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Boat trips on popular Big Dog Ferry cancelled as engine fails

PUBLISHED: 14:37 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:05 24 July 2018

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

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

Archant © 2018

Hundreds of people have been left disappointed after one of the region's most popular summertime attractions broke down.

The Beccles Big Dog Ferry is currently out of service due to engine failure. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Beccles Big Dog Ferry is currently 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 been cancelled until further notice following the failure of its engine.

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

The Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, has broken down. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, has broken down. Picture: Nick Butcher

As the scorching sunshine continues to beat down, Big Dog Ferry volunteer Yanny Mac admitted the timing couldn’t have been much worse.

“With the summer holidays starting it’s absolutely terrible timing,” he said. “We’d like to issue a massive apology to anyone who has already booked to ride the ferry.

The Beccles Big Dog Ferry is currently out of service due to engine failure. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Beccles Big Dog Ferry is currently out of service due to engine failure. Picture: Nick Butcher

“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.

“An engineer is coming out to have a look and it could be fixed for a few days, but ultimately we’re in desperate need of a decent new motor.”

The Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, has broken down. Picture: Nick ButcherThe Big Dog Ferry, which takes passengers from Beccles to Geldeston, has broken down. Picture: Nick Butcher

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 to continue exhibiting the beauty of the Waveney Valley.

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

“We’re going to need the good people of Beccles and beyond to put their hands in their pockets and help us out,” added 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.

“Along with the Lido, the Big Dog Ferry is the bread and butter of Beccles so we really need to get it up and running again as soon as possible.”

Anyone looking to take a trip is advised to check the ferry is running beforehand by calling the operators on 07532072761.

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