Nobody deserves any credit concerning the house boat Llys Helig, not Maldon Council nor Crouch Harbour Authority nor any of the other agencies who involved themselves.

I can say with experience, having owned the ship from 1989 to 2012, she could have been righted the next day with a submersible pump and a bit of common sense. I carried this out three times during my ownership without help or the need to convene meetings.

In spite of comments made, there were no pollutants in the ship such as fuel, lubricating oil or batteries, simply that the river mud that was outside is now inside.

MDC could have avoided any responsibility had it sold the berth to me, which I twice offered to buy.

Being nearly 100 years old, the ship leaked, of course, but with a pump and a timer the leaks never became critical. I suspect that the electricity that would have powered any pumps had been cut off.

Anyone in the marine world knows the cost of salvage increases every 24 hours and three years have passed while the above organisations have found objections, passed the buck and loaded on ever more terms and conditions, making sure their backs were covered, while achieving nothing at all. If the salvage goes ahead, I don’t doubt it will be done efficiently, but the pity is the sums spent on this could have been spent refurbishing the ship.

Malcolm Smith