Contact: Shane Wilson
Fishing’s Future is extremely excited to be sharing this trailblazing initiative with the Rio Grande Valley. June 2nd, at Jim’s Pier on South Padre Island at 11:30 AM, the “ICAN” will be officially christened. Fishing’s Future is launching their newest program specifically for Families with disabilities. The “ICAN” initiative began last summer as Shane Wilson, founder & CEO of Fishing’s Future, had a casual encounter with a paraplegic while walking his dogs. Shane met Tim Lippoldt and the two began talking about the difficulties individuals face when confined to a wheelchair.
“Before Tim’s accident he was a vibrant individual with a Captain’s License. He grew up in Port Isabel and South Padre Island and spent most of his life on the water. He was part of the community giving his time and expertise freely to all. Six years ago, he was involved is an accident and his spinal cord was severely damaged. He has been confined to a wheelchair since,” stated Wilson.
Wilson started Fishing’s Future in 2007 to strengthen family bonds and increase participation in fishing. Today, Fishing’s Future has spread into twenty states educating more than a 1,100,000 individuals and hooking families back together through the nation’s foremost fishing education program. Now, Fishing’s Future is launching the “ICAN” vessel which is a twenty-five-foot Triton specifically designed for families with disabilities. The “ICAN” has been modified with heightened railings, an open floor plan, wheelchair tie downs, and what makes the “ICAN” so unique is the permanently mounted lift that sits directly behind the captain’s station, which had to be repositioned to accommodate Captain Tim’s wheelchair.
This lift is not designed to bring an individual and his/her wheelchair on or off the boat, its purpose is to lower an individual into the water so they can again experience the freedom of playing in the water. As they come out of the water, a hand shower is readily available to rinse off all the saltwater before they lift themselves back onto the boat. This is the only vessel of its kind in American with these features and for this purpose.
What makes this even more special is the vessel’s name, “ICAN”. Many times, individuals with disabilities let their disability define them, the “ICAN” is created to remove the mental barrier of “I Can’t” by showing them that another paraplegic, named Tim Lippoldt, has renewed his captain’s license and is the captain of the “ICAN”. The “ICAN” slogan is, “I CAN”, I did, I will again! To venture out on the “ICAN” a family must first take 4 45-minute fishing educational skill zoom sessions then travel to South Padre Island, TX for a fishing experience of a lifetime. Registration is required for all zoom sessions and fishing trips.