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Abandoned Tosca barge on King’s Lynn’s Boal Quay to be removed by early 2024





An abandoned barge on Lynn’s Boal Quay which has become “increasingly problematic” over the years is set to be removed by early 2024.

The ‘Tosca’ barge, which is understood to be a Belgian Spitz Barge, was used as a houseboat on the bed of the River Nar but it became uninhabitable when the hull was breached by water in 2013.

Cllr Bal Anota, cabinet member for property and corporate services, said, in a recent report to West Norfolk Council: “I am pleased to report that we have now allocated some funding within the Capital Programme to address a particular issue with an abandoned vessel at Boal Quay that has become increasingly problematic with children getting into the boat known as the Tosca barge.”

The Tosca barge at Boal Quay in King's Lynn. Picture: the drone people
The Tosca barge at Boal Quay in King's Lynn. Picture: the drone people

He said that several options for the barge had been considered, including selling it for scrap metal, but this was not possible due to the type of paint used on the hull and elsewhere on the boat, so specialists would need to dismantle it and dispose of it at an appropriate waste site.

“I am hoping that we can get rid of this potential hazard as soon as possible, however, the surrounding area is quite sensitive in respect of ground-nesting birds and watercourses so this project may not be started until later in the calendar year,” Cllr Anota added.

A borough council spokesperson has since confirmed that the work to remove the Tosca barge is currently out to tender, with a deadline for submissions of September 15.

The vessel became uninhabitable when the hull was breached by water in 2013. Picture: the drone people
The vessel became uninhabitable when the hull was breached by water in 2013. Picture: the drone people

The work itself is scheduled to take place between October 2 and January 22, 2024.

“It has small confined spaces, and the site, particularly at night, has little in the way of natural surveillance,” the spokesperson added.

“The vessel is unfortunately being accessed by children and has been set on fire a few times. There is a risk that someone could get injured or trapped, which is why we need to take action.

“We have previously tried fencing the site and applying anti-vandal paint, but these have not succeeded in keeping people out of the vessel, so complete removal and disposal of the barge is the only option.

The work to remove the Tosca barge is currently out to tender. Picture: the drone people
The work to remove the Tosca barge is currently out to tender. Picture: the drone people

“This requires the appointment of specialist, experienced contractors, to deal with the demolition and removal works owing to the original paint, confined spaces, tides and other factors.

“In addition the area is quite sensitive, ecologically, and we will need to work around ground bird nesting season.”



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