Pilot boat ‘North Esk’ sets sail in Montrose

Justine Scott-Gray and the Reverend Howard Drysdale beside North Esk
Justine Scott-Gray and the Reverend Howard Drysdale beside North Esk

A lifeboat which saved 21 lives in Ireland has been converted into a new pilot boat for Montrose.

The new pilot boat for Montrose Port was named on Friday (September 25) at a special ceremony on the North Quay of the Angus port.

Named the North Esk, she replaces the Mare Rosa, which has retired after six years’ service at Montrose.

The North Esk was formerly the RNLI Tyne-class lifeboat Hilda Jarrett that was based in Baltimore, Ireland, from 1988 to 2012.

During her time as a lifeboat she acquitted herself well, including being involved in the rescue of the 21 crew of the yacht Rambler 100 that capsized during the Fastnet Race inAugust 2011.

She has been specially converted for her new role as a pilot boat by Mackay Builders of Arbroath.

The naming ceremony on was carried out by Justine Scott-Gray, the wife of Nik Scott-Gray, the chief executive of Montrose Port Authority,

Just prior to the naming, the craft was blessed by the Reverend Howard Drysdale, Port Chaplain for Aberdeen Harbour.

Mr Scott-Gray said: “The commissioning of the North Esk is part of our fleet renewal process and we are delighted she is now fully operational.

“The port is experiencing a steady increase in traffic and this new vessel will play an important role in ensuring the efficient movement of shipping.”

Mrs Scott-Gray said her father, who has a background in sailing, would be “delighted” she was officially naming the vessel.

At the launch, she said to the sailors: “This vessel will hopefully keep you all safe and well guided and these boats that you’re bringing in and will get you where you need to be without any scratches or bumps.

“I wish her well and everyone that sails with her.”