Calling all mariners! Urgent appeal for Lydia Eva skipper
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The guardians of an historic herring boat have issued an urgent appeal for a skipper.
Ruth Read, booking officer for the Lydia Eva, said a plan to take her out to sea during the Great Yarmouth air show could be sunk unless a replacement captain is found.
A clutch of dignitaries and paying guests are reportedly looking forward to enjoying the perfect vantage point on June 16 as planes roar over the sea.
Some have paid £195 for the privilege of viewing the spectacle from the world’s last remaining steam drifter away from the crowds.
However at the 11th hour the charity’s regular captain has had to pull out meaning the trip might not go ahead.
Mrs Read said two sailings were scheduled on both June 16 and 17 to coincide with the town’s first air show.
They are the boat’s first public sailings for three years after a major boiler problem.
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Thanks to a £25,000 donation from Henry Cator, High Steward of Great Yarmouth, the machinery has now been fixed and Mr Cator is among guests set to enjoy a steam-driven trip on the Saturday.
The stand-in skipper needed to have all the relevant qualifications, but there were no special licences needed to steer a vintage boat, she said.
The Lydia Eva, although more than 80 years old and still travelling under coal-powered smoky steam, did have modern gizmos and navigation aids common to most craft.
Passengers on the trip are offered the chance to steer and do some stoking.
“Hopefully there will be someone available for both days or maybe two people will come forward, one for each day,” Mrs Read said.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to the resort for the Haven Great Yarmouth Air Show on June 16 and 17.
It has been organised by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area in its drive to bring more visitors and spending power to the area.
Show organisers are encouraging people to plan their journeys, leave the car at home if they can or to book now for parking and park and ride tickets.
To offer your services as a captain call Mrs Read on 01493 740760.