A TEENAGER has hopes to restore a sunken boat which is nearly 60 years old.

13-year-old Paige Hyde, of Hereford, spotted the Wye Princess last year in the river near Old Bridge.

She said: “I first came across Princess early last year when I started taking a great interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean. I used to always joke around and say she was my boat. But then a joke turned into an interest.

“The sunken boat was struggling against the Wye. I eventually ended up promising the boat I would save her. I gave my all to ensure the boat was able to be loved.”

The boat was once owned by King Fisher cruises and later Cathedral Cruises and used for river cruises for tourists in Herefordshire.

Having taken an interest in the boat, Paige and her family located and contacted the owner. The owner came to an arrangement with the family, signing the Wye Princess over to Paige’s mum, Laura Washbourne.

Hereford Times: Left: Paige Hyde and her mum, Laura Washbourne. Right: The Wye Princess, then and now. Left: Paige Hyde and her mum, Laura Washbourne. Right: The Wye Princess, then and now. (Image: Paige Hyde and Hereford Times Camera Club)

“Princess is now ours,” said Paige. “My plan now is to ensure a safe way out, which I have sorted however now I am looking for storage. I am looking for as many people as possible who can get Princess back to how she looked.”

Paige has been appealing to the community for help funding the boat’s restoration, setting up a Go Fund Me aiming to raise £10,000.

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The 18-foot river cruise boat will need major restoration due to years of disuse and damage from spending so long underwater.  

Paige aspires to start running cruises again, with pirate-themed boat rides for young children.

She said: “After the restoration my plan is to start up a business with the name Pirating Princess. I will be dressed as a pirate.”

She hopes that the community will contribute to restoring the boat, which many remember from its glory days. She is also hoping for help with finding a place to store the boat locally.


The Wye Princess was built in the 1960s in Gloucestershire by Jet Taylor.

The boat was originally used in Symonds Yat under the name King Fisher, before being given to a business in Hereford who repainted it and renamed it the Wye Princess.

According to Paige, the business closed in the 1990s, and the owner found another job, so he never went back to retrieve the Wye Princess from the river.