.
“I couldn’t see where I was going but that didn’t matter,” says Dean. “For me it is always about the challenge.”
Now, the adventurer is at it again, this time with a bid to become the first blind man to paddle board across Scotland’s seven largest freshwater lochs.
“We’ve nicknamed them the ‘Magnificent Seven’,” says Dean. “It was my mate Ian who suggested it and we were just stupid enough to say yes.”
Travelling 154 miles, Dean and his two friends Ian Cormack and Allistair Swinsco, will traverse seven lochs in seven days starting on Monday.