U.S. Sailing Center host pediatric patients in open ocean sail

Youth from Miller’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach took the helm in June 30 event.

LONG BEACH — Children with special healthcare needs were treated to an afternoon on the water, June 30, as the U.S. Sailing Center hosted pediatric rehabilitation patients from Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach in a partial day of sailing and navigating the open ocean.

More than two-dozen youth patients with conditions such as brain injuries, neuromuscular disorders and spina bifida – among others conditions – boarded five sailboats and sailed the waters just outside of Long Beach Harbor.

Family and care team members also participated in the two-hour educational cruise.

Each patient was taught the basics of sailing, such as how to navigate the water and operate certain functions of a vessel. Skippers, for example, demonstrated how to handle a rudder or adjust sails.

Skippers also reviewed sailboat safety practices and procedures.

At one point the patients were given the opportunity to demonstrate what they learned by taking the helm and navigating the water.

U.S. Sailing Center and the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at Miller’s Children and Women’s Hospital jointly coordinated the June 30 event.

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program’s annual summer series, according to the hospital, includes experiences such as sailing, flying, scuba diving and horseback riding.

“These events encourage patients to seek out new activities and give them something to look forward to while they are receiving regular therapy throughout the summer,” hospital staff said in a released statement.

U.S. Sailing Center in Long Beach also works with other organizations, such as Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation and Braille Institute of Orange County, in offering sailing programs to disabled sailors.

Programs often include day sails aboard the center’s modified Cal 20 fleet.

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