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Former warship comes home for friendly visit during Maritime Festival

The Triton moored at Great Yarmouth quayside ready for this weekend’s Maritime FestivalThe sleek grey shape of a pioneering former warship has berthed at Great Yarmouth as the quayside fills up for this weekend’s Maritime Festival.

The trimaran Triton is now a research vessel owned by local company Gardline, but began life in 2000 as a £13.5m prototype technology test bed for new hull forms and defence systems.

She was sold to Gardline in 2005 for hydrographic survey work for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and has also been contracted to the other side of the world patrolling for the Australian Border Force’s Marine Unit armed with two heavy machine guns.

Triton, the world’s largest motor-powered trimaran at 97m (318ft) long, is moored near other ship stars of the festival, which is due to attract 30,000 visitors this Saturday and Sunday.

The vessel, which was also the launch ship for a world altitude record for a manned balloon, caused a stir earlier this summer when her striking shape was spotted anchored 1.5 miles off Great Yarmouth.

Festival visitors can get up closer to her this time, as Triton is one of four ships the public can board. A tour of the Triton is included in the ship tour ticket (£5.50 per adult and £4 per child) which gets you access to the Kaskelot, the George Stephenson and now, the Triton! The event is otherwise free-to-enter and run by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the borough.

The other ships which can be accessed are: three-masted tall ship Kaskelot; unique steam ship George Stephenson, made from recycled and reclaimed materials; and the herring drifter Lydia Eva.

Festival organisers say planned jet ski demonstrations in the river have been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

There is a full programme of activities from children’s crafts and fun, to art workshops, heritage displays, Napoleonic re-enactment soldiers and live shanty and folk music.

Festival chairman Aileen Mobbs said: “The Triton is a really interesting addition to our ships, and we are greatful to Gardline for allowing us access to this amazing vessel, which provides a chance for visitors to look around a vast range of craft from classic sail and quirky steam, to historic fishing and cutting-edge modern vessels. We look forward to welcoming people on board.”