Town Team hits ‘brick wall’ over boat
FORT WILLIAM Town team has hit a brick wall when it comes to trying to have a beached boat removed from the shore front near the Old Fort.
The ‘Holly Rose’ fishing boat has been sitting on the shore since February 2, 2016 and the Town Team has growing concerns over the eyesore becoming a potential safety hazard as it rots away.
Town Team secretary Sue Keen told members at their meeting on Monday April 10 that she had being trying for some time to contact the relevant bodies to have the boat taken away.
She said she had contacted the government's Receiver of Wreck, the body responsible for dealing with salvaging wrecked vessels, but they told her she would need to contact the boat’s owner as it was his responsibility to remove the boat.
A Receiver of Wreck spokesperson told the Lochaber Times: ‘We have no power of wreck removal and we don’t have the staff or resources to remove the boat. The responsibility lies with the legal owner.’
She added there was some statutory power for the boat to be forcibly removed if it became a navigational hazard or impeded other vessels.
She said if the boat starts to break down and debris starts to fall off and becomes hazardous it could come within the realms of impeding navigation but it would be down to an authority such a harbour master to remove it.
In a case like this, where the boat is on privately- owned land, the land owner – Transport Scotland – has some power, she added.
Ms Keen told team members Transport Scotland was not taking any responsibility for the wreck, and neither is the boat’s owner. She said she had ‘hit a brick wall’ with this issue. Town Team member Norrie MacLean told the
Lochaber Times: ‘The Holly Rose is going to fall apart and become a hulk.’
The Holly Rose has been beached on the shoreline by the Old Fort for over two years and is rotting away.