You might think that the last thing a ship has to worry about is a flood, after all, that was the raison d’être when Noah built his. However, London Fire Brigade was called to rescue the Golden Hinde last night, after a leaking dock put it in jeopardy.
The Golden Hinde, which is a replica of the 16th century ship that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe, is currently undergoing restoration work in St Mary Overie Dock in Southwark – a stone’s throw from London Bridge.
As part of the restoration process, the 92 ft long mast, sails and rigging had been removed and were in the emptied dock. The alarm was raised just before 10pm that water was seeping in. With high tide due at 12.50am, the decision was taken to pump the water out to avoid any damage being caused to the ship. The water reached a depth of two metres as firefighters used pumps to remove it from the dock.
Station Manager Simon Tuhill was in charge of the incident and said: “We were well aware of the historical significance of the Golden Hinde so firefighters worked incredibly hard water to pump water away from her in order to keep her safe".
“We were also aware that the ship will play an important role in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames, which made the work even more vital. I think it’s fair to say, our hard work played a part in keeping the Golden Hinde safe and well to sail another day.”
The Golden Hinde was the country’s first maritime museum and will take part in the Jubilee Pageant with up to 1,000 other vessels.