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Massey Shaw sinks after vandals attack

Article by News Shopper:

A historic fireboat needs £50,000 worth of repairs after sinking in the River Thames.

The Massey Shaw which fought blazes during The Blitz of the Second World War and was one of the crafts used to rescued troops from the beaches of Dunkirk became almost completely submerged in water on November 1 following an attack by vandals.

As the tide came in during the night firefighters helped secure the boat to the dock near Norway Street, Greenwich. They then spent three hours helping pump out 15 tonnes of water.

Massey Shaw Marine Vessels Preservation Trust, made up of former firefighters, estimates the damage is between £40,000 to £50,000 but insurers will not cover the whole amount.

Trust secretary David Rogers said: "We'd had a problem with vandals for a couple of weeks. One day people had got on board, smashed the locks, got into the engine room and left two piles of human excrement on the floor.

We went to clean up and fit new locks on the Saturday. But on Sunday, people had got aboard and opened valves, letting water in. The whole engine room and crew space was awash with water. This boat is extremely worthy to preserve. We hope to keep it as a working boat on the Thames and continue doing displays.

The fireboat has now been towed to Lambeth for restoration work.

Built in 1935 and retiring from service in 1971, the Massey Shaw was the first fireboat especially built for the Thames.

It was named after Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, the Victorian founder of the London Fire Brigade.

Two years ago Channel 4's Salvage Squad helped restore one of the boat's engines.

Original article here: http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/archive/2004/11/09/544080.Boat_sinks_after_vandals_attack/