Date Added - 14/12/12
The harbour dredger used by Moray Council has been sold.
In recent years the MV Shearwater had become too costly to maintain and its frequent breakdowns made the operation of it unreliable.
The vessel was used to keep harbours in Moray clear, and was frequently contracted out to other authorities throughout Scotland and north England with similar dredging requirements.
A Rosyth-based company specialising in workboats was the successful bidder for the Shearwater, and it is expected she will be towed to her new base for renovation.
Before she leaves Buckie harbour however, a certificate of seaworthiness has to be issued by the Marine and Coastguard Agency.
Work is already underway towards a replacement dredger; a specialist company will assist with the specification for the new vessel and it is hoped that the work will be put out to tender in the New Year.
Chair of Policy and Resources Committee and Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Allan Wright, said: “I welcome the news that the Shearwater has been sold.
“She has been something of a liability and has not really enhanced Buckie Harbour in recent months.
“Within our pounds 320million ten-year capital plan announced last year we have set aside pounds four million for work on Moray harbours, with an option to use some of that to purchase a new dredger.
“We can now press ahead with that option.”
Moray is one of the few local authorities in the UK that owns its own dredger, and although based in Buckie the new vessel will undertake dredging work for other councils as before.
Councillor for Cullen and Keith, and chairman of Findochty, Cullen and Portknockie harbour users group, Cllr Ron Shepherd, said it was great news for the area’s harbours.
“This will mean a better service to all the smaller harbours along our coast, so I’m delighted that the sale of the Shearwater means we can progress to the purchase of a new one.
“As well as the commercial harbours at Buckie and Burghead, there is increasing demand at the smaller leisure harbours such as Hopeman, Findochty, Portknockie and Cullen. I’m sure that neighbouring authorities will be glad to see the replacement in service as soon as possible too.”
The new owners of the Shearwater are Shearwater Dredging Ltd Unit 12b Barham Road Forties Campus Rosyth Fife