New crew for new pilot

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Two new crew members have joined or changed roles in the Falmouth Harbour pilot boat team in the run up to the harbour taking delivery of its new £1.6 million state-of-the-art pilot boat this summer – the name of which has been revealed as ‘Atlantic’.

Both accomplished sailors and seasoned mariners, Ben Turner has stepped up to be appointed pilot boat coxswain and Abi Rickard joins as deckhand with the pilot vessel crews, which operate in all conditions 24/7, 365 days a year and complete more than 1,000 boardings and landings per year.

Turner said: “I’m really looking forward to getting behind the helm of our fantastic new pilot boat Atlantic having recently been promoted up to coxswain after a long and intense training period.

“I’ll be incredibly proud to be a coxswain on one of the leading pilot vessels in the country and to be able to put her to the test in Falmouth’s unpredictable and often tricky conditions.”

Atlantic – now in the final stages of construction at Holyhead Marine – will be one of the cleanest, safest and most fuel-efficient pilot boats in the UK and as one of the few Tier 3 compliant pilot vessels operating in the country she will include features which help Falmouth Harbour meet its sustainability targets.

When in commission she will join the Falmouth Harbour Pilot vessel fleet alongside the 16.7m Arrow – a Halmatic built modern pilot vessel built in 2006 – and she will replace Falmouth’s 46-year-old pilot boat LK Mitchell which leaves the port for a gentler commercial role on the west coast of Scotland in September.

“I’ve joined a fantastic team in a job I love,” said Rickard. “I was working in the marine industry as a technical assistant, but I have my marine qualifications and wanted more time on the water, away from a desk, so this is perfect – it’s a real pleasure to come to work each day in this incredible Harbour.”

Falmouth Harbour CEO, Miles Carden, said: “Ben and Abi are further strengthening our incredible Falmouth Harbour team and we’re delighted to welcome them aboard. Our Pilot boat crews work tirelessly through all seasons and weathers to keep our harbour open and safe to shipping. They deserve the best equipment as represented by our new pilot vessel Atlantic – which will be an incredible asset for the next 20-30 years.”