Water wheelchairs coming to Vancouver beaches this summer

Vancouver Park Board/Twitter

It’s another big step toward making Vancouver beaches more accessible: people in wheelchairs will now be able to enjoy the ocean as well.

The Vancouver Park Board has purchased 10 new water wheelchairs, that are available for rent as of June 1.

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“This is an added feature to get people into the water,” said Vancouver Park Board Director of Recreation Donnie Rosa.

She said the purchase comes a year after the park board installed wheelchair mats at a local beach.

“We put mats last year at English Bay as a trial and, as a matter of fact, they were so successful that we left them out all winter,” she said.

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“I’ve been out there myself talking to people and giving information out and the response is just, people are surprised and elated.”

The 10 water wheelchairs will be available at several Vancouver beaches and pools.

“If we find that we need more at one beach or another, we’ll move them around. It’s a flexible thing, we’re learning as we go”

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The chairs will be used on a first come first serve basis and require an attendant who is capable of assisting properly.

They’re also free to use and are available until the end of Labour Day weekend.