Motorboat & Yachting: Salvage specialist Seaflex has raised that last remaining D-Day landing craft from the bottom of Liverpool docks.

 

After four years lying at the bottom of Liverpool docks, the last remaining D-Day landing craft has finally been refloated. LCT 7074 Landfall made numerous successful deployments to Normandy’s Gold Beach in 1944, carrying up to 11 Sherman tanks at a time across the English Channel.

At the end of the war, she was transferred to Liverpool’s Canning Dock where she was converted into a naval repair facility and later a lunch club, which closed in 2006.

When Landfall sank in 2010, a local seafarers’ association launched a campaign to save her, but it took four years to secure the £1m required from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the job. Liverpool-based contractor Salvesen UK began survey dives in March of this year, before salvage specialist Seaflex carried out the refloat last month.

A total of 230-tons of buoyancy and a floating crane were needed to raise the 187ft D-Day landing craft over a three-week period.

Ben Board, technical site support manager at Seaflex, said: “It was a great honour to work on such a prestigious UK heritage project. “We built our business on this type of salvage work and it is very much in our own heritage.” Following the refloat, Landfall has been transferred to a Portsmouth Naval Base for restoration works.
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Practical Boat Owner: Royal Navy warship HMS Argyll has dealt a third blow to smugglers after seizing more than 850kg of cocaine in a high speed midnight chase across the Caribbean.

It is the third drugs bust for HMS Argyll in as many months with this latest haul having a wholesale value of £36million, in total she has now seized 1,600kg of cocaine with a combined value of more than £68million.

Secretary of state for Defence Michael Fallon said: ‘HMS Argyll has had phenomenal success in disrupting the drugs trade which continues to blight the UK. Her crew are doing outstanding and demanding work, and the British people will rightly be proud of, and grateful for, their professionalism and commitment. He added: ‘Thanks to them, drugs destined for our streets never reach our shores.’

HMS Argyll apprehended the suspect vessel after being alerted by a US customs aircraft, which directed the ship to intercept. The Plymouth-based frigate was pushed to maximum speed and quickly closed the 70 mile gap.

After a high speed chase, during which time the smugglers began to throw their illegal cargo overboard, the warship used high tech radar to guide her small patrol boats which surrounded the smugglers and forced them to surrender.

Lieutenant Matthew Turner, who was in charge of the Bridge at the time of the chase, said:  ‘It was an intense couple of hours as we were trying to out-think and out-manoeuvre a small boat which can change direction in an instant.’

As part of her counter narcotics operations, and reflecting the commitment of the UK to work with partner nations, HMS Argyll carries a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET).

To conduct a board and search of a suspect vessel, members of the LEDET and the ship’s crew are launched together in the ship’s boats. In recent weeks HMS Argyll has provided assistance to Bermuda in the wake of Hurricane Gonzalo, conducted two further counter-narcotics seizure and hosted His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in Colombia.

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Categories: Yacht smuggling

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