The end for heritage vessel
A Fleetwood trawler which has spent the last 24 years as a floating heritage museum in the town's quayside is to be scrapped.
The 1972 deep sea vessel Jacinta had a record-breaking fishing career in Fleetwood and Hull until she was given to the Fleetwood community by the Marr family shipping company in 1995.
Towed to Fleetwood that year, Jacinta went on to play host to thousands of visitors, including schoolchildren.
But the 47-year-old vessel, moored in the Fleetwood Harbour Marina, has fallen victim to a chain of events that mean she has reached the end of her life.
David Pearce, a former Gazette journalist who is chairman of the Jacinta Charitable Trust that owns the former arctic trawler, said: “It is a sad day.
“For the last 12 months the trustees have been trying to find a more positive future for Jacinta but without success.”
Problems began when two leaks were detected in the port side of the ship, which rests against the quayside.
Plans to tow the ship to the Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead for repairs and maintenance were put on hold because the Maritime and Coastguard Agency ruled the ship could not leave port unless temporary repairs could be made in Fleetwood docks.
David said: “ We have employed professional divers and highly skilled craftsmen on two occasions and they have not been able to achieve the temporary repairs.
“They have revealed further damage on the port side.”
Last year, two of the trustees died – first Tony Lofthouse the generous benefactor who financed the whole Jacinta project and then, five weeks later, Lionel Marr, chairman of the Jacinta Trust, which brought the ship to Fleetwood in 1995, and headed the team which ran Jacinta.
David continued: “The deaths of our two colleagues and friends meant changes for the trust which have had a bearing on our work.”
Since the ship could not leave the port the trust examined ways of preserving Jacinta by lifting her out onto dry land or encasing her in a dry dock.
David said: “These ideas do not stack up practically or financially.
“Sadly it is time for her to go.”