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Flinders Ports launched the second of two new pilot boats at an official ceremony held at The Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron today. The new pilot boat called the Reliance was christened by, Alessandra Daley, General Manager, Human Resources and Risk at Flinders Port Holdings, and is named after HMS Reliance – the vessel that renowned navigator Matthew Flinders served on as a midshipman during his first voyage to New South Wales.

The launch of the Reliance in Port Adelaide follows that of the Alert in May this year. The $5 million investment in the vessels marks the first stage of Flinders Ports’ pilot boat fleet replacement strategy.

“We are delighted to be launching the Reliance today – our second new pilot boat this year. It has been 20 years since any port in South Australia has invested in new pilot boats, so it’s a major development for the State’s shipping and marine services,” said Captain Carl Kavina, General Manager, Marine Operations at Flinders Ports.

The Reliance has identical specifications to her sister ship the Alert and was also built by Hart Marine, at a cost of around $2.5 million. Constructed to NSCV criteria with a 2C classification and measuring 16 metres long, the Reliance has an overall beam of 5.43 metres. She has a top speed of 27 knots and a maximum draft of just 1.5 metres which gives her excellent manoeuvrability.

“The dimensions and specifications of the Reliance will allow Flinders Ports to deliver highly responsive pilotage services to our shipping clients. We anticipate improvements in operational efficiency and safety standards,” said Captain Kavina.

Both new boats have a vital safety feature, a self-righting mechanism, which will safeguard the crew in the event of a capsize. An innovative beak-bow design provides enhanced sea handling characteristics, reducing stress and fatigue for the crew from the pitching and rolling of the vessel in rough waters. The modern vessels also feature the latest generation of marine I.T. software including Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), which will assist the crew when working in the dark, in poor visibility, or during search and rescue operations.

Before Flinders Ports placed orders for the new pilot boats, the group’s marine operations division conducted extensive stakeholder consultation. The company also engaged independent naval architects, Naval Architecture and Marine Solutions (NMS) to assist with the entire process from the specifications and competitive tender, through to sea trials.

Australian owned and operated boat builder Hart Marine won the tender for the contract.

“We were very impressed with Hart Marine’s vessels. In terms of functionality and reliability these boats are exceptional and will benefit both our clients and our pilotage team. Engaging an Australian boat builder also helped to streamline the process offering clear efficiencies for us as a group,” said Captain Kavina.

About Flinders Ports

Flinders Ports is South Australia’s largest private port operator with seven ports located at Port Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Thevenard, Port Giles, Wallaroo and Klein Point. Flinders Ports provides pilotage services at all seven of its South Australian ports, as well as for the Port of Whyalla and Port Bonython. Part of the Flinders Port Holdings Group, which is led by Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Tremaine, Flinders Ports offers a range of port and port related services including pilotage, mooring, survey and marine control. For more information about Flinders Ports, visit:

About Matthew Flinders

Born in Donnington in 1774, Matthew Flinders went to sea at the age of 15 in 1789, and first served on board the HMS Reliance in 1795 as a midshipman. He became a distinguished navigator and cartographer and is credited as being the first person to circumnavigate Australia, and create the first complete chart of Australia as a continent. He died aged 40 in London in 1814.

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