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Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Melanie tastes life on the ocean wave as tall ships sail in

Lisburn girl chosen as crew member on Lord Nelson

Melanie Warden A WALLACE High School Sixth Form student is currently experiencing 'life on the ocean wave' at first hand after being accepted as a crew member on the sailing ship Lord Nelson, which tied up in Belfast at the weekend.

Melanie Warden (17), the daughter of Alyn and June Warden of Hillsborough Road and a member of Wallace's Guide Company, finished her AS level examinations just days before taking up residence in her temporary home on the rolling seas. She is now part of the world's first all female crew on a Class A Tall Ship, a position she secured after applying to the Jubilee Sailing Trust through Girlguiding UK.

The Trust, which owns Lord Nelson, provides 40 voyage crew places on each trip made by the ship. Half of these go to able bodied voyagers and half to people with disabilities including up to eight wheelchairusers.

Melanie may be the only voyage crew member from Northern Ireland currently on board the Lord Nelson but there is one other person from Lisburn on the ship.

Neil Duncan, the Lord Nelson's Commander during its current voyage and leader of its 10 strong professional crew, comes from Lambeg and attended Dunmurry High School.

Like the other voyage crew members Melanie has her own bunk as well as a locker for her personal belongings.

She is a member of one of four watches, each overseen by an experienced watch leader, who take it in turns through the day and night to be in charge of the ship's progress. To earn her place on board Lord Nelson she had to attend briefing weekends and demonstrate a commitment to publicising the work of both Girlguiding UK and the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

The Lord Nelson was one of a number of tall ships visiting Belfast as part of the city's Maritime Festival.

Ulster Star