Giant Noah’s Ark replica stranded in UK

A replica of Noah’s Ark has been moored in Ipswich for more than a year and a half after being deemed unworthy for the sea.

It has been receiving a fine of £500 a day since the start of April, on top of a bill of more than £12,000 before that for its detention, says the Ipswich Star.

Its detention report suggests the ship did not have key certificates when it arrived and there were concerns over overdue services for fire equipment, life jackets and life crafts.

The 2,000 sqm, four-floor ship calls itself a ‘half-sized replica of Noah’s original boat’ and serves as a floating museum presenting, what it terms, an ‘educational and cultural celebration of many of the Bible’s legendary stories’ (Abraham is pictured left).

“The vessel Noah’s Ark will remain detained until all the deficiencies have been put right and an MCA surveyor invited back by the owners to check they’ve been corrected,” says a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokesperson.

The ark had visited the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Norway before arriving on British shores in Nov 2019.

“The requirement to obtain full registration and the required certificates was and may not be achievable within the required timescales and would incur unreasonable costs and time delays to the vessel,” the owners told the Ipswich Star.

“Towage plans have now been made for the Ark to return to the Netherlands and the vessel is still awaiting towage approval to depart from the UK.

“Owners have been continuously seeking a means (of release) and (permittance) to be towed on a single voyage from the UK to the Netherlands, with an agreed towage plan.”

Its owners, who had planned to leave by March 31, said the Ark has always been categorised as a ‘non-certified floating object’ not required to comply with international regulation. It has only left Holland on an ‘infrequent and exceptional basis’ in the past.

They said the Ark is fully insured and has passed numerous inspections, and has previously been towed between European countries without the need for a certificate or registration with a flag state.

External image courtesy of ABP Ipswich (Stephen Waller)

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