Erimo set to be lasting feature

THE wreck of the ill-fated Spanish trawler Erimo could become a long-term feature of the Fleetwood landscape.

The plan was to dismantle the ship on the beach where it lies up river from the Tiger’s Tail sandbank near Fleetwood docks.

But efforts to arrange a deal between the Spanish owner and a specialist scrap metal firm have not succeeded.

The saga started in November last year when the Erimo ran aground on Tiger’s Tail and the crew were rescued by Fleetwood lifeboat.

Hours later the ship fell over on its side, partly blocking the dock channel between the river Wyre and the Fleetwood Harbour Marina and fish dock.

For months the passage of ships was restricted then efforts to salvage the Erimo became a spectator sport with crowds lining the Jubilee Quay and nearby riverside pathway every day to watch and photograph attempts by the Western Ocean Towing Company of Falmouth who were hired by an insurance company to shift the wreck.

Associated British Ports, owners of Fleetwood docks, had made legal moves against the Spanish owner of the ship forcing him to remove the wreck from the channel.

But Salvage Master Captain Silas Oates was unsuccesful and the owner of the ship brought in his own team. They found the Erimo too badly damaged to save and the ship was beached clear of the channel and abandoned as a write-off.

Captain Oates, who still has two ships tied up in Fleetwood docks, went home and so did the Spanish team.

Dockland businessman Chris Neve said: "I think the Erimo could be there for a long time."