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HomeNewsWWII Steam Tug In Ramsgate Needs New Owner Or Could be Scrapped

WWII Steam Tug In Ramsgate Needs New Owner Or Could be Scrapped

A historic WW2 Steam tug is looking to find a new owner of the old boat could find itself sold off for scrap.

The Ramsgate-based tug ‘Cervia’ needs a new owner to save this National Historic Fleet vessel.

The vessel owner has reluctantly announced his intention to commence deconstruction of the tug, currently located in Smeaton’s Dry Dock, Ramsgate, by November 2022 unless any alternative solution is put forward before this deadline.

She was constructed by Alexander Hall & Co of Aberdeen in 1945-6 as one of 17 ‘Empire’ class tugs and initially named ‘Empire Raymond’ before being sold on to civilian ownership.

She then joined the William Watkins fleet and was initially stationed in Iceland, before working out of Gravesend, docks in London, Thames Estuary and the South-East Coast, including Ramsgate.  She was renamed Cervia at this time.  In 1954, Cervia was involved in a towing accident with the liners Arcadia and Orcades and, in capsizing, she drowned four of her crew and captain. 

In December 2018 Cervia partially sank after a small area of internal hull rust corrosion caused a leak.  A concrete patch was fitted and the boat was refloated with some additional concrete added subsequently to other areas considered to be at risk.  The boat has reopened to the public regularly since.

Cervia is a large and important survivor; full of character and the only ‘deep sea’ steam tug built for international operation remaining in the UK

Following extensive negotiations between the current owner and council it is now recognised that the funds and resources needed to jointly carry out the required below waterline re-plating works are simply not available in the current economic climate or timescale needed.

There is the possibility of remaining in Ramsgate which has had a long tradition of servicing the London tug fleets.

Any interested parties requiring further information with a view to offering this vessel a new home at a nominal price (to be discussed) should contact: info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk as soon as possible and no later than Friday 16th September 2022.

Further information on the tug and how to save her can be found here.

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