Port of Southampton's New Workboat is Named
June 16, 2017
LUCKY Kennedy Anthony from Hythe was the winner of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leave her mark on a vital vessel keeping the Port of Southampton safe.
Spartina is the name proudly emblazoned on her hull – and it’s all thanks to Kennedy, aged 9, a pupil at Hythe Primary School.
A group of children travelled from the school to the Seawork exhibition for the naming ceremony, which included a blessing from Port Chaplain John Attenborough from the Mission to Seafarers.
During his address, he said: “For as long as ships have been built, they’ve been ceremoniously blessed in one way or another.
“Wine, water and whiskey have been used to christen them.”
When Harbour Master Captain Martin Phipps asked the children of Hythe to come up with a name for the workboat he was overwhelmed by the response. Youngsters from Hythe Primary School and Waterside Primary School enthusiastically took part in the competition.
“We had over 100 entries and some of the names put forward were very inventive.
“We liked Kennedy’s choice because it continues the link with the place where the workboat was built,” he said.
Kennedy explained she came up with the name because the Meercat boatyard where the workboat was built sits next to the Spartina marshes.
Asked how she will feel seeing the boat she named out on the water in years to come, Kennedy said: “It will be really nice to know I named a boat when I was younger – it will be something to look back on.”
It’s about 30-years since a new workboat was commissioned by the port and she will play a vital role in the safe operation of the port.
Captain Phipps, said: “It’s really important to us that a local company based in Hythe is building our workboat and when she comes into service, this vessel will play an important role keeping the Port of Southampton open and safe for all our maritime users.
”Having a local youngster name our boat will make it even more special – and we can’t wait to see the ideas they come up with.”
Jason Coltman, Managing Director of Meercat Workboats said: “We are delighted to have built the workboat for the port, using a local skilled workforce – and it is great to get the local children involved in naming her.
“We will be staying in contact with the schools and letting them know about other boat building projects.”