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Flagship pennant handed over to Wick's historic Isabella Fortuna


By Georgia Clyne

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The regional flagship pennant is handed over to the Isabella Fortuna's skipper Malcolm Bremner (left) by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Willie Watt. Looking on are some of the crew and volunteers who sail and look after the historic vessel. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
The regional flagship pennant is handed over to the Isabella Fortuna's skipper Malcolm Bremner (left) by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Willie Watt. Looking on are some of the crew and volunteers who sail and look after the historic vessel. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios

Wick's much-loved Isabella Fortuna has been presented with its regional flagship accolade from National Historic Ships UK.

The traditional Fifie fishing vessel has been owned by the Wick Society since 1997 and is maintained by its boat section volunteers.

Boat section secretary Alan Miller said he was "overjoyed" to see the 129-year-old boat receiving its commemorative pennant, saying that it was in recognition of all the crew and helpers.

Willie Watt, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the county and a crew member, presented the award on behalf of National Historic Ships UK on Tuesday. Around 15 Wick Society members attended the presentation at the town's harbour.

The Isabella Fortuna was selected for the honour due to the boat section's community involvement and educational work, such as taking schoolchildren on board for tours as well as showing them around the old herring mart.

The Isabella is one of three regional flagships appointed by the national organisation. The other two are Kingswear Castle, a Devon paddle steamer, and Kitty, a sailing barge operating in the Thames Estuary.

The Isabella Fortuna in Wick Bay. Picture: Fergus Mather
The Isabella Fortuna in Wick Bay. Picture: Fergus Mather

National Historic Ships UK oversees traditional seafaring skills and projects relating to this. Around 1300 ships are registered on its database.

The pennant from National Historic Ships UK will be hoisted for the first time at the RNLI Wick Harbour Day on Saturday. It will then be on display when the crew take the ship down to Portsoy the following week for the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, stopping at Lybster and Buckie on the way.

Mr Miller praised the dedication of the crew, with older members passing on their skills and knowledge to the younger ones. The Wick Society is keen to encourage more young people to get involved and volunteer.

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