A FULL-SCALE replica of one of the most famous ships in the history of maritime exploration is being hoisted into the air today as part of a move to transport the vessel from Stockton to Whitby.

HM Bark Endeavour is one of only two life-size replicas in the world of the ship commanded by explorer Captain James Cook for his first voyage to Australia and New Zealand.

And yesterday it overcame a major obstacle on its way to be restored as it was craned over the lock gates at the Tees Barrage.

A huge 750-tonne crane with a 63-metre boom was in brought in and over the course of four hours lifted the 183-tonne and 33-metre long vessel above the lock gates.

The ship will now go into dry dock for major refurbishment.

New owner Andrew Fiddler said: “It’s taken a huge amount of preparation and overcoming logistical challenges to get here. Therefore I’m delighted we are now at the point where the journey can begin and we can move closer to seeing visitors enjoying the on-board experience and discovering more about life on an 18th century ship.

“In her current state the Endeavour is dilapidated and very much in need of essential structural repairs as well as the authentic restoration of certain features which is the next stage in her journey back to full glory.”