New ship to boost safe navigation in UK seas

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  • government confirms it will buy new state-of-the-art ship for General Lighthouse Authority Trinity House
  • cutting-edge vessel will replace the ageing THV Patricia and will use new tech to improve safety at sea
  • new ship announced as part of London International Shipping Week, which is promoting the UK as a leading maritime trading nation

Travelling in UK waters will be safer than ever thanks to a new ship bought by the Department for Transport, to help other boats navigate our seas safely and smoothly.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has today (9 September 2019) marked the start of London International Shipping Week by announcing a new ship for the General Lighthouse Authority, which is responsible for providing more than 600 aids to navigation around UK waters, including ships, lighthouses and buoys, and helping thousands of mariners every year.

The vessel – which is yet to be named – will provide critical navigation aids to even more ships in some of the most dangerous waters in the world, guiding them into safe channels away from wrecks, thanks to an upgrade in the latest technology.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani, said:

Our maritime sector is crucial to UK trade with 95% of our imports and exports transported by sea.

With our waters becoming busier all the time, dealing with incidents quickly and efficiently is more important than ever.

This new ship will support the General Lighthouse Authority to help future-proof their fleet and continue to support maritime safety and trade for generations to come.

This significant investment by the UK government will see a state-of-the-art ship built to replace the ageing THV Patricia – which has been in service since 1982.

The vessel will harness technological and environmental innovations to ensure the safe passage of ships, safeguarding future maritime trade and bolstering the UK’s maritime capability.

An invitation to tender has now been launched for the shipbuilding industry to further develop plans for the new vessel, which will join Trinity’s existing fleet.

Captain Ian McNaught, Trinity House Executive Chairman said:

We are pleased to hear that the Maritime Minister is content for us to move the vessel replacement project closer towards the design and build phase.

While we must ensure that value for money is central to the design, we will also be looking for new, tested and robust technologies in the vessel design; these technologies will need to offer high performance and resilience and also reduce our environmental impact.

This investment is the latest move by the government to future-proof the UK’s maritime sector as the gateway to the world, supporting innovation and ensuring competition thrives once the UK leaves the EU on October 31 (2019).

Earlier this year the Department for Transport also launched its Maritime 2050 Strategy, which sets out an ambition for the UK to become a world leader in the move to clean maritime, reducing the environmental impacts of shipping and supporting UK businesses to grow.

This also follows the existing National Ship Building Strategy, which outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.

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