Sailor who rescued historic steamship Daniel Adamson awarded medal

·3-min read
A sailor who rescued and restored a century-old tug boat has been awarded a medal (BestPix/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)
A sailor who rescued and restored a century-old tug boat has been awarded a medal (BestPix/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

A sailor who rescued and restored a century-old tug boat has been awarded a medal.

Dan Cross, from Liverpool, received the Merchant Navy Medal for his efforts in renovating the steamship Daniel Adamson, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced.

During the project, Mr Cross supported young people from all backgrounds and abilities to learn and participate as part of the ship’s crew, and to go on to enjoy careers in engineering and across the maritime sector.

Dan Cross said he was ‘deeply honoured’ to receive the medal (Dan Cross/PA)
Dan Cross said he was ‘deeply honoured’ to receive the medal (Dan Cross/PA)

The vessel, affectionately known as the Danny, first set sail in 1903 and transported people, goods and livestock between Liverpool and Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, before being decommissioned in 1984.

She was earmarked for scrapping in 2004 after being vandalised, but Mr Cross spearheaded a preservation campaign, buying the steamer for £1.

He led a group of 100 volunteers who restored the Danny to full working order – including her Art Deco interior – with the help of a £3.8 million grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Daniel Adamson was due to be scrapped after being vandalised (Dan Cross/PA)
The Daniel Adamson was due to be scrapped after being vandalised (Dan Cross/PA)

After 12 years she was able to begin carrying passengers on cruises across north-west England in May 2016.

Merchant Navy Medals are awarded by the DfT for outstanding service by seafarers.

Mr Cross, 48, said: “I am deeply honoured to be awarded this wonderful medal alongside some prestigious recipients over the years.

“I played a small part in saving and returning the Daniel Adamson back to operational condition for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.

“It is often said the ship runs on two things – steam and volunteers – and this reflects what a magnificent team effort the project is.

“Having worked on harbour tugs for nearly 30 years, the work of the harbour tug is often overlooked.

“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.”

Another of the 14 latest recipients of a Merchant Navy Medal is Ann Pletschke, 38, from Hampshire, who has championed the rights of women and under-privileged people in the industry.

She has also supported future Commonwealth seafarers in obtaining a maritime education.

This included paying educational fees for the first ever marine engineer officer to hail from Mauritius.

Ms Pletschke, a highly-skilled mariner with experience in remotely piloting vessels with centimetre precision, said: “With this award I would like to spotlight many others who work tirelessly for the same aims and to inspire others to give back.

“If we each do a little, we can all make the industry a safer, more diverse and better industry for all.”

Maritime minister Robert Courts said: “It is an honour to celebrate British mariners like Ann and Dan, whose efforts have changed maritime for the better.

“Every single nominee embodies the values of the maritime sector and has gone above and beyond within their field.

“We’re grateful to all 14 recipients for their efforts to make the industry better, safer and more accessible for all.”