She posed with supermodels and she auditioned for a role as a museum.
But last week, time and the river and a hurricane proved too much for Lady Louise, as a salvage operation commenced to pull her derelict wreckage out of the Mill Pond water.
A crew from ACT Divecom went to work on bringing up the Lady Louise, the shrimp boat once operated by J. P. Barber.
Barber had piloted her ably in catching shrimp but when she went into retirement, he had seen it as an ideal setting for a hands-on shrimping museum.
A donation deal with the city was never consummated, as the transfer to the city’s name could not be completed before it sank, and with the gradual deterioration and the arrival of Hurricane Michael in 2018, the end came for Miss Louise, and she’s been sitting calmly in the water ever since.
“We’ve been trying to get it up for three years,” said City Manager Travis Wade.
After city officials were able to secure derelict vessel monies from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Police Chief Bobby Varnes, who serves as the city’s harbormaster, coordinated the removal.
A spokesman for FWC said the cost of removing the Lady Louise will run about $128,257, part of an $170,000 project which also includes a second vessel.
Senior Officer Travis Basford, FWC’s public information officer for the northwest region, said the project’s deadline is May 17.
He said 11 other derelict vessels are also being worked on by FWC in Franklin County.
Wade said among the derelict vessels in Apalachicola, two of them, the Lady Elizabeth and the Crimson Tide, are going to be removed by a private individual.
As for the supermodel gig, that occurred in 2012, when Lady Louise posed at Riverfront Park with Kate Upton for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in February.