Preparations to lift sunken boat

LAST-minute preparations are today being made for a delicate operation to lift a 100-year-old sunken boat from an Ipswich dock.

LAST-minute preparations are today being made for a delicate operation to lift a 100-year-old sunken boat from an Ipswich dock.

The 70-ton schooner, called the Marguerite, became submerged after it sprung a leak while moored in the south west quay.

Intricate planning has gone into the project to ensure the wooden vessel is not crushed in the rescue attempt, which will take place tomorrow.

The operation has also been complicated by the fact that there is around 300 gallons of diesel on board which poses a minor risk of contaminating the water.


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Jonathan Pack, owner of Eastern Structures, which is overseeing the recovery, said it was an unusual project which required a lot of care and attention to avoid an accident.

The boat developed a fracture in its hull when a joining between the boards weakened, causing water to seep in.

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The automatic pumps were activated but it is thought they burnt out after being left running for several weeks while the boat was left unattended.

Divers have been clearing mud from underneath the vessel over the last few days so a large sling can be placed around it.

A protective “skirt” has been placed around the boat and pumps will be on hand to prevent a serious leak if one of the fuel tanks happened to rupture.

The boat, which belongs to a private owner, will be attached to two cranes on the dockside which will slowly lift it out of the water.

When the boat reaches the surface, the water inside will be pumped out and temporary repairs made to the hull before being escorted by a tug to a hoist at the Haven Marina.

It is then planned to lift the boat out of the water on Monday so full repairs can be made to the vessel.

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