FOURTEEN lucky young Islanders were given a life-changing opportunity to take part in a four-night voyage, thanks to the Ocean Youth Trust South's Island Support Group.

The young people, aged between 12-18, were on board the sail training vessel Prolific, which was built in 2005 as a tribute to the herring-fishing vessels in operation along the Norwegian coast during the 19th century.

Initially, the free voyage was only going to take six Island youngsters but so many applied for the trip the crew was expanded.

Ocean Youth Trust South committee member, John Smith, said: "It was the first time we had an all-Island crew and, for some, it was their first time at sea.

"The four-day trip included a circumnavigation of the Island down to Poole and included a night entrance into Cowes.

"They had a brilliant time and were from all walks of life, they really gelled as a crew.

"For some, this sort of adventure really is a life-changing experience."

The Island's Lord Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon, and her husband Jamie, commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, presented the crew with their completion certificates at the end of the voyage.

The Ocean Youth Trust South charity sails with around 450 young people each year, many of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable in some way and have never been out to sea.

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