A nautical charity that provided invaluable support, both afloat and ashore at the recent Blyth Tall Ship’s Regatta has been praised by the town’s Harbour Master.

The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) has 25 active units around the coasts & estuaries of the United Kingdom. The organisation’s aims are to help to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering practical seamanship and engineering skills. These skills are put to good use in the community at events such as Tall Ships and at times when called upon by the appropriate authorities.

The Tall Ships Regatta saw members of the Northumbria and Humber MVS units join together to provide support to the event’s organisers. On the river and out at sea, the unit employed its 21ft long patrol boat, “Tyne Spirit” effectively in a variety of roles including marshalling exclusion zones, general patrolling and ferrying VIPs and key operational personnel to hard to reach areas of the river.

Port of Blyth Harbour Master, Captain Martin Willis wrote to Northumbria Unit’s Head of Unit, Volunteer Officer (VO) Angela Carrington to thank her and her team for their help. In the letter Captain Willis stated:

” You should be very proud of you and your teams efforts in what has been the largest public event ever staged in Northumberland and I personally thank you for your support and assistance throughout the whole planning stages and during the event.”

VO Carrington was delighted with the letter from the Harbour Master.

“We all worked well as a team and I’m delighted with the way our planning enabled us to do exactly what we were requested to do. We all put in very long days but it really was worth it. We’ve built up some valuable contacts in the maritime community and made some new friends. We came across as professional and dedicated to the task in hand,” said Angela.

” This endorsement from the Harbour Master is the icing on the cake, it’s great to be appreciated but even better to know that what we did, we did well.”

MVS Northumbria’s next event is their own MVS Remembrance Day Parade of Sail for small boat users on the Tyne. Now in its fourth year, the event takes place from 10.30am on Sunday 13th November. The parade and wreath laying on the river attracts large crowds of onlookers at Newcastle Quayside Sunday Market and allows the boating community on the Tyne to pay its respects.

Anyone wanting to know more about the MVS or the parade of sail can contact VO Keith Newman on 07814 397951.