New Sanford fishing vessel sails into Timaru after 45 day trip from Norway
A water salute, Scottish bagpipes, and Maori song gave the Timaru port a festive air as it welcomed a new fishing vessel on Tuesday.
The San Granit sailed into the Timaru port for the first time at midday flanked by two tugs spraying water and the sound of Scottish bagpipes.
The new $25 million ship joins Sanford's Timaru-based 11-strong factory fishing fleet and would be put into service next month.
Captain Michael Jackman and his crew of 10 were welcomed off the ship by local iwi after a 45 day trip from Norway to Timaru with traditional Maori song.
Jackman said the long trip from the Scandinavian shores went really well, and complimented the ship's engineers.
"It was a very good trip."
The crew were blessed with calm weather on the entire journey, Jackman said.
After leaving Alesund, Norway, the ship had a two-day stop in Panama, crossing the famous Panama Canal, before making its way to Timaru.
The crew had bonded really well during the journey, he said.
Sanford's deepwater fleet manager Darryn Shaw said the new ship was designed to increase fishing catchments of squid, hoki, and southern blue whiting off the coast of Timaru, and help Sanford to diversify through increased stock processing flexibility.
Existing fleets were unable to reach its catchment quota for some fish species, and the new ship would help to support that goal, he said.
About 67 metres long and 14m wide, it weighed 2478 tonnes and had a 4525 horse power engine. It could freeze 80 tonne of finished product in 24 hours and store 550 tonne of product on board, ready for export.
The ship created about 60 jobs and had economic benefits for the local industry, he said.
It had a larger fish processing capacity than its other ships, and was designed to handle a larger volume of seafood with its automated systems to catch, process and package fish.
Built in 1989, the 67 metre ship had once fished in Norwegian water and had a mid-life refurbishment in 2009.
The ship had been well looked after by a family-owned company in Norway, he said.