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Red Ensign flag raised by New Forest District Council to mark Merchant Navy Day

New Forest District Council has today (Friday 2 September) raised the Red Ensign flag at their offices in Lyndhurst.

Merchant Navy Day Flag Raising 2016

Chairman Cllr Goff Beck paid tribute to Merchant Navy seafarers as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the UK's ongoing dependence on the maritime register. This records the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews

NFDC was supporting a call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy's official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.  Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The flag-raising ceremony at the council's offices at Appletree Court, Lyndhurst, on Friday September 2, was attended by Cllr Barry Rickman (Leader), Cllr Goff Beck (Chairman), Mrs Christine Beck (Chairman's Consort) Cllr Christine Ward (Vice-Chairman), Mr Derek Ward, (Vice Chairman's Consort), and Chief Executive Bob Jackson.

Before raising the Red Ensign, Cllr Beck read the following message: "Good morning and thank you for your attendance on this Merchant Navy Day.  Your support for this campaign by seafarers UK to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.   Too often they are a forgotten or invisible service, by raising the Red Ensign here in the New Forest we will ensure that at least on this day they are remembered.   Our act will mean so much to their families and to the retired seafarers, but most especially to those at sea.

As an 'island nation' the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95% of its imports, including half the food consumed. The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe and 75% of exports (by volume) are shipped from UK ports.

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Published: 2 Sep 2016
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