By Michael Scott
One of Britain’s grandest boats will be sold for SCRAP after it was allowed to rust away.
The Ryde Queen Paddle Boat was used as a gun platform in the D-Day landings at Omaha Beach in Normandy before operating as a passenger ferry between England and the Isle of Wight, where she is now docked.
But after years of neglect, the ship – once the pride of Britain rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk – will now be sold for scrap after being left to rot.
Bob Hyslop fell in love with the boat when he moved to the Isle of Wight in 1985.
The 48-year-old said: “She played an important role during the war years when she was used for the Normandy landings, as a mine sweeper and as anti aircraft gun emplacement.
“Many ships like this have been forgotten and allowed to rot away which is a shame.
“They were and still are an important part of the UK’s history.”
He has called for a memorial or museum to be erected in the dock once she has been sold.
Bob, a care manager who took some video of the ship using a drone, added: “It would be nice to think that someday there would be a memorial or museum at her final resting place to help keep the memory alive.”
Marina manager Darren Cooke said they would like to keep her and restore the boat, but she will likely be scrapped and parts sold off.
The 51-year-old said: “Unfortunately, although we would entertain any offers to save her, it is likely that she will be scrapped.
“She is in a very bad state now and beyond any kind of economic repair.
“We drew up proposals with consultants, but all of them would cost more than could ever be justified, particularly as it would be highly unlikely that we could ever get any kind of subsidy towards its cost.
“Even though she will be scrapped, I am guessing that some time in the next year parts of her can be preserved, such as her steam engines, the ships bell and other parts of her structure, so we can have some kind of memorial to her here for the future.
“Most things of value, were stripped and stolen off her many years ago, so now she is pretty much a rusting iron shell.
“But there will certainly be some parts of her worth keeping as a reminder of Island Harbour’s past paddle steamer heritage.”