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Staff member departs for six weeks at sea!

Staff member departs for six weeks at sea!

Andrew BastenA staff member from our main office in Swansea is swapping his desk for a tall ship for the next month to take part in an around the world sailing trip.

Andrew Basten, 43, works for us as an Office Resources Assistant and will be sailing from Rio de Janeiro to South Africa with the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) which promotes the integration of people of all physical abilities through the challenge and adventure of sailing tall ships on the open sea.

Andrew, who is a wheelchair user, has been supporting and sailing with the JST for over ten years. Andrew will be starting his journey on 28th December, flying from London Heathrow to Rio where he will board the Lord Nelson, one of only two tall ships in the world designed and built to accommodate people of all physical abilities. This is the first around the world voyage the tall ship has embarked upon, the journey will take two years to complete, carrying a crew of 50 people.

In 1989 Andrew had a motorbike accident after a piece of wood fell off a back of a lorry into the path of his bike. The collision left Andrew with a broken back and damage to his neck. Since the incident Andrew has continued to live independently and his sailing expeditions with JST are an extension of this.

Andrew said: “Sailing is something which I am passionate about, I’ve been with the JST since 2000 and they do a really good job in challenging people’s prejudices and misconceptions about disabilities. I am really grateful for the opportunity to take part in JST’s Sail the World voyage on Lord Nelson.”

Andrew has worked for us for over 15 years, and we are supporting his once in a lifetime adventure by sponsoring part of his trip.

Andrew continued “I really appreciate Gwalia’s support and sponsorship to allow me to embark on this journey of a lifetime. It will be something which I will never forget as I will be starting 2013 with a bang with the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Copacabana beach in Rio along with about 1 million other people!” 

The Lord Nelson departed Southampton in October and is expected in Rio on 29th December where Andrew will join the crew before travelling for over 3,500 miles and 37 days to Cape Town, South Africa. Along the way Andrew will visit Tristan da Cunha – the most remote inhabited islands in the world and before returning home to Port Talbot in February.