UK: HMS Iron Duke Rides with ‘Wet Wheels’

HMS Iron Duke Rides with 'Wet Wheels'

Renowned charity sailor Geoff Holt MBE, from ‘Wet Wheels’, took a few of the career sailors of HMS Iron Duke to sea in his wheelchair-friendly motor yacht.

Three of the Ship’s Officer’s and a young sailor joined Geoff and, former Naval technician, Andy Le Seeleur of the ‘Wet Wheels’ charity and auxiliary crewman – at sea in the powerboat, also called ‘Wet Wheels’, which has been designed to accommodate disabled people and wheelchairs. The hour’s trip in the bespoke catamaran was a real treat for the frigate’s team.

Lieutenant James Mitchell (25), is HMS Iron Duke’s Navigating Officer; he said:

“The twin 300hp outboards can propel the yacht up to 40kts! – plenty to give anyone an exciting and memorable experience”

With a new Jersey-based yacht being built on the Isle of Wight, for the charity, the Iron Duke team were following up an affiliation visit to the island.

After the trip to sea, the group visited HMS Iron Duke, emerging from refit in Portsmouth’s Naval Base to meet The Captain and for Geoff to present a signed copy of his book, ‘Walking on Water’.

The Captain, Commander Tom Tredray said:

“It is great to meet an outstanding individual and charity leader who is also a highly capable sailor. He is an inspiration to us all.”

Despite being paralysed from the chest down, Geoff, also a published author and motivational speaker, directs the unique water-borne charity for disabled people, taking up to 12 people at a time, including three wheelchairs, to sea in the power catamaran.

He is supporting Andy’s bid to raise funds for the yet-to-be-named ‘Wet Wheels’ Jersey yacht, which HMS Iron Duke hope to support. A team from the T23 Frigate will be present at the Jersey Boat Show to build on the affiliation with the island and assist in raising the profile of the charity, which HMS Iron Duke hopes to support.

HMS Iron Duke is a Portsmouth Based Type 23 ‘Duke’ class frigate, currently entering the final phase of an extensive refit which includes installation of the new ‘Artisan’ 997 3D radar.

Naval Today Staff, April 25, 2013; Image: Royal Navy