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Guernsey Harbours' new Sarnia workboat now in service

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Wednesday 09 October 2019

Guernsey Harbours' new workboat Sarnia has been formally commissioned into service following her arrival from the UK.

The new Sarnia was built at Meercat Boats' shipyard in Hythe near Southampton.

Guernsey's Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said:

"The new Sarnia will make the task of looking after our harbours, offshore navigational aids and other infrastructure safer and more efficient for our staff. The new vessel is based on a tried and tested design, but has been adapted for the Bailiwick's needs. It will give our crew more useable space and, more importantly, a better and safer working environment. Meercat's design was chosen as it can support the large range of tasks required to keep our harbours running, and be flexible enough to provide assistance to other agencies as required. The vessel will also meet the changing requirements and challenges that the coming decades will bring."

The new Sarnia workboat is modelled on Meercat's MC15 design. It is a 15.6-metre steel multirole vessel, which features a modern off-centre wheelhouse configuration, providing a large useable deck space area.

Meercat Boats' Business Manager, John Buck said:

"We are delighted to have delivered the Sarnia to her owners, following an excellent partnership process with a much valued customer. Like all Meercats, she is a superbly built multirole vessel, and this build quality, combined with the customised specification and enhanced equipment, makes her perfectly suited to her many duties in Guernsey."

Head of Technical & Estate Services - Ports, Martyn Stanfield, said:

"The new Sarnia workboat will now provide a modern, safe and highly manoeuvrable working platform, with the addition of increased deck space and crane capacity, to carry out a wide range of duties. The design of the vessel will provide improved safety and comfort for our maintenance team. It will be ready for a wide range of tasks, including towage, equipment transportation, infrastructure repairs, beacon and buoy maintenance and commercial diving activities. The recent sea trials in the UK and in local waters showed her excellent handling and manoeuvrability in challenging conditions. The crew accommodation and wheelhouse facilities are a marked improvement in design and comfort from the old Sarnia."

The old Sarnia workboat has been in service since 1988 and has been used for a wide range of tasks during the last three decades.

Captain Barker added:

"It will be sad to see the old Sarnia go; she has been a faithful servant to our Harbours for over 30 years, but this new vessel is a generation further on in design and capability. We are delighted with the new Sarnia, which brings a real uplift in capability, ready for the challenges of the next 30 years."

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