Summer Rose, the latest trawler manufactured by Parkol Marine, has now left the esteemed shipbuilding yard after a naming ceremony led by a minister from the Mission to Seafarers.
Accompanied by a piper, a crowd gathered at the Parkol site in the sunshine on Saturday to christen the vessel before she was due to sail to Oban in the West of Scotland. From there, she will fish for scallops off the coast of the UK.
John MacAlister, her new owner, travelled down from Scotland for the ceremony with an array of family and friends for a full day and night of celebrations.
He explained that, although it is not yet clear what the outcome of the ongoing negotiations about the UK’s exit from the European Union will mean for the nation’s fishermen, the new vessel is an example of how owners like him are trying to be pragmatic.
“We’re working in an industry which is facing great uncertainty but we can’t stand still,” said John.
“With the Brexit negotiations about our fisheries now expected to continue until 2020, we have no clear strategy for the next four to five years, but we are trying to keep moving ahead, and investing, hence why we have commissioned this boat.”
Sally Atkinson from Parkol said: “The Summer Rose is the third vessel that Parkol has built for John MacAlister, we have a long standing relationship which continues to go from strength to strength. The confidence in the fishing industry and the amount of new vessels on order is unprecedented. During the Brexit negotiations and the impending transition period it is vitally important that the Government provides a clear and coherent strategy inclusive of all stakeholders, that will protect and foster the fishing industry for future generations.”
Parkol has been repeatedly recognised in the industry – winning ‘Fishing Vessel of the Year’ in the annual Fishing News awards for the past two years running, and the company has three vessels nominated in this year’s awards.
The Summer Rose shares its name with the first boat John bought 41 years ago, when he joined the fishing industry straight from school.