Oban duo fly the flag for Fingal

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Two Oban men were proud to be in attendance when the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) ensign was handed over to Fingal, The Royal Yacht Britannia’s luxury floating hotel, in Leith.

Graham Crerar, chairman of the Northern Lighthouse Board, and Bob Downie, chief executive of The Royal Yacht Britannia, were present recently as the flag was hoisted again after 19 years.

Launched in August 1963, Fingal was the last ship built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company, Glasgow. She was Leith-registered, but spent most of her NLB service working out of Oban for 30 years, followed by her last six years in Stromness, Orkney.

Bought by The Royal Yacht Britannia in 2016, Fingal finally berthed at Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith and has been transformed into a boutique hotel.

Mr Crerar said: ‘We are delighted Fingal is once again flying NLB’s blue ensign from her stern.

‘While the ship has been transformed to prepare her for the new role, The Royal Yacht Britannia has made a fantastic job of retaining and enhancing some of her original features and the story of her former life as a lighthouse tender is highlighted throughout the ship.

‘All 23 cabins are named after famous Stevenson lighthouses and reflect Fingal’s rich maritime heritage.

‘We therefore thought it fitting for this historic ship to once again fly the NLB ensign. We are delighted to be helping make this terrific addition to Leith a success.’

Mr Downie added: ‘Growing up in Oban, I was aware of the fantastic job the Northern Lighthouse Board provides to keep mariners safe at sea and Fingal was very much a part of that success story for more than 36 years. It is therefore a privilege for us to fly the Northern Lighthouse Board ensign from such a historic ship.’