Last surviving D-Day landing craft refloated

Salvage specialist Salvesen has raised that last remaining D-Day landing craft from the bottom of Liverpool docks

After four years lying at the bottom of Liverpool docks, the last remaining D-Day landing craft has finally been refloated.

LCT 7074 Landfall made numerous successful deployments to Normandy’s Gold Beach in 1944, carrying up to 11 Sherman tanks at a time across the English Channel.

At the end of the war, she was transferred to Liverpool’s Canning Dock where she was converted into a naval repair facility and later a lunch club, which closed in 2006.

When Landfall sank in 2010, a local seafarers’ association launched a campaign to save her, but it took four years to secure the £1m required from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the job.

Liverpool-based contractor Salvesen UK began survey dives in March of this year, before carrying out the refloat last month using equipment from Isle of Wight firm Seaflex.

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A total of 230-tons of buoyancy and a floating crane were needed to raise the 187ft D-Day landing craft over a three-week period.

Ben Board, technical site support manager at Seaflex, said: “It was a great honour to work on such a prestigious UK heritage project.

“We built our business on this type of salvage work and it is very much in our own heritage.”

Following the refloat, Landfall has been transferred to a Portsmouth Naval Base for restoration works.