Boating with Bob

Growing up, Bob and his family spent as much time as possible together in the water – boating, swimming, water skiing, you name it. In fact, Bob has always considered himself a "lake guy." Returning to school after a trip to the lake in his second year of college, he was injured in a car accident that left him paralyzed, but no less a "lake guy" at heart. This meant Bob and his parents had to get creative when it came to their favorite pastime.

Bob tells the story of his first trip back to the lake after his accident. He had gone back to Table Rock Lake with a bunch of his fraternity brothers. The doctors and therapists at the hospital warned him that he wouldn't be able to swim like he used to. Bob laughs as he describes that he put on a life jacket and a ski belt, too. His buddies helped lower him into the water gingerly, and they all watched to see if he would sink. He floated just fine, eventually taking off the swim belt, and then the life jacket too.

Bob swimming with his daughter

Eventually Bob and his parents decided to build a lake house at Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Special care was given to make sure the doors were wide enough and there was a ramp to get in. But the tricky part wasn't going down to the dock in his chair. "Wheeling back up the hill was a different story," explains Bob. So he invested in a golf cart that he uses to get around the property, with his chair in tow. Once he is on the dock, he uses a Hoyer pool life he has mounted to his dock. The lift just drops him into the water if he wants to go for a swim or into the drive seat of his boat.

Bob's lake house wheelchair ramp

Once in the boat, things are pretty simple. "A lot of people don't realize it, but boats use a throttle so you don't need special hand controls." The same is true of his jet ski. Once in the driver's seat, Bob drives around the lake like everybody else. The dock and Hoyer lift sure make things easier than in the early days when there was no dock at all (the Corps of Engineers is very strict on Table Rock Lake). Back in the day, Bob and his boating friends and family would pull their boats softly onto the shore and then Bob would transfer himself to and from the edge of the boats, straight from the golf cart. Anything for a day of boating on the lake!

Bob boating with his kids on the lake

Today, Bob is a businessman, husband, and father, and of course a boat pilot. He doesn't miss an opportunity to take his kids to the same lake house for a weekend of wakeboarding or tubing. This past October, Bob and his wife, Amy, and some of their good friends even "stole one," boating all day long (and even swimming) on an uncharacteristically warm fall weekend. His twin children had just left for college, and that beautiful lake day as just the thing to cheer them up.

As it turns out, Bob's car accident was barely a bump in the road when it came to getting him back in the water. It took a little ingenuity and imagination, but nothing was going to keep this "lake guy" out of the water.

About the Author

Bob Swiney

Bob Swiney received his B.S. in Marketing from Missouri State University, and then began a career in business. He started his medical career in 1988 selling complex rehab equipment, and then as a Branch Manager for Abby Medical.

Bob joined Sunrise Medical in 1991 as an Account Manager, and has held numerous positions over the past 23 years, each expanding his expertise. In his current role, Bob works closely with major pediatric and adult referrals & the VA. His primary goal is to support therapists to ensure their understanding of, and confidence in, the products available today so that they can prescribe the best mobility solutions for their clients.

Bob has been marries to Amy for 26 years and they live in Rockwall, Texas, just outside of Dallas. Their twin children, Garrett and Hannah, are 19 years old. Hannah attends St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, while Garrett attends the University of Alabama.

Bob's ride is a Quickie Q7

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Date: 7/5/2017 12:00:00 AM


Comments
Ron Muschong
I have a24 ft. Pontoon on a lift in my back yard. I had the lift designed where I pull in forward, stop approximately 6 inches from the seawall. I have a remote for the lift and raise it until the floor of the boat is even with the lawn. Roll off and raise the boat.
7/8/2017 7:55:48 PM
 
Mike Collins
Please have Bob contact me for possible inclusion in an article on Accessible Powerboats For Cruising that I am in the process of finishing for New Mobility magazine. A similar article about accessible fishing boats appeared in the June issue of the magazine. Anyone else who thinks they might have something to share regarding their use of an accessible powerboat, or another resource that should be added to our resource list, can contact me at unklmike@comcast.net. Mike Collins (aka Uncle Mike), contributing editor, New Mobility magazine.
7/7/2017 4:02:50 PM
 

Latest Comments

8/8/2017 | george holder
I love to hunt and fish I want to get out and go hunting and fishing but I don't have a way to d...

7/8/2017 | Ron Muschong
I have a24 ft. Pontoon on a lift in my back yard. I had the lift designed where I pull in forward...

7/7/2017 | Mike Collins
Please have Bob contact me for possible inclusion in an article on Accessible Powerboats For Crui...

6/28/2017 | Fernando Nava
Arturo is my cousin, and I´m proud of him. When he had the accident 23 years ago, all the family ...

6/19/2017 | Liliana Stagakes
Thank you for sharing Karen. You are such a strong person and truly an inspiration!

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