A brand new pilot boat for Burnham-On-Sea is set to be officially launched on Tuesday afternoon, September 5th, in a ceremony on the South Esplanade.
Sedgemoor District Council has invested £50,000 in the new pilot boat, pictured above, for its duties around Bridgwater Bay and the River Parrett.
It replaces Burnham’s existing 33-year old pilot boat, pictured right next to The Balmoral during its visit to Burnham in July.
“Pilotage is particularly important in the Port of Bridgwater because of the large tidal rise and fall – twelve metres on a big spring tide – and the constant movement of navigation channels,” said Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun.
“All commercial vessels over 30 metres length visiting the port use a pilot, hence the need for a pilot boat. The pilots also help commercial shipping to Dunball Wharf.”
The port of Bridgwater covers a large area with around 25 square nautical miles of mainly inter-tidal sand and mud banks off the coast from Brean Down to Hinkley Point, and over 14 nautical miles of tidal estuary and river including the Parrett, Brue and Axe.
The council’s decision to buy the new boat came after a full investigation into all the options, including refurbishing the old one and leasing a new one.
Next Tuesday’s event starts at 5pm and the new vessel will be named by Mrs Sally Denbee, wife of the Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council.