A classic, ocean-going 1940s steam tug Cervia looks to be heading for the end of the line as John Megoran reports.
The end seems to be close for the steam tug Cervia, with her owner declaring his reluctant intention to deconstruct the vessel unless a suitable alternative solution can be found during November.
An ocean-going Empire class vessel built by Alexander Hall & Co of Aberdeen in 1945-46 for the Ministry of War Transport as Empire Raymond, she was initially used to help service the Maunsel Sea Forts and other defences in the Thames Estuary. Subsequently she joined the William Watkins fleet and was stationed in Iceland, before moving back to the Thames.
Purchased for working preservation in 1972 by the current owner, she remained in service for another 10 years before ending her operational days in 1983 at Ramsgate, by which time she was the last steam tug in active service in the UK. There she remains, lying in Smeaton’s Dock, where she has been part of the Ramsgate Maritime Museum since 1985.
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