Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience took patients from Shriners Hospitals for Children out on the water Saturday.

The program, which started in 2001, allows community members with physical and mental disabilities to sail independently on Presque Isle Bay.

With special access dinghies and larger keelboats, they can accommodate a variety of mobility and developmental issues.

Special lifts helped the young sailors into the boats for an experience that teaches teamwork and perseverance and is just fun.

They can turn on the water with a joystick, instead of a rudder and tiller.

Two people get into each boat - one of which is an experiences sailor.

"We get a lot of the sailors on these special event days," said Bren Lindell of the Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience. "This is their first time sailing. Today has perfect wind conditions. We have rolling waves out there, so the kids get a nice feel of going up and down. The boats are very safe. These are specially designed for children with disabilities."

"It's lots and lots of fun," said Henry Moss who got to go sailing. "Thank you very much."

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