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Bid to save Isle of Wight WWII paddle steamer PS Ryde

16 February 10 10:23 GMT

A campaign has begun to save a paddle steamer which took part in the D-Day landings during World War II but has since been left to rot away.

In its heyday PS Ryde took passengers from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth.

During the war it helped in the evacuation at Dunkirk and to land troops on Omaha beach in Normandy.

The Ryde's owners went into receivership last year and it has been left to disintegrate. A historic ships society is trying to save the steamer.

Shipyard demolished

After the war the Ryde was returned to passenger service but was retired in in 1970 and turned into a nightclub.

Since 2006 the steamer has been lying ashore next to the River Medina on the Isle of Wight in a poor condition with its funnel collapsed.

The shipyard where it is kept is now being demolished and National Historic Ships has begun a campaign to save the vessel.

The group said experts believe the steamer could still be saved and a petition has been organised to ensure its future.

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