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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 May 2004, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
New boats for wheelchair anglers
Wheelchair users can skipper the boats independently
Seven boats specially designed for use by disabled people have taken to the waters in north Wales.

The vessels - called Wheelyboats - are designed to allow easier access by wheelchair users easy access. Each one has a simple-to-mount ramp and a flat deck.

The Environment Agency Wales has bought seven of the boats for use on its lake fisheries across north Wales.

Two boats were launched at Llyn Trawsfynydd, and there are plans for

the other boats to be used at Tal-y-Llyn, Llyn Nantle, Cefni Reservoir and Llyn Brenig.

The Environment Agency paid 50,000 for the boats, which have been skilfully designed to enable disabled anglers to have more independence when enjoying their sport.

The Wheelyboat has a nice flat deck and means that the wheelchair user is totally independent
Andy Beadsley, Wheelyboat trust

The boats, designed by the Wheelyboat Trust, have a bow ramp which lowers onto the shore for easy wheelchair access.

Once on board the stable vessel, wheelchairs can be manoeuvred easily because of the flat and unobstructed deck.

"These boats will provide an excellent opportunity for local and visiting disabled anglers alike to fish lakes in north Wales," said Julian Bray, Sustainable Fisheries Project Manager for North Wales.

"Disabled anglers will now be able chose to fish a number of different lakes in the area with excellent angling opportunities.

"Llyn Trawsfynydd is well known as a trout fishery and the Wheelyboats will now provide disabled anglers with a great opportunity to explore this large lake and boat fish for trout," he added.

Andy Beadsley, director of the Wheelyboat Trust , which makes the vessels, said that the boats meant independence for disabled anglers.

"The Wheelyboat has a nice flat deck and means that the wheelchair user is totally independent because they can get on and off the boat on their own," he explained.

"It gives them complete freedom to skipper the boat themselves."

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