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New pilot boat launched

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In the best traditions of ship launches, the champagne was cracked open as a new pilot boat was this afternoon officially named.

The 61ft

St David was given its send-off by Transport Minister Derrick Burgess. The new ship replaces a smaller vessel of the same name.

At the ceremony, Mr Burgess said: “Everyone knows about Jemmy Darrell, ‘Warbaby’ Fox and other famous pilots many of who came from the east end and St David’s in particular.

“The tools of a Pilot’s trade have changed significantly during the past few hundred years. In the early days, pilots were rowed out to ships and risked being injured or drowned trying to scramble on board to guide ships into port.

“By the 1950s we at least had engines, but the coxswain had to ring a bell to tell the engine room forward, neutral or reverse. Flags were used for communications between the pilot boats and ships. And of course, every pilot was based in St David’s.”

He added: “Fast forward to 2012 and we have this magnificent new vessel the

St David, a 61ft pilot boat which replaces a smaller vessel of the same name.

“The boat was delivered to Bermuda from the Gladding-Hearn Shipyard in Somerset, Massachusetts, where she was built and represents the largest and most capable Bermuda pilot boat to date.

“This state of the art vessel is equipped with all the latest navigation and communication equipment. The

St David is also equipped with a stepped recess well in the stern for recovering persons from the water and the ability to carry an optional 12ft inflatable dinghy add to her capability.”

She is powered by twin turbo diesels and capable of 30 knots and in addition to pilotage functions the

St David will also help with medical evacuations from ships that divert to Bermuda to land sick or injured crew. The ship will also be a front-line resource in local offshore search and rescue operations.

Mr Burgess added: “Indeed, one of the first operations for the

St David was to assist in the search and recovery of the two fishermen tragically lost off St David’s head in January. This vessel will undoubtedly help protect the lives of local seafarers as well as the ships that ply our treacherous waters.

“And I know all of us are proud of this beautiful new vessel. May she perform to the best of her capabilities and may Good Fortune smile on her and all who sail in her.”

A bottle of champaigne smashes over the bow of the pilot boat St David during her christening. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )
The pilot boat St David takes a cruise around St George's Habour duringhHer christening at Peno's Wharf in St George's ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

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Published February 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm (Updated February 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm)

New pilot boat launched

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