Captain Wilfred Vidler Lusted MBE (3058) 1941

December 7, 2019

Died shortly before his 91st birthday at Banstead in Surrey on 20th June 2019. An OM with a long maritime career Wilf came from Watford and was only a year at Mercury before transferring to HMS Worcester. On completing his training in October 1944, he went to sea as an Apprentice with Port Line and his first voyage was in the Port Dunedin in a North Atlantic convoy to New York. He also served in the Port Macquarie and the Port Wyndham before being appointed 4th Officer of the Port Quebec. He went on to sail as a Junior Officer in other Port Line ships but in August 1954 he travelled to Lagos to serve as a Temporary Marine Officer with the newly established Nigerian Ports Authority. It was there that his boat handling skills, no doubt learned at Mercury, led to his award of an MBE. This came about in June 1955 after the Government owned cargo ship Enugu ran aground and was wrecked at the mouth of the Niger River near Port Harcourt. The Ports Authority took charge of the rescue and attempted salvage operation. Wilf’s civil MBE citation reads; ‘Mr Lusted was in command of a lifeboat which successfully took urgently needed food in hazardous circumstances, to stranded passengers and crew. He displayed great courage and the highest devotion to duty and was finally rescued from the sinking lifeboat in a state of complete exhaustion’. Wilf returned to England in March 1956 and passed for Extra Master in 1957. By1959 he was serving as a Chief Office and went on to be Master with the Medomsley Shipping Company. He later came ashore to work with the Marine Department of the Board of Trade as an Examiner of Masters and Mates and as a Nautical Surveyor. Ten years later he returned to sea as Master with the Sanko Line of Tokyo. Wilf came ashore when he was 60 to work as an independent Marine Consultant and adviser to the Liberian Shipping Services in London where he represented Liberia on a number of IMO Sub-Committees. In retirement he lived at Greenwich where in the 1990s he was a director of an organisation involved with promoting the arts at Blackheath. In 2014 he also published ‘And Off Once Again‘, a snapshot of personal letters between himself and his wife Amanda while he was at sea in the 1970s. He was a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.