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Pilot boat crash will not affect ship services says Government

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The pilot boat St David (File photograph)

The temporary loss of a pilot boat because of damage caused by a collision with a reef will not interrupt services, the Ministry of Transport said yesterday.

A spokeswoman admitted the damage to the St David, which struck a reef north of the island last Thursday, would cause some problems in carrying out maintenance – despite the collision leaving just one pilot boat fit to put to sea.

But she said the accident would not affect shipping movements or cause delays, even after cruise ships returned to the island in the summer.

The spokeswoman added: “There are a total of two pilot boats.

“Only one pilot boat is in use at a time, which is sufficient to handle the volume of shipping, even during peak season as each pilot boat can safely carry a minimum of four pilots plus crew.

“There are other vessels within the fleet that can, and have been, used to carry pilots to and from arriving ships as the need arises and will be used as a stand by pilot boat while the St David is out of service.”

She said an investigation into the collision continued, ad that more details will be released once it was completed.

No details about the cost of repairs – or how long the St David will be out of service – have been released.

The smash happened as the boat was en route to the Northeast Breaker Beacon as part of a training exercise just before 7am last Thursday.

The crew of four was uninjured, but the boat’s propellers and driveshafts suffered severe damage and the boat lost power.

The 61ft twin-engined St David, constructed by the Gladding-Hearn Shipyard in Somerset, Massachusetts, replaced a smaller vessel of the same name in 2012.

It has been used in medical evacuations and for offshore search and rescue missions.

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Published May 12, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated May 12, 2021 at 7:32 am)

Pilot boat crash will not affect ship services says Government

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