Solway Shipping    


The news and views of the latest events along the Solway Coast


"WORKINGTON         "Eastern Virage" 14th Dec.

 SILLOTH              "Milady" 16th Dec.
A pilot is an essential part of the maritime scene but probably for most people an essential part they are totally unaware of. Pilot's are highly skilled people, usually ex ships captains, with a deep knowledge of the local ports navigation situation where they are working.
All ships, apart from ones exempted for various reasons, are required to have a pilot on board when entering or leaving a port. To get these pilot's on board the ships specially designed vessels are used, or in some cases helicopters. These pilot boats come in various shapes and sizes but generally they have a high speed and an uncluttered deck with lots of handrails.
It can be a very dangerous job transferring the pilot and requires great skill on the pilot boat skipper, many pilots have been lost overboard during the transfer process so great care is required.
The pictures below show some of the various types of pilot boats in use in different countries.
Barcelona, Spain
Cagliari, Sardinia             
This one is unusual as it has a fixed ladder for the pilot on deck which doesn't require the pilot to board the usual way, that is, climbing a rope ladder attached to the ships side, the downside is that the fixed ladder would be more prone to swaying about in rough weather.
Cherbourg, France
Workington. UK     not all pilot boats are fast,  The "Derwent" doubles up as the port tug.
Gibraltar, UK
Pine Island, BC Canada, Inside Passage.
Ostend , Belgium
Lisbon, Portugal
Victoria BC  Canada
finally, Southampton UK
This Maryport registered trawler, Silver Stream, ran into difficulties after getting what was thought to be a rope around its propeller. The skipper decided to ground the vessel on nearby Harrington beach to wait for low tide when the rope could be removed, however it turned out to be a gearbox fault which was rectified. The Workington Inshore Lifeboat  was launched to assist but was not required and returned to station.

  Pictured is the Norwegian live fish carrier  "Sørdyrøy"  docking at Workington to collect salmon smolt (young fish) from a local hatchery near Ullswater. Although this has happened on an annual basis for a number of years its very rare to see two live fish carrying vessels in at the same time. "Migdale" (see "Latest Movements" picture) another Norwegian vessel is already in port collecting a cargo which is brought to the port in specially designed road tanker wagons. The smolt will be delivered to fish farms in Scottish waters. In "Migdales" case her destination is Unst in Shetland which is the most northerly inhabited island in the UK.

Trinity House's buoy tender "Patricia" has been in the Solway Firth doing maintenance work on the Workington North and Workington South buoy's. During the visit the buoy's are lifted out to be either replaced by spare one's ready on deck or maintained then put back into the water, the specially adapted crane can be seen in this long range photo captured by Alun James.
The government is to invite bids for potential new wind farms around the UK coast which is intended to raise £25 billion in investment. The Solway Firth is part of the plan.     more here 

Local film maker Julia Parks has made an amazing short timelapse film of ships in the Solway Firth ports, watch it  here.

                                 To see more photo's of shipping in the Solway Firth don't forget to check   Cumbria Ship Photo's