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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
New yacht for wheelchair sailors
Inventure is run by an hydraulic motor controlled by levers
A former Navy pilot paralysed in a ski accident is turning his specially adapted yacht into a charity venture to help disabled sailors back to sea.

Trevor Jones, 43, from Fulham, south west London, developed the Inventure for himself after his accident in 1988.

But now he has adapted the 60ft yacht into a training facility to allow disabled people to take it out for day trips or longer voyages.

It will sail up to St Katherine's Dock in London for the launch on 24 June.

Mr Jones told BBC News Online: "I had my accident at the end of the Eighties - sailing was my passion and my life at the time.

"But I had horrible times on other people's boats being cold and immobile. I just wanted to be back at sea but hated the experiences I was having."

Trevor Jones
As a Navy pilot Mr Jones rescued Richard Branson from a ditched balloon
He heard about a yacht developed by an aeronautical engineer which had a solid sail without ropes, which can get tangled in a wheelchair's wheels.

Over the next two years he fitted it out with a flat deck, heating, wheelchair access, special beds and showers. Its hydraulic motor can be controlled at the push of a lever.

After he took it around Britain for three months in 2001, the Cadogan charity offered him funding to make Inventure into a training yacht for disabled people.

Its first trip last week took 20 people around the Solent.

"Originally I thought it would be for people like myself, but the first clients we have had have been people with learning difficulties," Mr Jones said.

"We can take it across the Channel, across the Atlantic or we don't have to leave the harbour.

"It is making something that everyone else takes for granted available to those who can't."

Disabled sailor's hopes dashed
16 May 02  |  England
Round-Britain skipper sails on
20 Oct 01  |  England

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