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Weekly Edition - Published  22 September 2016

 

Local News Report - Mobile Page

 

Liverpool's Iconic Light Ship has been removed from Liverpool!

THE iconic Planet Light Ship, a floating light house, which was once sited off Formby Point, in the River Mersey Estuary has been removed from the Albert Dock site after arguments over unpaid bills of around £10,000 in unpaid mooring fees.

The "Planet" was the last manned Mersey Bar lightship until 1972 and is the only remaining 1 of its type in the world. This is a hugely historic vessel and many are now asking why Liverpool City Council has not stepped in. This vessel is/was 1 of the most iconic and recognisable parts of Liverpool and the region. Now the worry is that this would famous ship could be lost from Liverpool forever, or worse still scrapped and lost for good. We are told that after it was removed from Canning Dock East, via tugboat, it was taken to a port outside the City.

The Canal and River Trust took possession of the vessel, over the allegations that it did not have a license to trade and over the unpaid mooring fees, have stated that:-"If the owner, Mr Roberts, pays the Trust the monies he owes us, he can recover the ship.” Also that:- "It is not being scrapped.” Now there is also the worry that should Mr Roberts be unable to pay, it could be sold and then find its way to the scrap yards. Like other lightships around the world, for example the Irish Light ship, named:- 'Skua’, which was scrapped in 2012. There are only a handful of these iconic craft left in the world, with most being broken up. So will this valuable bit of maritime heritage be consigned to history books? Let's hope not, but if sold, it could go to the breakers yard! That is why some are calling now on Liverpool Council to act.  A fund was created on the Chuffed website, to help save the very last Bar Lightship, but it only raised £1,200 of its £20,000 target. The campaign page was closed on 24 August 2016, oddly marked as "Completed?" What are your views on this topic? Please email us at News24@SouthportReporter.com.

This video was shot by Dave Graham and added to YouTube. It shows the owner pleading with the bailiffs not to take it away…

Fact file:- The "Planet" was the last Mersey Bar manned Lightship and was anchored some 9 miles to seaward of the Mersey Bar, off Formby Point. It had a crew of 7 who worked on 2 week shifts. In 1972 it was moved and in 1979 began service in the English Channel off Guernsey. It was decommissioned in 1989, it was the last manned lightship in UK waters.  Useful references links:- Wikipedia / Facebook / Twitter / MerseyPlanet.Co.UK / MMSW.

 

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