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Historic ferry owners ‘devastated’ by storm damage – but vow to fight to save service

PUBLISHED: 20:33 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 22:38 26 September 2020

Chris Zemann took over the running of Harwich Harbour Ferry in 2016 Picture: HARWICH HARBOUR FERRY

Chris Zemann took over the running of Harwich Harbour Ferry in 2016 Picture: HARWICH HARBOUR FERRY

HARWICH HARBOUR FERRY

The owners of an historic harbour ferry severely damaged when gale force winds battered the coast have pledged to fight to save the service.

The wrecked Harwich Harbour Ferry being towed away by the Harwich Haven Authority Picture: COLIN KINGSBURYThe wrecked Harwich Harbour Ferry being towed away by the Harwich Haven Authority Picture: COLIN KINGSBURY

Harwich Harbour Ferry, a 10-ton, 40ft former lifeboat tore away from her usual moorings at Ha’penny Pier when the storm hit on Friday.

MORE: Historic ferry sinks and suffers ‘significant’ damage in storm gales

Chris and Lucy Zemann, who took over the Harwich, Shotley and Felixstowe ferry in 2015, said: “We are devastated that this has happened.

“We have started assessing the damage, but it is clear we can’t operate for the rest of the season, which was due to last for another month.

“Although the ferry took on a lot of water and was half submerged, on Saturday morning the harbour authority were able to tow her to a safe haven.

“Previously a lifeboat on the SS Canberra, she didn’t capsize and is still afloat.”

The pair, who saved the yellow ferry from the brink of closure in 2016, say they are determined to resume the operation next season.

“We are grateful to the team at Harwich Haven Authority, the RNLI and other members of the wonderful community in Harwich who have already rallied around to support us and offered so much practical help and advice,” they added.

“Local reaction to this terrible incident has yet again brought home to us how much the Harwich Harbour Ferry is loved by these communities.

“We will post updates on our social media and our website over the coming days.”

Elsewhere, trees caused damage to cars in Suffolk as Friday’s storm swept in gale-force winds.


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