Michael School has been awarded £1,000 worth of geography equipment and books after one of its students won a special Isle of Man Steam Packet Company competition.

The competition, which was held to celebrate new vessel Manannan joining the Company’s fleet, invited the Island’s primary school children to become part of the adventure by writing a story entitled “The Adventures of Captain Incat and his Catamaran”.

Olivia Helmer, 11, from Kirk Michael, was the lucky winner. She said: “I feel happy and proud to have won the competition and being able to provide Michael School with new equipment. It was really good as I enjoyed writing.”

Michael School students Abigail Harris and Jessica Brook claimed the second and third prizes. The three winners, who now attend Queen Elizabeth II High School, were presented with return travel vouchers for a car and four passengers.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “We are delighted to have been able to involve the Island’s school children in what is a real step forward for the Company. Congratulations to the three winners and all those who entered. The stories we received from the different primary schools were of an extremely high standard.”

During the competition primary school students tracked Manannan’s 11,868 mile journey from Tasmania via an interactive map and spoke to the vessel’s crew by satellite phone.

Michael Deputy Head Teacher Ann Jessop said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the amount of equipment and books we have been able to buy. It will improve the geographical skills of the children. They will be using the equipment in everyday classes and we have made sure we have bought a wide range so both the infants and juniors will benefit.”

Manannan, which is currently undergoing a substantial refit, is set to enter service next year and will replace Viking on the Liverpool/Douglas sailings. The 96-metre catamaran will be the largest vessel of her type in the Irish Sea, significantly enhancing the Company’s service due to a fast cruising speed, greater vehicle, passenger and freight back-up capacity and increased levels of passenger comfort.