THOUSANDS of pounds worth of food which would have gone to waste has been donated to East Lothian communities by the crews of supply ships.

Two platform supply vessels, the Highland Guardian and Troms Capella, berthed in Leith Harbour during the coronavirus lockdown.

And the crews asked their bosses at Tidewater Marine UK if excess food supplies onboard could be donated to local community groups.

The crews of up to 14 on each of the ships helped arrange the transfer of about £5,000 of food to shore – and the Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership team distributed it through East Lothian community resilience and volunteer groups.

Derek Bain, procurement manager for Tidewater Marine UK, said they had been delighted to support local communities during the lockdown.

He said: “These ships are platform supply vessels and  support the offshore industry carrying food, drinking water, fuel and operational cargo for delivery as required.

“When the vessels came into port, the additional food was identified by the cook and would have gone to waste.

“The crew asked if the food could be donated to a food bank to support the most in need.

“The crew were delighted that the team were able to take the food and distribute it.”

Tidewater Marine UK have a fleet of platform supply vessels that support the oil and gas industry, and renewable and geotechnical offshore industries.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “Our teams are working to support the many projects within the area who are involved in providing food to households in need.

“This offer of fresh produce was very welcome and will make a real difference to those who received it.

“We worked quickly to make connections with projects who could make good use of it.

“We’re very grateful to Tidewater Marine UK and their crew for such a generous offer.”

Meanwhile, all but one of the cruise ships docked in the Forth off Longniddry have departed, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.