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Ship restoration on track after bad weather

PUBLISHED: 20:00 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 16 September 2010

Hayley Mace

A restoration project to breathe new life into an historic steam ship was temporarily knocked off track when high winds blew part of the funnel into the water at Lowestoft.

A restoration project to breathe new life into an historic steam ship was temporarily knocked off track when high winds blew part of the funnel into the water at Lowestoft.

The SS Robin, which will leave Lowestoft next Saturday to return to London, where she will become a floating museum, has been moored on a pontoon for several months.

Earlier this week, high winds blew the steel cover from her original funnel into the water and it had to be rescued by divers.

SS Robin project director David Kampfner said a diving team was called in from Lincolnshire. The five divers worked by feel in almost zero visibility and managed to find the lost steel cover in less than an hour.

He said: “We're hugely indebted to the East Coast dive team for their professionalism, community spirit and swift response to our call for assistance.

“Without the team's help we would have faced significant difficulties meeting our deadlines to sail, which after two years' hard work in completing the restoration of this wonderful vessel would have been a serious blow.”

SS Robin, the world's oldest complete steamship, is due to be moved to London where she is set to enjoy a new lease of life on the River Thames as a museum dedicated to the seafarers who sacrificed their lives on the oceans far from home, as well as a learning centre for young people.

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