Sunken Pirate Ship Pulled From Big Bear Lake May Sail Again

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

After spending about two weeks under water, the Big Bear Pirate Ship was floating again Thursday, and the popular tourist attraction’s owner was hopeful the ship would set sail again this summer.


The Big Bear Pirate Ship sunk during a severe storm. (Credit: Big Bear Visitors Bureau )

The ship, dubbed the Time Bandit, sunk on Feb. 28 during a severe storm that brought rain, snow and intense winds to Holloway’s Marina, where the ship was docked, according to a news release from the Big Bear Lake Resort Association.

The sunken boat was discovered by a Holloway’s Marina employee the morning after the storm, the news release stated.

“She’s been underwater too long, it’s time resurrect our beloved Time Bandit,” said Loren Hafen, the ship’s owner.

Hafen, a certified scuba diver, attached deflated air-lift bags to the bottom of the ship, and then inflated them with an air compressor.

“These air-lift bags are designed to salvage heavy objects underwater including yachts and airplanes, so we’re optimistic this will do the trick,” Hafen said prior to raising the ship.

Once the ship was up, a hole was found and crews had to continue working to pump water from the boat.


A photo of the Big Bear Pirate Ship provided by Richard Millener.

A one-third scale replica of a Spanish galleon, the Time Bandit was built in the backyard of a father-and-son team in the late 1960s through the 1970s, according to

After being used in the 1981 feature film “Time Bandits,” the ship was used as a tour boat in the Los Angeles Harbor, and Newport Beach Fun Zone, the site stated.

The ship eventually was moved to Big Bear, where Hafen was hopeful the Time Bandit would be ready to set sail this summer for Holloway’s Marina’s 100-year anniversary.