African Queen launched
- Thu, 12 Apr 2012
One of the world's most famous boats has re-entered service in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary. African Queen, which took the title role in the Oscar-winning 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, was on the point of being broken up after 10 years of neglect, but is back earning its keep in Florida.
The 30ft open launch, originally named Livingstone, was built by Abdela & Mitchell at Brimscombe in Gloucestershire in 1912 for the British East Africa Railway. It was shipped to Africa where it was used to carry passengers and cargo on Lake Albert between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
African Queen dropped from view following its starring role in the film until it was found in Egypt in the 1970s and shipped to Florida where it was placed on display ashore, first in Marathon and later in Key Largo. However Jim Hendricks, who inherited the boat from his father, has leased it to Lance and Suzanne Holmqvist who have spent a reported £37,500 in fully restoring African Queen and have put it into service as a river cruise boat.