Steamship Awarded Highest Maritime Medal


A man who led a 12-year restoration of a vandalised steamship has been awarded the highest maritime medal, says an article published in the BBC.

Multi million pound revamp

Captain Dan Cross said he was “deeply honoured” by receiving the accolade for spearheading about 100 volunteers in a multi-million pound revamp of SS Daniel Adamson, which first set sail in 1903.

He bought it for £1 in 2004 to prevent it being scrapped.

The Liverpool mariner has received a Merchant Navy Medal after his efforts led to the vessel’s relaunch in 2016.

Since 2016 the awards have been handed out to no more than 20 seafarers annually by the government for significant maritime contributions.

Capt Cross is among 14 recipients this year, including Master Mariner Ann Pletschke, from Hampshire, who has supported the rights of women and under-privileged individuals in the industry.

She also paid the educational fees for the first marine engineer officer from Mauritius.

Magnificent team effort

Regarding the Daniel Adamson, Capt Cross said: “It is often said the ship runs on two things – steam and volunteers – and this reflects what a magnificent team effort the project is.”

The vessel, also known as The Danny, previously transported cargo, passengers and historical figures including previous kings of Egypt and Afghanistan, as well as Australian cricketing legend Donald Bradman.

It last carried passengers in 1984, before its condition decayed over 20 years in a museum display.

Capt Cross purchased it for £1 two days before it was due to be scrapped in 2004 after it was vandalised.

Diverse range

He built a team of restoration volunteers, including a diverse range of young people, some of whom have gone on to work in the engineering and the maritime sectors.

They secured a £3.6m lottery grant in 2015, which led to the Daniel Adamson resuming sailings through north-west England.

Capt Cross said: “As a key part of ensuring goods keep flowing in and out of the ports and harbours in the UK, it is great that services to harbour towage is recognised and the work we do can be remembered through vessels like the Daniel Adamson, which also offers great training and education opportunities.”

The Daniel Adamson

  • The vessel was built to tow long chains of barges with goods from Cheshire and the Staffordshire Potteries to the port of Liverpool
  • It was constructed at what is now the Birkenhead shipyard in 1903 and initially named Ralph Brocklebank after a director of the London and North Western Railway
  • In 1936, the ship was renamed Daniel Adamson after the founding father of the Manchester Ship Canal, who then owned the vessel

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Source: BBC


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