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Sheerness Svitzer tugs spray a farewell to retiring Medway pilot John Gurton, from Minster, Sheppey

A retiring Medway Pilot received a special kind of salute during his last job.

Passers-by may have noticed ship’s whistles blowing off Sheerness last Saturday afternoon.

John Gurton, who is also deputy harbour master at the docks, went out on his last job as a Medway Pilot on the Morning Celestra.

Medway Pilot John Gurton has retired after 25 years
Medway Pilot John Gurton has retired after 25 years

He was escorted by the Svitzer tugs Harty and Ramsay.

John Gurton
John Gurton

The crews sprayed the air with their crafts' fire-fighting pumps.

He will officially retire on Friday – which is 25 years to the day after he joined.

Before that, he had 20 years at sea with the Merchant Navy and worked his way up to captain

Mr Gurton, from Augustine Road, Minster, said: “After 25 years at the job it was a pretty good feeling.

“I will miss it – it’s the best job in the world.”

But the 61-year-old won’t be leaving the water behind completely.

He’s taking on a role working for a consultancy doing ship simulations.

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