AN HISTORIC ship that was found semi-keeled at Holyhead Port is hoped to be salvaged.

The Zebu, a 100ft clipper boat known to moor at Albert Dock in Liverpool, had begun to sink after drifting onto the breakwater and taking on water on Saturday.

Two people were aboard the boat as RNLI and HM Coastguard crews were called to the incident to pump water out of the vessel, which was aborted due to the risk of the wooden hull breaking up.

It comes after the vessel, built in Sweden in 1938, was rescued from difficulty in the Irish Sea during the early hours of Thursday, May 13.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: "HM Coastguard received a VHF radio call at 3.50pm on Saturday from a vessel, with two people on board, that had run aground at Holyhead Harbour.

"Holyhead Coastguard Rescue Team and Holyhead RNLI lifeboat were sent, with the Coastguard Rescue Team helping to safely bring the ship’s two crew members back ashore.

"The vessel is continuing to be monitored and currently remains aground on the rocks by Holyhead Breakwater.

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Counter Pollution team is working with local harbour authorities to initiate a salvage operation of the vessel."

Six people were aboard the boat when it strayed into shipping lanes due to the tide about nine miles off the coast of Holyhead on Thursday. The boat had to be towed to safety by the RNLI.

A Stena Line spokesperson said on Sunday: "There were two crew members onboard who secured the vessel to the breakwater with two lines (one subsequently sheared) and then left ship. Members of the RNLI commenced pumping out water, however, this was aborted due to the risk of the vessel’s wooden hull breaking up.

"The vessel has listed to starboard. No one is aboard and there is no danger, or risk of disruption, to other vessels or port operations at this time. There is currently no sign of pollution.

"Further securing of the vessel Tall Ship Zebu is underway. It will remain in situ until it has been assessed by a marine insurer and a decision on its future has been taken by its owners."