Oban ship has starring role in London

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The NLV Pharos, one of the ships which services marine aids to navigation in Scotland and the Isle of Man, is playing a significant role at London International Shipping Week (LISW) when she will be berthed in the Thames alongside HMS Belfast this week.

The Northern Lighthouse Board’s 84m multi-function tender made a spectacular arrival on Saturday September 7 at approximately 9.30pm, when she made her way under Tower Bridge with Pipe Major Steve Duffy playing the bagpipes on the helicopter deck.

Pharos will provide a venue for seminars, meetings and receptions during LISW, including the hosting of a major careers event for Maritime UK, and prestigious events for the Met Office, Isle of Man Maritime, UK Chamber of Shipping and the Department for Transport (DfT).

Pharos’s usual home is Oban and she works mainly in Scottish and Isle of Man waters. In addition to her primary role responding to wrecks and new navigational dangers, the vessel supports the maintenance and refurbishment of NLB’s 200-plus lighthouses as well as conducting buoy operations.

Pharos came into service in 2007. She is equipped with a helicopter pad, dynamic positioning, a 30-tonne crane and a hydrographic survey suite.

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 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 the Princess Royal was interviewed aboard Pharos for The One Show.

Pharos will provide a unique and unusual venue for recording TV and radio broadcasts while moored in the Thames.