The popular movie Dolphin Tale was filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Florida in late 2011. The movie was based on a true story about Winter, a bottlenose dolphin that was rescued in Florida and taken to the aquarium for help. Winter had lost her tail after becoming entangled with rope on a crab trap and was fitted with a prosthetic tail at this animal rescue facility. A Harrington electric chain hoist was used to lift Winter in and out of the tank and the hoist was captured in one of the scenes of the film.
Since the Clearwater Marine Aquarium had been the subject of a major Hollywood film it was getting a great deal of local, national and world wide recognition however the once failing facility was in need of some repair. In response to the increase in tourism generated by the film the city of Clearwater started construction on a new expansion project at the facility to include a new pool and marine rescue and research center.
Harrington Sales Representative Ted Rust and Jonathan Correa of Florida Handling Systems visited the aquarium shortly after the movie was released to evaluate the hoist used at the dolphin tank and determined that it was very old and would need significant repair. As a rescue facility, the aquarium operates solely on donations so the purchase of new equipment was not an option. Management at Harrington Hoists, Inc. and Florida Handling Systems decided to partner together and in 2013 we completed an eight month project to help with some needed upgrades. Harrington donated three electric chain hoists and Florida Handling Systems donated engineering and installation costs plus provided them with a three-year maintenance contract. Winter is now enjoying her new space and the aquarium has new hoist equipment to comfortably move her when necessary.
On September 10, 2014 members of Harrington Hoists, Inc. and Florida Handling Systems attended the exclusive Blue Carpet screening of the sequel Dolphin Tale 2 which was released in theaters on Friday, September 12, 2014.