Huge Doncaster ship sailing the globe 5,700 miles away from home

This is the huge ship that’s spreading the name of Doncaster – 5,700 miles away on the other side of the globe.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 28th February 2022, 11:57 am
Updated Monday, 28th February 2022, 11:58 am

The MV Western Doncaster was created by a shipbuilder from Mexborough – and the vessel was the first ever ship to be named after Doncaster.

It is currently plying its trade in the Far East, docked in Shanghai in China.

The £22 million and nearly 40 tonne vessel first set sail around the world in 2019, “bringing the town’s name to the forefront”.

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The MV Western Doncaster.

Chris Earp, who grew up in Mexborough, is the senior director of Maersk shipping company and has lived in Tokyo for the past 13 years with his wife, two sons and dog.

He was commissioned to build the ship which is expected to sail for around 20 years.

His mother Lesley and father Tony said they were “so proud” of their son Chris and said he always wanted to be a shipbuilder since studying at university in Manchester.

Mrs Earp said: “We are just so proud of him, it’s unbelievable that a lad from a coal mining town could go on to create a ship of that size and name it after his hometown.”

Chris said: “I have bought and sold many ships and had the fortune to have named many vessels - however this is the first time we accredit one of the ships to my heritage in Doncaster.

“As Doncaster obviously doesn’t have any nautical links or a port then the shipping link is tenuous however I thought it appropriate considering my hometown.

“Doncaster has a rich industrial history, hopefully as she sails around the world then this will bring the town’s name to the forefront and hopefully help it become a little more international.

“We certainly wish for a safe and successful trading life for the ship and her crew.”

Shipping enthusiasts keep an eye on the vessel’s movements, tracking it as it makes its journeys around the world.

It berthed in Shanghai over the weekend where keen locals lined up to take pictures of the ship as it towered over the city’s harbour.