PLANS to restore a crumbling Isle of Wight paddle steamer have, quite literally, collapsed.

The team leading the project, led by restoration enthusiast Lisa Turner, hoped to save the Ryde Queen and see her sail again.

Following an appraisal by National Historic Ships UK, which confirmed the vessel could be salvaged, Lisa agreed to purchase the vessel raised £5,000 for further survey and removal costs.

Currently languishing at Island Harbour, Newport, the Ryde Queen was due to be broken into eight sections and taken away, hopefully to be rebuilt.

However, it was revealed on the Friends of PS Ryde Facebook page this evening (Thursday) that the vessel had deteriorated badly over the winter and could not be removed.

Lisa posted: "She was so bad one of our team members nearly fell through her walkway where the engines were. Ryde's bridge had collapsed that much, it was now resting on her bow.

"During one visit, we were informed that over Christmas she had collapsed three times."

"After speaking with local authorities... and the companies involved, we were given the heart-wrenching choice of accepting she could not be removed in the way we planned, and therefore dismantling her would be the only viable option, or trying to remove her and creating further environmental issues.

"Although this was not taken lightly, and heartbreaking as it is, we agreed we needed to say goodbye and let her go.

"There are other options being explored, but for legal reasons we cannot comment on these. But we want to assure you all, we fought till the end for her."

Several attempts to save the PS Ryde have been made over the years. Formerly a passenger ferry, then a wartime anti-aircraft vessel that took part in the Normandy landings, it was finally the Ryde Queen floating nightclub.

It is understood the vessel will now be dismantled and taken away.

Donations made to the fundraising appeal will now be given to the PS Medway Queen.

Lisa, 35, of Cramlington, Northumberland, said: "We want to thank each and every one of you who stood by us through this emotional journey.

"There have been moments where we wanted to quit. All the sleepless nights, endless journeys, phone calls, emails, doubts, late nights, tears, blood, begging, arguments, missed summer holidays — it was worth it, because you never know till you try.

"It's goodbye for now, but there will be something in the pipeline for this gorgeous ship, mark our words."