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City Installs Newport Beach's First 'Human Lift' for Disabled Boaters
Newport Harbor’s first human lift, designed to expand access for disabled boaters, is now operational at the Marina Park public docks, 1600 W. Balboa Blvd.
City officials gathered informally on Thursday, May 12 to view a demonstration of the lift and commemorate the project launch.
“This lift, the first of its kind in Newport Beach, will create a more inclusive and welcoming harbor for residents and visitors with disabilities,” said Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon. “It fits perfectly with our goal of making harbor activities such as boating, sailing and kayaking more accessible to everyone.”
The equipment installation was completed in April and is now available for public use upon request, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. To request use of the lift, visitors can call the Harbor Department at 949-270-8159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lift can be used for transferring someone from the dock at the base of the gangway at Marina Park to a variety of marine craft including a small sailboat (less than 22’), a small powerboat, or kayak. The equipment can lower or raise someone from the dock down to the water level.
The $3,000 device, a Reliant 450 lift from Invacare Corp. required a complex custom installation by Swift Slip Dock & Pier Builders at a cost of about $5,000.
In addition to use by individual boaters, the City plans to incorporate use of the new human lift into an adaptive sailing program for disabled boaters of all ages. The City has purchased two RS Venture sailboats, which will be modified with adaptive equipment for people with disabilities.