Belfast Harbour Invests £2m In New Pilot Boats

Belfast Harbour has taken delivery of a second Pilot Boat, completing a two vessel contract with Cushendall-based Redbay Boats.

The latest arrival, the ‘Ben Madigan’ joins the ‘Captain Michael Evans’, which was named in honour of the company’s Deputy Harbour Master who was killed in the Cork air disaster.

The Harbour said the vessels, a £2 million investment, are already proving to be a major asset, playing a vital role in servicing the significantly larger cargo and cruise vessels which regularly call at the Port.

Trevor Anderson, Belfast Harbour’s Operations Director, said: “With 23 million tonnes passing through the Port annually and a record cruise season this year, it’s great to be able to launch a second, best-in-class pilot boat into service.

“This additional boat has again been developed to meet the Harbour’s specific 24/7 needs and we’re delighted to have been able to source the vessel from a local supplier.”

The Stormforce 1650 is designed to operate safely as an all-weather boat in sea conditions.  With improved handling and enhanced comfort, the boat allows pilots to board vessels in conditions beyond what would have been traditionally possible – helping keep the port open all year round.

Design on the development of the new vessel began five years ago when Redbay Boats built a prototype to test the technology.

More in the next print issue of Export & Freight