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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-  8 May 2006

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SHIPWRECKED! Can you escape the island?

CAN you imagine that you are caught in a terrible storm at sea? A giant wave capsizes your boat and you are washed-up on an uninhabited island. How will you survive? How will you escape? Find out in Shipwrecked, the thrilling new exhibition at the Merseyside Maritime Museum from 15 July 2006 to 3 June 2007.

Shipwrecked is an action-packed exhibition offering landlubbers the opportunity to experience the adventurous life of a castaway. The blockbuster exhibition recreates the sights and sounds of a remote desert island. A combination of specially devised interactive and hands-on experiences, including a wonderful replica of a shipwreck, create an enthralling island to explore. Crackers, a friendly crab who lives on the island lends his experience and expertise to intrepid explorers who want to try living like Robinson Crusoe.

The exhibition opens with the sound and light effects of crashing waves and a violent storm as you arrive on the island. Your first challenge is to search a dark cave for food and fresh water. Learn how the plants and creatures of the island provide essential sustenance for castaways or how you can collect enough dew for a glass of water using only rags and a coconut shell.

Venturing out of the cave reveals an enormous shipwreck in the centre of the island. The large ship and its surroundings is an explorer's paradise packed with practical survival tips waiting to be uncovered.

* Discover how combining flotsam and jetsam and indigenous materials of the island you can build your own shelter from the elements and wild animals.

* A fascinating display including an Inuit pick-axe made from bone and driftwood and an Australian spear-head made from bottle glass reveals how vital tools can be made from all sorts of natural materials.

* Contacting passing ships or aircraft with smoke signals, messages written in the sand or even a message in a bottle could be crucial to your escape from the island. From a conch shell to wireless radio, families can discover the art of communication with limited resources. Use the fun interactives to try out smoke signals or semaphore for yourself.

* From the simplest crafts to more complex vessels families can find out how they might build their own boat. An original kayak from the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific and an Aboriginal raft are wonderful boats on display but could they survive the ocean waves? Learn how to build a craft able to endure bad weather, rocky coasts and even shark-infested waters!

* Interactive games offer families an insight into how seafarers use compasses, the sun or even stars to position themselves at sea. Real navigational tools are included in the display.

* The island also contains an under-fives play area where toddlers and young children can sit on a giant starfish and work out how to survive the island through games, song and dance, salvaging from the wreck and beachcombing.

* During weekends and school holidays role-players roam the immersive island and delight visitors with tales of survival and adventure, while workshops such as flag-making and bug-tasting keep young castaways and their families entertained.

Shipwrecked is a lively exhibition, which challenges visitor's imagination and resourcefulness. Those who complete the Escape the Island Challenge are rewarded with a certificate to remember their fabulous adventure.

The exhibition has been developed by Shipwrecked Club, a group of young people aged between 4 to 10, who have met monthly to help exhibition designers make some important decisions including choosing a name for the cheeky crab and will also be involved in choosing images for the marketing campaign.

Vivien Bell, research officer at National Museums Liverpool says:- "Having seen how excited Shipwrecked Club members are about the sorts of things in this exhibition, we are confident that Shipwrecked will be great fun for everyone. The club members have given us some good ideas about what to include in the exhibition and how to make it exciting for visitors."

Report thanks to Clipper Ventures

THE Victoria Clipper scored their first place position on Sunday 6 May 2006 in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, arriving in their home port of Victoria, Canada at 0959 UT (1659 GMT). After 5,600 miles of Pacific Ocean, the Canadian entry crept across the finish line in leg five with only 2 knots of wind, but a safe 100 mile lead on her nearest rivals Durban and Liverpool 08, who are still fighting it out for second place.

On crossing the finish line, the Victoria Clipper was joined by supporters including porpoises and seals who led her down the home strait, with the stunning snow-capped Olympic Mountain range in the background. Champagne and Canadian beer were swiftly delivered on board to the elated crew for an early start on the celebrations.

Victoria narrowly missed out on a first place position on the last race into Qingdao where they led until just miles from the finish when Liverpool 08 stormed to victory. The ocean-weary Victoria crew are ecstatic to finally take the top spot with the added bonus that it is the first time in the history of the Clipper Race that a yacht has finished in first position into their sponsored port. Skipper Ewan Hind said:- "It has been my dream to win this leg. We have proved that we can do it and into our homeport; I am overwhelmed and very emotional.

This has been by far the toughest leg yet; it has been physically exhausting and the weather conditions have been extreme with blizzards and cold to deal with. Keeping crew motivation up has been difficult but they stayed together and achieved our best result yet."

Durban, Liverpool 08 and Cardiff are likely to be the next boats to arrive and the two remaining podium positions are still up for grabs. Depending on the finishing position of, there is an opening for both Durban and Liverpool 08 to top the overall race leaderboard.

The fleet will remain in Victoria, Canada until the race restart on 17 May for the next race to Panama City.

Oxton Art Fair

FEEL free to come to the opening on Friday, 12 May at 7.15pm to 9.15pm... In addition to the art show, there will also be trips up the tower of Oxton St Saviour's Church at 1pm, 2pm,3pm and 4pm on Sunday the 14 May. £2/£1 limited to 12 people per trip.

Musical entertainment 1pm, 3.15pm and 3.30pm in the church. Craft Activities for kids in the Parish Centre or in the grounds of the church if sunny, on Sat 13 May and Sun 14 May at 12pm to 3pm run by Playout!

 Beach Closed To Public...

PARTS of Formby beach had to be closed off after a oil slick washed up along the award winning coastline over bank holiday Monday.   The crude oil was washed ashore from a platform in Liverpool Bay, due to what is understood to have been a crack in a pipe on the BHP Billiton's Lennox Oil Rig, which stands just five miles off Ainsdale beach.  The quantity of oil on the beach was said to be small and experts stressed that there is no danger to wildlife or vegetation in the area.

The closure was to aid the speed of clean up and to allow an assessment of the deposited oil to be made.

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