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Boat trips on popular Big Dog Ferry resume following engine failure

PUBLISHED: 15:27 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 26 July 2018

The Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, is up and running again. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, is up and running again. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

A popular summertime attraction that ferries passengers along one of the region's most picturesque stretches of river is back up-and-running.

The Big Dog Ferry had been out of service due to engine failure. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Big Dog Ferry had been out of service due to engine failure. Picture: Nick Butcher

Boat trips aboard the Big Dog Ferry, which runs between Beccles Lido and the Locks Inn at Geldeston, have resumed following a week in which hundreds of people were left disappointed.

Having been ferrying both locals and holidaymakers along the River Waveney since Good Friday, the outboard motor malfunctioned on Monday, July 23 - just as thousands of school children began enjoying the summer holidays.

Trips were cancelled until further notice after the engine failure, but engineers have managed to attach a spare, reconditioned engine to the boat.

Big Dog Ferry volunteer, Yanny Mac, said: “Our guys have been working to install the reconditioned motor and, as it stands, the ferry is back in the water.

“We’re hoping the temporary engine will get us through the next few days, but in the long run we’re hoping to source an alternative measure.

“We’ve been really busy, chugging up and down the river all day with 12 people per trip. With the boiling heat as well, the engine simply couldn’t cope in the end.”

The ferry, which offers a relaxing three-mile journey, is under the ownership of Beccles Lido Limited and is run on an entirely voluntary basis.

Donations are relied upon in order to keep it in operation and, as before, public generosity will be required going forward to continue exhibiting the beauty of the Waveney Valley.

“We’re going to need the good people of Beccles and beyond to put their hands in their pockets and help us out because, along with the Lido, the Big Dog Ferry is the bread and butter of Beccles,” said Mr Mac.

“Ideally we’ll host some fundraising events later in the year and of course we’ll be raising money at the conker tournament at the Locks Inn.

“Although the ferry is back up-and-running, we’d advise passengers to check before taking a trip to be on the safe side.”

If you would like to check whether the Big Dog Ferry is running, call the operators on 07532072761. You can also check for updates via the Big Dog Ferry Facebook page at facebook.com/bigdogferrybeccles.

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