You’ve gotta roll with it… Port’s new pilot vessel put through its paces in heavy seas
Specialist boat builders have captured dramatic video and images of the Port of Cromarty Firth’s (PoCF) latest pilot vessel undergoing rigorous final trials in heavy seas.
They show the Balblair safely manoeuvring in huge waves off the coast of Ireland, where the bespoke boat was built by Safehaven Marine.
The Interceptor 48 class vessel is due to be sailed to Scotland this month to be brought into service on the busy waters of the firth.
It is the second pilot vessel to be built for the Port by Safehaven in recent years in an investment totalling more than £1million since 2019.
The Balblair will be part of a fleet of boats used to transport the Port’s highly skilled pilots between land and the vessels that enter into the Cromarty Firth.
Graham Grant, the PoCF’s marine support manager, said: “The Balblair is a wonderful new state-of-the-art vessel, capable of operating in the most challenging of sea conditions, as the incredible video and photographs show.
“She will be a very welcome addition to our fleet and provide a safe and stable platform for performing pilotage operations, whatever the weather in the Cromarty Firth. We very much look forward to taking delivery of the boat and bringing it into service.”
Safehaven managing director, Frank Kowalski, added: “It’s always particularly satisfying to receive a repeat order, as we did after delivering the Dalmore, the first pilot boat, to the Cromarty Firth in 2019.
“It shows how successful the boat has been in operation, and the Port’s confidence in Safehaven Marine as a builder.”