8 Nov 2013

Disabilities no barrier on Lord Nelson

9:13 pm on 8 November 2013

One of only two disability-adapted tall ships in the world has arrived in Wellington. The three-masted ship the Lord Nelson, operated by the British charity Jubilee Sailing Trust, is on a world tour.

Justn Davis says the experience is incredibly rewarding.

Justn Davis says the experience is incredibly rewarding. Photo: RNZ

Built in 1986, the ship is one of just two specially designed to allow people with disabilities to join an able-bodied crew.

Jubilee Sailing Trust spokesperson Paul Kennerley says anyone is able to apply for a place on any leg of the journey. The ship is crewed by about 40 people, up to half of whom may have some disability.

British soldier Justin Davis says the chance to help crew the specially adapted boat is a great experience.

Rifleman Davis lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan in 2011 and joined the Lord Nelson on its journey from Auckland to Wellington.

He says it was steep learning curve, but incredibly rewarding, as the ship allows for people to become as involved as they wish including setting the sails and pulling the ropes.

Eight New Zealanders signed up for the Auckland-to-Wellington leg. From Wellington, the ship will sail to Nelson before a final New Zealand leg back to Auckland.