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‘Save Our Ship’

A campaign…

A Community Page [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

A Community Page [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

Community Pages contain information supplied by ‘3rd Sector’{1} organisations and/or campaigns running in the St Helena community. Saint Helena Island Info does not necesarily support or endorse the organisation or campaign{2}. Any 3rd Sector organisation or campaign can request a Community Page on this site (it’s FREE!) To request your page, please contact us.

She walks the waters like a thing of life, and seems to dare the elements to strife.
Lord Byron

What should happen to the RMS St Helena when she is no longer needed as the island’s lifeline?

This page is in indexes: Community Pages

‘Save Our Ship’ [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

Go to: BackgroundOfficial plansThe proposalIs this actually a practicable proposition?What can you do?Propsal from the Head of TourismRead More

Background

The RMS St Helena has been serving St Helena since 1990. She has been the island’s lifeline, carrying people and essential supplies (pretty much everything except petrol). But when our new airport opens the RMS will be redundant. What will happen to her then?

Official plans

Published final schedule for RMS [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

The original official plans for the RMS were a little vague. After a tour, visiting various places including the UK, the schedule showed her leaving St Helena for the last time on 10th July 2016, heading for Cape Town, where she would arrive on 15th July. The timetable then, somewhat enigmatically, read:

END Sun 17/07/16

Although no official statement had been made about the RMS’s future after 17th July, it was presumed she would be either sold or scrapped.

However, the delay to the opening of St Helena Airport resulted in the RMS Schedule being extended, so what the official plans are for her future are not fully known.

The proposal

The RMS has been a part of island life for 25 years and islanders and visitors alike have a stong emotional attachment to her. People say that the bay looks empty without her. So the thought that she might never again be here is hard for many to grasp.

But what if she could be here permanently?

The proposal is that the RMS does not travel to Cape Town at the end of her final voyage, but instead remains in St Helena. Here she would be installed in a specially-created dry dock, and used as a ‘floating’ hotel. The example quoted is that of the old RMS Queen Mary, which was dry-docked in Florida in 1967 and has been a luxury hotel ever since.

What’s wrong? [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

The proposal has many arguments in its favour, which (in no particular order) are:

  • The RMS would then be permanently in St Helena

  • She could be used as a hotel (the island is recognised as having too few hotel beds to cope with the demand from the airport) - she is already fully equipped for this

  • She could also be a restaurant - she is already fully equipped for this too

  • She could be operational almost immediately

  • Longer term the facilities could be improved (e.g. the cargo hold could be converted, maybe as a bigger swimming pool, or as an entertainments centre, or perhaps just to extra bedrooms

  • By dry-docking her, the need to maintain her in seaworthy condition goes away, which would considerably reduce the ongoing maintenance costs.

Is this actually a practicable proposition?

Nobody really knows. At present this is not a project - it’s an idea. Issues that would need to be resolved include:

  • Who actually owns the RMS and what price would they sell her for?

  • Would building a dry dock, either at West Rocks or towards Mundens, be possible and permitted?

  • Where would the funding come from?

If the ‘will of the people’ says this should become an actual project, then a group will be formed to take the idea forward.

What can you do?

Firstly, please go onto Facebook™ and ‘Like’ the Save Our Ship page. The URL is:

www.facebook.com/saveourrmsship

Then if you are able to help with any of the more practical aspects of the plan, please leave your contact details on the Facebook™ page, or contact us and we’ll pass them on.

And if you know anyone with a couple of £millions to invest…

RMS in James Bay [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

Propsal from the Head of Tourism

In January 2016 Chris Pickard, the Head of the Tourist Office suggested that, as St Helena currently has far fewer hotel beds than it does potential tourists, and it will take at least a year to construct more, the RMS might be ‘kept on’ for 6 months to a year, not dry-docked but simply moored in James Bay and used as a hotel. This suggestion brought about a storm of comments on the Facebook™ Save Our Ship page, both for and against.

Read More

Article: “Ready Made Hotel for Jamestown - Well Almost

By Vince Thompson, published in the St Helena Independent 31st July 2015{3}

A campaign has been gathering pace since earlier this month which is selling itself because, if successful, it could have at least two big advantages as well as potentially being the solution to one big headache suffered by organisers and promoters of tourism in St Helena.

One advantage is the campaign puts the RMS in the frame to find a new lease of life after its days sailing the South Atlantic are over. The second is that the obvious shortage of hotel beds we will encounter when the airport opens could at least be eased, if not solved.

The campaign is not a new idea I have heard it before, several times, but the current difficult circumstances with limited hotel bed capacity may mean the idea is looked at afresh by potential investors. The campaign is to bring the RMS to St Helena permanently, as a hotel.

It is thought that if the urgency for hotel beds requires it, the RMS could operate as a hotel without any major alterations or refurbishment beforehand. There are already kitchens, or galleys, a restaurant, lounges, cabins and public facilities which can be used very much as they are. The first major job would be to construct a docking area for the RMS so that it has no access to the sea and therefore is not classified as a ship which needs the various marine certifications. After that, water, electricity and phone lines would need to be connected to services on land and the RMS, as a ship hotel, campaigners say, is just about ready to go.

The Save Our Ship campaign is on Facebook and has over 800 people registering their support for the idea. The RMS would, ideally, need to be located in James Bay probably somewhere near West Rocks. Supporters of the campaign say that using the RMS as a ship hotel will be a strong tourist attraction as well as a solution to some major problems in the still small tourism sector.

No estimates have been made of how much this idea would cost to bring it to reality and comparisons cannot be made with the cost of converting 1,2 and 3 Main Street into a hotel as the details have not been made public. It was pointed out that improvements to the RMS as a hotel could be completed after the ship started trading as a hotel. Work on converting spaces in the holds or the engine room could wait until the RMS has established a name for itself in the hotel business.

More stories [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]

More stories on our page Read articles about St Helena.

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Laugh at funny saveourship humour - LOL [Saint Helena Island Info:‘Save Our Ship’]


Footnotes:

{1} 1st: Government; 2nd: Commercial; 3rd: non-Governmental community groups.

{2} Though we reserve the right to refuse a page to any organisation or campaign which, in our opinion, is not acting in the best interests of the Island of St Helena.

{3} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged



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