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Jolly Roger still grounded on the ironshore, one woman shares her memories of the popular pirate ship

The Jolly Roger pirate ship is still sitting on the ironshore in the George Town harbour, days after it broke free of its moorings following rough seas from the passage of Hurricane Michael. Its present condition has been drawing a lot of attention from the public. The iconic Jolly Roger pirate ship has been in the water since Tuesday (9 October) morning. The Jolly Roger has always been a huge tourist attraction and it was this allure that drew Katie O’Neil to the ship 15 years ago.

“So this is the picture with us was when we were saying our vows,” said Ms. O’Neil.

Her wedding was featured in several publications, she said. Reflecting on what the ship looked like back then and what is happening to it now, she said,  is painful.

“I just felt crush when I saw it for the second time laying on its side filling up with water because I have married on it 15 years ago,” said Ms. O’Neil.

This week the pirate ship broke free of its moorings for the second time in less than a month. The iconic pirate ship has been a huge part of portraying Cayman’s history after being built in 1986 in Florida, but Ms. O’Neil said she feels the ship’s good days might be over.

“It been through a lot of repairs and its change hands a lot of times, but now I’m really concerned that this might be it,” said Ms. O’Neil.

Getting married on the ship is not Ms. O’Neil’s only ties to the ship, she’s also helped for a decade with the November Pirates Week festival.

“Making it part of the landing for the Pirates Week festival. I served on our national festival committee the executive committee for ten years,” said Ms. O’Neil.

She suggests that the Government should step in and help find a solution.

“Perhaps what should be done is maybe the government should take it over, fix it up and use it for the tourism product that it brings to Cayman,” said Ms. O’Neil.

Ms. O’Neil said she would surely miss the Jolly Roger if this is truly the end. We reached out to the owner of the Jolly Roger pirate ship Dr. Roland Talanow for an update on the situation, we have had no response.

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