Watch moment Spurn Lightship leaves Hull Marina for the first time in 35 years as it begins new chapter in its history

The iconic Spurn Lightship was towed up the Humber today as a major restoration of the iconic vessel began.

The former lightship, which guarded Spurn Point and protected maritime traffic during its operational life, has been berthed at Hull Marina since 1986 and run as a floating museum.

Today it moved for the first time in 35 years as tug boats hauled it into the Humber to Dunston's shipyard, where it will be based while undergoing renovation work.

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Tug boats haul the Spurn Lightship out of Hull Marina

It will be docked alongside the Arctic Corsair, Hull's last surviving deep-water 'sidewinder' fishing trawler, as both historic vessels are restored ahead of becoming focal points of the Yorkshire's Maritime City project.

Local firm Dunston's Ship Repairs Ltd have been awarded the contract to repair both ships before they go back on public display as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund scheme.

The Spurn Lightship was meant to have been moved to its temporary home on the Dunston's site at William Wright Dock on October 5, but the operation was postponed due to strong winds. The Arctic Corsair was successfully relocated earlier this week.

Built in 1927, the ship was moored off Spurn and helped vessels to navigate the approach to the Humber Estuary - a welcome sight for generations of sailors and fishermen after long and tiring trips at sea. It was retired in the 1970s.

The convoy enters the Humber

Hull City Council leader Daren Hale said: “We’re looking forward to seeing the lightship leave Hull Marina for the first time in three decades to receive a programme of restoration."

The council and the National Lottery have jointly funded the £30.3million project, which will also involve revamps of the Hull Maritime Museum, Dock Office Chambers and the North End Shipyard, where the two vessels will be berthed in future with improved visitor access.

Coun Hale added: “The relocation of both ships signals the start of an exciting journey as work can now get underway to protect their future for generations to come.

“With the support from volunteers and specialists in the field, the work commissioned on the historic ships has been carefully planned, to strike the delicate balance between conservation and restoration.

The lightship had not moved since 1986

“The ships must retain the key historical elements to enable visitors make a real emotional connection with them and show them as when they were working, this is vital for a heritage experience.”

Dunston Ltd managing director Richard Bourne added: “This is a significant landmark, and it is fantastic to have the Spurn Lightship and the Arctic Corsair berthed in our local shipyard. We are extremely excited to start the restoration on two of the city’s most recognised ships and it will be a privilege to work on them on behalf of the city.”

Dunston's released this image of both vessels docked safely at their wharf
Cod Wars veteran trawler the Arctic Corsair being moved by tugs in a similar operation earlier this week