Jersey is steeped in maritime history and boasts one of the most exciting 'marine countrysides' anywhere in Europe. Sadly, access to the water has historically been the preserve of a small percentage of islanders.
Wetwheels is a purpose-built power catamaran that allows disabled and disadvantaged people in Jersey to experience the sheer thrill of being at sea whilst being on a safe and reliable vessel. She can be used for fishing trips, exploring the coast or learning how to pilot the craft.
In her first season she brought pleasure to 850 passengers on over 140 trips. Many wheelchair users and other disabled children and adults were amongst the hundreds who enjoyed a variety of trips, including visits to Guernsey, Sark and Les Minquiers. In all, 28 charities and community groups benefitted from Wetwheels Jersey and we aim to increase this in 2015.
There is practically no barrier to getting afloat - our passengers have ranged in age from 3 to 83 and her design makes it comfortable for wheelchair users and practical for anyone with a physical disability or learning difficulty.
Our pool of volunteer skippers and highly-qualified boatmen, commercially endorsed by the Royal Yachting Association and have passed a rigorous boat handling assessment by our Senior Skipper. They are also DBS checked and have undergone disability awareness training to make sure that every passenger's trip is safe, fun and educational.
Our ethos is to make every trip free of charge. Operating expenses are minimised by the wonderful support of many volunteers and costs are covered through fundraising initiatives, generous donations by corporates and charitable trusts. We do welcome donations but these are entirely discretionary. Every penny donated is used to get more people on the water.