ABP Southampton Names Two New Pilot Vessels

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Helen Downing (left) on board Majestic and Lucy Masters (right) on board Mary Rose

ABP’s Port of Southampton has officially named its two brand-new pilot vessels, Majestic and Mary Rose. The ceremony took place at the ABP Pilot Station at Endeavour Quay, Gosport.

The vessels were named and blessed in a traditional ceremony by the Sailors’ Society’s Port Chaplin, Phil Hiscock, who was joined by the vessels’ Godmothers, Helen Downing and Lucy Masters. ABP employees and representatives from Goodchild Marine were also invited to attend the blessing.

On the International Day for Women in Maritime, it is only fitting that two women who have served the maritime sector are recognised as Godmothers for these vital vessels.

Helen has worked in various roles at ABP for over 25 years and is currently Executive Assistant to Alastair Welch, ABP Regional Director for Southampton. Lucy Masters is married to ABP Southampton Harbour Master Steve Masters, and it is a Southampton maritime tradition that the Harbour Master’s wife is given the title of Godmother to such a significant vessel. Lucy has had a significant career in the maritime sector and spent almost 20 years as a Merchant Navy Cadet Training Officer and today works as a Lead Recruiter within the Cruise sector for Faststream Recruitment Group, a specialist recruiting agency for the maritime industry.

Majestic and Mary Rose are the final two of three new launches for ABP’s Southampton region and three of nine across ABP’s ports, representing a total investment of around £9m. Each faster, more fuel-efficient vessel delivers an approximate 40% fuel saving through an innovative forward ‘beak’ and double chine hull design that enables the vessel to cut through the waves. The vessels are constructed in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, by Goodchild Marine. Majestic and Mary Rose will join Mayflower (the first of the new vessels named last year) at the ABP Pilot Station in Gosport. The three Pilot Vessels safely transport Southampton Marine Pilots to and from ships entering and leaving the port.

Steve Masters, Southampton Harbour Master, said:

“It is fantastic to have the three vessels in use across Southampton Water and the Solent. The vessels take our Marine Pilots back and forth to board/debark large vessels and support our Pilot team when bringing in the largest container, oil tanker and cruise ships through the Solent and Southampton Water. To have three in service will provide vital support throughout the busier summer months.”