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Icom UK will be sponsoring a very special display by Mark Threadgold at the Southampton Boat show this year. At 12.15am on Friday 10th September, Mark will be giving an extraordinary display of boatmanship aboard his record holding RIB - all the more remarkable for the fact he is blind.

Mark will drive a 6.5 metre Humber RIB solo around the Hydropool Marina receiving directions through an Icom IC-F51 Commercial VHF handheld radio together with HS-94 Headphone set. Major John Winskill from the British Army will stand on the side of the pontoon giving Mark directions.

Mark served as a Telecommunications and Electronics Engineer for 15 years in the Royal Corps of Signals before losing his sight in 1999. With the support of St Dunstan’s Mark has been able to rebuild his life. Mark is now an intrinsic member of the St Dunstan’s Awareness Team which aims to raise the public profile of St Dunstan’s - the charity that provides independence through rehabilitation and training for blind ex-Service men and women.

Mark Threadgold said, 'I first visited St Dunstan's when I lost my sight back in 1999. I went straight from Hospital and spent a year in the training centre in Ovingdean near Brighton and it was here that I was able to turn my life around completely. I used to actively take part in a number of waterborne sports and activities including diving and water skiing before I lost my sight so I had a fair amount of experience on the water. 2 years ago Major John Winskill from the British Army organised a trip around the UK. He wrote to St Dunstan's and asked if anyone wanted to take the boat around the Isle of Wight. I volunteered and ended up driving Ad Astra on a World Endurance Record around the Isle of Wight. opportunity that was too good to be missed and one that lead me to put my boating skills to further use.’

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