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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Discovery hull 'safe' from worms

Damage to the hull of one of Scotland's most historic ships by a marine worm is not as bad as first feared.

It was thought that the toledo worm had infested the timbers of the 100-year-old Discovery in Dundee.

But after the hull was power-washed, only two small infested areas were found. The worm is expected to die.

Captain Robert Scott's ship, used on his trip to Antarctica, is currently in dry dock undergoing 688,000 of conservation work to its hull.

The work began after a survey of the ship identified the need for the work to keep it afloat.

Funding for the project came mainly from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Dundee City Council and the Discovery 100 appeal campaign also contributed toward the cost of the work.

The news that only a couple of areas are affected is better than we were hoping for
Gill Poulter, Dundee Heritage Trust

Gill Poulter, from the ship's custodians Dundee Heritage Trust, said: "The ship desperately was in need of some work and this is quite a large project.

"The ship is in reasonable condition considering its age but every ship needs care and attention particularly historic wooden ones."

She added: "We were quite worried about the toledo worm because it can burrow down quite deep and cause quite a lot of damage so the news that only a couple of areas are affected is better than we were hoping for.

"It is quite easily treatable."

The conservation work is being carried out by Mackay Boat Builders of Arbroath.

Discovery will remain in dry dock until November giving visitors a rare opportunity to have guided tours round a normally hidden part of the vessel.

Project to keep Discovery afloat
27 Nov 06 |  Tayside and Central
Voyage of discovery at exhibition
27 Mar 02 |  Scotland
Tall Ships discover Dundee
05 Aug 01 |  Scotland
Scott's ship celebrates 100 years
21 Mar 01 |  Scotland

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