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The world's largest construction vessel passed worryingly-close to Dunbar recently. Called Pioneering Spirit, she is a crane ship, built in 2014, sailing under the flag of Malta. Her carrying capacity is 499,125 tonnes, current draught is 14 metres, length overall is 477 metres and width is 124 metres. Pioneering Spirit can sail under her own power at a high transit-speed, making her suitable for worldwide use. Operating on full dynamic positioning, she can work accurately in any water depth. Amazing beast and most-surprisingly, she's actually a catamaran!

Having rounded Land's End, transited the Channel and then the North Sea, Pioneering Spirit went on to complete a large-scale operation in the Firth of Forth. The vessel is owned by Allseas, a Swiss-based offshore contractor specialising in heavy lift. This job was transferring a topside drilling platform onto the Iron Lady barge in the Forth Estuary. The following morning she separated from the Iron Lady and the cargo barge was towed clear. The Pioneering Spirit immediately set off once more for Kristiansand, Norway --- a ship's work is never finished.

Photo above by Kenny Maule.

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