Count me in as well.I am also intersted in any programs with the "take a kid fishing?", boys and girls club, and any other organization that could put trips together for underprivaleged or disabled children.
We can organize such a thing. You will not find a more giving, caring, group of fisherfolk anywhere than on the PFF. For the last three years we have coordinated PFF folks who are willing to take kids out fishing on the Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo. Last year we had over 20 boats volunteering.
I am preparing a West Marine seminar on "Fishing and Boating For The Physically Challenged", which will include prepping the boat for wheel chairs, getting on and off the boat, fishing from a wheelchair, and any related issue. I am looking for input, ideas and volunteers.
I have some challenges, so am preparing my 22' Panga CC for easy loading and unloading. Tim, at Breeze Fabricators will be working with me building a special T Top with grab rails, which will allow me to board more easily.
Now, I must sit on the dock, throw my legs over and struggle in, but it's worth it to get out on the water - getting some fish to eat is a bonus. I am designing a device that will be able to be temporarily mounted forward of the console and will capture a wheel chair.
How to get someone who is paralyzed on board is a major problem. On my sailboat, we use the mainboom, swung out over the dock, with halyards led to a winch, then the person in the wheelchair is eased into what we sailers call a "Butt Bucket", which is a heavy canvas, like a modified hammock and grommets in the corners. I have not come up with any way to do this on a smaller Center Console.
Most important is to have the person put a PFD on. I use an automatic inflating life vest as it does not restrict movement and has more positive flotation than a Type A.
I hope to have my boat ready to fish in April and will be happy to take any disabled Veteran out, if he/she doesn't mind a partially disabled boat driver.
Anyone with any ideas on getting disabled folks out there, please share.
We could contact the local DAV chapter. I don't have a boat, but would love to help if we could get something going. Mydad was a Vietnam vet and was disabled. He never took me fishing or hunting because he felt he wasn't able to. It would mean a lot to me to change that for someone else. The new drive on bridge is an option, but its kinda seasonal on anything besides trout. I'll see if I can come up with some contact information on DAV. Would love to spend a day fishing and listening to war stories. Thats what I miss most about my dad.
The DAV (Disabled Americans Veterans) has a site and forms to volunteer your time.
I am unable to post the forms here, but drop me an e mail, [email protected] and I can forward it to you.
I can think of few things more noble than to take a disabled veteran out fishing. That is the least we can do. I think we should organize a PFF group dedicated to take disabled veterans and their children out fishing or just a boat ride.
We could select a weekend in April or May, get volunteers with boats and ask for local disabled veterans who would like to go. Drop me a PM or post here and I will assist in coordination.
What dates are not taken with tournaments or other events? The Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo is Fathers Day weekend, June 18 - 20.
This program was founded at Walter Reed Army Hospital. They use fishing as a rehab method at Walter Reed for some of the nations most severely wounded active duty vets. Once they are physically able after months and even years in the hospital, this program sends them on donated fishing trips all across the nation. I am sure some of you could give these guys a trip of a lifetime. They take financial donations as well since the cost of the trip is provided at no cost to the wounded.
Interesting something like this should be posted. I'm graduating nursing school in may and since I've been with the VA for 9years already my goal is to move to one of the coastal VA facilities (Biloxi, Pensacola, or PCB). This would be right up my alley. I occationally watch a fishing show where this guy takes kids out fishing and (he does this "slimey five" thing when they catch a fish just to let you know in case youmight haveseen it), anyway, this is something I would very much like to be a part of if possible. So could you keep me informed? I'll be happy to provide alternate contact info. via IM.
All of you who have volunteered on this post and anyone else who wants to get involved, let's meet at my place, 301 Edgewater Dr., 32507 at 6:30 PM next Friday evening, 26 Feb. and discuss our objective and how to accomplish it. I will provide the Yuenglings.
Organizing a fishing tournament. I have never done this?? What's in season? Time and areas. Type fish. Prizes.
Liability issues. Help!
I have scheduled a Seminar at West Marine on Barrancas, Pensacola for 27 April, 6 PM entitled, "Boating and Fishing for the Physically Challenged". Everyone is invited. We will have some anglers who have mobility issues, a Marine who now builds special wheelchairs and is working on access problems and others from the health care field.
Pending any conflicts, how about 14 & 15 May for our "First Annual Disabled Veterans Fishing Tournament". There does not appear to be any other local tournaments that weekend.
Our veterans put their lives on the line, let us put a rod and reel in their hand so they can get a line on a fish.
Organization meeting this coming Friday, 26 Feb. at 6:30 PM at my place.
301 Edgewater,32507 at the BSH, down by the bayou
We need some experienced people who know how to organize a fishing tournament. We have a tentative date 15 May. We need to discuss:
Fish to be caught, what will be inseason, hours, range of fishing area.
Trophies, awards, prizes SPONSORS $$$
Liability and releases
PR, printing rules, entries,etc
Access to boats for physically challenged, wheelchairs, special needs.
You are invited to bring spouses. We may have female wounded warriors, so we want to be able to accommodate them.
We will meet here at the BSH. I have some Yuengling or BYOB, snax are okay too. We should not take over an hour or so. I sent a PM to those who have volunteered to take their boats but forgot to name the date. Friday, 26 Feb. 2010 at 6:30 PM
I may be digressing here but, :doh this thread started out addressing the difficulty of loading disabled vets.
I go fishing with room for another crewmember occasionally, (OK all the time)but the daunting task of loading a disabled veteran has been a percieved deterrent, probablypercieved bythe DAV also.
What I would love to see, and think we should see, is a handicap access "Dock". Someplace where you, as a boat owner, can pull in, and have the "equipment" or handicap friendly docks, to load up a DAV!!!
Here's a thought. With the new VA clinic at Corry in mind, how about a "handicap access dock" at Sherman Cove? Cranes, winches, slings, cargo nets etc...... Sherman Cove is not out of the way for anyone heading out the Pass. Just think of a tournament where you can pull into Sherman Cove, or anywhere actually, and be able to load up every degree of disabilty relatively pain free!!!! Pun intended!!