Brixham harbour eyesore could be leaving at last

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 15:39

By Guy Henderson, Local Democracy Reporter

A derelict fishing boat left to rot on the quayside at Brixham could soon be on its way back to France. The Saint Christophe I sank alongside the Embankment in Dartmouth in 2016 and was towed to Brixham for repairs. But eight years and a name-change later, the boat now known as Accumulate has become a notorious eyesore.

A derelict fishing boat left to rot on the quayside at Brixham could soon be on its way back to France.
The Saint Christophe I sank alongside the Embankment in Dartmouth in 2016 and was towed to Brixham for repairs. But eight years and a name-change later, the boat now known as Accumulate has become a notorious eyesore.
Last year Torbay’s harbourmaster Rob Parsons said he would happily sell the boat for a pound if it meant getting rid of it.
Now it has been revealed that a deal to take the boat back across the Channel could be in sight.
A government inquiry concluded that the original sinking happened because Dart harbour staff and the five-man crew of the French trawler had been unable to understand one another when discussing the danger of the boat grounding on the falling tide.
The boat duly grounded and toppled on to its side, sparking a major pollution alert in the River Dart. Large crowds gathered on the waterfront to watch the salvage operation.
Refloated, the blue and white boat was then towed to Brixham harbour for repairs, but has been there ever since, moored alongside near the fish quay and the Rockfish restaurant.
Sold to a new owner, the boat was renamed Accumulate, but over the years responsibility passed to the council as the harbour authority.
Mr Parsons told Torbay’s harbour committee in September last year: “We’d sell it for a pound. People think we are just letting it sit there, but we are actively trying to get rid of it.”
But although the boat could be bought for a song, it would cost around £50,000 to tow it away from the harbour, with breaking-up costs to add on top.
People had talked about making it a house-boat or even taking off its superstructure to use it as a barge.
“It is very hard to do, but we are actively trying to sort it out,” said Mr Parsons at the meeting.
Now talks have begun in a bid to end the wrangle over the harbour’s unwanted guest.
A Torbay Council spokesman said: “We have a couple of interested parties and we are looking to work with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to attempt to find a cost-effective way of moving the vessel back to France.”
 

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