A replica of biblical Noah’s Ark is currently stuck in Ipswich waterfront in UK because it is considered not seaworthy due to lack of the right paperwork.
The Dutch-flagged ark which arrived in the UK in November 2019 has been detained by coastguard at Orwell Quay, Ipswich as the owners are locked in an ‘impossible stalemate’ with the agency and now transport secretary Grant Shapps is being asked to get involved.
The £2.6 million vessel designed as a museum is owned by Dutch TV producer Aad Peters, who could apply for an exemption to be allowed to return to Holland but the Coastguard has serious concerns and insist that it is not safe.
‘‘Noah’s Ark will remain detained until all the deficiencies have been put right and an MCA surveyor is invited back by the owners to check they’ve been corrected.’’ The coastguard said.
The craft was due to leave on April 1 but because of the stalemate it has been racking up £500-a-day in fines ever since.
The Coastguard found a range of issues, including overdue services for life-saving equipment such as life jackets, fire kit and life boats. They said they could not ‘rely on the grace of God’ to let the boat leave.
The owner said it has always been classed as a ‘non-certified floating object’ and had only left its home country on an ‘infrequent and exceptional basis’.
The owners said in a statement: ‘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.
Plans have now been agreed for the Ark to be towed back to the Netherlands with a pending approval from the transport secretary.