Historic boat forced to make way for new yacht harbour

Future in jeopardy: The American P22 has been preserved for almost 75 years.

An American gunboat used in the Second World War could be forced to move from its home after just 2 years to allow the construction of a new yacht harbour.

The P22 wartime vessel, based in Sandwich, is one of the last remaining archived ships from the Normandy Landings and, despite renewing its lease as a tourist attraction for a further 2 years, its future remains unknown.

At a recent council meeting, operations coordinator of the boat, Barry Field, has questioned why the harbour and the ship cannot both be present.

“We’re over 20 metres long, surely that’s enough room?”, he said. “Over 5,000 people have travelled worldwide to see us. It’s an integral part of D-Day”.

Film director, Christopher Nolan, recruited the P22 for the Academy Award winning film, Dunkirk, in 2017, merely months after it was placed at Sandwich Quay.

Dover District Council have said they are proposals to make way for the gunship are at a very early stage.

Councillor Paul Graeme, however, has praised the community for opposing the new harbour.

“I’m very happy that Sandwich has supported the P22”, he said. “It’s a fantastic tourism attraction and has been great in regenerating the Quay”.

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