Deal to save Dunkirk vessel is sunk
HOPES of saving Scotland's last surviving Dunkirk rescue ship have been sunk after an 11th-hour deal fell through.
Campaigners wanted to raise the Skylark IX, rotting at the bottom of the River Leven at Balloch, in time to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation.
Interest in salvaging the vessel, which played a vital part in the mission, peaked when owners Leven Cruising Club put the ship on eBay for just £1.
But costs involved in recovering the vessel added to the restoration estimates, have put off interested parties.
Last Thursday commodore of the club, Stewart Davidson, told the Reporter time is running out.
He said: "One day it was happening and then the next day it's all up in the air. It was all looking very positive within the last week but those interested have pulled out.
"We are still hoping it can be saved but it looks like the last chance saloon when it was all looking very positive which is a shame.
"That's why we took it over as we wanted to see the boat restored to its former glory. To get her back to that stage would be special.
"The plan is now to get her out of the water which is the difficult bit. We would need a crane large enough to lift it from the water as it is a few metres out from the shore.
"If anybody was to come forward with funding or a plan then by all means let us know and we'll see if we can work with them and get it sorted.
"The longer it goes on the less likely it is to come up in a reasonable condition."
The Skylark XI sank on June 6, 2010.
It was among more than 770 private boats which took part in Operation Dynamo in June 1940 to evacuate Dunkirk beaches of around 340,000 British troops from the clutches of the advancing German army.
It rescued some 600 British and French troops, ferrying them 150 at a time to waiting destroyers and battleships further out in the English Channel.