The TRENT joins ABP Humber's fleet of pilot vessels

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Above: The TRENT, ABP Humber’s newest pilot vessel with Marine Services Manager, Tony Lewis, Rt Hon Dame Diana Johnson MP, and Head of Marine Humber, Paul Bristowe.

New pilot vessel, the TRENT, has joined ABP Humber’s fleet at the port of Grimsby.

An investment of £1.2 million, the TRENT is the second in class, Orc design 171, to be delivered to the Humber as part of ABP’s pilot boat replacement programme.

ABP first commissioned Norfolk-based boat builder Goodchild Marine Services in 2020 to supply nine state-of the-art pilot boats over a five year period. ABP’s total investment of £9 million is delivering five vessels to serve its Humber ports, three for Southampton and one for Barry in South Wales.

This class of vessel is at the forefront of technology and handling performance. Named by many pilot boat operators throughout the world as the ‘Pilot Boat of Choice’.

Its unique hull design wave piercing ‘beak’ bow is a distinctive feature of the vessel, reducing slamming, vertical acceleration, and reduces fatigue of pilots and crew. Simultaneously this feature of the boat, improves on efficiency by reducing drag, which in turn, reduces fuel consumption and the vessel’s carbon footprint. 

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Regional Director, said: “These innovative pilot vessels, designed by Frech naval architect Pantocarene, will be ensuring ABP can deliver its exemplary pilotage service here on the Humber.

In 2021 alone there were in excess of 34,000 ship movements on the estuary, overseen by ABP’s Vessel Tracking Service. 15,000 of these movements were acts of pilotage carried out by ABP’s Humber Pilots.

Over the coming weeks the TRENT will be put through its paces by our pilot launch crews as they familiarise themselves with the new vessel.”

Stephen Pierce General Manager Goodchild Marine Services Limited, said: “Our aim is to deliver the highest quality pilot boats, which provide a safe, comfortable, reliable and efficient vessel. Thus, ensuring the best possible working space for the boat crews, pilots and the maintainers.”

Invited guests, including the TRENT’s sponsor Rt Hon Dame Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North, gathered for the vessel’s naming ceremony at the Port of Hull.

Dame Diana Johnson MP, said: “It is a great pleasure to have been asked to be the official sponsor of this impressive looking vessel. I know that over the course of her lifetime as a working pilot launch, she will be providing a vital function in taking pilots out to large ships beyond Spurn Point, so that they can be brought safely into our ports and bring in the goods and supplies that we all need. She will therefore be an essential component part in the role that ABP plays here in the Humber, of keeping Britain trading.”