Thousands raised to save WW2 seaplane stranded in loch

More than £30,000 has been raised to save the Catalina flying boat when her starboard engine failed to start.

Thousands raised to save WW2 seaplane stranded in loch RNLI Loch Ness

Nearly £30,000 has been raised to save a Second World War seaplane after it became stranded on Loch Ness following engine failure.

The Catalina flying boat, named Miss Pick Up, landed on the loch when her starboard engine failed to restart last week.

She was returned to the shore and moored overnight with the help of RNLI crews before being lifted out of the water by crane.

Owners Plane Sailing set up a fundraising bid in an effort to help fly the aircraft back safely to their home base in Duxford, Cambridge.

The group has now reached their target, raising more than £29,700 for the Miss Pick Up – one of the world’s only airworthy Catalina flying boat.

On Wednesday, the damaged engine was removed with a crane, and organiser Matt Dearden said it will now be stripped of all its ancillaries over the next few days.

Mr Dearden said: “We can’t thank enough everyone who’s donated to our plight to rescue Miss Pick Up from Loch Ness.

“The response has been overwhelming and has really buoyed our team on to continue on with the work. It has been absolutely incredible.”

The donations have gone towards crane hire, transporting a spare engine from Duxford to the Loch Ness, boat hire and workshop facilities for engine preparation.

Mr Dearden added: “These will then be transferred over to the replacement engine before it is lifted into place on the aircraft, hopefully next week.

“Hopefully, we will put the whole aircraft onto the loch and then we should be on our way home. We will get her back home before winter very soon.”

The Second World War seaplane, which appears at up to 20 airshows a year, ran into engine trouble while attempting to take off from the loch.

She was left drifting in the middle of Loch Ness, before it was decided the safest way to help would be to establish a tow and move it to safety.

RNLI Loch Ness hooked up a tow rope and slowly pulled the ten-tonne plane to safety in Urquhart Bay.

The 100-foot wingspan flying boat finally removed from Loch Ness in dramatic scenes last week.

The plane is not operated for profit and Plane Sailing’s mission is to keep the aircraft flying and honour her legacy.

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