In my Message From The Bridge in the August edition of Sea Breezes I highlighted the Firth of Forth.
Soon after, I heard that Forth Ports had invested in two new vessels. On the 27th July a naming ceremony officially welcomed these two multi-million vessels to join the Forth Ports fleet of tugs and pilot boats working on the River Forth. The £6 million investment sees the arrival of a powerful Sanmar tug and a state-of-theart pilot boat from Holyhead Marine.
The tug built by leading ship builder Sanmar, is 28 metres long with two engines producing 2,700 brake horsepower and a bollard pull of 70 tonnes. It also has fire-fighting capabilities. Tugs are work horses and have a long life span which can last decades and this new tug demonstrates the latest technology and significantly enhances the overall towage capability across the Forth Estuary. The pilot boat was designed in Scotland by Carmac Design and was built in Wales by Holyhead Marine. The pilot boat is 16 metres long and is one of the most advanced boats in operation. It is the latest evolution of a proven pilot vessel design which is used worldwide.
A ceremony was held at the Leith Cruise Terminal where both vessels were blessed by the Port Chaplain Rev Joe O’Donnell and then the tug was named Craigleith by Janice Hammond and the new pilot boat was named Forth Puma by Marion Long, to follow the traditional of females naming a marine vessel. Janice is the wife of Forth Ports Chief Executive Charles Hammond, Charles has worked for the port business for 29 years. Marion Long has worked for Forth Ports for over 40 years in the group’s Edinburgh head office supporting the Chief Financial Officer.
The tug being called Craigleith, follows another tradition of the tugs on the Forth being named after islands in the estuary. The Craigleith joins the Fidra, Seal Carr and Oxcar tugs already in service. The pilot boats on the Forth are traditionally named after big cats and the Forth Puma joins the fleet with Forth Leopard and Forth Tiger.