Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Royal Yacht Britannia's list problem fixed

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Media captionGraham Inglis, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service: "We're pumping water from starboard to port to bring Britannia to the vertical"

An emergency effort to pump water out of the Royal Yacht Britannia has rectified the list it developed while being moved to be repainted.

The yacht was tilting on its starboard side by four degrees after developing a leak in a door seal.

The leak was discovered when officials noticed the ship was tilting and went to alter ballast levels.

The yacht is now being moved to a dry dock across the harbour in Leith six hours later than planned.

At least four fire engines were at the scene to help pump water from the ship.

Two units from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service in Hawick were also called to the Britannia with a high-volume pump on what they said was an emergency call.

Visitor attraction

The Royal Family is always kept up to date with any developments concerning the former Royal yacht.

On 11 December 1997 Britannia was decommissioned and became a visitor attraction in Edinburgh after the city bid to become her new home.

Image caption The Britannia was tilting on its starboard side

Bob Downie, Britannia Trust chief executive, said: "When we were removing the final mooring ropes this morning the ship moved four degrees to starboard.

"This meant that new access watertight doors to our pontoons were below the water level.

"There has been a leak in the seals on those doors which was accentuating the list.

"Because we have had limited shore power we asked the fire brigade to provide us with some assistance in correcting the ship's ballast.

"This has caused a delay in the process."

It is the first time the yacht has been moved from its berth in Edinburgh in almost 14 years.

It is due to reopen to the public on 1 February.

Work began on the ship at John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank in June 1952 and it was launched in April 1953.

Last year was one of the attraction's busiest years with more than 275,000 visitors, a 12% increase on the previous year.

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