Weymouth charity needs new boat for accessibility

Weymouth charity needs new boat for accessibility

Published by George Sharpe at 8:40am 12th June 2019. (Updated at 8:42am 12th June 2019)

The boat offers people with disabilities the chance to go to sea.

A Weymouth boat that offers people with disabilities trip's to sea is looking for a new boat.

The current MV Freedom, moored in Weymouth Harbour, has been in service since 1994 but they say they need a replacement.

The 30 year old fishing catamaran has been adapted for wheelchair users but they want to buy from new and design something even more accessible.

Steve Davies is a volunteer skipper. He said: "If you're limited in your mobility, to be able to get on the water and to have the freedom of being on the sea then that's a tremendous joy.

"It [the MV Freedom] was built as a fishing boat so we've had to adapt it, where as if we have a new boat we can design it to suit the needs of our clients."

'Freedom of the sea'

The charity offers two hour trips to places like Lulworth Cove and Portland Marina - with a brief stop for lunch.

They believe getting people out to sea holds many benefits.

Sheila Collins is another of the boats volunteers. She said: "When I see the Alzheimers carers who came on... and one lady hadn't been out of the house for two and a half years. It's to see the joy on their face, and they're so appreciative. It makes you feel humble".

Some passengers even get a chance to steer the boat.

Going out in the Harbour gives a different view of local landmarks like Lulworth Cove and Portland.

Tamsin Sell volunteers for the Freedom. She said: "Being actually in the harbour, you see things that you didn't even know existed here.

Photo of Portland from the MV Freedom
Photo of Portland from the MV Freedom

"You can see the concrete wall from the roads, but from the sea you can see how incredibly difficult it must have been for the people who made this harbour."

The MV Freedom can currently take a maximum of 12 passengers from it's mooring in Weymouth Harbour. It's got room for four wheelchairs.

The charity says it needs one last push to be able to buy a new boat and improve accessibility. You can find out more about their fundraising on their website.