Sailor starts final leg of 8,000 nautical mile challenge for Seafarers’ Charity

The Seafarers’ Charity is set to start receiving regular donations as Mark Ashley-Miller continues his fundraising Harbour Master Sailing Challenge.

Having departed Portland on Saturday (15 April 2023) in his 34ft Nauticat Good Dog, Ashley-Miller is starting the next leg of his sailing adventure, where he’s endeavouring to meet every Harbour Master in the UK and Ireland. 

Over the last three and a half years, Ashley-Miller’s journey has taken him around England, Scotland, and Wales, where he has visited over 250 ports and harbours and raised over £20,000 for The Seafarers’ Charity to date.

This next stage will see Ashley-Miller finish his 8,000 nautical mile challenge, circumnavigating Ireland and visiting the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands while continuing to raise valuable funds to donate to The Seafarers’ Charity.

As he stops along the way, Ashley-Miller will interview the individual Harbour Masters, recording information about their harbours and varied jobs, which he’ll post on Instagram. He will attempt to sail into every harbour — but where that’s not possible, he’ll visit the Harbour Master on foot.

The Harbour Master Sailing Challenge fundraising for 2023 was initiated when sponsor Inland and Coastal Marina Systems presented the CEO of The Seafarers’ Charity, Deborah Layde, with a sizable donation last week in Portland. 

“As a proud supporter of The Seafarers’ Charity, it is very exciting to have a significant boost to my fundraising from pontoon manufacturer Inland and Coastal Marina Systems,” says Ashley-Miller. 

“A huge part of the work of the charity involves the safety of seafarers. Safe entry and exit of boats of all sizes requires high-quality pontoons, and this is exactly what Inland and Coastal specialise in.  Having them as my sponsor for 2023 as I circumnavigate Ireland is a huge boost to my morale and I would like to thank them very much.”

Deborah Layde, comments: “We wish Mark fair winds and safe passage. We are grateful for his ongoing support for The Seafarers’ Charity and its work in tackling the disadvantages of a seafaring life by leading collaboration, funding and advocacy to improve seafarers’ lives. We look forward to developing our partnership with Mark and Inland and Coastal in 2023.”

A non-profit organisation, The Seafarers’ Charity (formerly King George’s Fund for Sailors) has been helping people in the maritime community for over 105 years, by providing practical support to seafarers in need and to 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.

To support the Harbour Master Sailing Challenge and raise money for The Seafarers’ Charity, donations can be made via the website or directly via the fundraising page.

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