Plans to remove abandoned vessel in Dundrum Bay

Plans to remove abandoned vessel in Dundrum Bay

23 May 2018

COUNCIL chiefs are to apply for a marine licence ahead of work starting to remove an abandoned boat which has been lying in Dundrum for decades.

The 30-tonne vessel, which dates back to World War Two, is located at the inner bay in the village and is starting to fall apart which locals have warned poses a danger to children who view the wreck as an adventure playground.

The future of the vessel has been debated by local politicians on a number of occasions, with Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s Regulatory and Technical Services Committee due to rubber-stamp the application for a marine licence at a meeting this evening.

Once the licence has been secured, a contractor will be selected to remove the remnants of the decaying oak-constructed boat which is lying on its starboard side.

Dundrum residents have expressed concern about the implications the decaying vessel has for the health and safety of young people who on occasion explore the boat when the tide is out. 

They say the vessel is coming to the end of its days, with part of the hull collapsing following a storm last year.

Councillors will be told tonight that a recent inspection of the abandoned boat, which is almost 70 feet long, has revealed a further deterioration in its condition, with part of the hull having recently fallen away.

It will also be confirmed tonight that the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, requires the local authority to obtain a marine licence before the boat, which still has its two eight cylinder engines in place, is removed.

The vessel’s upper deck is made of steel and while some local people had indicated they would have liked the boat to remain in place as it has become something of a local landmark, they recognise the danger it poses and it should be removed.

Politicians say while the abandoned vessel has become something of landmark and very much associated with Dundrum, the fact it had started to break up highlights the need to do something as soon as possible.

There are fears that the further deterioration of the vessel could potentially result in any remaining fuel, engine or hydraulic oils on board, leaking into the inner bay which is currently leased to Newry, Mourne and Down Council from the Crown Estate. 

Politicians say the bottom line is that the boat has to be removed to address a number of health and safety concerns which have arisen have to be addressed.

Mournes Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke says he hopes the marine licence can be secured relatively quickly once the application has been submitted.

“The vessel needs to be removed as soon as possible. The former Down Council planned to go down this particular route but nothing happened,” he remarked.

“While I was initially keen to see the boat remain as it had become something of landmark and very much associated with Dundrum, the fact it had started to break up means the local authority has to act.”