Over the festive season the port authority welcomed the safe arrival of its new £800,000 pilot boat, named South Esk.
The new, modern boat recently made its maiden voyage home from Ireland and began its pilotage duties immediately after its arrival, which was marked in traditional fashion with water cannons discharged from vessels in port.
South Esk, which is an Interceptor 48 model pilot boat, was constructed by Safehaven Marine, in Youghal, Ireland and completed its sea trials at the Port of Cork.
The new pilot boat then made her journey home to Montrose by travelling across the Irish Sea to Oban, around the top of Scotland and down the East coast.
It is the first time in the Montrose’s 200-year trust port history that a purpose-built pilot boat has been ordered. All its previous pilot boats have been converted from lifeboats.
The new boat is quieter for neighbouring households and much more fuel-efficient, thus reducing emissions which is a priority for the Montrose Port Authority team as it works towards its aim of becoming the greenest port in Scotland.
The port authority chose to invest in this new boat as it has state-of-the-art equipment, self-righting capabilities and man overboard rescue equipment which ultimately improves safety for the port’s marine team.
Other notable features are the boat's forward cabin which has bunks allowing the marine team to rest during extended night time operations. It also provides increased seating capacity that can be used in an emergency or whenever additional passenger seating is required.
Ross Marshall, Montrose Port Authority harbour master, welcomed the new arrival, saying that it will be a significant improvement to the safety of the pilot team.
He said: “Safety is a priority for us at the Port Authority. As a trust port, we reinvest our profits into our facilities not just our infrastructure and with this new pilot boat, we are, most importantly, investing in the improved safety of our team. We are delighted to welcome South Esk home and thank the Safehaven Marine team for building her.”