Hythe Youngsters Tour the Port of Southampton on board Spartina
September 30, 2017
YOUNGSTERS from Hythe Primary School were given a tour of the Port of Southampton this week on board the workboat they helped to name.
Lucky Kennedy Anthony from Hythe was the winner of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leave her mark on the vital vessel that helps to keep the Port of Southampton safe.
Spartina is the name proudly emblazoned on her hull – and a group of eight children, including Kennedy, got a chance to climb aboard and take to the water with Port Hydrographer Becky Conway.
She told the children about the crucial maintenance work that is carried out on board Spartina and answered their questions about the port.
“It was great to be able to take Kennedy and her classmates out on our workboat Spartina to show them what goes on in the Port of Southampton.
“They were able to see the variety of vessels we get in the port and I was able to explain how our double high water enable us to welcome some of the largest ships in the world to our port,” said Becky.
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 built our workboat and this vessel is playing an important role keeping the Port of Southampton open and safe for all our maritime users."
Each year the Port of Southampton handles a total number of 68,000 ship movements, including some of the largest vessels in the world, plus thousands of yachts that visit.