North West Wales

Paddle steamer MV Oliver Cromwell sinks off Anglesey coast

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Media captionThe RNLI captured the moment the boat sank

A Mississippi-style paddle steamer and riverboat hotel has sunk off the north Wales coast while it was being towed to Northern Ireland.

The vessel, called the MV Oliver Cromwell, started sinking on Friday about 12 miles (19km) west of South Stack near Holyhead, Anglesey.

Holyhead Coastguard was called just before 14:00 BST but could not stop the boat sinking into the Irish Sea.

No-one on board was injured and no pollution was caused.

The RNLI's Holyhead coxswain Tony Price said: "It was very sad to see such a lovely vessel sink like that, but no-one was endangered and the lack of fuel on board meant there were no environmental issues."

The Oliver Cromwell was first built as a Dutch barge in 1922 and was converted to a riverboat hotel in 1993.

It was on its way to a new home in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, after being moored in Gloucester Docks for the past 25 years.

It was put up for sale by English Holiday Cruises last year with a £245,000 asking price.

Richard Clements, the company's managing director, said: "We were looking forward to seeing the vessel getting a new lease of life in Northern Ireland and are very upset that this will no longer happen.

"We are grateful that nobody has been hurt and no pollution has occurred. We have sent commiserations to the buyers in Northern Ireland."

Image copyright Mike Nash
Image caption The 96-year-old vessel was being towed to Coleraine when it sank
Image copyright RNLI/Jay Garden
Image caption The RNLI said it was too dangerous to put any crew members on board the sinking vessel
Image copyright RNLI/Jay Garden
Image caption The water where the boat sank is 50m deep
Image copyright RNLI/Jay Garden
Image caption The boat completely sank into the Irish Sea by 16:20 BST on Friday

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