Goodbye Santiego hello Diamond Lil

Brand New Prawn Boat

Paul Makin

Journalist

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Skipper Laurie Moull with his latest love the Diamond Lil IMAGE Paul Makin|FAB FM
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It’s always sad when an old lady of the sea is shipped off to far away waters especially when they’ve been a permanent sight in Port Douglas for decades. Such is the case with the FV Santiego, built in Brisbane and owned by her skipper Laurie Moull.

The fishing trawler has been in operation for 21 years and to see her sail off into the sunset is tinged with sadness. Chances are you’ve bought a few kilos of prawns off the back deck of the Santiego at the public wharf over the years. Let’s face it, without this faithful wooden boat some 30 venues, including our finest restaurants in the Douglas Shire, would have had to rely on imported stock that’s nowhere near as good or as fresh.

The old girl is now in Innisfail with her new owners and their gain is certainly our loss, however skipper Laurie is like a kid in a candy shop because he has a new gal in his life. He’s bought a new vessel named ‘Diamond Lil’ and she’s a ‘BIG UN’.

The good captain is in love all over again and was happy to share her specs with fellow boaties, “she’s a fifty foot steely and draws around two and a half metres, five metre beam and weighs about 70 tons fully loaded which is 20 tons heavier than the Santiego.

Laurie Moull is part of Santiego Seafoods, a local family business operating for over fifty years through two generations and the entire family has a deep passion for the fishing industry and providing fresh produce to the local community. Laurie let slip that it will be soon three generations of family going to sea. “I have two sons, so they’ll be out on the boat before they know it to carry on the family tradition”.

No name change

Their company name won’t change, it will always be known as Santiego Seafoods in honour of the wonderful workhorse that faithfully brought home the harvest from the sea time after time over those 21 years. Diamond Lil is now charged with keeping up that good work, after all, Santiego set the benchmark so it will be huge nets to fill. “True” said Laurie “but Santiago was getting old for a wooden boat and working prawn trawler with some of the timbers working loose. I mean she’d served us well, but it was definitely time to upgrade”

“The Diamond Lil is the same age as Santiego but it’s made of steel and has all the mod cons” says Laurie. “Diamond Lil is a much tougher boat and the accommodation on board is first class, after all when you’re taking crew out there for extended periods of time, comfort goes a long way”.


Take a gander at Diamond Lil

Laurie and the crew will be proudly showing off Diamond Lil this weekend at the Port Douglas public jetty when they sell their new season prawns tomorrow and Sunday. “We’ve got 4 tons, Endeavours, Tigers cooked and raw, some scallops, cuttlefish, octopus, squid, it’s all happening off the back of the Diamond Lil”. It kicks off at 7am. www.santiegoseafoods.com


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