Two Sentinel Marine sister vessels – the Trafalgar Sentinel and the Viking Sentinel -were officially christened this week at Portsmouth International Port. Both vessels are on long-term charter to HM Government for Marine Management Organisation (MMO) fisheries patrol duties in English waters. MMO’s purpose is to protect and enhance the marine environment and support economic growth by enabling sustainable marine activities and development.
The Viking Sentinel was christened by godmother Natalie Fitzpatrick, crewing manager for Sentinel Marine. Suzanne Landolfi, customer account manager at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) undertakes this role for the Trafalgar Sentinel. Both vessels were blessed by Reverend Anne Boggust.
Sentinel Marine chief executive officer Rory Deans explained the unique capabilities of the multi role vessels (MRV) which are both 60 meters long and have been designed and built by Sentinel Marine. He said of the christening,
“We are proud of our entire Sentinel Marine fleet, and we are constantly exploring new technologies and new ways of operating. We continue to evolve our designs for this type of vessel to support the conduct of MMO fisheries inspection duties in English waters. We are delighted to be christening these vessels today alongside the MMO and with the support of Portsmouth International Harbour.”
He also outlined the history of the importance of ship christenings from the Roman, Greeks and Egyptians seeking the blessing of the Gods to the adoption of champagne as the liquid of choice for crashing onto the bow of the vessel.
“It’s easy in the 21st century to scoff at superstitious sailors, but the christening of a ship remains an important part of seafaring tradition for all onboard.
Peter Clark, Director of Operations at the MMO, spoke before the docked vessels were christened, saying it was an honour to be in Portsmouth to represent the MMO’s executive team.
He also thanked Sentinel,
“For providing the MMO with this fantastic and absolutely crucial platform upon which we deliver one of our key fisheries protection services. We have a fantastic relationship with Sentinel Marine embodied by these two magnificent vessels.
“MMO is all about sustainability; sustainable marine development, sustaining the marine environment and the species that live in it; and sustainability of our fish stocks around the coast.
“We are an independent coastal state for the first time in generations and it’s important for us to be seen to be taking control of our seas. Having a visible and really potent resource at sea is hugely important. The relationship with Sentinel Marine has been fantastic at delivering that, initially with the Bailey Sentinel and Malin Sentinel, and now with the Trafalgar and the Viking; they are two amazing vessels.
“MMO staff carry out hundreds of thorough ‘at sea’ inspections every year. It’s a relationship that works really well and allows us to inspect those vessels that would not otherwise come on our radar. It’s a key part of our armoury.”
The Sentinel Fleet has been designed to perform a wide range of tasks including collision avoidance; oil spill recovery; patrolling waters for fisheries agencies; fast response; in-field transfers; search and rescue; border control and disruption of criminal activities.