Royal Regatta sloop sets sail on voyage to help charity conquer ‘sea blindness’

AN historic sloop that took part in the Royal Regatta last summer as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations has set sail on a week of excursions along the East Coast to encourage more people to consider a career at sea.

The Spider T with her main sail flying. Picture: Chris Horan

The Spider T will sail from her home in Keadby to Hull, Bridlington, Scarborough, and Whitby and will be open to the public in each port.

The project has been organised by the Hull-based Sailors’ Children’s Society as part of Seafarers’ Awareness Week.

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Deanne Thomas, the society’s chief officer, said: “The work we do supporting disadvantaged children of seafarers is on the increase.

“However, there is a general belief that UK seafarers are reducing in numbers. We call this sea blindness and the aim of this trip is to help people understand that as an island nation half the food we eat in the UK is imported, most of which comes by sea.

“As the number of British men and women employed in traditional seafaring roles declines, opportunities to work at sea are increasing in growth areas, including cruise ships and superyachts; fish-farming and shell fishing; plus wind, wave and tide power projects.”

The trip, sponsored by Associated British Ports, also aims to highlight the charity’s work and support it offers.

The Spider T, which was built at New Holland in 1926, was part of a 1,000-strong flotilla that sailed up the Thames last June.