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A straw to steer her by

June 17, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A quadriplegic sailor began a journey around the British Isles in a sailboat she controls with her breath.

Hilary Lister, 36, set sail alone from Dover on the southeast coast of England, steering her specially adapted boat by blowing and sucking on straws to adjust the sails and tiller.

After delays because of a broken mast and electronics malfunctions, she told journalists: "Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong, so we've got to be OK now."

Lister will sail about 18 hours a day and will come into shore every night.

An inflatable boat will sail alongside her and a crew will provide support on land. She expects the journey to take about three months.

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