Port of Lowestoft welcomes new trash-eating hybrid ‘Gannet’

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ABP’s Port of Lowestoft team welcome the Gannet

ABP’s Port of Lowestoft is proud to welcome our newest and most sustainable, multi-purpose work boat, the Gannet.

The craft’s principal function is to support the efficient collection of litter, debris and aquatic vegetation from the water surface, and it will play a vital role in helping to keep Lowestoft Harbour and Lake Lothing clear of pollution.

The Gannet’s sustainability contribution to the Port of Lowestoft extends beyond the collecting of litter. It is hybrid-powered, with its solar-panelled roof generating green electricity and is made from recycled aluminium, which can be recycled again at the end of its life.

The vessel was named the Gannet as a result of an ABP-sponsored local school competition. The Year 3 pupil from Woods Loke Primary School who chose the name said:

“I chose this name because this bird often gets caught in plastic pollution. I thought the boat could catch the rubbish instead of the rubbish catching the bird.”

The name also follows the Port of Lowestoft’s tradition to use bird names to name new equipment at the port.

The vessel’s developers – Water Witch – are a Liverpool-based, family-owned business, who have developed a range of workboats that can be used to perform a wide range of duties in addition to debris removal. The Gannet is their Versi-Cat Trash Skimmer, and was delivered to the Port of Lowestoft on Wednesday 1 March 2023 to function as the ports new primary work boat.

ABP’s Tom Duit, Operations Manager at ABP’s Port of Lowestoft said:

“We are delighted to welcome a new highly sustainable craft to our fleet of vessels. The Gannet will play a vital role in helping us with the clearance of litter that regularly cumulates in the harbour as a result of the strong prevailing from the Southern North Sea.

“The new craft will also play an important role in supporting our day-to-day operations, for example supporting vital bridge maintenance activities, in a more sustainable way.

“The purchase of this new boat highlights ABP’s commitment to play its part in improving its environmental impact across its 21 ports.”

Jackie Caddick, Director of Water Witch said:

“It is great to partner with ABP, who are making a commitment and doing their bit to protect our marine environment and turning the tide on the amount of marine litter and plastics entering our seas.”

ABP’s investment in the Gannet is the latest step in its recently published its wide-ranging new sustainability strategy – Ready for Tomorrow – which is backed by a plan to invest around £2 billion across decarbonising its own operations by 2040 at the latest and in major infrastructure projects to enable the wider UK energy transition.