New Montrose pilot boat named in traditional ceremony

A traditional whisky blessing has marked the official naming of Montrose Port Authority's new £800,000 pilot boat, South Esk.
Chaplain ​Peter Donald, Jane Stuart and Harbour Master Ross Marshall.Chaplain ​Peter Donald, Jane Stuart and Harbour Master Ross Marshall.
Chaplain ​Peter Donald, Jane Stuart and Harbour Master Ross Marshall.

An intimate quayside blessing was held on Friday at Montrose Lifeboat Station on the port’s North Quay.

In marine tradition, the boat was blessed by Montrose Sailors’ Society’s Port Chaplain, Peter Donald, along with the vessel’s godmother, Jane Stuart, who is married to Peter Stuart, chairman of the port authority’s board of non-executive directors.

Mrs Stuart poured whisky from a quaich on to the boat and Mr Donald then asked for protection to all those who serve upon the South Esk.

​The South Esk was named in a traditional quayside blessing.​The South Esk was named in a traditional quayside blessing.
​The South Esk was named in a traditional quayside blessing.

The naming blessing was a celebration of the landmark investment, and was attended by members of the port authority team as well as the non-executive directors. Guests were greeted on arrival by a piper kindly provided by the Lathallan School pipe band who also concluded the blessing.

The purpose-built pilot boat, named in Montrose’s long-established tradition of naming pilot boats after local rivers, is the first in Montrose’s 200-year trust port history and will replace the North Esk pilot boat, which is a Tyne-class lifeboat conversion.

Harbour Master Ross Marshall said: “Our pilotage service runs 24 hours a day and in all types of weather, so it’s vital to ensure the safe transportation of our pilots to and from visiting vessels. South Esk is proving to be an excellent addition to our fleet and we have already seen that she is significantly more fuel efficient, helping us reduce our carbon footprint.”