THE charter boat the M.V Lady Gail II will continue to function out of Stonehaven following the retirement of her old skipper.
There was concern in Stonehaven earlier this year as Ian Watson, the skipper of the boat which carried out fishing and sea life trips, retired.
Stonehaven and District community Council expressed their concern over the loss of the service which attracts locals and tourists alike.
During one meeting there was discussion of a community group taking over control of the boat however the Community Council discovered this was not a viable option.
It was then discovered that the boat had been bought and there was uncertainty over where the new owner would operate the chartered boat from.
However the new owner, Ruari Mclachlan, has now taken over the running of the boat and is intending to keep the boat in Stonehaven.
He has set up tours from Stonehaven harbour and is planning to operate from the town full time.
The twenty eight-year-old took over the business in March and has already started doing Wildlife, Castle and Angling trips on the M.V Lady Gail II.
The trips are already proving popular with fishing parties booked for the next four weekends and with the website already having over 1500 hits it looks like the excursions are going to be a success.
Ruari explained why, after purchasing the boat, he wanted to keep it in Stonehaven.
He said: “I have grown up here and I have kept boats in the harbour myself so I knew of the boat (the M.V Lady Gail II) and I knew of Ian Watson. I remember watching the boat go out as a boy, Stonehaven harbour is where I learned about boats. I have got a common interest to keep it here, I think it is good for the community, it’s the last boat of it’s kind in Stonehaven. At one time, there were four boats. I think it’s important for Stonehaven and the community and it has brought me home.”
Stonehaven and District Community Council Chairman, Michael Innes, has welcomed news that the boat will remain in Stonehaven. He said: “It is brilliant news. The boat gets used quite a lot by anglers. During the summer time it is popular with tourists and is very good for tourism.”
For more information on the excursions visit www.castlecharter.co.uk.