Friends and guests, past present and future:
Rijnstroom IV was almost destroyed by fire on Thursday 21st of May 2015, see link below.
The cause of the fire is still uncertain, but it would appear to be the result of an electrical problem, somewhere in the control panel behind the helm. The fire took hold very quickly in the timber structure of the wheelhouse, and the new roof which had only just been built, and has completely destroyed the entire structure. The heat was so intense that it completely melted the original cast alloy helm wheel, and all the other barge controls.
The fire spread down the back stairs into the Captains Cabin which had been made up ready for the bank holiday weekend guests, and destroyed the bathroom, closet, entrance and ceiling. The wall mounted TV melted and set fire to the carpet!
The fire also spread down the main saloon stairs and across the ceiling, destroying the entrance to the saloon which included my desk and most of our personal effects, papers and documents. As the superheated smoke, estimated at between 800 to 1,000c, spread across the vaulted ceiling it melted anything plastic below it, and set fire to the furniture and surroundings.
This all happened in less than 30 minutes as the Bembridge & Ryde's finest rushed to the scene and got the fire under control. In less than an hour it was out and the full extent of the damage could be seen. The fire door at the end of the galley did its job, and there is no damage, apart from boot prints from mucky firemen as they made sure there was no one else on board, and we wont be holding that against them, as they are all heroes in our view!
So what of the future for Rijnstroom?
It has now been 4 months since the fire, and Rijnstroom is well on the way to being re-launched with a new wheelhouse, livery and interior, but inevitably this has cost a great deal more to do than was first estimated, so after careful consideration we have decided to seek a buyer for the new Rijnstroom IV, and will not now be re-opening for business in Bembridge as first anticipated.
We would like to offer our apologies to any of our past guests that were looking forward to staying with us again next year, and thank you for your support and understanding.
Rob & Elaine Lowe