250 tonnes of Chester pleasure boats lifted from the River Dee for winter inspection

Reporter:

Matt Warner

THREE of Chester’s most famous boats were raised from the River Dee today.

The Lady Diana, The Mark Twain and The Jackie – weighing in at a combined 250 tonnes - were lifted out of the water for their winter inspection and overhaul.

The boats, one of the city’s post popular tourist attractions, were raised from the Dee by a giant crane in Sandy Lane.

Standard photographer Simon Warburton was there to capture the spectacle. 

With the boats out of the water, machinery inspections will be conducted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

They are currently being stripped down - ballasts will be removed and the flooring lifted up.

The agency will carry out running trials where they will check the engines steering and all the safety equipment is in order.

The boats are then checked every six months to make sure all the safe working practices are being carried out including the ongoing staff training and emergency drills. Background Information ChesterBoat. Guardians of the region’s waterways.

Established 30 years ago, ChesterBoat, which operated the three boats, has remained a family-owned business, offering a range of cruises varying from sightseeing to parties.

Safety on the boats remain a high priority with regular drills taking place, including a recent safety drill that involved local emergency services.

ChesterBoat skipper Paul Blessing and the Lady Diana

Today’s activity was overseen by ChesterBoat owner Brian Clarke and skipper Paul Blessing.

Paul hit the headlines in October last year when he plucked a baby from the river.

The quick-thinking skipper, 44, pulled the eight-month-old baby girl on to the deck of the Lady Diana pleasure boat after seeing her pram roll along the path and into the river.

“I reached in and felt like Britain’s Strongest Man as I pulled the pram up to the stage with one hand,” said Paul, who had been taking part in the safety drill with emergency services on the river.

Email:

matt.warner@nwn.co.uk

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