The following is a press release that was submitted to the Harwich & Manningtree Standard for the Friday 16th Feb 2024 edition:
A fortnight after the horrific fire that threatened to destroy the LV18 Lightship, plans are now being finalised to restore the ship to its original condition. In the past few days a highly qualified marine surveyor has been appointed to drive the project whilst meetings have also taken place with a Marine Insurance Assessor and our legal team. These meetings were necessary but had to wait for the right people to be available. Subject to a written sign-off from these professionals, we should soon be in a position to move forward, albeit carefully, to clean and restore the vessel.
Tony O’Neil, of the Pharos Trust, said “We needed to get the right team of professionals together and haven’t been able to say very much until the site meetings had been held and the necessary legal & HSE steps accomplished. Our Marine Surveyor will overview the process and ensure all regulations are followed. We are, of course, extremely grateful to Essex Police and Harwich Haven Authority for their continued support.”
A team of volunteers will, when all safety measures have been implemented, take part in the restoration but a professional team will be removing the majority of the smoke damage. We currently believe this will be late February or early March.
The Pharos Trust has also been in contact with the Charity Commission to ensure our funding arrangements are compatible with our restoration plan and we are pleased to confirm that this is indeed the case. A Go Fund Me appeal has been started by Heather O’Neil, on behalf of the Pharos Trust, and this has so far exceeded £5000 of the £25000 target. The Charity Commission has approved this appeal.
Tony O’Neil said “Our solicitor is overseeing all the legal aspects of the restoration and this includes our charity status, which he himself was responsible for. We have always taken professional advice and followed legal routes to funding.”
Tony O’Neil added. “We are still planning to be involved in the 60th anniversary of offshore pirate radio, and we are working hard to ensure that the ship is ready for public events happening at Easter.”