Noah's Ark leaves Ipswich after 18-month stay

Noah's Ark leaving Ipswich at first light on Thursday, July 1

Noah's Ark leaving Ipswich at first light on Thursday, July 1 - Credit: DR RUTH FLAHERTY

A replica of Noah's Ark has left Ipswich after an 18-month stay which saw it detained under maritime laws.

The museum ship, owned by Dutch theatre producer Aad Peters, arrived in Ipswich in late 2019 – bringing with it a buzz of optimism to the Waterfront.

However, things soon turned difficult for the ship, with the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic being compounded by it being detained days after arriving at the port in Ipswich.

Noah's Ark leaving the waterfront in Ipswich this morning.

Noah's Ark leaving the waterfront in Ipswich this morning. - Credit: Daren Jennings

Coastguard bosses said the Ark was not seaworthy, key paperwork was missing, and it was racking up fines of £500 a day from April 1, according to emails and documents obtained by this newspaper under Freedom of Information laws.

Its dramatic time in Ipswich saw the Government urged to wade in to help resolve the issue, with its detention making headlines as far as Australia and the USA.

Noah's Ark has left Ipswich Waterfront after an extended stay in the UK

Noah's Ark has left Ipswich Waterfront after an extended stay in the UK - Credit: DR RUTH FLAHERTY

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokeswoman confirmed it had been released from its detention on June 24.

The 70m vessel left the Waterfront early on Thursday morning and will return to its home in the Netherlands.

A spokesman for Associated British Ports (ABP) said: “ABP is pleased to see that the owners of the vessel known as Noah’s Ark and the MCA have reached an agreement to allow the vessel to return to the Netherlands.

A replica of Noah's Ark arrives at ABP's Port of Ipswich, on 09-November-2019.
Picture: Steph

The ark being pulled into Ipswich in November 2019 - Credit: Stephen Waller / ABP Ipswich

"We wish the ark and her crew a safe passage home."

The owners of the ark have been approached for comment.

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