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Alfred takes to the water in Vietnam

Alfred after being launched on Friday.
(Pentland Ferries/Strategic Marine)

PENTLAND Ferries and Strategic Marine Vietnam have announced the successful launch of the new vessel Alfred.

At 3pm Vietnam time on Friday, well-wishers, invited guests, shipyard workers and Pentland Ferries team members lined the slipway as the completed hull of the ship rolled down the slipway and into the warm waters of where the vessel was built, Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Since the keel was laid, approximately 1,050 tonnes of steel hull and aluminium superstructure have been welded together in a large workshop to create the flagship vessel for Pentland Ferries operations, named after Pentland Ferries managing director Andrew Banks’ father Alfred Banks.

The ship will carry 430 passengers and up to twelve lorries combined with 54 cars, or 98 cars in total.

The final fit out of the interior will take place prior to a complete series of sea trials in Vietnam before Pentland Ferries crew sail Alfred back to home base in St Margaret’s Hope.

Joseph Azran Alemberg SMV chief operating officer said: “Today’s a big day for Strategic Marine Vietnam and a proud moment for everyone that contributed to the vessel build. Strategic Marine and Pentland Ferries worked tirelessly in co-operation to bringing the project to fruition.”

Andrew Banks said: “We are delighted to announce Alfred has been launched successfully and we are looking forward to getting the ship home to Orkney and into service.”

The naming ceremony was performed by Louise Berston, Andrew and Susan’s daughter in law, with a bottle of OVD rum which was Alfie’s (the Alfred’s namesake) favourite tipple. The Alfred was proudly flying the Orkney flag along with the UK ensign at its launch.
The vessel, which had a breadth of 22m, and a draft of 2.7m, has a top speed of 16 knots.

The expected handover of the vessel to Pentland Ferries is at the end of March, with the delivery voyage set to take around six weeks weeks. It is hoped that the new vessel will be in service in June.

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