make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Troubleshooters: Boat access at Inlet Watch Yacht Club

READ MORE: Troubleshooters: Boat access at Inlet Watch Yacht Club
inletwatch300.jpg
A disabled New Hanover County man says he is being discriminated against. Thomas Arthur has been a member at the Inlet Watch Yacht Club for the past 27 years. Mr. Arthur says marina staff had always been accommodating when it came to helping him access his boat, until new management took over. Eighteen years ago, complications following a car accident left Thomas Arthur in a wheel chair. While many of his activities had to change, Mr. Arthur still enjoys going out on his boat. He owns several boat slips at Inlet Watch Yacht Club, and says the staff there used to help him out by holding his boat just above the water so he could slide himself over the edge. Mr. Arthur says the new manager that took over a few years ago will not let his staff help anymore. "This is the third summer I've been unable to get in and out of my boat, after having been a member there for 27 years and paying $3,000 a year in homeowners dues. They just said we'll discontinue any service to you,” said Arthur. Inlet Watch manager, Troy Moore says that is not the case. "We are actively pursuing means to provide the highest level of accessibility and access,” said Moore. After Moore took over the marina, he installed a chair for the handicapped, but Mr. Arthur said it is impossible to use by himself. He says it is dangerous, and when he did try to use it, it malfunctioned and literally dumped him into the bottom of his boat. Mr. Arthur said the marina staff refused to help. "They told their dock boys do not do anything for him other than raise the boat, I mean put the boat in the water and take it out, you're not allowed to help him down the ramp, if he comes in at low tide and the ramp is real steep, you're not allowed to assist him up the ramp,“ said Arthur. Mr. Arthur said he had to call the paramedics for help when the marina staff refused to help him out of the bottom of his boat. Mr. Moore said his staff is not trained to help the handicapped, and letting them do so opens the marina up to a lawsuit if something went wrong. Mr. Arthur said he offered to sign a waiver releasing the marina from any liability, but when that did not work; he filed a discrimination claim with the Department of Justice. "Unfortunately, I’m unable to comment any further regarding this situation, because of the status, what is occurring here as well as the claim that's been filed,” said Moore. Moore says Inlet Watch has spent thousands of dollars trying to make the marina handicapped-friendly. Mr. Arthur says he did not ask them to spend any money, he just needs a hand. "They should just be helping me out. As a human being, they should just be helping me out," said Arthur. Mr. Arthur's claim with the Department of Justice is still processing. WWAY spoke to Wilmington Attorney Griff Anderson, who says this is a bit of a gray area in the terms of the law. While a business is expected to make reasonable accommodations to help the handicapped, they are not required to provide any kind of personal escort for a handicapped customer. If Mr. Arthur were to get hurt while the marina staffers were helping him, they could face some liability. However, attorneys tell WWAY that many businesses are willing to assume some risk in order to help people with physical challenges, especially people who have been customers for as long as Thomas Arthur.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Where are the man's friends

Where are the man's friends and neighbors? Why can't they assist him with his need? Also believe the Club has a moral obligation to help. If he signed a waiver for them - why not?

none of you have the

none of you have the slightest clue as to what you are talking about or what the real story is. Troy moore is a good man.

Troy..boo hoo

He's a good man? He did nothing to HELP this older man. Wow, glad my definiation of a good man is not like yours. You must miss so much in life!

Mr. Moore and his staff,

Mr. Moore and his staff, have provided nothing but the highest level of service for his members. I have seen numorous changes around the marina to help accomadate the disabled. The issue at hand is a catch 22. It is true that Mr. Arthur has been a member for a long time and should recieve assistance, but there is alot of liability on the other hand for Mr. Moore and his staff concerning disabled members. If for instance an acccident did occur to where Mr. Arthur was in need of medical assistance and was helped by the Marina staff they could be helded liable to some degree if something did go horribly wrong. I feel that Mr. Arthur should provide his own assistance, if he cannot use his boat by himself. Also i also believe that IWYC is a leader of handicapped accessiblility of Wilmington Marinas. I have personally been to the majority of marinas in the area and none of them provide any more accessibility than that of Inlet Watch. In fact most of them are way below the level of handicapped accessibility that Inlet Watch provides for its members.

not let his staff help anymore

We should start a fund for Mr. Arthur. These funds would be used to employ disadvantaged youths in a personal services contract with Mr. Arthur. Their only objective would be assisting him in and out of the boat. Creekwood and Jervay would be a great place to find strong, young men to help Mr. Arthur into his boat. They could wait at the dock, on the clock being paid until he returns in the evening. I don't think it would be long before either: Mr. Moore is fired. Or Mr. Arthur is offered a generous package to move to another marina. Or The marina incurs a lawsuit when they try to remove these youths off the property. Welcome to business Mr. Moore. Sometimes the easiest solution is also the right one.

For the marina owners to

For the marina owners to hide behind a vague liability issue is ridiculous. For goodness sake Mr. Moore have you no backbone? Try being a stand up guy for a change. I bet if you ever needed Mr. Arthur's help he would be there for you and probably has sent your marina more business than you could imagine. And don't try to imply any money you spent for handicapped access was Mr. Arthur's fault, its the law. You and your marina are a disgrace, the real issue here is whats morally {right vs wrong} not some fictitious insurance issue.

Backbone?

Backbone? Do you personnaly know MR. Moore? His needs? If he has a family depending on him? My guess is if you where in Mr. Moore's shoes, and had to choose between feeding you family and making a decision that " just made me feel better about helping someone to go out in a boat just to have fun", you would put your backbone back in a box under the bed and feed your family. Have you had a flat tire lately? Anyone stop to help you. Probalby not. Have stopped to help anyone lately? I'm sure you passed someone with probelms lately and haven't stopped to help. This is the world we live in today. A doctor cannot even help a dying person on the highway from a car accident without fear of being sued. Think about it before you judge someone you only know from a TV sound bite on a issue that the TV station had clearly made up their mind of whose side they were on. It was clearly biased. That's not journalism, but it is good for ratings.

Inlet Watch Yacht club/ disabled member

WATCHED AND READ WITH INTREST MR. ARTHUR'S PLIGHT. HE BELONGS TO A YACHT CLUB, NOT A MARINA IN THE SENSE OF THE WORD, BUT A PRIVATE FACILITY. THE LIKES OF ME JUST COULDN'T PULL UP AND USE THE FACILITY WITH OUT FIRST JOINING THE ORGINAZATION. MR. ARTHUR, A MEMBER FOR NEARLY 3 DECADES IS BEING TREATED IN A VERY BAD WAY NOT ONLY FROM MANAGEMENT FROM THE TOP TO BOTTOM BUT ALSO BY MEMBERS OF THAT PRIVATE INSITUTION. WHY NOT THE REST OF THE MEMBERS GATHER A PETITION AND THROW MANAGMENT OUT? THEY CAN. I DO NOT BELIEVE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAN DO ANY THING BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A BUSINESS THAT CATERES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. IT IS A PRIAVAT YACHT CLUB. SHOULDN'T THE MEMBERS BE TREATED BETTER. AFTER ALL, THEY PROBABLY PAY A HIGHER PREMIUM FOR THE PRIVLEDGE. IF I WAS COMMADORE OF THAT ESTABLISHMENT MR. MOORE AND HIS BOYS WOULD BE BOUNCED OUT IN A FLASH. A.PISMO CLAM

Mr Moore

I can only guess, but most yacht clubs have a members who create rules on how the club will operate. Mr Moore would not be allow to make a decision like this without their permission. If they felt he was wrong he would have already have been fired. I think most of the people crying in this forum need to redirect their away from Mr. Moore and to the people he answers to. That is if they can stop crying long enough to have a rational though.

Living and breathing Southners

Mr. Arthur, my name is not important, but my feelings are. What those people are doing to you is truly WRONG, I ran a bussiness for years, and we made ALL KIND of special arrangements to accomidate our older and handicapped customers...The marina manager could find out thier liability for this situation and work around it....or pay for insurance to cover helping a long time customer. If the marina will allow non-members on the grounds, a group of us from Surf City will ride down and help you, just call us...If this is not fixed in the next few weeks, I will contact you with how to reach us. Not ALL the people in this area are such a-holes as the marina management.. Your friends in Surf City....

Southern courtesy is dead

Since I was a small child I have been boating the waters of North Carolina. I also have been a proud North Carolinian that has served his community by helping others when others are in need. In doing these small services to the community I have always been happy to be able to say that you would only get a helping hand in a place like North Carolina, until now. I own a semi Large (32ft world Cat) boat and I recognize that it would be quite taxing to have to get in and out of much less operate my boat witout the use of my legs. If I felt confident that could manage it on my own, I would like to think that someone would be couteous enough to give me a hand, if needed. This just goes to show why most southern people in this area (like wrightsville beach) do not want a bunch of cold hearted, self centered, nose in the air folk from other places infiltrating our peaceful couteous area. It changes our way of living, where a man can help another without the precursor of filing out a waiver of responsibility, now a man feels the need to turn a blind eye to the needy. The Inlet watch management should feel ashamed of this travesty. Shame on them indeed! I will never guide my boat in their direction nor should anyone else. Leave it to the snobs.

Boat Access

I think its a real disgrace that if he asked for some help, that someone did not help him. He has been a customer for that long and no one can help. How awful. It seems always when new management takes over something it is not as good as before. If I were there I would have helped. It just shows how uncaring some people are.

handicapped boater

Looks like it's time to sell the slip and go somewhere else.

A helping hand

Not one to typically comment on a headline, this one touched me on a personal level. The summer of '84, I started my first job as a dock hand at Carolina Inlet Marina where Inlet Watch is also located. Over the the years, ten to be exact, I came to know Mr. Arthur on a customer basis as I eventually managed the parts department, then the ships store. He was man with a passion for boating who never had to ask for assistance, it was simply offered. Never to be a burden even on the heaviest of boat traffic days. It was always a pleasure to see Mr. Arthur and chat up a good fishing story or two. Cater to his needs as well as every other customer, then go about your day's business as usual. I haven't seen or spoken with him in over fourteen years, but my heart goes out to him and any other person with a disability that needs a helping hand. Shame on this manager and staff for allowing this to go unresolved for three years. Back in the day, we took care of business in five minutes and slept with a clear conscious at night. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, " Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." Tom if you need a helping hand getting in that boat, I'll be glad to help.

Handicapped boater

What a travesty that a little courtesy can't be given to Mr. Arthur. I know, the marina is afraid of a law suit, but before the new owner took over, the previous deck hands helped him out and didn't have a problem with it. It is just a shame that a common courtesy to him, just like opening a door for someone, couldn't be given.

One word: liability. Sure,

One word: liability. Sure, he said he'd waive liability--but it's not really up to him. Let's say someone at the marina helps him into his boat, then while out in the waterway or ocean, he runs into another boat, or someone in the water--the victims then choose to sue not only him, but also the marina, because they were the ones that helped him into his boat... Not really different from why bartenders don't (or shouldn't) serve people, who in their opinion, seem to be intoxicated. Doesn't matter if the bar patron says "I waive your liability", once they get involved in a DUI and cause property damage, or personal injury or death--the lawyers will go after the bartender and the bar... It may be sad... but it's true...

not like a bar

your comparing a bartender to a yacht club? They should be fully trained and equipt to handle a handicapped person. Mr. Moore sounds like a little piss ant who got some money and instead of helping make the situation better...with all his money...he's a jerk that does not care. I think he better prey he does not end up handicapped someday. God works in misterious ways Mr. Moore!