Council tug engineer wins photography prize

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John Bateson, Second Engineer on the Shetland Islands Council's tug 'Tystie', has won the British Tugowners' Association's 2013 photographic competition.

John's seascape features the tugs Tystie, Dunter and Shalder escorting the tanker Ocean Lady into Sullom Voe. There were 22 entries in the general category, which covers towing operations or other tug activity, and John's photo was judged the winner.

John says: "Winning the competition is a bit of a surprise. The photo was taken in April last year and the sky was particularly dramatic that day. We were in a good position to show our tugs manoeuvring into place for the berthing of the tanker Ocean Lady."

The winner was announced at BTA's Annual Dinner by its President, Steve Jellis. "We chose this picture because it showed three tugs working hard in a way that reminded us of a good painting, and captured the spirit of towing in a very atmospheric way."

Sullom Voe is the site of the terminal that receives oil and gas from fields east and west of Shetland via pipelines or shuttle tankers. The Ocean Lady is typical of the tankers that carry oil from the port to destinations in the US and Europe; the vessel weighs in at 108,942 deadweight tonnes, is 245m long and has a 42m beam and 13m draught.