Ocean Youth Trust South’s Prolific visits Port of Ipswich for the first time

August 24, 2017

Images Caption: Young crew aboard the vessel Prolific 2017

Following the success of the Ipswich Maritime Weekend Festival, a crew of young people and volunteers has arrived at the Port of Ipswich aboard Ocean Youth Trust South’s new vessel, Prolific.
The charity Ocean Youth Trust South has been operating since 1960 and works with young people aged 12-25 by running voyages designed to help them develop the skills to succeed in life.

While the charity has run many voyages in and out of Ipswich in the past, this week’s visit is the first for Prolific. Built in 2005, as a tribute to the herring-fishing vessels in operation along the Norwegian coast during the 19th century, Prolific is a hybrid of historic design and modern-day construction. She is 30 metres long, including bowsprit, and usually sails with a crew of 12 young people plus up to 8 adult staff and volunteers.

James Boyce skippered the final leg from Cuxhaven to Ipswich, via Harlingen and Amsterdam, and said: “It’s great to be back in Ipswich – it’s such a convenient, efficient and friendly port for our return to the UK. We had a 17-year old, Lauren Mackenzie, doing the navigation as we came in, and the communications from the port were exceptionally good.

“We also had teams of young people planning the pilotage up to Ipswich and I was very proud to see what a great job they did, especially as several of those involved had never been on board a boat before this week.

“The staff member operating the lock into Ipswich Haven was very helpful and welcoming, and we were secure in the marina at 11pm on Monday, 21 August. Today we will hand over to a crew of young people with visual impairments from the MACS charity for young people born without eyes or with under-developed eyes. They will be sailing Prolific back from Ipswich to her home port of Southampton.”

Paul Ager, ABP’s divisional port manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ocean Youth Trust South’s newest vessel and support the important work they do to instil a love of the sea in young people.

“There are many important life skills young people can learn through sailing such as team working, communicating and problem-solving, which can really build up their confidence. We are pleased that the young navigators found it easy to communicate with members of the ABP team and we hope they will enjoy their stay at our port. It is great that Prolific will be sailing from Ipswich to Southampton which is a sister port to Ipswich within ABP.”