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Jersey Shore town makes it easier for beachgoers with disabilities to enjoy the ocean

Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 15:59:33-04

ASBURY PARK, N.J. -- Asbury Park now has six new ways for people with disabilities to access the ocean, thanks to a donation by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

"For me, I actually want to swim to England. I want to get out as far as I can in the Atlantic Ocean because I just love it," Scott Chesney said.

Chesney, 48, lost the use of his legs when he suffered a spinal stroke at 15 years old.

The surf was too rough for a dip on Monday, but Chesney made his second trip to Asbury Park to use one of six new floating beach chairs that allows people with disabilities to enjoy the water independently.

"This was the easiest experience I’ve had, not only to access the beach but access the ocean, too," Chesney said.

Asbury Park had sand-roving wheelchairs available before, but the new chairs come equipped with yellow flotation devices. They are designed for the water.

"We definitely want individuals who are living with paralysis, their families, their caregivers -- we want them to be able to enjoy everyday activities. That includes a fun day at the beach," said Anna Chamberlain, director of marketing for the Reeve Foundation.

The new chairs are located at the beach entrances on First, Second, Third, Fifth and Sunset avenues.

For more information on how to reserve a chair, visit Asbury Park’s website or a ticket booth at the beach. The new chairs are free to use.