Worcester University Pontoon installed at Lakeside Campus. The university required general purpose pontoon that would allow the lake to be used by students who are involved with courses and leisure activities run on site.
The Pontoon needed to have access for wheelchair users, space to step into and out of kayaks and dinghies and a Hereford Hoist sling crane to lift wheelchair users safely from their wheelchairs into watercraft. The Lake is regularly used by open water swimmers and therefore a ladder was installed for easy access to and from the water.
The pontoon was installed directly in front of the Lakeside building and comprised of a six metre outward length leading to a six metre wide section parallel to the shore. An additional section was added to provide a three sided docking area for water craft the required access to the Hereford Hoist.
A Hereford Hoist is a stainless steel derrick crane with hand operated hydraulics that mounts to the side of the pontoon and allows a seat sling to be suspended from its arm. The Hereford Hoist is then used to lift wheelchair users from their chair, safely suspended by the hoist they can then be manoeuvred over the water craft that they wish to use and safely lowered into it. The process is reversed at the end of the session when gettinhg out of a boat. The Hereford Hoist comes as a fully certified piece of lifting equipment and can be installed to a pontoon in seconds once the supporting frame has been mounted to the pontoon.
We used two flat disc 53kg mud anchors at the end of the pontoon on chains that ran diagonally under the pontoon to prevent them from snagging boats or swimmers. The water in the lake is approximately 1.6m deep so the anchors needed to be as flat as possible to prevent them becoming an obstruction. Two ground anchors were driven into the bank and the chains buried to prevent them becoming a trip hazard.
A 3.7 metre x 1.5 metre Gangway was used from the bank to the pontoon to clear the steep edge to the bank, shallow water at the edge and to provide a shallow angled access point for wheelchair users.
Railings were installed on the outward leg of the pontoon where access was not required for watercraft to increase safe access.