An initiative aimed at providing physical and mental rehabilitation and social reintegration of members of the military, emergency services personnel and anyone who serves the public in uniform, whether paid or volunteer, is being introduced tomorrow (Saturday)
Heroes on the Water Isle of Man will be launched on Port Erin beach at 10.30am.
Kayak Fishing Isle of Man is behind the idea, in official partnership with Heroes on the Water UK.
There are also Heroes on the Water projects around the world, including in Australia and the USA.
Tony Palmer, one of the organisers, said: ‘The charity aims to use kayak angling to help in the physical and mental rehabilitation and social reintegration of our wounded heroes in uniform who have suffered physical or emotional injury while carrying out a public duty. Sessions will be provided free to all participants.
‘Heroes on the Water Isle of Man hopes to run a number of kayak fishing sessions on the Isle of Man free-of-charge each year for our service personnel, both currently serving and retired.
‘At the launch we will be holding a kayak fishing competition made up of serving emergency service personnel from the Island and members of Kayak Fishing Isle of Man.
‘Thanks to the support of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, we have been able to bring over for the launch two visitors from the UK; Paul Fennell, founder of Heroes on the Water UK, and Liam Evans-Jones, who is an injured UK veteran who has personally benefited from the Heroes on the Water initiative.’
Heroes on the Water Isle of Man also has an agreement in place with the Joey Dunlop Foundation to provide specialist accommodation at Braddan Bridge House for visiting ex-military and emergency service personnel if they are part of the Heroes on the Water initiative free of charge, subject to availability.
The Foundation’s principal aim has always been to provide specialist accommodation that will open up the Isle of Man to visitors with a disability.
Steam Packet boss Mark Woodward said: ‘For several years, the Heroes on the Water initiative has been supporting people injured while performing public duties, including military service, and providing opportunities for rehabilitation and social integration.
‘It is a positive step to see the initiative being made available here in the island, and we are delighted to be able to lend our support. We wish Heroes on the Water Isle of Man all the best with their worthwhile endeavours.’