MORAY’S HARBOURS WILL once again be cleared on a regular basis thanks to the completion of the £2.5million MV Selkie, which was formally named on Friday.
Pupils from Cluny Bank Primary School, who were responsible for naming the vessel, were amongst the gathered spectators who witnessed the ceremony at Buckie Harbour.
The ceremony was concluded by the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, Clare Russell, who used a bottle of whisky to christen the ship, which will operated in Moray’s six harbours as well as being leased out to other Councils who are also harbour owners.
Clare Russell read a letter from the Queen before conducting the naming ceremony, adding that conducting the ceremony was a “very special thing to do, I never thought a dredger could look so beautiful”.
Selkie will operate with a three-man crew and replaces the Shearwater, which was sold off by the local authority three years ago when it was decided that boat was no longer fit for purpose.
Council Convener Allan Wright was joined by several other councillors and guests as well as members of the public to witness the launch, which also saw the Selkie and her crew blessed by Dr Rev Hilary Smith, minister for Findochty and Portknockie, two of the harbours in which the dredger will operate.
Councillor Wright said: “It’s unique, it is going to be good for Moray and good for Buckie because this is a working harbour. We will now be able to dredge our harbours ourselves – and the development of Buckie Harbour remains on the the council’s main priorities.”
Attending the ceremony after overnight duty at the Moray count for the Scottish Elections was local councillor Sonya Warren, who said: “It was lovely seeing the children from Cluny Primary enjoy the ceremony and seeing their winning name on the boat.
“Its been amazing to watch as the boat has progressed from the first time I saw it – being built upside down in the shipyard in Buckie Harbour. Congratulations to Macduff Shipyards for an excellent job.
“Even more encouraging is the fact that two apprenticeships were created along with this contract, a very welcome boost for our young people.”
The Selkie has undergone a series of sea trials ahead of yesterday’s naming ceremony and will now be set to work, with much to do as several harbours have not been dredged since the departure of the Shearwater, which is still in operation on the East Coast.