27 Sept 2022

The mystery of the '£1' boat which is stranded on the River Foyle in Derry

Expected that it could be a couple of weeks before the vessel can be refloated

The mystery of the '£1' boat which is stranded on the River Foyle in Derry

The boat has been stranded on the Foyle since the weekend.

A former fishing boat which ran aground in the River Foyle at the weekend could be stuck there until the middle of next month, it has emerged.

It is understood that the mystery vessel was bought for £1 with the unknown owner planning to convert it into an Airbnb boat.

Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR), the police and other relevant agencies responded to reports of the boat being stuck on Sunday when they offered the crew assistance.

The vessel, 'Day Dawn N1 82,' was last known to be engaged in fishing. according to the Marine Traffic website.

Another site, Vessel Finder, also states that it received the latest position of the boat at 11.57pm on August 22.

FSR were tasked on Sunday last, following reports of a grounded vessel.

Pat Carlin, of FSR, said the boat was likely to be there until mid-September when the tide would be high enough for it to re-float.

“She’s stuck solid,” he added.

“We went and assessed the boat, determined that the crew were safe and passed that information on to the police service,” Mr Carlin explained

“We provided them with some basic supplies that they needed and basically the vessel is grounded and can’t be move until the tide is lifted.

“All relevant services were notified and are aware that it’s there.”

Mr Carlin continued: “I think they were up on the council pontoon and to the best of my knowledge they may have come from outside the area, I don’t know exactly.

“They’ll have no choice but to wait, maybe with the sudden floods tonight (August 25) they’ll be lucky and might get re-floated otherwise they’ll have to wait until the tides are high enough.”

The PSNI confirmed that police assisted partners, including FSR and Coastguard in liaising with the crew.

A report from 2008, shows that Day Dawn N 182 was bought for the purposes of fishing from Portavogie.

It was said to be the first time the vessel had been based anywhere else apart from Kilkeel since her arrival in 1965 from Banff where the wooden-hulled boat was built by John Watt & Sons as a trawler.

Harbour master at Portavogie, Neil Warnock, yesterday said Day Dawn was based there but left a couple of months ago.

“Somebody bought it for a pleasure craft,” he explained.

“It’s not a fishing boat any more, the licence on it was sold off a while ago there.

“The last I heard the boat was in Portrush, I saw a picture of it at Portrush harbour after it left here.”

At Portrush, the assistant harbour master said the boat owner was only there for three days and he believed the man travelled from the Greencastle direction.

He was trying to get himself a permanent mooring, he said, but wasn’t able to secure it.

The owner left Portrush heading towards Derry where he tried to get a mooring in the town and ended up on the mud flats.

“I just know that he bought that for £1. None of the fishermen like decommissioning so they basically would rather they go off.

“So I think he bought it for a pound and wanted to change it into an Air B ‘n’ B, but we couldn’t offer him a permanent mooring in Portrush, so he was only here for three days,” the Assistant Harbour Master added.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Foyle Port added: “Foyle Port is aware that a small trawler has run aground at Madam's Bank in the River Foyle.

“There is no environmental threat or impediment to other marine craft.

“Once conditions are right we expect the vessel to become buoyant again.”

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