Hurricane-hit boat floats again
A boat sent to the bottom five months ago by Hurricane Nicole is afloat once more, although the cost of the exercise is yet to be tallied.
“Getting the engines running is my next mission,” Jepheth Newton said after his vessel, the Esperanza, settled at anchor in St George’s Harbour.
The 92ft trawler was ordered removed in time for the start of the month, with Marginal Wharf in St David’s to clear its docks for the importation of airport redevelopment materials.
Mr Newton had contacted The Royal Gazette after he was informed by the Harbourmaster a few weeks ago that the boat had to be moved at his expense.
Authorities had planned to dump the boat if it proved unsalvageable. But Mr Newton had already dived at the site where the boat sank off Marginal Wharf.
“There were no holes — I was on the boat when it went down,” he said.
Caught when the hurricane shifted in its approach, the Esperanza was pushed up against another relic housed at the wharf, the Niobe Corinthian, which is due to be sunk deliberately when a good enough stretch of weather permits. Mr Newton’s vessel took on water and sank.
Determined not to give up, Mr Newton must move quickly to flush out his boat with fresh water and revive the engines before they freeze up. He is also seeking dock space.
Having her ready for the America’s Cup is out of the question, but he plans “most definitely” to outfit the Esperanza as a charter vessel.
In the meantime, Mr Newton awaits the bill. The intervention was unfortunately timed, as he had invested $8,000 in airbags to raise the boat, before the deadline of the month’s end came up.
“I haven’t had any price details — I’d asked for some type of quote,” he said. “I even asked if they’d be willing to share the bill because I wasn’t able to use the airbags. Whatever it is, I guess I’ll find out.”
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