Big Bear Pirate Ship Rises After Nearly Two Weeks Underwater

A recent storm that brought 10 inches of rain and snow to Big Bear Lake submerged the Time Bandit in 12 feet of water

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    A salvage team spent the day working to lift "The Time Bandit" from below the surface of Big Bear Lake after it was sunk by the powerful storm that hit Southern California earlier this month. Tony Shin reports from Big Bear Lake for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, 2014. (Published Thursday, March 13, 2014)

    After spending two weeks a dozen feet into the deep, a pirate vessel known as the Time Bandit is upright once again.

    The 40-year-old, 16-ton ship has quite the history, including an appearance in a Hollywood film called "Time Bandits" and history as a tour boat at the Ports O'Call Village in Los Angeles.

    Big Bear Pirate Ship Righted After Nearly Two Weeks Underwater

    [LA] Big Bear Pirate Ship Righted After Nearly Two Weeks Underwater
    The owner of the Time Bandit used air-lift bags to bring the ship out of the water. He and a crew are now in the process of draining water from the vessels hull. Video courtesy of MyBigBearTrip. (Published Thursday, March 13, 2014)

    Ship owner Loren Hafen and a crew of workers set about Thursday morning using air-lift bags to raise the vessel out of Big Bear Lake -- which proved to be quite the job, as the Time Bandit is a one-third-scale replica of a 16th-century Spanish galleon.

    Hafen, a certified scuba diver, strapped the bags to the bottom of the ship while crew members filled them from an air compressor.

    “As soon as they started filling the bags with air, it went up,” Big Bear Lake Resort Association Spokesman Dan McKernan said. “Now they are just working on getting the water out of it.”

    Hafen and the workers used water pumps to remove water from the Time Bandit’s hull and get it out of its 12-foot-deep watery grave.

    On Feb. 28, a severe storm that brought 10 inches of rain and snow to Big Bear Lake caused the pirate ship to sink.

    “I cried, I just cried,” Hafen said about his first time seeing the submerged vessel. Hafen and his wife Patty purchased the Time Bandit in 2000.

    But now people are optimistic that the Time Bandit will be ready to set sail for the 100-year anniversary of Holloway’s Marina, where is has been docked since 1998.

    “We definitely are thinking it will be ready for the anniversary,” McKernan said. “It would be a great way to start the festivities by getting the ship sailing again.”

    After a slew of repairs, the Time Bandit will sail again on Big Bear Lake, with tours expected to resume Memorial Day Weekend and continue through October.

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