A whole new avenue of fun has opened up for area beaches like Padre Island, Magee Beach, and North Beach for handicapped people who often can’t push their chairs through the sand to get to the water. The city will enable individuals with mobility impairments to participate in beach recreational activities with new floating wheelchairs.
The Corpus Christi Park and Recreation Department has purchased seven new beach floating wheelchairs to allow people with disabilities to not only make it to the water’s edge but to also float out to sea.
“It definitely makes our jobs easier. It makes those people that have physical disabilities have something they can take into the water and not have to worry about having someone else having to carry them as such. It makes our job easier because we don’t have to worry about them so much,” said Corpus Christi Beach Rescue Senior Lifeguard Armando Andraee.
The new Water Wheels made by Access Rec.have big balloon tires and can roll people with mobility issues safely across the sand and into the water.
“It is pretty exciting to get people with physical disabilities to be able to enjoy the beach just like anybody else and have no fear of getting into the water,” said Andraee.
The Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center is a 162-acre nature preserve that is filled with the wonders of our natural world. But for those exploring the 4 miles of nature, viewing trails in a wheelchair can be a challenge.
“We really want to be a place for everybody, to be a safe nature space. Recently we got two wheelchairs to help people with mobility impairments so they also can enjoy the trails with their family. We are doing this with the beach and the Park and Recreation Department. We believe everybody should get a chance to come outside and play,” said Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve Manager Sara Jose.
Standard wheelchairs are not equipped to handle many of the preserve’s trails, but the all-terrain wheelchair is not your average wheelchair.
“They sit a little lower, but they have double tires and a big front balloon tire, that hopefully makes navigating trails, that may be soft, or a little bit rocky, a little bit easier. They can be pulled or pushed, so family members can help these people move around our trails,” said Jose.
The Mobi-chair beach floating wheelchairs will be available Memorial Day weekend. The wheelchairs are free to the public and will be loaned out on a first come, first-served basis.
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