The ocean has long been known for its transformative powers. Veterans wounded in the service of our country are discovering the healing effects of a day on the water through Blue Water Warriors. The non-profit organization takes these men and women out in a specially-designed adaptive boat that features gyro stabilization donated by Seakeeper. Like many great ideas, this one began as a collection of smaller, disparate pieces. Yacht captain Andrew Grego met a charter guest who was battling cancer, yet experiencing respite through the restorative nature of the sea. She introduced him to a veteran severely injured in Afghanistan who, in turn, led him to more vets at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.From this, Grego started Blue Water Warriors. He would require help from the marine industry if he was to build a stable boat that could accommodate the unique needs of an injured vet. Grego turned to Seakeeper, who was immediately on board.
«Without them,» he said, «there’s no way we could have afforded to do what we’ve done.»We’re proud to be part of the Blue Water Warriors team,» said Andrew Semprevivo, Seakeeper VP of sales and marketing. «Our desire is simply for our technology to help those who have served us so well.» Warrior, a custom 37.5′ off-center console sportfishing boat, is the result of Grego’s inspired idea. Extra wide swing-open transom and side doors, and deck-level boarding ramps allow easy entry. An oversized, dual-level head includes a floor that lowers electronically for wheelchair access. For fishermen, there’s a specially-adapted, custom-built fighting chair and harnesses. Veterans can snorkel, or simply go cruising and restaurant-hopping.
Everything on the vessel is designed to minimize limitations. Installed beneath a clear lazarette, the innovative Seakeeper gyro reduces resonant roll by up to 90%, whether the boat is at rest or underway. Onboard guests are safer and more comfortable, adding to the enjoyment of their time spent on the water. «Some who go out are on prosthetics, in a wheelchair, or use crutches,» said Grego. «To have a stable platform out on the water is a huge advantage. They don’t need to get hurt any more than they are.» Since November 2014, the organization has been transforming lives. «I’m humbled by the generosity you’ve shown me,» said SNR SGT Andrew Casey, USAF, after spending time on Warrior. «Through people like you, the invisible wounds of war will be healed.» Blue Water Warriors is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. Its second boat is being built by Vision Boat of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The organization’s goal is to have six vessels near military hospitals on the eastern seaboard. Its website is www.bluewaterwarriors.org and a video is at bit.ly/1F5SKGd.
Seakeeper is the global leader in gyro stabilization. Designed for both new builds and refits, the company’s range of five models fit a wide range of vessel lengths, from 30’–220′. The units are compact, lightweight, quiet and draw minimal power. www.seakeeper.com.