La Jolla Shores to get more beach wheelchairs

Three new beach wheelchairs have been added to the shorelline — just in time for the busy summer months. The chairs, which have oversized wheels to make it easier to travel over sand, are available for free at lifeguard towers in La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. Users may need to leave a driver’s license or photo ID.

Amelia Opean, a paraplegic since a devastating car accident when she was 15 years old, started the push for the new wheelchairs. An avid ocean swimmer, Opean was having a hard time reaching the water because the beach wheelchair at La Jolla Shores was out of commission.

“Without the chair, my swim group had to recruit help on the beach to get me to the water or to ask the lifeguards, who, on occasion, drove me down to the shoreline,” Opean said.

Never one to be deterred, Opean started a fundraising drive to repair the wheelchair and the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association matched the money she raised.

To ensure there is always a wheelchair at the beach, Councilmember Sherri Lightner partnered with Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Todd Gloria to donate funds out of their office budgets to purchase three additional chairs.

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Posted by Phil Dailey on Jun 21, 2012. Filed under La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “La Jolla Shores to get more beach wheelchairs”

  1. Diver Dan

    It would be nice to have some beach wheelchairs at Children's Pool so my wounded warrior friend can get to the water and do what he loves, that is dive, spear fish and catch lobsters.
    One can't do that at the shores as it is in a protected MLPA State reserve. the ramp at Children's Pool would provide such access.
    I think he earned that right!

  2. David Pierce

    Diver Dan,
    The ramp is locked by Park & Recreations department. Although it is listed in the local coastal plan as a access to the ocean, P&R refuse to open it. Ask you friend to contacting Dan Deneri at P& R and ask him why you don't have the right to use the ramp to use a beach wheelchair to access the water so you can go spear fishing for serving our country.

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