A lighthouse support vessel more familiar with Stornoway harbour has taken her place in the Port of London, with a crew including Western Islanders aboard.
The Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) vessel NLV Pharos services marine aids to navigation in Scotland, but this week she is playing a significant role at London International Shipping Week.
She made a spectacular entrance on Saturday (September 7th) under Tower Bridge, with Pipe Major Steve Duffy playing her into her berth on the Thames from the helicopter deck.
She’ll stay alongside HMS Belfast until 13th September as a venue for shipping week seminars, meetings and receptions, including the hosting of a major careers event for Maritime UK and prestigious events for the Met Office, UK Chamber of Shipping, and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Pharos usually works from Oban in Scottish and Isle of Man waters, supporting the maintenance and refurbishment of NLB’s lighthouses, as well as conducting buoy operations.
A number of islanders are on board during her stay in the Thames, including second mate Murdo Maciver. Pharos was last in port at Stornoway two weeks ago.
Mike Bullock, NLB’s Chief Executive said: “The vessel’s presence in the Thames is an opportunity to showcase our work to a global audience and we are delighted that NLV Pharos will be taking such a high profile role at London International Shipping Week.”
Earlier this year, the work of Pharos and her crew was featured on the BBC’s Countryfile Winter Diaries and NLB’s patron HRH the Princess Royal was interviewed on board Pharos for the One Show.
Pictures show PM Steve Duffy piping Pharos to her berth on Saturday, and the Pharos alongside HMS Belfast, with her deck and marquee set out as a reception venue last night (Niki Wilson).
(This report has been updated to correct the name of Murdo Maciver. Apologies for the error)