NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Moray Council's harbour dredger Selkie launched

Dredger Selkie
Image caption Moray Council's new dredger

The only dredger in Scotland to be operated by a local authority has been launched and will begin sea trials ahead of being put to full use.

The £2.4m vessel has been built for Moray Council to clean out harbours at Buckie, Burghead, Hopeman, Findochty, Portknockie and Cullen.

The local authority also plans to make the boat, called Selkie, available to hire.

Macduff Shipyard Ltd constructed the dredger at its yard in Buckie.

Image caption The boat was built in Buckie

Designed to operate in small harbours, Selkie was built as a replacement for the Shearwater, a dredger Moray Council scrapped and sold two years ago after many years of service.

Selkies are supernatural seal-like creatures found in Scottish and Irish mythology.

The name was chosen by primary school children and the title will be officially conferred at a naming ceremony in Buckie harbour on 6 May.

Council convener Allan Wright said: "The launch of the Moray Council dredger Selkie is the latest major strategic development to be delivered by the council.

"It is an investment in the future of our harbours and a sound business venture as we anticipate dredging contracts from local authorities around Scotland."

Image caption The dredger was built at a yard in Buckie
Image caption The new vessel replaces a dredger previously operated by Moray Council
Image caption The new boat is set for sea trials

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