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  # 315

Liverpool Sea Odyssey

 

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Sea Odyssey Director Rescued
Day three of the city of Liverpool's spectacular event The Sea Odyssey, marking the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, ended in high drama at the entrance to the Albert Dock. As a final piece of unrehearsed street theatre the production director, Jean-Luc Courcoult, made an emotional jump into the river Mersey on the final pass-by of the three huge giants aboard the vessel "James Jackson Grundy" as it was fast disappearing in a plume of theatrical smoke down the river estuary.

Liverpool Community College's Glaciere Maritime Academy who provided safety support ribs and crew were quickly on the scene, as was the local Merseyside Police Rib to effect the rescue. Emotions ran high as the production director was hauled aboard the police security rib. Due to the immediate response of both the police team and the Liverpool Community College's two safety ribs the incident was swiftly and professionally managed, resulting in an effective rescue with no injuries sustained.

The Sea Odyssey event was staged by French company Royal de Luxe, and involved three huge giants made of wood and steel. The story portrayed Little Girl Giant, 30 feet tall, who was desperate to hear news of her father who had been on board the ill fated Titanic. For the first two days of the event she wandered the streets of Liverpool in search of her 50 feet tall uncle, who had dived to the wreck of the liner to find a letter his brother had written to the little girl. The uncle and the girl's 9 feet tall dog, Xolo, also made their way through the landmarks of the city, all looking for each other, before the three were united in an emotional meeting.

On the third and final day the three giants travelled together around the Albert Dock area of the city, enthralling the crowds before leaving Liverpool by boat accompanied by safety boats, in a wonderful finale. During the three days of the event over half a million people from the local area and beyond turned out to line the streets and marvel at the giants and their clever animation. It is estimated that over 12 million pounds was generated to boost Liverpool's income.

The event was the final one to use European legacy funding from the city’s Capital of Culture year in 2008. It was supported by many volunteers and organisations, including Liverpool Community College whose Glaciere Maritime Academy provided help and support. The college's training vessel ' Deep Blue' also lead the parade as the very effective smoke effects boat. The Academy operates from a restored tall ship in the Albert Dock and offers courses in sailing, power boating and diving.

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Apr 2012