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Mersey Ferries George's Landing Stage Sinks

Photographs  Ian Collard, Philip Parker and John H. Luxton 2006

In January 2005 when the southern section of the Prince's Landing Stage partially sank some observers of the Mersey maritime scene began to wonder just how much the remaining sections of the 1970s built landing stages would remain serviceable. The partially sunken southern most section Prince's Stage was towed to Canada #2 Branch Dock on January 27, 2005 where it promptly sank. It has remained beneath the dock's waters ever since.

On the evening of March 01, 2006 the southern section of the George's Landing Stage usually referred to these days as the Mersey Ferries Landing Stage grounded at low water. It is not uncommon for the stage to rest on the mud at  low water on spring tides. However, it failed to refloated on the incoming tide. By the morning of March 02, the northern section of the stage to which the passenger bridge is attached was also showing signs of sinking. This is not the first time that the new stage has sunk. Shortly after completion, the stage sank on Saturday January 03, 1976. However, the stage sank in a controlled manner and remained in alignment allowing it to be refloated and put back into use by April of the same year. Unfortunately this was not the case 30 years two months and two days later .........

Around 10:30 on March 02, 2006 north section of the stage had started to sink. The Mersey River Rescue were busy salvaging items from their HQ which occupied in the former B&I Line Hydrofoil Terminal building. During the morning ROYAL IRIS sailed past for a closer look she will not be berthing here again for a long time!
 

During the late afternoon work Boat JESSICA had started to retrieve sections of the Mersey Inshore Rescue HQ from behind the Prince's Landing Stage.  Some debris had carried down stream and lodged itself on the supports for the former customs sheds which served the old Prince's Landing Stage.

Pretty far gone by 17:00 the passenger bridge was hanging on to the quayside more in the direction of Seacombe than Twelve Quays as was usual. The section is totally detached, with a couple of good tides and some wind this structure could be on the move.
 

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