Drama on the Orwell Lady

A CRUISE along the River Orwell ended in drama when the ship had to be pulled to safety, it emerged today.

A CRUISE along the River Orwell ended in drama when the ship had to be pulled to safety, it emerged today.

The crew of the Orwell Lady, the passenger cruiser which runs regular trips on the river, had to act quickly when the captain noticed something was wrong.

He dropped anchor and radioed for help from one of the tugs based at Ipswich's port.

The cruiser, with 66 passengers onboard, was then towed back to Orwell Quay and an investigation later revealed the cause of the problem to be a large sheet of cellophane, at least 8ft long, which was entangled round its propeller.

Carl Webb, marine manager with Orwell River Cruises and the skipper of the tug, Tayra, which went to the Orwell Lady's rescue, said: “We initially thought it was possibly a mechanical problem because the captain heard a loud whining noise.

“We couldn't see anything mechanically wrong with it when we got there.

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“Once we lifted it out of the water we saw what the problem was. It was cellophane.

“It can be quite a common problem that things get caught in the propeller, though it hasn't happened to the Orwell Lady before.

“It is difficult to police what goes in the water because people do throw things in and things get blown in from the building works at the Waterfront.”

Coincidentally, just four weeks earlier, the very same manoeuvre needed on Saturday had been practised by the Tayra and the Orwell Lady.

Were you onboard the Orwell Lady at the time of the drama? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.