Shipwreck of MV Ella removed from seabed off the coast of Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A boat which sank off the coast of Lowestoft during the summer, causing a hazard to navigation and a danger to shipping, has been removed from the seabed.
MV Ella is now sitting safely in the Port of Lowestoft following a major removal operation earlier this month.
The vessel was unmanned and being towed from Hartlepool to Rochester in July when she began to take on water.
The line was cut and she sank around three-and-a-half miles off Lowestoft.
Trinity House, the charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping, was forced to establish a Temporary Exclusion Zone (TEZ) of 500m by marking the site with emergency wreck marking buoys.
When the ship originally sank it contained 12 metal barrels labelled to be containing a 'hazardous substance'.
These barrels subsequently washed up on beaches between Kessingland and Benacre and prompted a major emergency response from the fire service and coastguard before it was established the containers were in fact empty.
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On Monday, November 6, divers put several wires into place underneath the wreck in preparation for the lift by sheerleg crane vessel, Cormorant.
An initial attempt was made to lift MV Ella on Thursday, November 9, but one of the lifting slings became detached from the hull of the wreck forcing the salvagers to place it back on the seabed.
Declining weather and worsening sea conditions meant all vessels had to return to Lowestoft.
By the Saturday, sea conditions had subsided and a hydrographic survey was conducted of the wreck site.
It was determined the wreck had come to rest lower down in the sand than was previously the case making the original lifting method impractical.
A larger salvage grab was installed on the Cormorant to facilitate the new approach.
On Wednesday, November 15, MV Ella was lifted to the surface by the Cormorant.
Operations continued into the evening to secure the wreck to the crane to ensure a safe transfer into Lowestoft.
Following inspection and approval by the harbour master, Cormorant entered the Port of Lowestoft on the evening of Friday, November 20.
The vessel's arrival signalled the conclusion of salvage operations and removal of navigation dangers.
Trinity House has been approached for comment on the future of the wreck but has not yet responded.