One of two tall ships owned by sailing charity, Jubilee Sailing Trust, has completed its final journey, ahead of being officially decommissioned.
STS Lord Nelson was specially designed and fitted, and for 33 years allowed people with physical impairments, including wheelchair users, to sail side-by-side with people who do not have disabilities.
The Trust launched an “emergency appeal” on 27th June in order to survive and reached its £1m target within a week with donations from 3,500 individuals and companies. However, to cut costs, the ship would no longer sail.
It followed the 2018 annual report which said higher costs and a failure to sell places on STS Lord Nelson voyages while on a trip to Australia and New Zealand meant income was £750,000 less than anticipated.
It also said “ambitious fundraising targets were made and not set” with the Trust making a £1.2m deficit.
Speaking after its arrival from Tower Bridge, London, to Portsmouth, Chief Executive, Duncan Souste, says: “The Trust has been facing financial challenges and the only way to get our costs in order was to reduce our fleet down to a single operating ship.
“I’m sad but extremely proud of the pioneering work the ship has done – she’s been around the world helping people of all ages and backgrounds.”
The Trust’s other ship, SV Tenacious, will remain at sea. A decision about the future home for STS Lord Nelson is to be made at a later date.