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BLOCKED IN DOCK; Blow as Coastguard slap a ban on bringing famous steamer home.

Byline: Lynn McPherson

A businessman who wants to bring a rusting steamer back to Scotland has been told the vessel cannot be moved by law.

The historic TS Queen Mary has been banned from leaving the Essex dockyard where she has been languishing for four years.

Ranjan Chowdhury, who saved the ship from becoming scrap metal when he bought her in 2011, has boasted of PS10million plans to bring the Clyde-built vessel home.

But we can reveal the Queen Mary is in such poor repair that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have slapped her with a prohibition notice, barring her from leaving Tilbury Docks until extensive repairs are carried out.

It's understood the cost of works needed to return the steamer to seaworthiness could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The ship must also pass a PS20,000 survey, to be paid by the owners, before the notice can be removed.

An MCA spokeswoman said: "The woman said: "The work needed to be carried out would have to be agreed.

"It would depend on "It would depend on how she was going to be moved - by tow or under her own steam."

Chowdhury and business partner Gregory Taylor revealed their plan to bring the ship north to agencies including Scottish Enterprise earlier this month under the name Team Queen Mary. Team Queen Mary.

The ir spokesman The ir spokesman said yesterday: "A ship said yesterday: "A ship left Tilbury last year left Tilbury last year without an MCA survey without an MCA survey and they subsequently and they subsequently st uck prohibition st uck prohibition notices on all non-notices on all nonw orking vessels, w orking vessels, including the Queen including the Queen Mary, to prevent such Mary, to prevent such an occurrence taking place again. The Queen Mary will obviously not be taking to sea illegally."

Glasgow-based Friends Of TS Queen Mary, who conceived the original plan to bring the ship to a permanent berth on the Clyde, have been trying to buy the steamer from Chowdhury and Taylor.

A spokesman for the charity said: "These latest revelations cause us great concern. Just last week the owner announced a PS10million plan to return Queen Mary to the Clyde. Yet, just days later it emerges that there are serious problems with her condition."

The Queen Mary, also known as the Glasgow Boat, ferried thousands of holidaymakers to Largs, Rothesay and Arran in the 40s and 50s.

CAPTION(S):

RUSTING AWAY Queen Mary

PS1OM PLAN Chowdhury

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 15, 2015
Words:416
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