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MSN MARCH 1998

 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

29 March 1998

Compiled by: John Luxton 70374,30

SEA CONTAINERS LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

LADY OF MANN - laid up in Vittoria dock.

SUPERSEACAT TWO has experienced its first bad weather cancellation on 26 March when the 08.15 from Liverpool and 13.00 from Dublin were cancelled. The large leaping pussycat has reappeared on the bows this week. For the story behind the cat, visit Sea Containers Web SiteSea Containers Web Site and view their press release page, - apparently the cat is one of company president Jim Sherwood's cats! The dummy oil barge berthed on the landward side of the landing stage has now been completely painted. It is in the livery of Henty's Oils which operates bunkering services on the Mersey, though not on the same scale as the Whittaker/Harker Group which have traditionally supplied bunkers to IoMSPCo vessels. The barge also carries the wording "Cat Fuel"! Perhaps it should be cat food? I noted that the barge grounds at low water resting awkwardly against the landing stage, its landward side high and dry on the mud. From 3rd April two departures from Liverpool will be offered at 08.15 and 18.00 returning from Dublin at 13.00 and 23.00. Duty free day trips will also be available from Dublin to Liverpool from that date.

HOLYMAN DIAMANT now operating for the joint Sea Containers/Holyman operation between Dover and Oostende. HOLYMAN DIAMANT departed from Birkenhead where she had been refitted by Wright and Beyer on the morning tide of 26 March.

JAMES FISHER & SONS Plc

The TANKERMAN arrived at Cammell Laird's wet basin on 25 March before proceeding to #7 dry dock on 26 March to be lengthened.

MERSEY DOCKS & HARBOUR COMPANY

SJ Marine is continues diving operations at Liverpool landing stage. All vessels apart from Sea Containers vessels and Pilot launches are banned from the stage for 8 weeks from 16th March.

The northerly portion of Regent Road [The Dock Road] was due to be closed for incorporation within the extended dock estate on 24 March, however, the road remained open at the end of the week. Local radio advising that closure would take place soon.

MERSEYSIDE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Anyone who values the present attractive waterfront developments on the shores of the Mersey must be grateful for the work of the Merseyside Development Corporation which managed such major projects as the restoration of the Albert Dock complex. In the early 1980s the Mersey waterfront was generally an area of dereliction. Now Merseyside can be proud of its waterfront, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. At the end of this week the Merseyside Development Corporation was wound up.

 HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS

The small luxury cruise ship HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS [formerly the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry COLUMBA II] (240-dwt passenger ship built in 1964), a familiar sight on the Irish Sea, has been sold by the Binns family to a joint venture of Altnamara Shipping and Gallic Shipping Ltd. The sale price was about £4 million. Gallic Shipping reportedly took a stake in Altnamara Shipping to enable the purchase. The Hebridean Princess has 49 berths and 37 crewmembers.

GROYNE CONSTRUCTION

The hopper barge VILLE continues to travel from Mortar Mill Quay in the East Float, Birkenhead where she is being loaded with stone for the project to New Brighton and Egremont. where the stone is dumped. This little ship has been very busy since it commenced operations in January and the results of its many frequent though very short trips are becoming very prominent features at New Brighton and Egremont.

PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY

I have been in informed that SEAHAWK, which was chartered to P&O recently for the Liverpool to Dublin service, has been noted in Bremerhaven loading troops for a NATO exercise in Norway.

Back in January I mentioned that Sea Container's hold on the Hales Trophy [Blue Riband] currently held by HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN could be lost to a new vessel SUPERSTAR EXPRESS. SUPERSTAR express is owned by Star Cruises and has been constructed by Austal Ships. It had been intended to attempt the fastest round the world passage as well as take the Blue Riband amongst other records. Apparently the craft has been chartered to P&O for the Portsmouth to Cherbourg route. The new service will start in mid May. Does anyone know if SUPERSTAR EXPRESS world record attempt is still on??

STENA LINE

STENA CHALLENGER has returned to service on the Dublin-Holyhead route. STENA CAMBRIA, which covered during her absence, has returned to Dover where, she is to substitute for STENA ANTRIM on P&O Stena's Newhaven-Dieppe route while she is in for refit.

CAMMELL LAIRD HOLDINGS PLC

The Geotechnical Vessel BLUE SKY ONE remains in #6 Dry Dock and has been joined in #7 by TANKERMAN. DEEPSEA WORKER remains in #5.

John Luxton

29/03/98

 


MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

22 March 1998

Compiled by: John Luxton 70374,30

 

Welcome to this week's Mersey Shipping News which includes another Voyage Report on SUPERSEACAT TWO in which the ship really does live up to her promises delivering a 3 hour and 20 minutes crossing - well almost until foiled by the KING ORRY! This week the Irish Naval Service had the privilege of reopening Canada Half Tide Dock, following its closure in early January following failure of the river gate. Captain Michael Pryce of New Zealand has sent me details and a photograph of CONDOR 10, a regular visitor to Merseyside for refits, which sustained serious bow visor damage earlier this week.

For the first time since I started the Web Site the Sea Containers/IoMSPCo news is not the first item on the weekly news. I have decided to place notices and other information first [if there are any] as in the past this has usually been confined towards the end of the posting.

Finally I would like to advise MSN regulars that there will be no MSN weekly updates on 12th April as I will be away on holiday from 5th to 13th April. World Maritime News updates will be posted on 4th April and 14th April providing I receive them. I will of course be on the lookout for maritime stories from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly during this period - this time last year of course I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to witness the wreck of the container ship CITA on the Isles of Scilly. If you have not visited the feature page yet please do so soon as it will be taken off line during May to provide more space for new MSN items.

 

SEA CONTAINERS LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

PEVERIL - Operating Heysham - Douglas.

KING ORRY - In service Liverpool/Heysham - Douglas. Her port side escape chute has been replaced following its malicious deployment some weeks ago.

LADY OF MANN - laid up in Vittoria dock.

SUPERSEACAT TWO on Saturday SSC2 made a very rapid crossing from Dublin to Liverpool. She let go at Dublin at 12.55 and was off Princes Landing Stage at 16.15 with a crossing time of 3 hours 20 minutes. However, KING ORRY was blocking the berth due to SSC2's early arrival so she did not actually come alongside until 16.35 still well ahead of schedule

CLAYMORE - Currently on charter to her former owners, Caledonian MacBrayne, is operating the Islay route until early April.

Tynwald, the Manx Government has given permission for the construction of a £1.8 million walkway from the Sea Terminal to the Edward Pier berth currently used by the PEVERIL, from which the new BEN-MY-CHREE will operate. Six members of the House of Keys opposed the plans, some suggesting only 50 foot passengers would use the new vessel which has a seating capacity of 500! Part of the objection rest on the small capacity of the lift - 13 persons - and the fact that the ship should have been designed to fit the Victoria Pier linkspan, rather than the Manx Department of Transport Linkspan, commissioned in 1995.

Just like the KING ORRY the Sea Containers Ltd Web Site was revamped this week - into the company's corporate blue - there are a number of new press releases relating to the SuperSeaCats! Just like the KING ORRY the Sea Containers Ltd Web Site was revamped this week - into the company's corporate blue - there are a number of new press releases relating to the SuperSeaCats! Web Site was revamped this week - into the company's corporate blue - there are a number of new press releases relating to the SuperSeaCats! Just like the KING ORRY the Sea Containers Ltd Web Site was revamped this week - into the company's corporate blue - there are a number of new press releases relating to the SuperSeaCats! Web Site was revamped this week - into the company's corporate blue - there are a number of new press releases relating to the SuperSeaCats!

On the international side of operations Sea Containers has been in the news this week with the formation of the joint General Electric and Sea Containers company GE SeaCo SRL operation. General Electric Co.'s GE Capital and Sea Containers Ltd. on 19 March signed the primary agreement to form GE SeaCo SRL, based in the Bahamas, which will operate their marine container fleets. GE SeaCo will be an equal joint venture with initial capital and member loans of U.S.$64 million. GE Capital will buy U.S.$25 million of equity in Sea Containers and those funds will be dedicated to GE SeaCo. GE SeaCo will lease-in the two fleets and then sublease them. Profits from the existing fleets after lease payments will be distributed with 70 percent to GE Capital and the rest to Sea Containers. Sea Containers will lease about 270,000 TEUs to GE SeaCo and GE Capital, through its Genstar Container Corp., will lease about 850,000 TEUs. The combined revenue of the two fleets last year was U.S.$560 million. A U.S.$200 million 15-year revolving credit facility guaranteed 50 percent by each member will be formed for new purchases. New containers will be divided equally in proportion to the participation of each member. Sea Containers will keep six repair depots, six manufacturing facilities, two containerships and a small number of containers

HOLYMAN GROUP

Regular Mersey Shipping News readers will be aware of CONDOR 10 turning up on Merseyside for end of UK summer season refits before her annual charter to Tranz Rail [New Zealand Railways] for the winter period. However, this week disaster struck. I am grateful to Captain Michael Pryce of Wellington New Zeland who sent me the following information.

"CONDOR 10, which sailed from the Mersey in November 1997 for New Zealand, had her bow damaged by a heavy swell on the morning of 16th March. Whilst sailing from Wellington to Picton at 0830, just as she cleared the harbour entrance into Cook Strait, CONDOR 10 struck a 3-metre swell. The swell was not exceptional, she had just gone over one when the second wave came "out of sequence", she nose-dived into the deep trough and was hit by the second wave. She had 221 passengers and 47 cars on board.

The impact drove upwards the bow door section by a couple of feet, shearing and tearing internal beams, frames and stanchions, and buckling the fo'csle deck plating. Although from the exterior it might only appear that the bow door is not closed by about 2 feet, all the misalignment is caused by internal buckling, and damage is serious.

Present repair work consists of plasma-cutting of distorted material in order to force the bow door back down into place, not easy because of crinkled edges. The plan then seems to be to weld-shut the entire bow door, and to fit extra stiffeners inside. Subject to the Maritime Safety Authority's final approval, the intention presently is to resume service and finish off the season here, with last sailings on 14th April. After that, it is off to Incat at Hobart for proper repairs.

Robert Clifford of Incat was giving the bow a close inspection from a zodiac on Tuesday. Working 24-hours a day on the repairs, with specialist aluminium welders brought up from Dunedin."

Tranz Rail worked 24 hours per day this week using their usual ship repair contractors in conjunction with a team of aluminium welders from Tranz Rail's railway workshops in Dunedin. Distorted material has been cut away in order to adequately close the bow visor and to permit it to be welded shut, with extra stiffeners inside. They were also fortunate to be able to access suitable aluminium material to effect other repairs. With these temporary repairs, CONDOR 10 resumed commercial sailings across Cook Strait from Friday, 20th March, and should complete her season with the last scheduled sailings on 14th April. After that, I understand that she is to go to Incat's Hobart shipyard for permanent repairs before returning to U.K.

Even without needing repairs, her delivery voyage took 23 days, so if she sailed from Wellington on, say, 16th April, she would not have reached U.K. until about 9th May at the earliest. Now there will be the extra deviation to Hobart, plus the actual time of the full repairs to add to that date, so guestimate probably not back until latter part of May."

 JAMES FISHER & SONS Plc

The Liverpool and Barrow shipping company James Fisher and Sons announced an 84% increase in profits this week for operations during 1997. The rapid rise in turnover and profits has been due to the acquisition of P&O Tankships in early 1997. The company has recently taken delivery of a new vessel MILFORD FISHER as part of its new build programme, which will be completed with the arrival in September of the MERSEY FISHER. The company has awarded a £3.5million contract to Cammell Laird to extend 10,500 TANKERMAN by 22metres.

ALBERT DOCK COMPLEX

The Canning Half Tide Basin was finally reopened to vessels on Monday afternoon's tide by the Irish Naval Service's L.E. CIARA on her second courtesy visit to Liverpool inside twelve months. Mersey Maritime Museum vessels followed her arrival in the basin on the same tide, which had been stored at Cammell Laird's

IRISH NAVAL SERVICE

The Irish Naval Service's L.E. CIARA made her second visit to Liverpool this week, her last visit coincided with 1997 Mersey River Festival. CIARA arrived on Monday and departed on Thursday. During her stay she participated in St.Patrick's Day celebrations during which her crew received the blessings of the Canon of Liverpool Rev. Frayling who presented the crew with shamrock. In the evening of St. Patrick's Day she hosted a reception for the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Margaret Clarke.

 CROSS RIVER FERRIES LTD, CORK

The Port of Cork, Ireland, has applied new charges to Cross-River Ferries, which operates two passenger and vehicle ferries in Ireland between Carrigaloe and Glenbrook. The service is operated by two former Caledonian MacBrayne vessels, CARRIGALOE [ex-KYLEAKIN] and GLENBROOK [ex-LOCHALSH] [WMN20/03/98]

COMMISSIONERS OF THE IRISH LIGHTS

The Commissioners of Irish Lights have signed a contract with Damen Shipyards in Holland for a new state-of-the art 80-metre vessel to service lighthouses and offshore navigational aids.

The new vessel will be delivered towards the end of 1999 and will replace the GRANUAILE, which has been the main support vessel of the Irish Lighthouse service for 28 years.

The cost of the new vessel will be IR£16m. of which the Minister for the Marine, Dr.Michael Woods, T.D., has announced that the Irish Government will contribute IR£7m.

MERSEY FERRIES

OVERCHURCH has left Canada Dry Dock.

MD&HC

SJ Marine is undertaking diving operations at Liverpool landing stage. All vessels apart from Sea Containers vessels and Pilot launches are banned from the stage for 8 weeks.

GROYNE CONSTRUCTION

The motorised hopper barge VILLE continues to travel from Mortar Mill Quay in the East Float, Birkenhead where she is being loaded with stone for the project to New Brighton and Egremont where the stone is dumped.

CAMMELL LAIRD HOLDINGS PLC

The Geotechnical Vessel LABRADOR HORIZON departed on Saturday afternoon's tide and entered Langton Lock, Liverpool. DEEPSEA WORKER/PEREGRINE VII remains in #5 dry dock. The Mersey Maritime Museum vessels have returned home with the reopening of Canning Half Tide Dock. NORSE LAGAN was not present in the Wet Basin on 21st March and was noted at anchor at the Bar on Saturday morning.

The company has been awarded a £3.5 million contract to lengthen the James Fisher tanker TANKERMAN by 22 metres. The work is expected to last for 70 days. The small dredger BARROW SAND has been working off the dry docks towards the end of the week.

John Luxton

22/03/98


MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

15 March 1998

Compiled by: John Luxton 70374,30

Welcome to this week's Mersey Shipping News, which features an in depth voyage report on the new SUPERSEACAT TWO from Liverpool to Dublin. Plus many other interesting stories.

The Maritime Queries section has been updated with several new requests for information and the latest version of World Maritime News is available. Please access them from the FRONT page and check out the redesign implemented last week.

SEA CONTAINERS LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

PEVERIL - Operating Heysham - Douglas.

KING ORRY - In service Liverpool/Heysham - Douglas

LADY OF MANN - laid up in Vittoria dock. The Lady, unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to come to the rescue of SSC2 and remains in Vittoria Dock. I understand that she too, will appear in Sea Containers corporate blue!

SUPERSEACAT TWO - SSC2 appeared to resolve her technical problems and left Wright and Beyer's last Saturday. After leaving the yard she ran trails in the river before her first berthing trial at the Landing Stage on Saturday evening. She undertook further sea trials during the week before reopening the Liverpool to Dublin link on Thursday 12th March to much media coverage. On her inaugural sailing she departed Princes' Landing Stage dressed overall, the passengers played aboard by pipes and drums.

She was slightly late away from the Landing Stage at 08.28 carrying 391 passengers.

She returned to Liverpool on Thursday a few somewhat behind schedule and though alongside the Landing Stage at around 17.20 there appeared some problem getting her positioned exactly in relation to the linkspan and her stern ramp was only partially lowered at first. This was resolved by around 17.40 when discharge commenced.

On Saturday 14 March technical problems cropped up and she operated from some miles off South Stack to Dublin on reduced power. A barge has been provided on the landward side of the landing stage to provide a fuel store for SSC2. It is fed via a pipeline attached to one of the landing stage anchoring booms from a connection on the river wall a hundred yards or so north of the Mersey Ferry terminal.

HOLYMAN DIAMANT - Given the new 50/50 Holyman partnership it is appropriate to record any Mersey related wanderings of these vessels now in the Sea Co section. At 07.00 on Tuesday 10th March HOLYMAN DIAMANT arrived at Alfred Lock and proceeded to Wright and Beyer's for refit.

NORSE IRISH FERRIES

Tuesday 10th March saw the commencement of day time sailings between Liverpool and Belfast on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

NEW CRUISE MARKETING ORGANISATIONS

Two new marketing organizations have been formed for the European

market. Celtic Cruise is uniting the ports of Brest, France; La Coruna, Spain; Falmouth, England; Dublin, Ireland; Douglas, Isle of Man; Derry, Northern Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; Holyhead, Wales; and Stornoway, Scotland. Cruise Scotland has been formed among 12 Scottish ports and the Scottish tourist board. The ports include Aberdeen, Ayr and Troon, Campbeltown, Dundee, Edinburgh, Greenock, Invergordon, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Peterhead, Portree and Stornoway.

JAMES FISHER & SONS Plc

A north-west registered nuclear waste ship managed by James Fisher has experienced problems this week in Japan. The PACIFIC SWAN (British-registry [Barrow in Furness] 5,100-gt, 3,792-dwt vessel built in 1979, operated by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd and managed by James Fisher & Sons Plc) is unloading its cargo at the Port of Mutsu Ogawara, Japan. The ship carried 24 metric tons of reprocessed nuclear waste for the French nuclear firm COGEMA. Some 60 glass logs of reprocessed nuclear waste are sealed in stainless-steel canisters and they will be stored for 30 to 50 years at Rokkasho, Japan.

The Pacific Swan left Cherbourg, France, on 21 Jan. and arrived 10 March but Morio Kimura, the governor of Aomori prefecture where Mutsu Ogawara is located, refused permission for the ship to dock until Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto met with him to provide a personal assurance that Japan's nuclear industry was safe and that the waste would eventually be moved. Three years ago, Kimura barred another ship carrying nuclear waste from France until the central government promised Aomori would not be the final disposal area. That ban was lifted the next day following a written assurance but since then, there has been no progress in finding a permanent site. On 13 March, the PACIFIC SWAN was allowed to dock and unload after a meeting between Hashimoto and Kimura in Tokyo. Kimura said Hashimoto promised to "utmost efforts" on determining a final disposal site. [WMN13/03/98]

MV DERBYSHIRE

The loss of the Liverpool registered and partly Liverpool crewed bulk carrier DERBYSHIRE has once again been in the news this week following the announcement of another enquiry into its loss almost 18 years ago when the government announced 12 March that it will reopen a formal investigation into the sinking of the Derbyshire (British-registry 169,044-dwt, 92,000-gt, 296-meter/970-foot ore/bulk/oil carrier built in 1976) on the night of 9/10 Sept., 1980. The announcement followed the release of the United Kingdom/European Commission Assessors Report on the sinking. The Derbyshire was sailing from Canada to Japan with iron ore concentrate when it sank in Typhoon Orchid, 560 kilometers/350 miles east of Okinawa, Japan. All 44 crewmembers were killed.

The report states that the ship was likely sailing with seas just off the bow, with some waves reaching a height of 24 meters/80 feet. It began taking water over the bow and an unsecured forward deck stores hatch cover measuring 1.2 meters/four feet by 0.9 meters/three feet was torn off. The bosuns stores space then filled, probably in under an hour. The hatch was hidden from view from the bridge by deck equipment as well as the breaking seas. Due to increasing pitch as well as ambient weather, the bow's loss of freeboard was likely not visible either. The fore mast floodlight switches were located in the forepeak stores making them unavailable. As the bow settled, deck fittings were likely carried away and ventilators opened to the sea while the forepeak ballast tank probably filled in about 12 hours.

A wave or group of waves then destroyed the starboard No. 1 cargo hold hatch cover by breaking it in the middle. The port hatch cover soon followed. With the No. 1 hold flooding at 38,000 liters/10,000 gallons per minute, all forward freeboard and reserve buoyancy was lost, with waves likely reaching the superstructure after rolling up from the bow. Further equipment was likely carried away at this point, including the fore mast and forward superstructure, which started flooding along the duct keel. The cofferdam soon filled as well and the hydraulic machinery space flooded. The Derbyshire had nine cargo holds, two of which were empty, and the hatch covers of each were destroyed and the ship settled further. Inside the cargo holds, tanks began to implode. The fuel tank likely imploded next, relieving pressure along the Frame 339 bulkhead and the air in the ullage space then exploded the top of the bulkhead outwards. By this time, the lack of forward buoyancy probably caused the main hull girder to fracture. With the ship down, the stern likely was at an angle of 45 degrees and rolling to port. Implosions at the forward end of the slop tanks tore apart the engine room and the pump room and No. 9 cargo hold tore out the double bottom. With the stern underwater, the superstructure separated from the hull.

The entire process from the No. 1 hold flooding to the stern sinking beneath the surface took a few minutes. Underwater, the bow rolled over and the starboard windlass broke away. It dragged some chain out of the locker but then broke from the chain, further damaging bulwarks and deck fittings. Double bottoms, still with cargo and trapped air, capsized. The cargo left the holds at a depth far enough over the seabed that by the time it settled, the cargo was spread evenly over the wreck site. A two-hold section of the ship broke off heading north while the bow impacted on the seabed, crushing its lower sections and forming a crater. The stern landed with its rudder and stern frame first, but slid down a slope with the propeller tearing up the sea floor. The rudder, also cutting into the seabed, created lift fording it to port along with the stern frame. The superstructure landed upside down and collapsed. The bridge wings landed in the middle of the field and two pieces of double side shell landed in the southwest and near the bow. The starboard breakwater and part of the main deck landed southeast while the exhaust gas boiler landed in the southwest.

It likely took an hour for all pieces of debris to settle. The massive damage was caused by implosion and explosion to every piece of the section between Frame 65 and Frame 339 as it reached depths of 25 meters/82 feet to 100 meters/330 feet. Robin Williams, the report's chief scientist and British assessor, said the fragmentation of the wreckage illustrated that forces equivalent to 17 tons of trinitrotoluene, or TNT, had destroyed the ship below the ocean surface. The wreck site consists of more than 2,000 objects across two square kilometers/0.8 square miles, four kilometers/2.5miles underwater.

The report concludes that the Derbyshire's hatch covers could not withstand the storm and notes that the ship had a record of suffering damage to bow equipment and that steel shows evidence of brittleness in A and E Grade material. The assessors pointed to design faults, poor seamanship and poor vessel construction for the Derbyshire's sinking. The project cost 2.7 million British pounds/U.S.$4.5 million.

The British government will wait three months to decide whether the reopened inquiry will be in full or in part and whether it will address questions not examined initially. In 1989, an inquiry concluded that the Derbyshire was simply overwhelmed by the typhoon.

ALBERT DOCK COMPLEX

Work on the river gate appears to have been completed. The gate is now closed and the Canning Basin is holding water again. However, Mersey Radio is still advising that Canning Basin remains closed until further notice and the Brocklebank and other vessels in the Maritime Museum collection have yet to return.

MERSEY FERRIES

OVERCHURCH was noted to be still in Canada Dry Dock on Friday 13th March.

MD&HC

Demolition work appears to have begun on some transit sheds at Canada #3 Branch Dock. Presumably to provide facilities for the Merchant Ferries operation due to commence shortly.

IRISH SEA TRAWLER TROUBLE

Spanish Trawlers have caused problems in the Irish and Celtic Seas for some time, particularly with Cornish fishermen. Some Spanish companies operate under the British flag and this week two Spanish owned/British flagged vessels from Milford Haven have been involved in clashes with Irish trawlers.

The Minister of the Marine, Michael Woods TD warned that harassment of Irish vessels will not be tolerated and has lodged a protest with Britain.

The Irish Naval Service is sending two vessels to the fishing grounds off Cork.

BELGIAN TRAWLER LEAVES

The DE ZEEMOUW, the Belgian trawler fire damaged some weeks ago in Liverpool bay and subject to a major rescue operation left Liverpool last Sunday in the tow of another Belgian fishing vessel.

GROYNE CONSTRUCTION

The motorised hopper barge VILLE continues to travel from Mortar Mill Quay in the East Float, Birkenhead where she is being loaded with stone for the project to New Brighton where the stone is dumped.

ROYAL NAVY

HMS LANCASTER [F229] departed on Monday 9 March after a week-long visit to Merseyside. On Friday Island Class patrol vessel HMS ORKNEY [P299] was noted in Canada Dock.

CAMMELL LAIRD HOLDINGS PLC

The Geotechnical Vessels LABRADOR HORIZON has been out on sea trials in Liverpool Bay this week. DEEPSEA WORKER/PEREGRINE VII remains in #5 dry dock. The Mersey Maritime Museum tug BROCKLEBANK remains in the wet basin along with NORSE LAGAN.

 


MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

08 March 1998

 

SEA CONTAINERS LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

PEVERIL - Operating Heysham - Douglas.

KING ORRY - In service - her port side escape chute is still missing following its accidental deployment several week ago. Its casing remains in Perry's Marine car park, Birkenhead. A new chute will be fitted.

LADY OF MANN - laid up in Vittoria dock. The Lady's fans may be pleased to hear that she may return to service on the Liverpool - Dublin route this week as SSC2 has waterjet problems. She will also operate additional sailings between England/Ireland and Isle of Man during Easter.

SUPERSEACAT TWO - SSC2 has water jet problems, which require spares from Scandinavia. She may miss her inaugural sailing to Dublin on Thursday 12th March when the route reopens with her sailings being covered by the LADY OF MANN. On Saturday morning SSC2 was noted still in Wright and Beyers and afloat. There appeared to be quite a few SeaCo staff in their distinctive jackets working on the bows and it looked as though she could have been ready to leave, but was still there in the early afternoon. At around 16.15 on Saturday March 7, 1998 she was reported to be in Albert Lock heading into the River Mersey for river trails before proceeding to Langton Lock where she is due to arrive at 20.00. Monitoring Mersey Radio comms traffic with SSC2 during late Saturday afternoon suggested that she would make a berthing trial at Prince's Landing after the departure of KING ORRY at 19.15.

 

The revised Easter timetable for Isle of Man services is as follows:

From Douglas

April

Heysham

Liverpool

Dublin

Belfast

Tue

7

08.30

20.00

 

 

 

Wed

8

08.30

20.00

 

 

 

Thu

9

08.30

19.30

23.55

 

Fri

10

 

08.30

23.55

12.15

Sat

11

 

08.30

18.30

 

Sun

12

 

08.30

16.00

 

 

Mon

13

08.30

19.30

18.30

07.00

Tue

14

08.30

20.00

16.30

 

 

Wed

15

08.30

19.30

 

 

 

To Douglas

April

Heysham

Liverpool

Dublin

Belfast

Tue

7

14.15

 

 

 

Wed

8

01.30

14.15

 

 

 

Thu

9

01.30

14.15

19.00

 

 

Fri

10

 

01.00

14.15

07.00

18.00

Sat

11

 

19.15

07.00

 

Sun

12

 

14.15

21.00

10.30

 

Mon

13

08.30

 

 

12.45

Tue

14

08.30

20.00

01.00

10.45

 

Wed

15

08.30

 

 

 

Mike and Martin Edmondson have forwarded the following notes and photographs regarding the present condition of TSS MANXMAN:

 "Manxman - The situation as of 28/2/98.

Manxman is at Pallion shipyard, the home of Sunderland shipbuilders. She looks quite a sorry sight. Both the masts have been topped in order to get her under the Queen Alexandra bridge however the sections removed are lying on the boat deck, one at the rear and one alongside the funnel (starboard side). The arched gangway complete with doors that was used at Preston and presumably at Liverpool and Hull has also gone with the ship and is stood on the bow below the bridge where they used to

transport buses to the island. Parts of the wooden belting along the starboard side are now looking very rotten and in places it is crumbling away. The (awful) colour scheme is still much the same but the blue boot topping now extends unto the belting until it reaches the bow end where it now steps up a foot or so. Presumably this paint-work was carried out at Hull. The bow itself is still in its cut away state from the Hull venture but the resulting hole has been plated over to make it water tight. The space at Hull must have been at a premium because not only has the bow been cut away but the belting around the stern has also been removed. All these features plus an abundance of rust streaks add to the neglected look.

The ship is moored on the river Wear at a berth alongside the shipyard facing upstream just to the landward side of the Queen Alexandra bridge. A good view down can be obtained from the bridge, however if you cross over the bridge she can be viewed from the car park of an industrial estate directly across from her berth.

We spoke to the shipyard security gateman and he informed us that the ship is now owned by the yard. They were hoping to get some sort of backing for some kind of (unspecified) refurbishment but no money has been forthcoming so she is now up for sale again. Some interest has however been shown from Ireland but to what extent he didnít know. In addition the yard have discovered asbestos on board, much more than they bargained for and this has also been brought into question and sounds like it could be an expensive exercise. The gateman described it as un-seaworthy and a bit of a death trap. Only time will tell what the future holds for this once fine vessel."

The much rumoured about Hoverspeed-Holyman merger was finally confirmed this week when Sea Containers issued the following press release:

"Hamilton, Bermuda, March 4th, 1998. Sea Containers Ltd., marine container lessor, passenger transport and luxury hotels owner and operator, today announced its subsidiary Hoverspeed had signed agreements with Holyman Ltd. and the government of Belgium and Silja OY providing for it to take a 50% shareholding in Holyman Sally Ltd. and to provide management to that company's U.K. to Belgium passenger and car ferry services. Silja has sold its shareholding in Holyman Sally. The company's name will be changed to Hoverspeed Holyman Ltd. and car and passenger services will cease from Ramsgate to Ostend and from March 6th operate between Hoverspeed's Dover hoverport and Ostend. The same vessels, Holyman Rapide and Holyman Diamant, will operate the new Dover/Ostend service and they will continue to be Belgian manned. Belgian shore staff in Ostend will be maintained. The service will commence with the sailing from Ostend at 0800 hrs. on March 6th.

Silja will continue to operate a freight service between Belgium and Ramsgate.

Sea Containers will acquire its shareholding in Holyman Sally for a nominal amount and will not be responsible for all prior losses and debts of the company. Holyman Ltd. and Hoverspeed will each provide £1.25m of initial working capital secured by the company's receivables.

Mr. Richard Austen, Chairman of Holyman Ltd., said "it is no secret that Holyman Sally Ltd. has been unprofitable on the Ostend/Ramsgate route. Dover is the largest ferry port in the world and has considerable drawing power because of its easy road access. Hoverspeed is able to accommodate our ships at its existing fast ferry terminal in the Western Docks at Dover and to manage the company's business at a marginal cost. Hoverspeed Holyman will pay a management fee to Hoverspeed and bear an allocated share of Hoverspeed's total costs. Assuming the same carryings and the same revenue for Dover/Ostend in 1998 as for Ramsgate/Ostend in 1997, the new service should be profitable from the start."

In 1997 Holyman Sally carried 1.2 million passengers and 220,000 cars on the Ostend/Ramsgate route.

Mr. David G. Benson, Chief Executive of Sea Containers' Passenger Transport Division said "Back in 1996 we proposed to the Belgian government the very service between Dover and Ostend that we are starting March 6th. However, it was not legally possible to implement it at that time. Our studies then showed that the Ostend/Dover route was well differentiated from Dover/Calais. There are excellent motorway connections from Ostend to Germany. For the foot passengers Ostend and the nearby city of Bruges are of great tourist interest. The route will continue to attract duty paid and duty free shoppers, the latter until at least 1st July, 1999. Of course, we hope the member governments of the EU will see the folly of stopping intra EU duty free sales in 1999 but the unelected members of the European Commission seem to be opposing the wishes of many of the countries concerned in this matter and we cannot predict the outcome."

PRINCE'S LANDING STAGE

 Mersey Radio has announce that diving operations will begin at the Landing Stage on 16th March and will continue for a period of 8 weeks.

HOLYMAN/CONDOR FERRIES

CONDOR EXPRESS finally departed at 17.00 on Tuesday, she had been due to depart Sunday on afternoon at 15.40.

NORSE IRISH FERRIES

This Tuesday 10th March sees the commencement of day time sailings between Liverpool and Belfast on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

MD&HC LINKSPAN

The proposals for the Liverpool on-river linkspan have suffered a major setback. Following objections from residents in the converted Waterloo Warehouses John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister has ordered a public enquiry. The enquiry will be held in the second half of 1999. It had been hoped to have the Trafalgar Dock terminal, based partly on the old B&I terminal, operative by the end of next year. However, residents in the adjacent Waterloo Warehouse Apartments have been pressing for an enquiry into the extra traffic and noise that the scheme may involve. Therefore the chances of the Liverpool side linkspan appearing before the year 2000 has now disappeared. One wonders what the reaction will be from the several ferry operators, P&O, Merchant Ferries and Norse Irish Ferries to this news.

MCTAY MARINE

McTay Marine's Shipyard at Bromborough has commenced work completing over £1 million worth of work on a 260 tonne trawler. McTay had originally bid to build the trawler for a Scottish company but was beaten by the Cornish yard of MC Fabrications in Falmouth. However MC Fabrications went into receivership in January and Mc Tay reached agreement with the receiver to complete the work. The incomplete trawler was transported to Bromborough by the MD&HC floating crane MERSEY MAMMOTH.

ALBERT DOCK COMPLEX

Work still continues on repairs to the Canning Half Tide basin river gate and consequently the dock remains closed to vessels.

SS ARDMORE

The ARDMORE was lost in the Irish Sea on November 11, 1940 after presumably detonating a mine whilst on passage from Fishguard to Cork. Her wreck was recently discovered off the Wexford coast, near the Saltee Islands. A memorial service is due to be held in Cork on 25th April. ARDMORE's Master, Captain Ford, Chief Engineer Johnston, Second Engineer McNally and Fireman Mr Steed were all Merseysiders.

IRISH FERRIES 

Holyhead departures are being retimed because of terminal works at Dublin until March 9. 0345 departs 0530 and 1545 departs 1730.

MERSEY FERRIES

OVERCHURCH moved to CANADA DRY DOCK this week on departure of CONDOR EXPRESS.

GROYNE CONSTRUCTION

The motorised hopper barge VILLE continues to travel from Mortar Mill Quay in the East Float, Birkenhead where she is being loaded with stone for the project to New Brighton where the stone is dumped.

ROYAL NAVY

HMS SPEY, last week's visitor departed on Sunday evening, March 1. HMS LANCASTER [F229] has been a visitor to Canada #3 Branch Dock this week arriving on Monday morning. Lancaster is a 1991 Yarrow built Duke Class Frigate. During her stay the ship entertained guests from her namesake town.

CAMMELL LAIRD HOLDINGS PLC

The Geotechnical Vessels SIMON LABRADOR now in the wet basin has been renamed LABRADOR HORIZON. DEEPSEA WORKER/PEREGRINE VII remains in #5 dry dock and BLUE SKY ONE is in #7. The Mersey Maritime Museum tug BROCKLEBANK remains in the wet basin along with NORSE LAGAN.

Though #6 and #7 Dry Docks have been in use since the start of the year; they will be officially reopened on 15th April by David Cobb, president elect of the Chamber of Shipping and Executive Chairman of James Fisher & Sons Plc.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Mike and Martin Edmondson & RC. for extra information.

John Luxton

08/03/98

 


 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

01 March 1998

Compiled by: John Luxton 70374,30

 

SEA CONTAINERS LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

PEVERIL - Operating Heysham - Douglas.

KING ORRY - In service - her port side escape chute is still missing following its accidental deployment the other week. Apparently the damage was so severe that it is going to have to be replaced.

LADY OF MANN - laid up in Vittoria dock. The ship will return to service to operate a revised sailing schedules between Douglas and Dublin. A day excursion from Dublin to Douglas is planned for Easter Sunday.

SUPERSEACAT TWO - Last Saturday afternoon a call from SSC2 to Mersey Radio was made seeking divers urgently. The vessel was then given a phone number to call. On Tuesday SSC2 departed Langton Lock at 06.15 and crossed to Birkenhead, locking into Alfred Lock at 07.00 and subsequently entering Wright and Beyer's Bidston Dry Dock. SSC2 was still at W&B's on Friday afternoon.

Engineers were noted at work on Prince's Landing Stage on 28 February installing a pipe-line along the anchoring boom immediately south of the former floating roadway cutting. On the stage a bridge structure has appeared during the past week across the traffic lanes to carry the pipeline to the stage side and thus provide a fueling point for SSC2.

MD&HB/SEA CONTAINERS

Planners have been give the go-ahead for the revamp of the terminal facilities at the Pier Head which include the filling in of the unsightly floating roadway cutting to create a vehicle marshalling area and the development of a new Sea Terminal. As mentioned a few weeks ago the "Memorial to the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room" otherwise known as the "Titanic Memorial" is to be moved to a new location on Prince's Parade. There are also plans to erect a plaque explaining the links between the memorial and the Titanic which is not actually mentioned on the memorial itself.

TITANIC

Perhaps the ultimate experience for ship enthusiasts is now being made available courtesy of a Manx Company - Deep Ocean Expeditions. For just £19,500 pounds you too can go and see the real Titanic - onboard a submarine! It is planned that two to three hours will be spent circling the wreck of the liner. The submarines will carry two passengers and a pilot. The cost of the trip includes flights to Newfoundland accommodation aboard the support ship.

RESURGAM

It looks as though the pioneering submarine RESURGAM which was built in Birkenhead and later foundered under tow off the northern coast of Wales may not be raised and preserved as had been hoped. The submarine would cost over £1 million pounds to raise as the task has been complicated by the fact that the vessel is full of silt. It had been hoped that a home could be found for it on Merseyside or at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport. The RN museum, however, has no resources available. A full size replica of the RESURGAM is on display near to the Birkenhead Woodside Ferry Terminal.

NORSE IRISH FERRIES

 After much positive publicity over recent months, the company found itself mentioned in the local press for all the wrong reasons this week as a result of allegations made against the LAGAN VIKING's operations manager. The manager was arrested on board the ship when it docked in Liverpool on arrival from Belfast on Monday 24 February. The manager, Brian McAleece, has been bailed to appear before Bootle magistrates on 20 March charged with indecent assaults against two young crewmen.

PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION CO.

A&P Falmouth Ltd. has received a £4.5 million contract to lengthen the BUFFALO (4,377-dwt ferry built in 1975) which operates between Liverpool and Dublin. Presumably when this work is undertaken BUFFALO will gain one of the new EUROPEAN class names.

HOLYMAN GROUP

CONDOR EXPRESS [Incat 42] remained in Canada Dry Dock undergoing refit by Wright and Beyer. She was scheduled to lock out of the Liverpool dock system at 15.40 on Sunday 1 March 1998. However, she was not ready for departure when I passed the dock at 15.10 - the stern ramps were still down, and the dock only partially filled with water.

BRASSPATCH PLC/MV SOUTHSEA

The proposals to operate the former Isle of Wight Sealink vessel SOUTHSEA originally designed by the Southern Railway Company and built by Denny have foundered. Receivers were appointed on 9 February. An appeal has been launched to try and save the ship which is currently in a Bristol dry dock where she had been undergoing refurbishment with a view to re-entering service in Summer 1998 offering cruises along the channel coast.

Apparently £25,000 needs to be raised before mid March to secure the ship's future otherwise she may be sold off by the receivers for scrap in her 50th year. Only recently the Waverley organisation officially distanced themselves from the project stating that the operation of a third, preserved, coastal cruise ship in the British Isles would not be viable and that any connections between themselves and Brasspatch plc might jeopardize the charitable status enjoyed by the Waverley organisation.

ALBERT DOCK COMPLEX

Work still continues on repairs to the Canning Half Tide basin river gate.

GROYNE CONSTRUCTION

The motorised hopper barge VILLE continues to travel from Mortar Mill Quay in the East Float, Birkenhead where she is being loaded with stone for the project to New Brighton where the stone is dumped.

ROYAL NAVY

Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Ship HMS BROCKLESBY [M33] departed Canada No3 Brach Dock on Monday morning. On Saturday River Class Minesweeper HMS SPEY [M2013] was in Canada #3 Branch Dock. The River Class minesweepers are unusual in that they do not carry their Pennant Numbers, all except HMS ORWELL are attached to the Royal Navy's Northern Ireland Squadron. HMS SPEY was due to depart on Sunday afternoon.

CAMMELL LAIRD HOLDINGS PLC

Geotechnical Vessels SIMON LABRADOR and BLUE SKY ONE were towed from #7 Dry Dock to the wet basin on Sunday evening's tide. DEEPSEA WORKER/PEREGRINE VII in #5. The Mersey Maritime Museum tug Brocklebank remains in the wet basin along with NORSE LAGAN.

 John H. Luxton

 

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