Port gives sailing charity a vital lift

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The Port of Blyth has given a major lift to a north east sailing charity by removing a 70-foot mast from its flagship yacht.

Staff took time out from the business of unloading and storing cargo shipped from across the globe to help North Shields-based Ocean Youth Trust North.

Cargo handlers used a Liebherr 420 crane to lift the mast clear of the yacht’s decking and set it down for storage in the port’s warehouses over winter, at no cost to the charity.

Steve Lennon, general manager of OYT North, said: “We are hugely grateful and thankful to the Port of Blyth, its management and specialist staff for generously lifting off James Cook’s mast, a service which can be extremely expensive when carried out on a commercial basis.

“It’s a huge helping hand to us and demonstrates the generosity and warmth of spirit that exists among the north east maritime community.”

The Port of Blyth is one of the busiest cargo ports in the UK, handling over 1.5m tonnes of goods each year.

Kevin Vyse, terminal manager for Port of Blyth, said: “James Cook and OYT North are friends of the Port of Blyth. We regularly see the bright yellow ketch sailing off the north east coastline and we admire the work they do in our communities and with our young people.

“It’s the least we can do to try and make sure they are able to continue offering opportunities for young people to experience the challenge and thrill of ocean sailing.”