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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Fire down below!

Perhaps it had something to do with all that whisky they make on-board?

From BBC News:

Fire on Cutty Sark 'suspicious'

The site of the Cutty Sark fire

A fire which severely damaged the famous 19th Century ship Cutty Sark is being treated as suspicious by police.
The ship, which was undergoing a major restoration project, is kept in a dry dock at Greenwich in south-east London.
An area around the 138-year-old tea clipper had to be evacuated when the fire broke out in the early hours.
A Cutty Sark Trust spokesman said 50% of the ship was removed for restoration work. He said the Trust was devastated but it could have been worse.
Charred planking
The decks of the ship are said to be unsalvageable. But much of the boat, including the masts, had already been removed as part of the restoration work.
Chris Livett, Chairman of Cutty Sark Enterprises, speaking at the scene, said: "We had removed 50% of the planking, so 50% of the planking wasn't on site and that's safe and secure.

In Pictures: Cutty Sark fire
'History itself has been lost'

"And from where I stand there is not a huge amount of damage to the planking that was left on.
"There are pockets of charred planking and some have gone, but it doesn't look as bad as first envisaged."
Police are analysing CCTV images which are thought to show people in the area shortly before the fire started at about 0500 BST.
Inspector Bruce Middlemiss from the Metropolitan police said detectives were looking into the possibility that the fire was deliberately started and would like to speak to some people seen in the area last night.
"There is indication that there were people in the area at the time when the fire initially started, that's come from the local borough CCTV," he said.
"There's no indication at this stage that the people that are on that CCTV footage are actually involved in the incident, but may merely be witnesses."
Built in 1869 at Dumbarton on the River Clyde
Designed by Hercules Linton
First voyage February 1870
280ft (85m) long
Main mast stood 152ft (46.3m) above the deck
Attracts 15m visitors a year
Preserved as a tribute to merchant navy workers

Speaking to BBC News, the chief executive of the Cutty Sark Trust, Richard Doughty, said he feared what would be lost in the blaze.
"When you lose original fabric, you lose the touch of the craftsman, you lose history itself," he said.
"And what is special about Cutty Sark is the timbers, the iron frames, that went to the South China Seas, and to think that that is threatened in any way is unbelievable, it's an unimaginable shock."
He said the ship would be "irreplaceable".
He added that the Cutty Sark was not just an important part of maritime heritage but an important part of British identity.
Mr Doughty described the ship as the epitome of speed under sail.
The Cutty Sark is the world's oldest surviving tea clipper

An eyewitness, who saw the fire as she was driving across the Thames, said: "I can see all this smoke billowing out from round by where the Cutty Sark is.
"It was black, thick black smoke... as I've come over the bridge there's all police cars blocking the road and everyone's being diverted."
Residents living near the ship were evacuated from their homes and taken to a Greenwich hotel, Scotland Yard confirmed.
The ship was undergoing £25m renovation works and was closed to visitors.
The conservation work was being carried out as sea salt had accelerated the corrosion of her iron framework.
The fire at the Cutty Sark may mean only one clipper from the same period is now left intact. The City of Adelaide, built in 1864 to carry passengers and currently at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Ayrshire, also combines a cast iron frame with a wooden hull. Experts are due to meet next week to discuss demolishing the vessel, after the failure of a number of schemes to preserve it.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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By the way, it wasn't me.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 04:21 AM
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They will save her. Amazing things can be done these days with these ships. Here in Baltimore, we have the U.S.S. Constellation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Three ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Constellation, in honor, according to the US Congress, of the "new constellation of stars" on the flag of the United States.

The original Constellation, a 38-gun frigate, was the first ship to be commissioned in the United States Navy; the first US Navy vessel to put to sea; and the first US Navy vessel to engage, defeat, and capture an enemy vessel. Built in Baltimore at David Stoddards Shipyard in Canton, a hamlet just east of Fells Point, and launched on September 7, 1797, the Constellation set sail under the command of Thomas Truxtun.

Note the unique red "Axe foremast" near the bow!

The second Constellation was a sloop of war that served from 1855 to 1933, and is preserved as a National Historic Landmark in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1854 to 1991, the Navy maintained that the second ship was the same as the first; this resulted in considerable damage to the ship, especially when as a museum ship she was "restored" to her "former appearance" as a frigate.

Two other craft have since shared the name U.S.S. Constellation.


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ha, yes, no doubt it can be done and she is so well loved that I'm sure resources will be found, one way or another. That part of town just didn't look or feel right from the moment they started the restoration and removed her masts and rigging. I can't help thinking that her security was under-evaluated once the work commenced. They already had £25m ($50m) in the fund, but god knows how much more will be required now. Presumably, she was insured anyway? It could be argued that replacing the burned areas will be cheaper than restoring the original materials.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 04:36 AM
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i'm guessing someone had a wee little much of that scotch.

in political asylum
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