The replacement of the sunk Asgard II training ship is secure

The Atlantic Youth Trust Charity (AYT) has secured a new 164ft sailboat to replace the Asgard II, which was Ireland’s national sailing training vessel, until she sank in 2008.

The charity negotiated a contract and placed a bond to secure a 164ft Tradewind schooner, currently located in Sweden, which will serve as the new flagship to introduce young people on the island of Ireland to maritime careers through youth development programs.

The three-masted ship is a replica of a famous 19th century wooden ship, the Lady Ellen, built with standard submarine steel, a 99-foot main mast and 13 sails. Owned and used in recent years by Tarbet Shipping, based in Skarhamn, she has crossed the Atlantic 17 times.

Annual funding of € 950,000 for Asgard II came from the National Lottery. The Department of Defense is currently completing due diligence to restore this annual funding for the new vessel.

If the funding is confirmed, the AYT will go ahead with the raising of 2.5 million euros of private sponsorship to finalize the purchase of the vessel before the end of February 2022.

The ship will be renamed Grace O’Malley, after Pirate Queen Mayo.

The vessel will need to be certified for sailing training, as well as refit to remove more luxurious features such as a reception bar and bathrooms, to make room for a training area and up to with 45 berths, which will accommodate almost double the number of trainees like the Asgard II.

AYT is hoping government funding will be designated and the ship will be sailed to Ireland later this year for her refit in Belfast and a ceremony in which she will be renamed Grace O’Malley, after the Pirate Queen. Mayo.

As ‘Baby Asgard’ himself, Cormac Gebruers, Director of the National Maritime College of Ireland, stressed the particular importance of the ship for the development of young people and their engagement in maritime careers.

“We are seeing a drop in the number of young people taking up maritime careers. In the past, it was possible to get on ships, tugs and pilot boats to find out what it is, but the way the world has changed with insurance and health and safety, these opportunities do not exist. ‘no longer exist. Thus, a structured and secure opportunity in the form of a sail training vessel is extremely important in attracting young people to maritime professions, ”he said.

“It’s a door opener, but also a lifeline for some young children. ”

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