Following the partial sinking of the USS Williamsburg while berthed in La Spezia, it has been revealed that this former presidential yacht will be scrapped by local authorities if it is not removed within seven days.

Williamsburg was the former yacht of President Truman, and as such, has played host to a number of historically significant moments, as David Seal, the Northrop & Johnson sales broker trying to save the vessel, told

“It’s only when you consider that Winston Churchill, Truman, and even Castro at some point sat on there and mapped out history. NATO was discussed on board, as was the state of Israel and the Marshall Plan… It’s like buying the White House! And from that perspective, it is an amazing bargain. We haven’t put a price on it yet but it is up for negotiation and it won’t equate to more than the cost of cutting it and lifting it.”

Seal explained that, having sat idle on her moorings for 20 years, Williamsburg had suffered multiple minute hull ruptures, caused by age and wear, which eventually led to water ingress at the bow, partially submerging the yacht.

Pumping has proved ineffective and three attempts to float her have failed. “The engines are 100 tons each and the boat is so heavy that it’s just impossible to float her.”

One potential solution is to cut the vessel into sections and remove it for work that way. But Seal says that Williamsburg’s fate rests on finding a buyer with a passion for history before the Italian authorities finally call time on her lifecycle.

USS Williamsburg has sat idle for 20 years, but time could be running out.

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