A HEREFORD teenager's ambitious plans to rescue a 60-year-old sunken boat from the river Wye are now underway.

Paige Hyde, 13, and her mother Laura Washbourne became the owners of the Wye Princess, a disused river cruise boat, earlier this year.

The boat had been left in the river for over 20 years after the business operating the tours closed, but now, Paige has got it floating again.

She said: "Our amazing crew voluntarily went down to the boat to pump the water out, allowing the boat to float once more. I worried that the boat would be pulled under again. However, as usual, she surprised us and stayed afloat. This was the first time I had witnessed the boat floating. I was so happy and relieved."

Hereford Times: Paul Kenyon and Keith Taylor have been helping Paige with the work on the boatPaul Kenyon and Keith Taylor have been helping Paige with the work on the boat (Image: Paige Hyde)

Many Herefordians remember the Wye Princess from its glory days on the river in the late 20th century, and over 20 people have donated funds to help Paige restore it.

This Sunday (November 5), Paige and the crew plan to remove it from the water and are inviting the public to come and watch. She is also asking for people with cameras and drones to capture the moment the Wye Princess emerges from the river.


"After many days of rain, she has started to fill again. So on Saturday (November 4) our crew will attend again, pumping out water in preparation for lifting on Sunday. Saturday will be her last voyage on the Wye until she is restored. I hope this is the last time I will see her in a sad state.

"On Sunday we will untie her and pull her to the slipway - people must watch from the meadows for safety reasons. After she is out, she will be loaded onto a trailer and taken to the swimming baths car park. The public are welcome to come and view her. She will then go to a safe site, where work will begin. 

"I want to thank the community for all of their kind words, support and donations for getting this far. Here's to Princess' future."

Paige's dream is to restore the Wye Princess and begin running her own tours on the river. 

Update: Paige has cancelled her plans to remove the boat from the river on Sunday, November 5 due to high river levels and the weather. She will now do this on another day, yet to be confirmed.