Medusa sails again

REVAMP HMS Medusa leaving Cowes on the Isle of Wight
REVAMP HMS Medusa leaving Cowes on the Isle of Wight
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SHE played a part in the D-Day landings – and now HMS Medusa will join another flotilla of boats.

After five years of painstaking craftsmanship HMS Medusa, which arrived at Omaha Beach the night before the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, has been restored to her former glory and will feature in the 1,000-strong Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3.

The restoration of the ship, which cost more than £1m, was carried out by The Medusa Trust, a charity set up for the project.

But the trust realised it needed an extra £3,000 for lifejackets, a radar scanner and electronics for the ship’s navigation system.

The ship will take to the water once again because boat insurance firm Haven Knox-Johnston agreed to come up with the money.

The firm decided to help after the trust applied to its Haven Academy – which gives money to boat-related projects – for a grant.

John Macauley, chief executive of Haven Knox-Johnston, said: ‘We felt this was an extremely worthwhile project. HMS Medusa is an historic ship that plans to take part in a significant occasion.’

The ship will soon set sail from Haslar Marina, in Gosport, to London.

Other local boats that will feature in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee event are a Royal Navy steam cutter named Steam Cutter 438 – owned by Peter Hollins, 90, of Alverstoke – and Accomplish More, a 90ft superboat built by record-breaking sailor Alan Priddy.

Sir Robin’s yacht Suhaili, tall ship TS Royalist and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Motor Torpedo Boat 102 will also be there.