Mythical sea monster is set to patrol Moray’s harbours

Mythical Selkie is often thought to explain the Loch Ness Monster - now it is to be the name of Moray's new dredger.
Mythical Selkie is often thought to explain the Loch Ness Monster – now it is to be the name of Moray’s new dredger.

THE DIFFICULT JOB of selecting a name for Moray’s latest sea-going acquisition saw 300 entries finally sifted down to one at Moray Council on Tuesday.

Following a challenge to local schools by the Moray Council to name the new £2.4million dredger currently being built to service council-owned harbours brought a bumper entry.

Councillors were most impressed by the suggestion that the dredger should be named after a mythical Celtic sea creature – and so the boat will be launched as the MV Selkie.  The name was agreed by the leader of the SNP Group, Keith councillor Gary Coull, despite his admitting that he had never actually heard of the mythical Selkie – which featured in a Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘Loch Ness’ starring Ted Danson in 1996.

The fantasy movie speculated that the famous Loch Ness Monster was, in fact, a Selkie that had befriended a young girl who lived by the side of the Loch.

Back in the real world the dredger is currently still under construction at the Macduff Shipyard Ltd site at Buckie, where the boat will be based following its launch which is expected by the spring of next year.

At Tuesday’s meeting Speyside/Glenlivet councillor Pearl Paul said: “I like the name MV Selkie as it is simple yet notable as well – obviously the bairns knew what a Selkie was!”

MV Selkie will be the only dredger in Scotland owned and operated by a local authority, commissioned as a replacement for the MV Shearwater which was sold on two years ago.  She will service Buckie, Burghead, Hopeman, Findochty, Portknockie and Cullen harbours, but will also be made available on hire to other councils around the Scottish coast.