Thirty years of hard work ends in heartache

BOAT owners has been left devastated after their prized possession sank.

The boat, called Slowly, was a long-term restoration project and was berthed in Hartlepool marina for around 30 years.

But the hard work of the owners has sadly came to nothing after the boat sank overnight early this month.

Marina bosses received a call after the night watchman noticed that the vessel had began to sink.

But by the time they started to raise the boat out of the water it was too late and the damage had been done.

One of the owners, who didn't want to be named, said: "Obviously we were absolutely devastated when we found out.

"We have been working on the boat for around 30 years, so it was an awful moment when we got a phone call to explain what had happened."

It is believed the boat sank due to the heavy snow after weeks of arctic conditions.

Allan Henderson, director of Hartlepool Marina, said: "It is a terrible shame when we lose any boat, but especially in circumstances like this.

"Somebody on night shift noticed what was happening and we did everything we could to retrieve the boat there and then, but it was too late.

"As soon as we could we raised the boat out of the water.

"It is in the yard at the moment while it is decided what will happen next."

Allan added: "It's an awful shame for the owner.

"He has been a fantastic customer of ours for a great number of years and unfortunately this could be the end of his boating life now.

"It was a wonderful old boat, full of character and it will be sorely missed in the marina."

One of the owners said they are now deciding what to do with the vessel.

He said: "We are thinking about maybe selling it on the internet.

"But I definitely won't be working on another one.

"It has been an extensive hobby I have thoroughly enjoyed but it does take up a lot of time."