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A fisher of wheelchair men and women

A fisher of wheelchair men and women

Sometimes it might be appropriate to quote religious texts or inspirational spiritual verses because the news story is so joyful that it reminds both reader and writer of an epic event or good deed.  The New Testament story from the Christian Bible goes something like this; Jesus, a savior of men and women, once upon a time called a group of fishermen to become fishers of men and not just fish. Over two thousand years later, one fisherman from Whidbey Island, Washington, USA, seems to have taken these words literally and to heart. He also has fond memories of his fishing past.

Mike Mayes started his own boating company, VPC. It seems to be a commemoration of fishing trips he enjoyed when he was a young boy. He says he practically grew up fishing with his father and grandfather. But then one day tragedy struck. Mayes’ father lost his leg due to diabetes and consequently was no longer able to go fishing again.

The memory of breaking his father’s heart, telling the old man that he could no longer go fishing with him, stuck with Mayes throughout his life. It also struck a chord and propelled him into action. He does not want those who cannot board and sail or travel on boats of all kinds to be left at the Quayside. This is what he did. He manufactured a specially-constructed fleet of boats for people in wheelchairs. Today he is still taking disabled folks out to sea for free rides.

Mike Mayes says that seeing the joyful faces of people after the boat ride almost makes him cry, but it also, at the same time, brings him immense joy and satisfaction.


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