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Cast your vote in new tugs poll

A graphic of the new tugs.

A public vote is underway to select the names for Orkney’s new tugs – currently under construction in Turkey.

Votes can be cast from now to determine the names that will grace the hulls of the new vessels, which will replace two of the three tugs currently operated by Orkney Islands Council Marine Services.

The poll will close on Tuesday, November 26. A winner will be drawn from the votes for the most popular group of names, invited to take part in the naming ceremony and offered the opportunity of a family trip aboard one of the new tugs.

A shortlist of potential names has been drawn up with the help of the tug crews and other Marine Services staff.

In the poll, people are asked to vote for one of four groups, each containing three names.

Two of the names would be given to the tugs currently being built. The other would be held in reserve in case the council decides at a later date to replace the third tug as well.

The names put forward are:

Group one
Odin – regarded as the greatest of the Norse gods.
Thor – son of Odin.
Vale – son of Odin.

Group two
St Magnus – patron saint of Orkney, eldest son of Earl Erlend.
St Rognvald – Earl of Orkney and Norwegian saint.
St Margaret – died in Orkney in 1290. It is believed that St. Margaret’s Hope is named after her.

Group three
Havard – Havard Thorfinnsson Earl of Orkney.
Hlodvir – Hlodvir Thorfinnsson, Earl of Orkney.
Haakon – Haakon Paulsson, Earl of Orkney.

Group four
Vidar – son of Odin known as the god of vengeance.
Ragnhild – daughter of Erik Blood-Axe
Solveig – in Norse mythology, strong horse, daughter of the sun or the sun’s path.

To take part in the poll, cast your vote here https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/tugspoll/

You can also state which group you prefer by writing to New Tugs Poll, Harbour Authority Building, Old Scapa Rd, Scapa, Kirkwall KW15 1SD. If you submit a postal vote, please include your name and phone number.

Graham Sinclair, chair of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, said: “The names suggested by staff reflect Orkney’s Norse heritage. All would a fitting choice for our new tugs – and I would encourage folk to take part in the poll by selecting the group they like best.

“The welcome growth in maritime activity we’ve seen in local waters in recent years would not have been be possible without top class tugs and crews.

“This is the right time to invest in even more capable vessels, which will ensure that 40 years of support for the Flotta Terminal can continue and allow us to make the most of current and future marine business opportunities.

“The new vessels will be well equipped to deliver 24-hour, year-round towage services in the challenging waters around our islands as well as further afield. I look forward to their arrival in Orkney.”

The design and build contract for the 32-metre tugs was secured by Sanmar Shipyards of Turkey after a competitive tendering exercise.

Construction is taking place at Sanmar’s new specialist tug building facility at Altinova about an hour south of Istanbul.

The first is due to be delivered to Orkney in late May 2020, with second tug due to arrive around three months after that.

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