A charity behind a project to restore a famous Grimsby trawler with the aim of returning her to her home port says that more funding is needed to carry out repairs, reports Paul Scott.
The Ross Revenge, sister vessel of the Ross Tiger, is currently classed as a ‘hulk’ and moored in the river Blackwater in Essex.
Built in 1960, she has a celebrated fishing heritage, and in 1976 landed a world record 218t of cod, which sold for more than £75,000.
In the early 1980s, and following the decline of the fishing industry, the vessel was converted into a fully functioning radio ship for the pirate station Radio Caroline.
Sporting an iconic 300ft mast, the vessel began a game of cat and mouse with various authorities while continuing to broadcast illegally. That came to an abrupt end in 1989 when armed Dutch authorities boarded the vessel, and shut down the station.
In 1991 the Ross Revenge broke anchor, ending up on the Goodwin Sands off Kent. Eventually brought back to Dover, the vessel was promptly detained owing to a number of defects.
Following its salvage by a group of volunteers, and eventual release, the vessel undertook a nomadic life until ending up at its present location in 2014. Now a fully functioning radio ship again, the vessel is a popular tourist attraction.
Chairman of the MV Ross Revenge CIO Peter Moore told Fishing News: “If she was a vintage car, she would be a ‘barn find, unique and with great potential’,” he said.
“Her massive construction and thus the thickness of her hull is such that with modern methods and materials, all her metalwork, including the superstructure, could be restored to good condition and appearance.
“She also needs new decks. If this is done, she will be 100% watertight, and that will halt any internal deterioration. Then we want to work on her machinery. The fact of it having been left idle for decades does not mean that it cannot be made to function.”
The charity has so far raised more than £46,000, and Peter Moore says ‘the more we raise, the more we will do’.
“We want to see the job finished properly as Revenge has much to offer as a visiting attraction, especially as we want to convert substantial unused spaces into an exhibition/museum with a cinema and educational area, so that all ages including students can learn about the fishing and radio history of the UK, all embodied in the sole surviving ship,” he said.
Anyone wishing to donate can visit: rossrevenge.com or the charity’s crowdfunding page here.
This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.