Pontoon manufacturer sponsors Harbour Master Sailing Challenge 

Irish pontoon manufacturer Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) is sponsoring the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge. 

The pontoon specialist announced its support of Mark Ashley-Miller’s bid to sail around the British Isles to meet every Harbour Master in the UK and Ireland at the recent UK Harbour Masters’ Association’s (UKHMA) Spring Conference.

For the last three and a half years, Ashley-Miller has been sailing his 34ft Nauticat, Good Dog, clockwise around the UK. Raising money for The Seafarers’ Charity as he goes, Ashley-Miller says his journey has so far taken him into every river and creek in England, Scotland, and Wales where he has received ‘a friendly welcome’ in over 250 harbours and ports.

It is estimated that there are nearly 300 Harbour Masters in Britain and Ireland, although the exact number is not known as there is no official register. According to Ashley-Miller the support ICMS brings to the challenge will enable him to continue his quest and finish the 8,000 nautical mile challenge by circumnavigating Ireland and visiting the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

“Harbour Masters have a vary varied role, from welcoming vessels as they enter a harbour to being responsible for the overall safety of anyone getting afloat within their designated area of authority,” says Oliver Shortall, managing director at ICMS

“By supporting Mark, and following him on his adventures, we hope to gain a greater insight into the safety challenges faced by harbours masters and further understand their changing requirements to provide safe water access to harbour users, whether that’s CTV crews for offshore windfarms, sailors on recreational yachts, or paddleboards and kayakers.”

Ashley-Miller comments: “I am very pleased to be supported in my challenge by Inland and Coastal Marina Systems.  The provision of high-quality pontoons in a harbour makes it much more attractive to visiting yachts, not to mention the safety aspect for commercial use. I look forward to having them at my side as I circumnavigate Ireland and raise more money for The Seafarers’ Charity in 2023.” 

Ashley-Miller has raised nearly £20,000 for The Seafarers’ Charity, a non-profit organisation which supports those who work – or have worked – at sea, and their families. With a specific focus on safety, the charity tackles the root causes of seafarer hardship and disadvantage in the UK and around the world.

“Through our collaboration with Mark, we now have greater awareness of the life-changing work that The Seafarers’ Charity does. In addition to supporting the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge, we have decided to support The Seafarers’ Charity directly, designating it as our chosen charity for 2023,” continues Shortall.

“As a business, we help many seafarers get to work by providing safe access to commercial boats and fishing vessels. By donating and raising money for The Seafarers’ Charity, we want to ensure that they’re looked after and supported while they’re afloat too.”

Deborah Layde, chief executive of The Seafarer’s Charity, comments: “We are absolutely delighted that Inland and Coastal Marina Systems has chosen to support our long-standing fundraiser, Mark Ashley Miller, in the final year of his Harbour Master Challenge. We are also very grateful for their donation to our charity and look forward to developing our partnership with them throughout the rest of the year as their chosen Charity of the Year.”

L-R Calum MacDougall (ICMS), Debbie Calvadoro (Trustee at The Seafarers’ Charity), and Bryan Stewart (ICMS) following the announcement at the UKHMA Spring Conference

To support the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge donations can be made via the website or directly via the fundraising page.

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