IMAGE : RNLI
A Mississippi-style paddle steamer and riverboat hotel destined for the Cranagh, Coleraine, has sunk off the north Wales coast while it was being towed to its new home in Northern Ireland.
The MV Oliver Cromwell, started sinking on Friday about 12 miles (19km) west of South Stack near Holyhead, Anglesey.
Holyhead Coastguard was called just before 14:00 BST but could not stop the boat sinking into the Irish Sea. No-one on board was injured and no pollution was caused.
The RNLI’s Holyhead coxswain Tony Price said: “It was very sad to see such a lovely vessel sink like that, but no-one was endangered and the lack of fuel on board meant there were no environmental issues.”
The Oliver Cromwell was first built as a Dutch barge in 1922 and was converted to a riverboat hotel in 1993.
It was on its way to its new home on the River Bann, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, after being moored in Gloucester Docks for the past 25 years.
Local MLA Maurice Bradley said: “its a sad loss to what would have been a massive tourist attraction on the River Bann at the Crannagh. This was a eagerly awaited addition to the Coleraine and North Coast area and represented a significant investment in tourism.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt and no pollution has occurred as the MV Oliver was not carrying fuel on board.
“My concern is not only for the loss of the vessel, but also for the investors who were confident to spend a vast amount of money on tourism in the Coleraine area and opening up the River Bann to immense potential