Oh Noah: Ark stuck in English town because it is not seaworthy
The Dutch government has become embroiled in an international incident involving a half-size replica of Noah’s Ark which has been stranded in an English waterfront following concerns about its seaworthiness.
According to the Ipswich Star newspaper, the floating biblical museum has been detained in the town for almost 18 months because the British coastguard do not consider it to be seaworthy.
The 70 metre long vessel is owned by former Dutch television producer Aad Peters and is building up fines of £500 a day, the paper said. The owners want to leave but the British coastguard will not allow it to go, leading to government intervention at the highest level.
‘We are aware of the situation and are in discussions with relevant agencies in the UK and the Netherlands. Safety remains the top priority,’ a government representative told the paper.
Talks are now underway with inspectors from the Dutch infrastructure ministry to try and resolve the issue, the paper said.
The owners say the ark has always been categorised as a ‘non-certified floating object’ and is not required to comply with international regulations.
It is, they told the paper, fully insured and has been towed between European countries without the need for a certificate or registration with a flag state.
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