A spokesman for the Partido Popular said last week that the municipally owned schooner, Pascual Flores, which has been moored as a floating museum in Torrevieja Marina since the end of the last decade, could be closed up by the Harbourmaster if the authorities fail to renew its certificate of seaworthiness, which they say has expired.
The government team subsequently failed to comment and although the Pascual Flores is “clearly secured in the harbour” members of the public are not allowed on board.
The PP councilor, Eduardo Gil, said that la Sindicatura de Agravios, the local Ombudsman, has called on the City Council for a report on the current state of the ship with particular regard to its necessary certificates of seaworthiness and navigation.
The Pascual Flores is a historic 3-masted schooner, a onetime star of the TV series ‘The Onedin Line. She was the last sailing ship built on the beach in Torrevieja during the early part of the last century.
After her trading career finished she was British owned and based at Dartmouth and then Bristol. The ship was rescued in Milford Haven and brought back to her home port of Torrevieja on a heavy lift ship where, in 2008, she was restored at a cost, in the region, of 4 million euros.
She was completely overhauled in the North African port of Algeciras just last year at a further cost of 18,000 euros following which the director of the Nao Victoria Foundation said that the Pascual Flores was in good condition and remained a great attraction for Mediterranean sailors. He said that it was the intention of the Foundation to show it off worldwide.
However many government councillors feel that after spending in excess of 5 million euros over the last 25 years on what is little more than a ‘white elephant’ it will be totally irresponsible to continue with such funding.