Lonnie Bedwell, a former petty officer in the Navy, lost his eyesight in a hunting accident nearly 20 years ago. After his 1997 accident, Bedwell became an extreme sports athlete, eventually learning to kayak and completing the rapids of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Last year, Bedwell met up with a group of extreme kayakers on the Zambezi River to tackle the Class V rapids of the Zambezi Gorge below Victoria Falls. Bedwell’s fellow paddlers note his ability to overcome fear as one of the qualities that help him to overcome the challenges of adaptive kayaking at such a high level.

More from C&K:

—Video: Paddling workshop for blind veterans

—Video: Blind kayakers’ descent of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado