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The end at last for hulk

PUBLISHED: 16:49 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 July 2010

Liz Coates

THE sunken Dutch coaster Polaris, an obstacle in the building of Great Yarmouth's outer harbour, has been raised and dismembered.

The week-long operation involved raising the wreck in sections, breaking it up by hand into 10-tonne chunks using gas-cutting torches and transporting it to a Yarmouth scrapyard.

THE sunken Dutch coaster Polaris, an obstacle in the building of Great Yarmouth's outer harbour, has been raised and dismembered.

The week-long operation involved raising the wreck in sections, breaking it up by hand into 10-tonne chunks using gas-cutting torches and transporting it to a Yarmouth scrapyard.

After nearly 35 years on the sea bed only around half of the vessel remained. And, while the top half was taken off some years ago, the wreck was still visible at low tide, lying only around 100 metres off-shore at a depth of some 10m.

Engineers worked first to dig round the vessel to expose it. A witness said the rusting hulk had been raised in three barge-loads on to the Dinopotis, a specialist jack barge from Holland.

The operation went smoothly with no hitches.

The Polaris was on voyage from Scotland to Rotterdam carrying cattle feed in 1973 when she collided in fog with a Spanish tanker 40 miles off Yarmouth. She was towed here but was prevented from entering harbour because she was taking on so much water and in danger of sinking.

Instead she was beached, and the intention was to repair and refloat her. When this failed she capsized and a wrangle broke out over who should pay for her recovery.

She is said to be the last ship to have sunk off local shores.

Although the ship was much decayed, her basic shape, portholes, anchor chain and other elements were clearly recognisable

The operation was done by a crew of 10 working on the barge, with five onshore cutting it all up.

Two giant cranes will be delivered to the outer harbour site in May as part of the

new short-sea container terminal.

Construction work on the £50m outer harbour project is progressing well, with the northern breakwater almost complete.

Work to build a new 400m quay wall will start soon so that the joint venture between International Port Holdings and PSA, its operating partner, can proceed with further investment in port pavements for the short-sea container terminal.

PSA (UK) East Terminal said the contract for two Panamax quay cranes had been awarded to Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery.

More than 390,000 tonnes of rock has been delivered to the site at South Denes, which has been transformed from derelict wasteland into a thriving construction site by contractors Van Oord and Edmund Nuttall.

In the months ahead work will continue on the northern and southern breakwaters and dredging of the internal harbour basin will begin. About 1.65m cubic metres of sand will be dredged and used for reclamation of the new harbour.

The basin will be dredged to an average of 10 metres deep.

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