THE BATTLE to save a famous D-Day vessel moored in Southampton has taken a new twist.

Owners of the 90-year-old Calshot say they are prepared to sell the historic ship for as little as £1 - even if it means seeing her leave the city.

Calshot is being offered for sale to anyone willing to save the former tugboat by providing her with a long-term future.

It comes as Hampshire prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which changed the course of the Second World War.

Daily Echo:

As reported in the Daily Echo, Associated British Ports (ABP) wants the Calshot to vacate her birth at Southampton docks by the end of next month.

Her owners, the Tug Tender Calshot Trust (TTCT), would like to see the vessel towed to Mayflower Park and turned into a tourist attraction, but talks with ABP and the city council have made little headway.

Last night it emerged that Calshot is up for sale.

TTCT members are hoping a buyer will come forward and save her from the scrapyard - possibly by turning her into a pub or restaurant.

Chairman Terry Yarwood said: “Calshot was built in Southampton and has spent almost all her life in the city.

“We would be very sorry to see her leave, but if selling the vessel means she’ll end up going somewhere else then so be it. We just want to save the ship.”

Asked how much the trust wanted for the vessel Mr Yarwood said: “We bought her from the council for £1. We’ll consider any offer.”

Daily Echo:

During the war Calshot and served as a “non-assault HQ ship” during the D-Day landings.

She joined the National Register of Historic Vessels in 2007 and was made a member of the National Historic Fleet.

Hannah Cunliffe, director of National Historic Ships UK said: “I’m fully appreciative of her historical value to the area, plus the breadth of original material she contains.

“I would love to see her saved.”

Royston Smith, Tory MP for Southampton Itchen, added: “I hope the trust can find someone willing to take the vessel on. It would be very sad to lose something of such historic importance to Southampton.”

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for culture, said TTCT had asked the authority to help members find a new home for the vessel.

But she added: “Unless others come forward the council does not have the capacity or the resources required for this project.”