San Diego sailor with prosthetic leg seeks redemption with solo voyage

Silverwood's family shipwrecked 12 years ago
Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 21:37:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego sailor is looking to redeem himself for a 2005 accident that shipwrecked his family in the South Pacific. 

John Silverwood’s entire family nearly died and he lost his left leg. Silverwood, 65, will leave Thursday by himself on a three-week voyage to Hawaii.

“There’s about five different reasons why we shipwrecked and they’re all interrelated,” said Silverwood as he readied his boat docked at Harbor Island. “If our course was different by 20 yards, we never would have hit.”

His family’s boat, the Emerald Jane, smashed into a reef in the South Pacific. The spreaders on the mast fell directly onto Silverwood’s leg.

“Right through my leg, through every bone, every artery,” recalled the Rancho Santa Fe man.

He and his family were rescued and Silverwood survived despite losing roughly 70 percent of his blood.

“Do I think it’s a handicap? To be honest with you, no,” he said standing on his new boat with a prosthetic left leg a decade later.

He’s using the voyage for redemption but to also raise funds for his non-profit, GodSwell Sailing. 

“I’m hoping to get enough donations to fund the purchase of a GodSwell boat,” he said about his plans for a boat equipped for disabled passengers.

“It’s crazy to have a town like San Diego and nobody’s serving that demand,” said Silverwood. “I want to take people that are ill out and make them feel better.”

Silverwood plans to leave on his voyage August 17 at 2:00 p.m.