Manx vessel in Queen’s Diamond Jubilee event

PROUD HERITAGE: The Lady of Mann, formerly No.8 lifeboat of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. ship of the same name, which sailed in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flotilla on Sunday. Matt Cain refurbished the vessel with support from the Steam Packet

PROUD HERITAGE: The Lady of Mann, formerly No.8 lifeboat of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. ship of the same name, which sailed in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flotilla on Sunday. Matt Cain refurbished the vessel with support from the Steam Packet

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THE Manxies really do get everywhere!

The eagle-eyed among viewers of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant at the weekend would have seen footage of a vessel flying the flag for the Isle of Man among the flotilla.

Thanks to self-confessed Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fanatic Matt Cain, the company and its heritage were represented on the Thames by No.8 lifeboat from the Lady of Mann I steamer.

Four years ago Matt, whose father is Manx and whose grandfather was a Dunkirk Veteran, bought the vessel, which was built as a lifeboat for the first Lady of Mann, launched as a centenary vessel for the company in 1930.

After taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk as one of the ‘Little Ships’, the lifeboat had been sold to an oyster/shrimp fisherman from Malden in the Essex marshes after Lady of Mann 1 was broken up at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in 1971.

Matt explained: ‘The new owner of the lifeboat constructed a cabin and installed a diesel engine, so while she is not quite in her original form, the lines of the hull give a clue as to her former life.

‘We renamed her Lady of Mann and her current home is on the Thames, and I sail her in the Runnymede and Windsor areas.’

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