Latest pilot vessel takes to the waves to help keep Humber ports trading

A new pilot vessel, the TRENT, has joined ABP Humber’s fleet at the port of Grimsby.

Comprising an investment of £1.2m, the TRENT is the second in class, Orc design 171, to be delivered to the Humber as part of ABP’s pilot boat replacement programme.

ABP first commissioned boat builder Goodchild Marine Services in 2020 to supply nine modern pilot boats over a five year period.

ABP’s total investment of £9m is delivering five vessels to serve its Humber ports, three for Southampton and one for Barry in South Wales.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber regional director, said: “These innovative pilot vessels, designed by Frech naval architect Pantocarene, will be ensuring ABP can deliver its exemplary pilotage service here on the Humber.

“In 2021 alone there were in excess of 34,000 ship movements on the estuary, overseen by ABP’s Vessel Tracking Service. 15,000 of these movements were acts of pilotage carried out by ABP’s Humber Pilots.

“Over the coming weeks the TRENT will be put through its paces by our pilot launch crews as they familiarise themselves with the new vessel.”

Stephen Pierce, general manager at Goodchild Marine Services, said: “Our aim is to deliver the highest quality pilot boats, which provide a safe, comfortable, reliable and efficient vessel. Thus, ensuring the best possible working space for the boat crews, pilots and the maintainers.”

The TRENT’s sponsor, Dame Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, added: “It is a great pleasure to have been asked to be the official sponsor of this impressive looking vessel.

“I know that over the course of her lifetime as a working pilot launch, she will be providing a vital function in taking pilots out to large ships beyond Spurn Point, so they can be brought safely into our ports and bring in the goods and supplies that we all need.

“She will therefore be an essential component part in the role that ABP plays here in the Humber, of keeping Britain trading.”

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