A PADDLE STEAMER restaurant, popular with Brit holidaymakers on Spain’s Costa del Sol, is reported to be listing heavily and ‘sinking’ after repairs were done on it last night (Wednesday).
Berthed in Benalmadena port, the 200-foot long vessel with an extremely large breadth of 65 feet was built in the States in 1925 for the Lighthouse Sevice on the Mississippi.
According to www.paddlesteamers.info she served until late 1944 when she was involved in a collision. She became an accommodation boat for the US Army Corps of Engineers, having had her machinery removed.
Sold in 1962, she went to Florida ten years later but lay abandoned until sold to Themes International based in the UK. She went to Antwerp, Belgium for refurbishment but Themes went out of business and Willow remained at Antwerp until 1995 when she returned to the UK, this time to Birkenhead.
Her next move was to Spain in 1996 for operation as a restaurant boat and now trades as “Mississippi Willow”.