The Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Councillor Peter Clayton, will be at the Burnham-on-Sea Yacht Club pontoon on Wednesday, 22nd July at approximately 0900 hrs (morning tide) to welcome an amazing cutting-edge Pilot boat into service.
Sedgemoor District Council took officially delivery of a new Pilot boat “Sea Sprite” on June 30 and since then she has been transported (by road) to Portishead and will be put into the sea on July 21 to be bought round to Burnham-on-Sea on Wednesday.
The new vessel can cruise at 22knots and top speed of 25knots, having all the latest in cutting-edge marine technology. She can seat up to six people and will be used in the port operations in and around Bridgwater. The cost was £695,000. Pilotage is a chargeable service.
The Harbour Masters and Pilot staff will use the boat for pilotage services, personnel transfer, escort boat, checking and minor maintenance of navigational buoys, interim surveys of approaches and the River and potentially hire with her crew for external work. The Pilots work closely with EDF Energy to make sure that as much freight for the building of Hinkley Point C is bought in by sea, with many docking at Combwich.
‘Sea Sprite’ is a tremendous new asset for the port, which will assist the Ports Strategy to increase shipping and economic development in the area, as well as mindful of the environmental and economic impact. It underlines Sedgemoor District Council’s commitment to the Port of Bridgwater and its future activity. ‘Sea Sprite’ will be undertaking familiarisation and training trips to allow all the marine staff to get to know her. There will be an official naming ceremony when the current situation allows. The new vessel will replace ‘Ben Lee’, the current pilot boat, which has been in service since 2006 and will be kept as a reserve pilot boat for the next year.