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Final salute as retiring pilot David Barnicoat takes his last ship to sea
9:40am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
With sirens blowing and a harbour tug saluting with a water cannon Falmouth’s senior pilot Captain David Barnicoat sailed off into retirement in grand style after 35 years in the job.
His last assignment was sailing the ultra-luxurious cruise ship Seabourn Pride from the docks on Saturday evening. During his distinguished career he has piloted nearly 14,000 ships.
Before the cruise ship sailed from County Wharf the Falmouth Ambassadors cruise ship greeters and port operation director Mike Reynolds were on the wharf to wish David a happy retirement.
David said: “A&P Falmouth and the Ambassadors did me proud. A&P sent the tug Percuil to escort the Seabourn Pride out of the harbour and salute me with a water cannon. It was a very moving time and something I will remember for ever.”
Seabourn Pride’s Danish master Captain Vagn Emil Jensen, who had been pre-warned that it was David’s last job presented him with a gift before the ship sailed.
David took the Seabourn Pride out of the harbour via the western entrance between the Black Rock and Pendennis point escorted by the pilot boat LK Mitchell, harbour launch Killigrew and the tug Percuil.
“Abeam of Pendennis point Seabourn Pride blew farewell on its whistle a couple of times. Quite a few people were on the headland, including my family and friends to see the ship sail. People have been very kind. I have received messages from all over the world,” said David.
As he left the ship to board the pilot boat the passengers on deck cheered and clapped. David intends having a few quiet days before settling down to do embark on several projects which include writing a new book on Falmouth in the days of sail, in which he hopes to use many previously unpublished photographs.
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