City of London MVS helps out at Disability Day

image001 On Thursday the 23rd June, members of the City of London Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) assisted the Lower Thames Unit of the MVS and Gravesend Sailability, with an event that enabled disabled people from the charity KASBAH the opportunity to travel on boats along the Thames. City of London MVS members assisted with setting up the mobility crane (which enabled people in wheelchairs to be lifted onto the boats), and helped launch the newly refurbished Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) Annie from a crane into the waters below. Before the event began City of London MVS members Alan Murrill and Melissa Goulton had time to get acquainted with Agnes J, an ex-lifeboat with an inboard engine and tiller steering. Learning to steer Agnes J took a bit of getting used to the bow of the boat moved in the opposite direction to the direction the tiller was moved! After the guests arrived, Rodney Morgan gave a short safety briefing about how to board Agnes J safely. Then Melissa and Rodney took a few of the guests for a short trip out of Gravesend sailing club. On this trip Melissa practised mooring alongside other vessels, and alongside the pontoon. All the guests seemed to enjoy the opportunity of being out on the water, and it was lovely to see the friendships that guests had formed with MVS and Sailability members. Meanwhile Alan Murrill, another City of London member, spent time aboard Annie with Lower Thames member Alan Metcalf - where they took guests for a much faster ride along the Thames! Towards the end of the day, Melissa boarded the vessel Alicia (a 33 ft concrete-hulled sailing yacht owned and operated by Sailability) with guests and some of their carers. Unfortunately there wasn't much wind, but everyone aboard had the opportunity to take the helm and secure ropes to winches, as well as learning more about recreational sailing. image004 image005 Overall, it was a really good day out, and it was great to know that MVS members enabled guests from KASBAH the opportunity to enjoy spending time on the water "messing about in boats!".