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Devastation as restored boat is sunk

PUBLISHED: 06:15 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:43 02 July 2010

The Special Lady, which sunk at its moorings in Thorpe St Andrew after catching fire last week.

The Special Lady, which sunk at its moorings in Thorpe St Andrew after catching fire last week.

Kim Briscoe

Trevor Jenner spent the last eight years lovingly refurbishing and remodelling his 42-ft river cruiser, but last week it was destroyed and sunk while at its moorings at Thorpe St Andrew near Norwich.

The owner of a boat which sunk following a fire has told of his devastation and how he believes it was started by vandals or thieves.

Trevor Jenner spent the last eight years lovingly refurbishing and remodelling his 42-ft river cruiser, but last week it was destroyed and sunk while at its moorings at Thorpe St Andrew near Bungalow Lane.

Mr Jenner, a boat builder by trade who is now working for Anglia Kitchens and Bedrooms in Norwich, said: “I'm absolutely gutted.

“I know it's insured, but that's not the point. That was my second home.

“I can replace it with something of a similar sort of style but it will take me another six or seven years doing that one up to get it to the same condition.”

Mr Jenner, who named the boat “Special Lady” after his late mother, is certain it must have been set alight by vandals or by thieves wanting to steal its generator, as it had been “completely winterised”.

He said: “The batteries were disconnected and the gas was disconnected and I had done everything else that needs to be done.

“It will be interesting to see if the on board generator is still there. If so then the reason someone went on board was to steal and then set fire to it to get away with things like fingerprints.”

Fire crews and the coastguard were called out to the fire at 3.30am on Thursday, January 21.

They tried to save the vessel, but it sunk so quickly they could not even identify it and police had to try to trace Mr Jenner so they could break the bad news.

The boat, which is still under water, has been surrounded by barrier to stop any diesel from leaking into the river and will need to be lifted out by a crane.

Mr Jenner, 62 from Beighton, near Acle, said: “It used to be in a hire fleet and I converted it from an eight berth into a luxurious four berth boat.

“It was in pristine condition by the time I had finished and I was always so proud to be on board it.

“Everybody on the river knows that it's my boat - it was a one off - and we used to go it on every weekend from Easter to October.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Norfolk Police on 0845 456 4567.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.

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