Cutty Sark photos

Photographer Kos was first into the smouldering hulk following Monday's terrible fire

Friday May 25th 2007, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
On Monday this week a terrible fire all but destroyed the sole remaining 19th century clipper ship the Cutty Sarkat her dry dock in Greenwich, London. Marine photographer KOS was the first snapper allowed on to scene after the fire brigade had ensured it safe and her photos here show the extent of the damage caused by the flames.

The fire broke out at 0445 on Monday but by the time the London Fire Brigade had extinguished it, not only had most of her planking gone up in smoke but her iron frame work had buckled in places due to the heat.

At the time the Cutty Sark was a quarter of the way through a restoration project. Fortunately around 50% of the ship had been removed while this work was carried out. This included her masts, the coach house and a significant amount of planking.

"This is a significant blow for us, and a major set back to the people working on the project," said Richard Doughty,Chief Executive, Cutty Sark Trust. "It will take us a significant amount of effort and funding to get the work back on track. £25m pounds was needed to preserve the ship; we had £18m pounds raised already and now we are appealing for help close the funding gap and to get us through the crisis and return the ship to its former glory."

Dating back to 1869, the 212ft long Cutty Sark was one of the maxi boats of her day - originally built for the tea trade between China and London, however her role on this route was soon superceded with the opening of the Suez Canal and the advent of steam ships. Instead she spent most of her working career on the 'wool route' between Australia and London on once occasion making the passage in 67 days. She also recorded the best 24 hour run of the day covering an impressive 360 miles. In terms of the development of speed under sail she is an icon and is the last remaining clipper ship of her kind. This is why she must be saved...

Details of how to make a donation are available on the Cutty Sark website
here or donations can be sent to the Cutty Sark Trust at 2 Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich SE10 9BG. For UK taxpayers, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.

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