A port's new tug has been officially named in honour of a west Dorset businessman, cider maker and decorated naval commander.

The 'Rupert Best' entered service earlier this year at Portland Port but the official naming ceremony has only just been held after being delayed due to Covid restrictions.

It is named after former port director Rupert Best.

Mr Best, who lived near Melplash, died in February aged 76.

He had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy and commanded the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Courageous during the Falklands conflict.

After retiring from the Royal Navy he went on to become a director of Portland Port - he was 'instrumental' in persuading Langham Industries to privately take over the port from the Ministry of Defence in 1996 - and the subsequent formation of the Portland Harbour Authority a couple of years later.

Away from the office, Mr Best ran a cider farm which he took over after the death of his father - himself a distinguished naval officer - and was described as an 'energetic promoter of Dorset cider apples'.

Mr Best was a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, and an ex-Master of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, and also served as President of the Melplash Show and President of Bridport Sea Cadets. He was also a very active member of many other organisations.

Tributes flooded in for Mr Best following his death – and now the port is remembering him by naming its latest tug after him.

Guests who attended the naming ceremony included family members, friends, former servicemen who worked with Mr Best in the Royal Navy, along with colleagues at Portland Port and local dignitaries.

In a traditional ceremonial launching, the vessel’s plaque was unveiled before the tug was named by smashing a bottle of Mr Best’s favourite cider, West Milton Cider Co's Lancombe Rising, on the side bow.

Harbour Master, Captain Mike Shipley said: “The naming of ships is always an exciting and memorable event, however the naming ceremony of the ‘Rupert Best’ was also a touching tribute that we were delighted to be able to share with Rupert’s family and friends.”