Cost of boat sinking in harbour could top £200,000

Brixham Harbour

Brixham Harbour - Credit: Google

The cost of sorting out the problems in Brixham harbour caused by the sinking of a boat with a concrete hull could end up at more than £200,000.

The 70ft schooner called Sea Beast is reported to have sunk three times this year inside the harbour.

Adam Parnell, head of Tor Bay Harbour Authority, told councillors the cost of repairs to a pontoon it was tied up to, salvaging the vessel and disposing of it would easily exceed £100,000 and could top £200,000.

He said the vessel had been sold by the harbour authority to a new owner who was uninsured.

The cost of repairs and dealing with the vessel were now being covered by the harbour’s insurance.

Capt Parnell said the insurer was expected to try to recover the costs from the owner.

He told a meeting of Torbay Council’s harbour committee that the damaged pontoon had been repaired.

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The vessel which was listed for sale was first found submerged in January after bad weather. It was refloated and moved but sank twice more.

In other incidents reported to the committee, the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating how a cruise ship in Torbay lost an anchor and chain three times.

A woman fell from a vertical ladder on the fish quay at low tide in the early hours of New Year’s Day and suffered a head injury.

A man who fell from steps into the water in the harbour broke three limbs, but is making a good recovery, councillors were told.

Both injury incidents were reported to the safety authorities and judged to be accidents with no further action required.

The committee was told that the harbours across Torbay had seen income fall due to the pandemic, but the council would ensure the self-financing department did not run out of money.

One positive point was the expected £900,000 income from fish landings this year.

Capt Parnell said the income had held up well despite the pandemic and Brexit, and was a good sign for next year.

Brixham is the most valuable fishing port in the UK by value of catch sold.