Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Star of India: Manx 'survivor' celebrates 150 years

Image caption On the day of her launch into Ramsey harbour, the full-rigged, iron-hulled sailing ship was put into the water without rigging, masts or ballast - the super-structure would be added at a later date
Image caption Initially the ship bore the name Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry. The original figurehead remains on the ship even though she was renamed The Star of India in 1906
Image caption The Euterpe began her sailing life in 1864 with two near-disastrous voyages to India. On her first trip she suffered a collision and a mutiny, on her second she was badly damaged in a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal
Image caption The Euterpe's first master was Captain William John Storry who died on board in his cabin (above) on 7 August 1866 after suffering from an unknown tropical disease. He was buried at sea.
Image caption In 1871 the Euterpe was purchased by the Shaw Savill line of London and began 25 years of service taking emigrants to New Zealand. She completed 21 circumnavigations, some of them lasting a year
Image caption The ship changed hands once again in 1901 when she was sold to the Alaska Packers' Association of San Francisco- in 1906 her name was changed to the Star of India
Image caption The Star of India was laid up in 1923 and sold three years later to the Zoological Society of San Diego, California, to be the centrepiece of a planned museum
Image caption In 1957 work began to restore the Star of India to her former glory and in 1976 she finally put to sea again
Image caption The Star of India is now one of the landmark ships at the San Diego Maritime Museum in California. She sails, crewed by skilled volunteers, every November
Image caption A Manx flag, signed by representatives from the town of Ramsey, has been sent to the Maritime Museum of San Diego to be displayed alongside other exhibits dedicated to the Star of India

During the 1800s the town of Ramsey on the north coast of the Isle of Man was a thriving and internationally-acclaimed centre of ship building.

In 1863 the ship yard became the first in the world to produce an oil tanker (known as The Jane) and later that year the Euterpe was launched.

After extensive renovation following the World War Two, the Star of India is now unique, laying claim to the title of the oldest active sailing ship in the world.

Heather Ruffino, from Ramsey Town Commissioners, said the ship's survival was a great success story.

"This is a very special day for the Isle of Man, the Star of India is a celebration of the level of skill of those who worked in Ramsey ship yard - she is a Manx survivor.

'Amazingly' restored

"The Star of India has been amazingly, authentically restored and so much of the original craftsmanship can still be seen.

"She may be many thousands of miles away but the ship still holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of people here."

A series of celebrations have been planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the Star of India's launch from Ramsey, including a live web link-up between the Isle of Man and San Diego.

Margaid Bird and Paul Boulton from Ramsey Commissioners have travelled to San Diego to present a Manx flag to the museum.

The flag will join other exhibits in the maritime museum dedicated to the Star of India.

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