Florrie caved in
By WILL JACKSON
THE FUTURE of the MV Florrie is in doubt after the roof of the historic vessel caved in without warning at the weekend.
The boat, owned by Ballina Shire Council, was due to be moved from its position on the banks of the Richmond River to a sheltered site on the east side of the Ballina Maritime Museum before the end of May.
A Lennox Head woman, Robyn Thompson, has sadly observed the MV Florrie gradually deteriorate as she visited the boat on her daily walks.
But at about 2.30pm on Saturday, the Lennox Head woman watched the historic vessel fall apart significantly more quickly.
"All of a sudden it just came crashing down," she said.
"There was no wind or anything that would have caused it.
"It was very loud and gave me a hell of shock.
"There were a bunch of tourists sitting nearby and they cracked up laughing at me."
Council general manager John Christopherson said he was surprised to learn of the MV Florrie's collapse.
But its sudden deterioration wouldn't necessarily derail the council's plans because they were planning on partially dismantling the vessel anyway.
"We knew it wasn't in very good condition," he said.
"We were going to fabricate a few bits of it and rebuild it in a form that could go on display."
He said council had allocated over $60,000 to its preservation.
"The cradles that are to move it are being manufactured at the moment," Mr Christopherson said.
He said would raise the matter with engineers.