Fire crews called to yacht club ship

FIRE crews were involved in an operation to pump out around 150 tonnes of water from a ship housing a yacht club after it sprang a leak.The leak was discovered yesterday around 6pm when the vessel, which is the base for the Haven Ports Yacht Club, was opened for the evening at the Suffolk Yacht Harbour, in Levington.

IT WAS business as usual today on a ship housing a yacht club, just hours after it sprang a leak.

Firefighters were called to the Haven Ports Yacht Club at the Suffolk Yacht Harbour in Levington to pump out around 150 tonnes of water after the leak was noticed yesterday.

The 350-tonne oak and steel vessel, built in 1932, had taken in water into the forward bilge but the yacht harbour's pumps were not powerful enough to cope.

An operation, involving RNLI volunteers and fire crews as well as a salvage company, was launched.

Michael Bunn, rear commodore, said: “The water was more than our pumps could cope with so we called the fire brigade for assistance and the RNLI volunteers also came.

“We discovered it at 6pm when we opened up and she was nose down, or bow down. She had taken on a serious amount of water.

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“The problem was that we went down when the tide came up so the ship was tipping a little.”

The light ship, which was originally moored off Cromer to warn shipping of the dangers of the sandbanks, houses the private members yacht club's restaurant and bar. It is secured to the land by steel sponsons .

Jonathan Dyke, managing director of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, said the area that had flooded was the forward hold, the old chain locker.

He said there was no damage to the vessel's interior, as the water had flooded into the forward bilge, and an investigation had been launched to find out how the leak started.

It is believed the vessel had been leaking over the last few days, with yesterday's tide making it worse.