A campaign has been launched to try and save Fleetwood’s heritage trawler Jacinta from the scrap yard.
Earlier this year the Jacinta Trust, the group which has maintained the vessel as a floating museum in the town’s quayside since 1995, reluctantly announced the vessel could no longer be maintained.
The Trust said the 47-year-old vessel, moored in the Fleetwood Harbour Marina, had fallen victim to a chain of events which meant she has reached the end of her life.
David Pearce, chairman of the Trust, explained at the time that the group had spent the previous 12 months trying to find ways to save the vessel, without success.
However, a campaign to save the trawler has since gathered momentum and now a meeting is to be staged at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall, on Monday October 28, between 7pm and 9pm, to discuss the proposals.
One of the leading campaigners, Jack Harrison, a keen transport enthusiast, rail campaigner and former town councillor, said: “I have organised the meeting and the responses to the campaign and to our heritage trawler Jacinta has been fantastic.”
He says a large number of Fleetwood residents would love to see the heritage vessel saved.
However, the Jacinta Trust is wary of building up hopes of such a move.
Dave Pearce said he would be attending the meeting, when the proposals would be discussed further.
He commented: “Now that a public meeting about the ship has been called the Trust will attend to give information and answer questions.
“The Trust remains of the opinion that Jacinta has reached the end of her life.”
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.
The trawler was even taken to fishing festivals in ports around the country as an ambassador for Fleetwood.
But problems began last year 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.
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.
But the Trust concluded that these ideas did not stack up practically or financially.