THE three iconic boats of ChesterBoat company, The Lady Diana, Mark Twain, and The Jackie are being craned out of the River Dee today (Monday, January 20).

The 86-tonne boats are being removed for cleaning and thorough inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency so that the boats can go back for carrying its operation.

Monday morning saw the lifting of the iconic Lady Diana boat, watched by a small crowd of onlookers at Sandy Lane car park in Boughton.

Chester and District Standard:

ChesterBoat managing director Brian Clarke would be managing the lifting and transporting the boats for ChesterBoat and Commercial Boat Service Companies.

The company which operates the boats of ChesterBoat carries out the exercise every two years.

The boats will be cleaned and improvements made, and will be given a fresh coat of paint before returning to the river for the passengers.

Chester and District Standard:

The boats will remain outside until 10 days and will be ready to return to the water on January 29.

The daily service will begin on February 15. Due to the success of this winter's Christmas opening hours, the company plans to run a daily service throughout the year once again.

Managing director of ChesterBoat and Commercial Boat Services, Brian Clarke, explained what the process involved.

Chester and District Standard:

He said: "We are lifting the Chester fleet out for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency; it's similar to an MOT for them.

"We lift them out, clean them, paint them and inspect all parts.

"It's done every two years and these boats are due to be back into the water on January 29. The whole process takes about 10 days.

Chester and District Standard:

"We have spent the last couple of weeks stripping the boats out to save on weight, lifting the boards so we can see the metalwork underneath.

"We lift them out and put them on blocks. We wash them and all the work that needs doing to them is done.

"A 300-tonne lifting crane is used for lifting the boats."