London Fire Brigade

Firefighters save parts of Golden Hinde from water damage

07 March 2012

The Golden Hinde ship faced an adventure of a different kind last night, when firefighters from the London Fire Brigade were called to pump out water that was leaking in to the dock where the boat is kept.

The Golden Hinde, which is a replica of the ship used by Sir Francis Drake in 1580 to circumnavigate the globe, is currently undergoing restoration work ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It is stationed in a ‘dry dock’ in Southwark in south east London, close to Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market. The dock has been emptied of water during the maintenance work being carried out on the boat.

Firefighters from London Fire Brigade were called at 2142 last night to reports that the ‘dry dock’ was leaking. There were fears that the ship’s mast, sail and rigging, which were in the dock, could be damaged if water continued to leak into the dock, especially given that a high tide was expected at 0050.

Station Manager, Simon Tuhill, who was in charge of the incident, said:

“We were well aware of the historical significance of the Golden Hinde so firefighters worked incredibly hard to pump water away from her in order to keep her safe.

“We were also aware that the ship will play an important role in the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla on the Thames, which made our work even more vital. I think it’s fair to say, our hard work played a part in keeping the Golden Hinde safe and ready to sail another day.”

Flood water reached a height of two metres, but firefighters managed to pump away a substantial amount of water and left the scene at about 0115. One fire engine and five firefighters were at the scene.

Notes to editors

Flooding incidents

The London Fire Brigade is called to around 7000 flooding incidents each year.

The Golden Hinde

More information on the Golden Hinde, including information about the maintenance work on the ship, can be found here:

The Golden Hinde is set to take part in the Diamond Jubilee River Thames Flotilla. The ship has not been sailed since 2003 and it is expected that the Flotilla will be the ship’s last outing on the Thames. Up to 1,000 vessels will take part in the Jubilee Pageant.

More information on the maintenance work being carried out on the boat can be found on the BBC’s website: