Hoist gives marina access to the disabled

HYDRAULIC HELPER: Paraplegic Peter Dolamore is the first to try out a new disabled person hoist at the Te Anau marina. Project leader Brian McCandless, orange lifevest, and Te Anau Fresh Choice owner Keith Cullen, who was one of many donors to the project, assisted.
HYDRAULIC HELPER: Paraplegic Peter Dolamore is the first to try out a new disabled person hoist at the Te Anau marina. Project leader Brian McCandless, orange lifevest, and Te Anau Fresh Choice owner Keith Cullen, who was one of many donors to the project, assisted.

The joys of Lake Te Anau watersports have become more accessible after a disabled person's hoist was installed at the boat marina yesterday.

Project leader Brian McCandless said the hoist was the first marina hoist in the Southland area and the only medically approved hoist in the country.

McCandless, who is on the Yachting New Zealand Committee for People with Disabilities, said he was inspired to launch the project after attending the 2012 London Paralympic Games sailing regatta.

You never know where the next potential paralympic medal winner could come from, he said.

The hydraulic equipment can be used to transport those with limited mobility to and from boats, ensuring the safety of the customer and the person making the transfer.

It cost about $15,000 to install, and was funded by a combination of fundraising, Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Trust grants, Fiordland Rotary club donations and other community funds.

It was available to all Te Anau Boating Club members, but if any person with a disability wanted to try sailing, they could contact him through the Te Anau boating club for access, McCandless said.

The Southland Times