Jolly Roger under repair in dry dock

The pirate-themed Jolly Roger ship, which ran aground in George Town harbor earlier this month, is sitting high and dry at Scott’s Marine at The Barcadere Marina.

When it will get back into the water is uncertain, the ship’s owner Roland Talanow admitted. “Exact timing of relaunch at this time is difficult to say,” he said.

He said it took several days to get the vessel out of the water after it ran aground near the Lobster Pot area on Oct. 9.

RELATED STORY: Jolly Roger to miss Pirates Week

The ship had also run aground a month earlier, on Sept. 10, near the same spot. In both instances, the ship’s mooring line broke and the ship came ashore in rough seas. No pilot, crew or passengers were on board either time, and no injuries were reported.

This time, it took about 10 days to get the ship to dry dock.

The ship will not be taking part in next month’s Pirates Week Festival. (See separate story on page 6.)

“It had significant water ingress and was lying in an angle,” Mr. Talanow told the Cayman Compass. “Divers had to assess the situation and the safest and best way possible to salvage the vessel.”

He added that a preliminary assessment by Department of Environment officers showed that no significant environmental damage had been done.

The Jolly Roger is lifted onto dry dock at Scott’s Marine at the Barcadere Marina.

According to Department of Environment Deputy Director Tim Austin, the DoE is finalizing its analysis of the situation following the Oct. 9 grounding. He said the DoE is still investigating the Sept. 10 incident.

Mr. Talanow said a full assessment of the necessary repairs to the ship can now be done as the vessel is in dry dock. He added he had planned to place the ship in dry dock for maintenance and improvements next year, but that work would be done now and would take several weeks to complete.

However, Mr. Talanow said he was very pleased to see the hull was in surprisingly good condition. He said it seemed that the hull’s wood was not damaged but some planks had separated, likely due to the intrinsic weight of the vessel when laying sideways, which caused the water ingress.

“The Jolly Roger is a tough cookie. It survived Hurricane Ivan – it survived also Hurricane Michael,” Mr. Talanow said.

He said the crew had a significant amount of help from West Indies Marine, and they are particularly grateful to John MacKenzie and his crew for working day and night to ensure the vessel’s safety and to transport it safely to dry dock.

It was initially taken to the South Terminal and then to Beefers Dock while waiting for the right weather conditions to bring the vessel around the island, into the North Sound, to await space for dry docking.