Half Sunken Paddle Steamer Set To Be Scrapped

Half Sunken Paddle Steamer Set To Be Scrapped.  The famous paddle steamer which is sinking in Benalmadena marina will be removed and scrapped in April.

Half Sunken Paddle Steamer Set To Be Scrapped

Half Sunken Paddle Steamer Set To Be Scrapped

The famous Mississippi paddle steamer “Willow” has been moored at Benalmadena marina since 1996.  In March 2019 the boat (which has been derelict for several years) began sinking.  Since then the council has been working to find a solution to the situation.

Benalmadena Steamer

Benalmadena’s famous steamboat pictured sinking in 2019.

Court Ruling Overturned

Recently the courts in Malaga ordered the council to pay the owner of the boat €400,000 in compensation for breaking a contract.  This ruling has been appealed and overtuned, with the Mayor describing the original amount as a mistake.  The revised figure is €4000 which the council must pay to Willow’s owner.  The owner will be responsible for the costs of removing the striken ship from the marina.

Historic Benalmadena Paddle Steamer

WIllow will be removed from Benalmadena Marina on the 26th April .

Steamboat Scrapped In April

Willow will finally be removed from her watery resting place and scrapped on the 26th April.  Benalmadena’s Mayor Victor Navas Perez says “We announce good news for Benalmadena.  The Willow has a date for her removal from the marina.  The 26th April.  This will allow us to recover the image and aesthetics of Benalmadena marina.”

History Of Benalmadena’s Steamboat

Built in 1925 in America, the Willow is 65 feet abreast and 200 feet long.  The huge steamer was originally used by the lighthouse service on the Mississippi where she remained in service until a collision in 1944 which brought her work on the river to an end.  The vessel was then used by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an accommodation boat.

Willow Paddleboat

Willow pictured in service on the Mississippi.

The Move To Spain

In 1962 the boat was moved to Florida where she lay derelict until a British company transported her to Belgium for refurbishment in the early 1990s.  When the Belgian company went out of business, the partially restored vessel was taken to Birkenhead before finally being moved to Spain in 1996.

Derelict Steamboat

Since her arrival in Benalmadena, Willow was operating as a restaurant and entertainment venue.  In 1998 her owners went out of business.  The boat has been derelict since then, and began to sink in March 2019.

Published: 02.02.2023

Written by Dave James.


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