Evening Express

Aberdeen couple find link to Granite City after move to Australia

Lewis Duguid and Roshanna Bain with the ship 'Steve Irwin' which once was called Westra

An Aberdeen couple have swapped their nine-to-five for a life on board a conservation ship in Australia – which was built in the Granite City more than 40 years ago.

Lewis Duguid and Roshanna Bain had an unexpected taste of home when they discovered the 194ft vessel MY Steve Irwin was built in their home city’s Hall Russell shipyard in 1974.

She served 28 years as Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency enforcement patrol boat, the FPV Westra, before being taken over by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Now Mr Duguid, 28, who is originally from the Bridge of Don area, said the ageing ship needs about £112,000 worth of repairs to keep her seaworthy.

Around £85,000 has already been raised to help make sure the Melbourne-anchored vessel can be used again.

It has featured in the Animal Planet show Whale Wars, which documents the crew’s efforts to disrupt the Japanese whaling industry.

Mr Duguid said: “It was strange to come so far and still find a connection to home.

“She now needs an engine overhaul so we can go out and do more campaigning.

“Sea Shepherd have done some amazing campaigns in the past against whaling for instance so hopefully the repairs and sea trials go well and we can be out again by March.”