Solway Harvester wreck won’t be scrapped before Isle of Man TT

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The rusting wreck of the Solway Harvester will be broken up this year - but it won’t be scrapped in time for the TT.

Infrastructure Minister David Cretney was questioned in the House of Keys about why the eyesore remains of the trawler were still in Douglas harbour.

Mr Cretney, replying to the question from Leonard Singer (Ramsey) explained that it had always been his department’s intention to being the process of scrapping the vessel early in the 2013-14 financial year - and this remained the case.

He said: ‘Ever since the Solway Harvester sank on January 11 2000, the department has recognised the need to deal with issues surrounding the vessel with sensitivity and understanding.

‘This had been particularly the case when determining how to proceed once it became clear in mid-2012 that any legal action in the Scottish courts by the families would not require the vessel to be retained as evidence.’

Mr Cretney said the families had been advised, through their lawyer, in October last year of the department’s intention to arrange for the Solway Harvester to be scrapped in 2013.

‘This work requires the retaining of a suitably experienced contractor in accordance with financial regulations. Due to the time required to engage a contractor, the need to allow the January anniversary to pass and budgetary constraints, it was always the department’s intention to start the process early in the 2013-14 financial year.’

Mr Singer asked if the wreck would still be there during the TT. Mr Cretney replied that unfortunately it would not be disposed of before then.

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