Beach wheelchairs make NC surf accessible


WILMINGTON (AP) — It’s much easier now for people who have challenges walking to get to the surf in southeastern North Carolina.

The beach towns in New Hanover County offer beach wheelchairs — chairs with fat wheels that can easily glide over the sand where conventional wheelchairs can’t go, the StarNews of Wilmington reported (http://bit.ly/1Iqk4OE).

According to the newspaper, visitors can call and reserve chairs from recreation departments in Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and from the fire department in Kure Beach.

The towns have a total of 18 beach wheelchairs available.

Katie Ryan of the Wrightsville Beach’s Parks and Recreation department said the town received its first chair 16 years ago and has added more since.

“We have five and most of them are out the entire summer,” Ryan said.

Carolina Beach also owns eight of the chairs, and Kure Beach has five of its own.

On Tuesday, Ed Craig and Michael Posey of Greensboro visited Wrightsville Beach with their friend Timothy L. Reeves Jr., who has a developmental disability. Reeves made use of a beach wheelchair, something that Posey said keeps the group coming back to visit.

“If you’re going to drive four hours to the beach, you might as well enjoy it — touch the water,” Posey said. “This would be impossible without the chair. … It’s essential for us to have a good time.”

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