- PRESS RELEASE -
Afghan veteran Kyle Baker joined UK Tall Ship Sailing Adventure
On Friday 8th October, 19 year old Kyle Baker from Cheshire joined Tenacious for a tall ship adventure. Sailing from Canary Wharf, London, for an 8 day voyage, the ship stopped over in St. Malo, France, and returned to Southampton the following week.
Kyle is part of the famous Rifles, a regiment of the British Army, and was injured whilst serving in Afghanistan. His injury took place in Sangin whilst on patrol on Bonfire night in 2009. He was ambushed and has since lost the use of both of his legs. He now has to uses sticks to get about and it’s taken him some time to adapt to his new civilian life.
He first heard about the JST through a friend who asked him to be a known buddy who could care for another member of voyage crew. He sailed with the JST in 2007 as an able bodied member of the voyage crew and had a fantastic and life-changing time at sea.
Knowing the amazing benefits anyone can receive from a voyage with the JST he applied for funding through the Rifle Regiment Association based in Winchester. He requested to go tall ship sailing with the JST by asking the Rt. Lieutenant Colonel Mike Drummond-Smith and was delighted to be given the necessary funds to sail.
On his voyage he and the rest of the crew had the opportunity to set and adjust the huge canvas square sails, take the helm and climb the mast. Climbing can be a spectacular achievement and a real confidence booster as reaching the first platform of a 125ft mast is a challenge for anyone, able-bodied or not.
Keen to come sailing again as soon as possible, Kyle had this to say;
"Sailing with the JST is a special experience, no matter what your physical disability, you are all classed the same whilst on board. I really enjoyed interacting with people off all ages and backgrounds which is so unlike everyday life. We had a fantastic sail all the way to France, even the captain was surprised. I wouldn’t hesitate to go on board again and suggest it to everyone, especially those returning from service in the army."
The JST owns and operates the only two tall ships in the world that have been specially designed and built to enable a crew of mixed abilities to participate equally in the sailing experience.
For more information, photographs, testimonials and stories please contact John Patten in the JST Press Office on 023 8044 9108 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org