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Press release 06/06/06

STAFF at Lerwick Port Authority were last night (Monday) celebrating the safe arrival of their new £1.8 million harbour tug.

The new Knab steamed round Bressay Lighthouse at around 8pm last night and was welcomed and escorted in by the present Knab and the harbour's other tug Kebister as well as the Lerwick lifeboat.

The new 20 metre vessel with a bollard pull of 19 tonnes berthed at Albert Docks shortly afterwards.

Port authority chief executive Allan Wishart said: "The old Knab is 25 years old. The size of the vessels calling at the port is much, much bigger now. This new tug has three times the power of
the old one, but she is only slightly larger - and that is why we had to invest into a new tug boat."

Mr Wishart added that the profile of business at the harbour has been changing over the years with much larger vessels now being the standard.

"We see much more work with decommissioning, we see bigger and more frequent visits by cruise ships and we also see the fishing industry picking up again in the future.

"We have to look ahead with confidence. The harbour has a history of development and expansion over the last 130 years. We have to carry on that tradition, and doing so on a good commercial footing."

The new tug has been built at the Vestvaerftet shipyard, of Hvide Sande, Denmark, over the past year. Port authority staff had close involvement in the design by naval architects McCaig and Napier.

The crew who were sailing the Knab into Lerwick harbour last night were deputy harbourmaster Calum Grains, with pilot Neil McLean as mate for the voyage, and engineers Mr King and Michael Smith as crew.

The tug will be officially christened Knab on 1 July. The original Knab is to be renamed and advertised for sale.

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