Emotional send off for country’s last surviving distant water sidewinder trawler

The Arctic Corsair moving to a new temporary home.

Huge crowds gathered on Sunday 4th August to see the country’s last surviving distant water sidewinder trawler, the Arctic Corsair, move from its current location on the River Hull for the first time in 20 years.

The relocation of the trawler signals the start of Hull’s next major, heritage-led regeneration project, which is at the heart of the city’s continuing drive to capitalise upon its spectacular success as UK City of Culture 2017.

The culmination of a complex operation, involving weeks of preparation, saw two tugs manoeuvre the Arctic Corsair down the River Hull, along the Humber estuary and into temporary storage at Alexandra Dock, provided by Siemens Gamesa with the support of Associated British Ports.

The vessel will undergo restoration and conservation work before returning to a new home at a regenerated North End Shipyard on the River Hull, where it will become the centrepiece of an exciting new maritime heritage attraction, which also includes the transformation of Hull Maritime Museum and Dock Office Chambers and the conservation of the Spurn Lightship.

Volunteers who have maintained and acted as guides on the vessel over the past 20 years, including some former crew members, had gathered with members of the public and civic leaders, to watch the Arctic Corsair’s penultimate voyage.  For many, it proved to be an emotional experience.

Pete Forytaz, an Arctic Corsair Volunteer and former crew member, said: “Seeing the Arctic Corsair proudly move down river was quite a thrill and brought back so many memories. Now she has moved to Alexandra Dock, I’m looking forward to the next stage of the project. The day when see returns to the River Hull to take her place in the North End Shipyard will be a beautiful sight.”

Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment and Regeneration said: “This was an extremely complicated operation and the team along with our partners did an incredible job.

“Seeing the Arctic Corsair journey down the river was a very special and poignant moment for those who have come to cherish her. I’m delighted that so many people came to see her off. It highlights just how important she is to the city and to the nation. This is the first step in a very exciting journey for the Arctic Corsair and for Hull.”

For more information on the future of the Arctic Corsair visit maritimehull.co.uk

[Anna Marshall – Hull CC]

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