New yacht bears sailor’s name

24 Jan, 2011 04:00 AM

Positive outlook: After Danny Kane became paralysed down the left side of his body, he started sailing to renew his life.

DANNY Kane was proof that living with a disability did not have to stop you living life to the full.After a snowboarding accident at Thredbo led to an aneurism and stroke, Danny was paralysed down his left side in 1994.

Two years later and determined to stay active, he joined Cronulla Sailability, a volunteer program which offers people with a disability the chance to sail.

It helped renew his life and led him to join Sailors with disAbilities, which allowed him to sail in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.

“Danny fought back after his life was changed and did not let his disability ‘own’ him,” his father, John Kane, said.

“His experience enabled him to purchase his own catamaran and sail it to Airlie Beach.”

Danny was 39 when he died last year on Australia Day in Airlie Beach, after a seizure caused by his medical condition.

In his honour, Cronulla Sailability last Sunday launched a boat named Danny at Cronulla Sailing Club.

Volunteer co-ordinator Dianna Moller said that the boats allowed freedom on the water for everyone.

“We have people from as young as five up to 80 joining our club,” she said.

“Danny said sailing opened up his life to what a person with a disability could achieve, and that is the message we continue to spread to everyone who joins.”

Mr Kane said it was a wonderful program that had helped Danny lift his spirits.

“May many more disabled people sail with Sailability,” Mr Kane said.

“They should realise that life doesn’t have to stop, and they can achieve anything if they just go for it.”

Loving memory: Cronulla Sailability launched a new boat in honour of Danny Kane on Sunday. (From left) Stephen Churm, Gordon Williams and Danny's parents John and Mim Kane. Picture: Jane Dyson

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