THE 15-metre-long ‘Port Láirge’, the Port of Waterford’s new Pilot Boat, was received by crew at the Dunmore East pontoon this (Friday) morning, two years after her commissioning.
The self-righting vessel, capable of recovering is capsized by a sizeable breaking wave, has been named in honour of the famed dredger which served on the River Suir until the 1980s after 70-plus years of service.
The ‘Port Láirge’, which will provide safer working conditions for personnel, replaces the purpose-built ‘Dun Mór’, which was designed and assembled by Halmatic in 1996. The Port of currently operates two pilot boats, one based in Dunmore East – its primary boarding position where the Port Láirge will be berthed – and the other at Passage East.
The vessel is powered by a pair of Scania D13 500hp engines, has an operational speed of over 25 knots and can, with comfort, carry five pilots and two crew.
The ‘Port Láirge’ pilot boat represents a €1 million investment by the Port of Waterford.
“We, along with the maritime community here in Waterford, are delighted with the new addition to the fleet of port vessels,” said Port of Waterford Harbourmaster, Captain Darren Doyle.
“The work of the pilot crew is highly skilled and it requires a state-of-the-art vessel to ensure that this work can be carried out year-round in all weather conditions.”
The four-strong pilot crew will now train on the Port Láirge vessel ahead of her officially enter service over the coming week while the Dun Mór is retired.
Boatbuilder Frank Kowalski MD of Safehaven Marine, based in Youghal, piloted the new boat on her maiden voyage to Dunmore following the completion of her sea trials. The Port Láirge is the 48th pilot boat Safehaven have supplied to ports across the world.