Blind veteran Richard gets hooked on fishing again

18 May 2018 11:00

We regularly run activity weeks which help our blind veterans build their confidence and discover or rediscover skills. Fishing week was no different.

Richard with one of his catches

Organised for our Working Age blind veterans, fishing week was an opportunity for our veterans to try something new, and for some a chance to reignite a hobby that they thought wasn’t possible due to their sight loss.

For one of our blind veterans, Richard, it was a life changing week.

Our fishing week veterans and staff at our Llandudno centre

Joining the Boy Service at the 15 year old, Richard joined HMS Ganges in 1968 and completed his training at HMS Raleigh. He saw service initially aboard HMS Malcolm as well as HMS Salisbury, Shavington, Hermes and Eskimo. The majority of his service was spent sailing in the waters of the U.S., Caribbean, South America, Africa and Mediterranean. Later in his career, Richard spent time serving in the North Sea as part of Fisheries Protection. Richard left the service at the rank of Marine Engineering Mechanic 1st Class in July 1980.

After leaving the service, Richard joined the General Post Office as a driver and worked there until 2015 when he left due to suffering Glaucoma in both eyes.

Talking about the fishing week, Richard said:

"I’d always been a sea fisher. I’d go with my dad and brother. But since losing my sight, I’ve only been fishing once. I’d never been coarse fishing before and was a little unsure about it at first. But it was fantastic! I loved every minute. I caught the most fish too! I was able to thread the line through the hook with my tongue – it all came back to me."

Two of Richard’s friends who regularly go fishing have invited him along to their next trip: ‘I rang them up to tell them about the fishing week and when they invited me to go with them, I jumped at the chance’.

Richard sea fishing in Llandudno

Since joining Blind Veterans UK last year, Richard has discovered that although he’s lost much of his sight, he can still live a full life and enjoy many of the things that he did before losing his vision. He says:

"Before I joined Blind Veterans UK, I was depressed and would just sit at home. I didn’t feel I was able to do anything. But now, my confidence is soaring and I’m so happy. I’m excited to try new things. I’ve just signed up to the next technology course at the Brighton centre."