IRISH SEA NEWS BULLETIN
NOTES & NEWS
Welcome to this week's update. Due to pressure of time I have been unable to complete the planned BALMORAL voyage report. I hope to have that on-line with next Sunday's update.
As from late afternoon Sunday May 27 I will be off line until sometime on Saturday June 2 as I will be around and about Cobh and West Cork. Consequently there will be a delay in email replies. If you need to contact me urgently my mobile number is 07973 363370 [outside UK +44 7973 363370]
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Mike Pryce, Jenny Williamson, "c traveller", Cornish Shipping, Tony Brennan, Mike O'Brien and others.
SEA CONTAINERS\Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
SEACAT ISLE OF MAN - the 10:30 departure from Liverpool on Saturday May 26 was somewhat delayed due to a "technical problem" according to a transmission to Mersey Radio. The vessel not departing the Landing Stage until around 11:55.
SCIOM's return sailing from Belfast was rescheduled with ETA Douglas 04.00 on May 21, 2001. This enabled the vessel to provide an additional Belfast - Troon sailing which had been programmed for the North West 2000 traffic.
On May 21 news reports in Greece indicated that the recent Greek Government decision to allow Sea Containers Ltd to operate in the Corinth canal has sparked a strike by 156 workers who blocked the entrance to the canal with two pilot ships, unions said.
The move came on the fourth day of the strike.
"We fear the redundancy of 66 people who have been unemployed for several days and we reject a project by the company to build a container park on an archaeological site near the canal," said union leader Tassos Moutsos.
Sea Containers, won in April the public tender, at a cost of $1m, to operate the
Corinth Canal for 40 years.
ISLE OF MAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for April 2001 at 56,685 show a 1.4% increase on the figure for the same period in 2000 which was 55,889.
The year to date figure at 118,795 passengers shows a 4.3% increase over the same period in 2000 which was 113,920.
During April car and motorcycle traffic through Douglas Harbour decreased by 0.1% from 11,371 vehicles to 11,356 vehicles.
The year to date figure at 30,811 vehicles shows a 6.5% increase over the same period in 2000 which was 28,919.
Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for April:-
Belfast plus 26% from 1,913 to 2,413
Dublin minus 17% from 4,026 to 3,357
Heysham minus 1% from 19,302 to 19,148
Liverpool minus 5% from 29,205 to 27,691
April commercial vehicle metreage increased by 4.7% from 30,474 metres to 31,907 metres.
Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew commented: "April passenger figured are a record for any April due to cruise liner traffic, whilst scheduled traffic shows a slight decrease. This is still the second best April for scheduled traffic, just below last year's record figures."
DUBLIN PORT ACCIDENT UPDATE
The coaster BLUEBIRD which was in collision with the yacht THE DEBONAIR was not registered in the Isle of Wight as early reports suggested. However, she was bound for Dublin from Cowes, Isle of Wight with a cargo of wheat. Port of Registry is Kingston
Four of the five persons on board THE DEBONAIR died in the tragedy.
Photograph - Tony Brennan
SEA TREK 2001
On August 20, 2001 at 10:00 the sailing vessels taking part in the Sea Trek 2001 will arrive at Liverpool's Pier Head. For comprehensive information on Sea Trek 2001 which is sponsored by the Church of the Latterday Saints can be found at http://www.seatrek2001.com. Sea Trek 2001 commemorates the emigration of over 90,000 Mormons to the USA in the 19th Century. Amongst the ships visiting Liverpool will be the Russian vessel MIR.
RNLI - PORT ST.MARY
The Port St Mary lifeboat was called out in the early hours of Saturday May 26 to the 35 foot Irish yacht RAGTAG.
The RAGTAG had been on a voyage from Strangford Lough, County Down to the Isle of Man and had six persons on board, three of them children.
The vessel's fuel supply had been exhausted and she was drifting towards the Calf of Man. The vessel was brought into the harbour by the lifeboat.
Cammell Laird Group receiver PriceWaterhouseCoopers sold the Gibraltar Yard to a management team this week which included Managing Director Mel Smith, Operations Director Tom Parry and director John Stafford. There are three vessels currently undergoing work with the order book standing at £1.5m. The purchase price has not been disclosed.
News reports suggest that a bid for the Teeside yard could be made by former director Eric Welsh. The GMB Union said it would work closely with Mr. Welsh "to try to ensure the future of shipbuilding".
"Eric Welsh is a shipbuilder not an asset stripper," a union spokesman said.
Employees of the Birkenhead yard staged a march through Birkenhead on Thursday May 24 to highlight the plight of the yard and its employees following the collapse of the Cammell Laird Group.
The march which concluded with a rally in Hamilton Square aimed to raise awareness of the bleak outlook facing the yard and to urge the Government to offer support.
The march commenced at the yard's main gate at 10:30 and was led by a piper, also taking part were election candidates from the main political parties.
The march, led by a Scottish piper, left the main gates at 10.30am with more people joining in and offering their support as the march progressed.
Senior steward with the GMB union, Dave Hulse, said: "We are all here together. It is not about politics or the General Election, it is all about solidarity. Let's try and put pressure on people to keep our shipyard open."
Stan Hall, from the AEEU, added: "I was proud to see the large number of people who turned out to offer support.
"The only people who haven't let anyone down over the last six months is the workforce. We started from scratch and worked up to what we've got today. If anybody deserves recognition, it is the men and women of Cammell Laird.
"We are determined to succeed. There's been limited success so far and there's still a number of doors open to ensure that, when somebody does buy the yard, there is work for people to do.
"The downfall of Cammell Laird has not been the COSTA CLASSICA. It was when the ro-ro contract was awarded to Germany. We have got to get the message across to the government that Laird's needs work."
Birkenhead Labour candidate Frank Field said he hoped two things would come of the march - that a buyer would come forward and there would be news from the Government that Laird's bid for work on three British warships had been successful.
"We submitted bids for three warship orders," he said. "The receiver was not willing to allow the bids for three British warships to continue but now the government has said that we can put forward bids and this went ahead on Monday on which they will soon make a decision.
"Today we send a message to the government that we need these three orders, on this rests our immediate future.
"Birkenhead is Cammell Laird. In this town, there is massive support for the workers. On these three orders, we expect our due."
Meanwhile this week the future for the 280 Cammell Laird apprentices has been secured by a £1.3m rescue package
Two "new" harbour tugs arrived this week. KOMET and KIKLOP arrived from the Mediterranean on May 23. The vessels were originally built at Bremerhaven in 1967/68 for Hapag-Lloyd.
RMS ST.HELENA - The sailing schedule shows that vessel is moving her UK base from Cardiff to Falmouth for the next two UK calls. The arrival from voyage 51 will be at Falmouth on 17 August. Voyage 52 is Falmouth/Falmouth, 31 August to 6 November. Voyage 53 is 9 November 2001 Falmouth to 2 March 2002 Cardiff. Subsequent calls scheduled for Cardiff in August and October 2002. Curnow shipping's head office is based in Falmouth.
TERMINAL TROUBLE FOR P&O?
It appears that Dublin Port has erected two buildings without planning permission and they may have to be demolished even though the company has applied to retain the structures
The buildings comprise a passenger terminal and service depot. The Green Party's planning spokesman has accused Dublin Port of "cowboy" behaviour.
The terminal which is yet to open for public use covers around 4,000square feet and has a car park and security booth. It is to be used by P&O Irish Sea Ferries. The depot is currently in use by Department of Agriculture during the FMD outbreak it is to be used for environmental services.
The buildings appear to use materials recovered from the former South Quay passenger terminal which had been in use between summer 1999 and autumn 2000 for Sea Containers Irish Sea Services. P&O sought extra passenger facilities at the time and port managers used the material from the old building.
A Dublin Port spokesman claimed that "It was always the intention to seek permission for this new facility, as this is a specific legal requirement before public use would be possible,"
the port spokesman said. "It was done in response to demands at the time and
the material was available."
CONTROVERSIAL SHIP TO VISIT
The Sunday Times on May 27 revealed that an "abortion ship" equipped to carry out 20 terminations a day is scheduled to sail into Dublin port at the end of June.
The arrival of the SEA CHANGE
The ship has been developed by The Women on Waves Foundation, a pro abortion group from the Netherlands. The vessel carries a medical team which provides contraceptives, abortion in formation and training for medical staff. The contains an abortion clinic and carries its own on-board security guards.
The leader of the on-board team is Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, former ship's doctor on Greenpeace's RAINBOW WARRIOR. The group wants to highlight the group wants to highlight
the consequences of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion and draw attention to the large number of Irish women who travel to the UK each year for abortions, putting their health at serious risk.
However, the ship is likely to provoke controversy. Mildred Fox TD claimed the ship was a publicity stunt as "If she [Gomperts] breaks the law, she will have to be dealt with. If she is providing information, she's not providing any service that isn't already there. But if she is actually carrying out abortions, you have to ask - what's next? Can we have a ship from the Netherlands selling drugs 12 miles offshore or carrying out euthanasia?" Fox said.
Gomperts claims Irish women availing themselves of her offshore services cannot be prosecuted and neither can the service providers, because the procedures will be carried out under international law.
"This is a human rights issue. As a doctor and a woman, I cannot stand by and accept the unnecessary suffering of women all over the world," she said.
The ship was invited to visit Ireland by Irish pro-choice groups, which are planning an extensive publicity campaign around its appearance, including celebrity, legal and medical endorsement.
The foundation's aims are supported by a network of pro-choice groups in Ireland such as Abortion Reform, the Union of Students in Ireland executive, the Trinity College students' union executive, and the Dublin council of trade unions, under the umbrella of Women on Waves Ireland.
It is understood that the Women on Waves Foundation is concerned about security issues and possible protests by anti-abortion campaigners.
While it is docked in Dublin port, the ship will host a number of talks, workshops and creative events, including a film, a writers' workshop and an arts exhibition. The ship may also visit Cork and Northern Ireland, although no dates or venues have yet been set.
Captain Bob Wiltshire, the harbour master, said he was not aware of the arrival of the ship. "She would be treated like any other commercial ship. I don't imagine berthing would be a problem," he said.
MERSEY DOCKS & HARBOUR COMPANY
On Tuesday May 22 prospective buyers gathered at Bidston Dock from all over the world for a one day auction. A ten-acre site at Birkenhead Docks became a giant sales yard for 800 pieces of plant ranging from JCBs and bulldozers to rough terrain fork trucks and excavators.
More than 1,000 bidders from as far a field as Japan, Israel, America and Ghana, were at Bidston Dock for the "bargain of a lifetime" sale, organised by the world’s largest industrial auctioneers, Ritchie Brothers of Vancouver.
Starting at 9am, every piece of plant went under the hammer without a reserve price.
Said Mike Goulbourne, UK Territory Manager for the Canadian auctioneers: "Ritchie Brothers’ unique no-reserve price policy means that someone could pick up a piece of plant worth $50,000 for just £1."
The machines and equipment were paraded on a special ramp inside a marquee, before the rows of potential buyers. "It’s a rapid operation with individual items worth thousands of dollars being sold in 40 or 50 seconds," said Mr. Goulbourne. "A lot of hotels in the area are already fully booked by people looking for a good deal."
The array of equipment from all over Europe and further a field - some pieces of plant have been shipped in from as far away as Japan - represents the first of what Ritchie Brothers expect to be a series of UK auctions.
The firm’s Managing Director Randy Wall, who has flown in from Holland for the event, said: "The response from interested parties has been tremendous. Our expectation is that we will be here in the UK on a sustained basis."
Ritchie Brothers was last in the Port of Liverpool in 1987 when they leased a site from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company for a massive sale of plant shipped back from the Falklands war. And they again looked to the Dock Company to provide a suitable site for next week’s auction.
Said Andrew Martin, Management Surveyor with Mersey Docks Estates Department: " The Bidston Dock site is ideal for such a major logistics operation. It offers easy access to the national motorway network only yards from the dock gate and is alongside deep water if overseas buyers want to ship abroad. We are delighted that we are able to assist Ritchie Brothers once again."
HARLAND & WOLFF
This week the Belfast Telegraph reported hopes that Harland & Wolff would land a £300m contract from a Bahamas-based company have now evaporated.
The Belfast shipyard said it was no longer actively pursuing negotiations over the proposed deal for four ro-ro passenger ferries.
H&W signed a contract with Seamasters International last May, but it was subject to agreement being reached on financing arrangements.
A spokesman for the yard said: "The contract was always based on the ability of Seamasters to come up with owner's equity, and this has not materialised.
"In addition, because of the time lapse, the contract would no longer qualify for nine per cent intervention assistance from the Government.
"I am not aware of any discussions continuing with Seamasters, and we do not expect the contract to come to fruition.
"Although it is a disappointment, we were not in a position in which we were specifically reliant on this order.
"We are actively pursuing a number of potential opportunities for new orders which would extend our current order book."
The Industrial Development Board, which handles intervention aid, said progress on the Seamasters order was a matter between Harland & Wolff and its customer.
But a spokesman confirmed that intervention aid only applied to orders which had been signed before December 31, 2000, and which were due for delivery by December 31, 2003.
This means that the possible grant-aid, which would have amounted to almost £30m, is no longer available.
Questions were raised at the outset about the failure of Seamasters International to make public details of its backers.
The company was reported to have set up a UK subsidiary in March last year, using an accommodation address in Luton.
The contract with H&W was conditional on intervention aid being secured, financing arrangements and guarantees.
At present, the workload at H&W is picking up as steel-cutting progresses on the £80m Ministry of Defence order for two ro-ro ferries.
H&W employs 500 people in its shipbuilding division, but despite the upturn in workload, there are no plans at present to increase the workforce.
The MoD order was signed in December and confirmed in March. The two ferries are due for delivery in October 2002 and January 2003.
-A decision is expected shortly in the long-running financial dispute involving H&W and its American customer Global Marine.
The Court of Appeal in London is set to give a ruling over what H&W claims is an unpaid bill of £23m for the completion of the second of two deep-sea drillships.
The former STENA CHALLENGER now LEIF ERICSON arrived in North Sydney, Nova Scotia on May 25.
STENA LYNX III - Brian Chambers has reported the vessel experiencing engine trouble and running late during the past week.
This week Lloyd's List reported that NEW YORK-based Moody's Investors Service increased difficulties for Stena AB with a ratings downgrade and a negative outlook for the future.
The US financial service relegated Stena AB senior note to a Ba3 status and deemed the ratings outlook for the group as no longer stable. The Moody thumbs-down for the Swedish shipping group follows its 100% takeover in January of the cash-strapped ferry operator Stena Line AB and tight competition across the European ferry sector.
Moody's analysts said the full acquisition of outstanding Stena Line shares had exposed both the business and finances of the Gothenburg-based group to higher risk. In a statement, Moody's said: "The negative outlook for the ratings reflects Moody's concerns that Stena may not be able to substantially improve the performance of its ferry operations near-term."
A Stena spokeswoman said the downgrade was largely a result of the buy-up of the hard-pressed Stena Line. Tax-free and duty-free abolition, declining passenger numbers and increased fuel expenses had also contributed over the last year to large losses for the Stena Line ferry operation.
Moody's noted that Stena would be able to dramatically streamline operations with its complete control of the ferry company and that an increase in ticket prices could also pull up revenue. However, analysts believe a significant turnaround for the ferry business, which accounts for around 60% of the group's consolidated revenues, "may be difficult to achieve even over the medium term". Increased competition with other operators as well as alternative transportation, such as trains, cars and buses over bridges and tunnels, were singled out as the main obstacles in the way of a full recovery.
The statement continued: "The acquisition of Stena Line AB results in a higher financial risk compared to the company's financial profile before the acquisition because of the ongoing consolidation in the ferry segment in which Stena actively participates." Analysts also noted that there was "still a potential for debt-financed acquisitions of smaller ferry operators".
Moody's also confirmed that Stena held an implied Ba2 senior rating and that Stena International BV also had a Ba1 senior secured bank loan rating. Strong performance by Stena's tanker, drilling-rig and ro-ro vessels accounted for 70% of the group's Ebitda and kept the rating from a further fall.
NOTES & NEWS
Welcome to this week's update. The update schedule for July has now been posted.
Please note that next weekend's update will be posted around mid day on Sunday 27 as I will sailing off to Ireland with Norse Merchant Ferries in the evening for a few days.
M&ISS ARCHIVE SITE
Anyone trying to access the M&ISS archive site recently might have noticed that it no longer appears to work. I have contacted Cybase who host this site, two weeks ago, but they have still not got back to me. I will try and resolve matter this week.
As the week has progressed the incidence of viruses being spread around the on-line maritime community appears to have declined. At least as far as I can tell as the number of intercepts Norton has made on my incoming emails has tailed off. However, we must all remain vigilant as it has caused many people much hassle. The attachment facility on the M&ISS affiliated yahoo groups remains switched off until further notice as an added safeguard. All files should be posted to the files areas of these groups and a public announcement made to inform other members of the upload.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ferry Man, David Sallery, Brian Chambers, Tony Brennan, Mike Pryce and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS\Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
SEA CONTAINERS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Sea Containers Ltd. announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001 on May 15.. Net earnings for the period were $0.9 million, $0.05 per common share diluted, on revenue of $291 million. In the prior year first quarter there was a net loss of $7.9 million, a loss of $0.43 per common share diluted, on revenue of $278 million. The first quarter of 2001 benefited from gains on sale of $15 million while similar gains in the first quarter of 2000 were $3.2 million.
The first quarter is the lowest earnings period of the year with passenger transport operations at low ebb, container returns generally in excess of container lease outs and northern hemisphere properties having to rely largely on business travellers rather than tourists.
Operating profits (earnings before finance costs and income taxes) for the period were $32 million compared with $21.6 million in the prior year period.
Passenger Transport Operations. Earnings from the company’s investment in Silja Ltd., the Baltic ferry and cruise ship operator, were $2.25 million worse than in the prior year period. The greater loss arose from one-time items such as start up costs of a new service and loss of interest on a receivable due to bankruptcy of the debtor. Revenue on Silja’s Helsinki to Stockholm service was down Euro 4 million due to the effect of pricing increases which will benefit results in the rest of the year. The forward booking position looks good and an improved result is expected for the year as a whole.
The company’s English Channel operations, excluding one-time items, were $0.3 million ahead of the prior year quarter. Irish Sea operations were $1.6 million ahead and New York operations were $0.2 million ahead.
Rail registered an $0.8 million improvement, ship chartering a $0.7 million improvement and ports were down $0.2 million. Sale of the port of Heysham was completed on May 10, 2001 giving rise to the $15 million gain on sale mentioned in the first paragraph.
Container Leasing and Related Activities had operating profits of $9.3 million compared with $12.7 million in the prior year quarter. Container returns in the period were 45,000 units while container lease outs were 31,000, a deficit of 14,000. The period was weaker than normal, reflecting reduced cargo flows on the Asia to Europe and Asia to North America trade routes. GE SeaCo SRL, the company’s joint venture with General Electric Capital Corporation, purchased and placed on lease $32 million of new containers in the period. Demand has improved in the second quarter but is still less than normal. Earnings from this activity are unlikely to improve until Asian export volumes show a meaningful increase.
Leisure Investments. Operating profits increased 11% to $10.7 million compared to the prior year quarter. Modest declines in two of the six North American properties were more than offset by better performance from other regions and from trains & cruises and management & part ownership interests.
ISLE OF MAN PROMOTION
A major initiative by the company and backed by the Isle of Man's Department of Tourism and the entire island Tourist Industry the word is out that the Isle of Man is very much open for business.
A heavyweight TV, Press and Radio campaign in the UK has already started to attract those old and new visitors to the Island with the slogan We Welcome You With Open Arms .
The campaign will run for 3 weeks.
In a united front the message will be broadcast loud and clear that visitors are welcome to our beautiful Island. Colourful car stickers will be offered to all Island residents travelling from the Island to further the efforts in spreading the message.
The attractive stickers can be collected at Shoprite Stores, Pickwicks, Spar Stores and of course from the Steam Packet Ferry Travel Shop in the Sea Terminal Building.
Additionally 100,000 TT Festival leaflets have been distributed throughout the UK encouraging visitors to come to the Island for the TT Festival and enjoy the many varied events planned.
Dave Morgan, Marketing Manager, Steam Packet Company, said We are entering overdrive in our efforts to extol the virtues of our Island for the TT Festival period and the summer season. We will make the very best of a difficult year and are meeting the challenges head on .
Some staff at Douglas Sea Terminal were noted wearing promotional "T" shirts with the "open arms" slogan on the rear.
A report on Manx Radio earlier this week revealed that carryings to the Isle of Man will be down by over 60% during the TT period following the cancellation of the races. The company will be applying for recompense from the Government's scheme to assist the tourist industry after the decision to cancel this year's
DUBLIN BAY TRAGEDY DISRUPTS SHIPPING
Shipping services into and out of the Dublin Port were badly disrupted on Sunday May 20 following a tragic accident in Dublin Bay early on Sunday morning, May 20.
A correspondent reports that all in bound ferries were held in the bay until the port reopened around 11:30. Irish Ferries ULYSSES daytime return sailing to Holyhead along with JONATHAN SWIFT's return morning sailing..
A 30 foot yacht THE DEBONAIR based at Malahide was in collision with a coaster the BLUEBIRD in bound from the Isle of Wight around 02:50 on Sunday morning around one mile east of Poolbeg Lighthouse.
Rescue services have retrieved bodies of two men, and a woman. One survivor is in hospital at Dún Laoghaire whilst a fifth member of the yacht's crew is still missing.
In an interview on RTÉ's lunchtime news Captain Wiltshire the Dublin Harbour master stated that it had been necessary to close the port as vessel movements would disturb the water around the wreck of the yacht making it difficult for divers to continue their search work.
The yacht had visited Dublin and was reported heading back to Howth where it would await high water before proceeding back to Malahide.
The search was continuing for the fifth body.
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY13 FOREIGN SHIPS UNDER DETENTION IN THE UK DURING APRIL
Thirteen foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during April 2001 after failing port state control safety inspection, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced this week.
Latest monthly figures show that 6 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during April 2001 along with 7 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions is 6.7% compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months. This is an increase of 0.2% from the 12 month rate to March. The ships detained included: -
- A Swedish flagged General Cargo Vessel still under detention at Shoreham. There were no certificates on board the vessel and the servicing of essential life saving equipment had not been carried out. The vessel was wholly ill equipped to proceed on its intended voyage to French Guyana.
- A Maltese flagged bulk carrier which was detained for three days at Belfast. The oily water separator was non-operational and the lifeboat quick release hooks had seized. The breathing apparatus was leaking and not operationally ready.
A list of foreign-flag ships detained following inspections by surveyors from the MCA is published monthly and is also placed on the Internet at www.mcga.gov.uk
The list details the name, flag state, owner or operator and classification society of each detained ship together with the summary of the main grounds for detention.
IRISH NAVAL SERVICE
LE DEIRDRE [P20] is to be sold by public auction on June 14. The vessel is being replaced by the Appledore built LE NIAMH. LE DEIRDRE was the first vessel to be built specifically for the Irish Naval Service in 1972 and was the first vessel of her class which were constructed at the Cork Verolme Yard. It is unusual for a naval vessel to be sold at public auction and it is open to speculation as to what her future may be.
LE ORLA [P41], detained a Spanish fishing vessel off the coast of Kerry on the evening of Monday May 14. The NUEVO SAN JUAN was stopped 60 miles west of Mizen Head at 21:00. The alleged offences are fishing illegally in Irish waters and log book offences. The vessel was handed over to Castletownbere Gardaí on Tuesday morning. This is the fifteenth fishing vessel arrest made by the Irish Naval service this year.
LE AISLING [P23] divers from the vessel have been working on the wreck of the Spanish trawler AROSA off the Galway cost. The AROSA sank in adverse conditions off the Skerd Rocks last October with the loss of twelve of its thirteen crew. Six bodies were recovered after the vessel foundered. The naval divers recovered human remains which were handed over to Gardai at Rossaveal.
ISLE OF INISHMORE arrived in Rosslare Europort to take up the Rosslare - Pembroke service with the 21:30 departure. As the autocarrier AUTOPROGRESS was discharging cars at #1 berth ISLE OF INISHMORE had to remain in the bay. On the departure of AUTOPROGRESS, ISLE OF INISHMORE berthed at the #1 berth bow on where she loaded stores and supplies. Loading of trucks and trailers commenced around 19:30
ISLE OF INNISFREE stood down from the Rosslare - Pembroke route on May 16 and arrived at Dublin Port laying up on the south side of the Liffey.
ULYSSES The Ulysses has won the Lloyd's List Cruise + Ferry 2001 Award in the category of 'Most significant New Build - Ferry'. Award Category - 'Most significant New Build - Ferry'
Awarded to the Owner and Builder of the vessel voted by the panel of Judges to have made the most significant impact on the industry as a whole. This may be due to a combination of factors such as speed, capacity, range, size, design or other factors at the discretion of the Judges.
Included in the nominations for the Award were
· Knossos Palace: Minoan Lines/Fincantieri, Italy
· Ulysses: Irish Ferries/Aker Finnyards
· European Ambassador: P&O Irish Ferries/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan
· Pride of Rotterdam: P&O North Sea Ferries/Fincantieri
· Blue Star 1: Blue Star Ferries/van der Giessen-de Noord, Netherlands
CALSTOCK PASSENGER FERRY
The operators of a passenger ferry in South East Cornwall are resuming part of their service after temporary closure because of foot-and-mouth restrictions. The Tamar Passenger Ferry will start running again between Calstock and Cotehele but is still unable to land at Bere Alston because of continuing restrictions.
WAVERLEY STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
BALMORAL The North Wales sailings on May 17 and 18 were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The BALMORAL resumed her Irish Sea programme on Saturday May 19 with a heavily loaded trip from Whiteheaven to Douglas. On arrival at she operated a Douglas - Chicken Rock - Port St. Mary - Douglas coastal cruise. A voyage report on the afternoon cruise from Douglas will appear in next week's update.
ISLES OF SCILLY STEAMSHIP COMPANY
SCILLONIAN III - Long serving master of the passenger / freight vessel Captain Paul Row retired this week. An onboard ceremony held on board the vessel marked the handing over to new master Captain David Pacoe
PORT OF PENZANCE
OCEAN WARDEN - A converted salvage vessel which has been laid up at Penzance for sometime was badly damaged during a spectacular blaze on Sunday May 13.
The fire brigade were summoned at 23:00 to fight the fire which appeared to be in the accommodation area. However, there was concern over the presence of acetylene cylinders on the weather deck.
It appears as though the Irish Government may benefit more from taxes due from the sale of the troubled vessel than individual members of the crew according to reports on RTÉ. The vessel which as been laid up near the Grand Canal entrance at Dublin Port was sold at auction to pay back wages of its marooned Pakistani crew.
The sale of the vessel on April 19 raised IR£90,000, this along with a forfeit deposit on a previous auction made a total of IR£111.250. The total sum raised being just short of the original wage bill of £116,503. Out of these proceeds must be deducted IR£30,000 costs 10% of that amount being stamp duty which is passed to the Revenue Commissioners. Of the remaining money the ship's master is entitled to around 38% even though he left the ship some months before the sale.
This has led to criticism from Tony Ayton of SIPTU who is the International Transport Workers' Federation representative in Ireland.
Fairplay reported this week that union leaders in France have expressed great concern over the future of the Marseilles operation. Apparently the order book is now empty and only one contract remains. The unions in Marseilles are warning of action to be taken against Costa Crociere vessels which may call at the port during the cruise season
Further redundancies have taken place in the UK as receivers continue to search for a buyer with more redundancies planned for this coming week. Despite earlier optimistic indications no announcements have yet been made that a deal to secure the future of the troubled company has been announced.
A march of employees through Birkenhead is planned for the coming week to highlight the plight of the company.
NOTES & NEWS
M&ISS MARITIME GROUPS
As a precaution against the spread of any computer virus the facility to attach files to messages in the Irish Sea Ships and Maritime Questions Yahoo Groups has been suspended until further notice.
Graphics and Text files should be uploaded to the files area and an announcement made to the members of the group.
Apologies for the inconvenience but due to the circulation of a computer virus around a number of maritime groups I have considered it a wise safeguard.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Mike Pryce, Jenny Williamson, Mike Edmondson, Tom Glassey, Incat and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS / Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
RAPIDE - on the evening of Sunday May 6 following the sighting of a flare 25 miles south-east of Douglas IoM on her 18:15 sailing ex Liverpool, the RAPIDE diverted to assist a motor yacht which was suffering engine trouble. One crew member from the yacht was taken on board RAPIDE to proceed to Douglas, while the remaining six remained on board to be towed into Douglas by Douglas lifeboat in the early hours of May 7.
On May 9 a fuel line broke whilst the vessel was enroute to Dublin which resulted in the vessel running on three engines. Following repairs undertaken in Dublin she arrived back in Liverpool behind schedule at 18:10.
Her sailing for Douglas was delayed by almost an hour. Following a good run to Douglas where she arrived around 21:10 she secured preference into Douglas over SEACAT ISLE OF MAN which was returning from Belfast. SCIOM proceeding to Victoria Pier #4 berth to discharge passengers, before moving to #1 berth to discharge vehicles.
The Isle of Man Government has agreed to pay the 10% administration fee being charged by Sea Containers for TT reservation cancellations.
LADY OF MANN - The Lady of Mann's TT schedule and special excursions programme have been cancelled. There had been some speculation in local maritime circles that perhaps the ship would not have completed its extensive refit at the troubled Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead in time for the programme of special sailings. Perhaps this could have been partly behind the decision to abandon the specials as well as the TT sailings.
On Saturday May 12 an observer reported that though her fast response boat was in place her MES system still remained to be fitted.
Given that the LADY had been due to leave Cammell Laird at the end of this coming week for trails prior to her first "special" next weekend it could be that the TT cancellation made for a simpler excuse as the press release on May 11 revealed: This stated the that decision to cancel the 2001 TT Races due to the foot and mouth epidemic in the UK has led to the withdrawal of its passenger and car ferry Lady of Mann from its scheduled early season Irish Sea services.
The company would normally expect to carry in the region of 35,000 passengers, 15,000 motorcycles and 3,500 vehicles for the event. With many TT visitors cancelling their reservations the company can accommodate the remaining passengers on BEN-MY-CHREE, RAPIDE and SEACAT ISLE OF MAN sailings.
Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said: "It has been a difficult decision to withdraw Lady of Mann from its scheduled services for the TT period. The shortfall in the normally exceptional traffic generated by the TT Races has driven us to make the only decision available to us. We will still schedule in excess of 200 sailings by our other vessels. This will provide spare capacity for the many travellers who will visit the Island for an exciting TT Festival planned by the Islands Tourist Industry in place of the cancelled Races. The Island remains open for business. We remain upbeat for our season and committed to serving the Island and its needs".
Unfortunately the decision has disappointed many passengers, in particularly those who may have booked hotel accommodation, particularly on the Troon excursion, and who now face loosing deposits.
Unless anyone is planning a trip to the Azores for their summer holidays [http://www.acorline.pt/] it looks as though the Lady's many followers will have to wait until early November before sampling the delights of the refitted Lady. However, this year's late autumn/winter sailing schedule certainly appears more imaginative than that offered for the late autumn/ early winter schedule in 2000. On Fridays day trips to Douglas FROM Liverpool will be possible as will a Douglas - Dublin - Douglas trip - though the latter will take place in complete darkness!
SEA CONTAINERS SPONSOR JETSKI CHALLENGE
At 08:00 on Friday May 11, 2001 daredevil jet skier, John Power began a week long jet ski challenge in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Supported by Irish Sea leading fast ferry company SeaCat, John will attempt to become the first person to jet ski between the British Isles' two most distant points, Lands Ends and John O'Groats.
John, who lives on the Wirral and works as a traffic warden for Merseyside Police, will travel from Lands End directly to Anglesey, North Wales arriving at 4pm on Friday May 11th.
On Saturday he will cross the Menial Straits before travelling to Douglas, Isle of Man on Sunday 13th. On Monday 14th, John will cross the Irish Sea from Douglas to Troon before travelling north along the Scottish coastline to John O'Groats. John is expected to arrive at John O'Groats on Thursday (17th) evening and will be met by a welcoming party.
Diane Poole, SeaCat's General Manager of Sales and Marketing said: "We are thrilled to be able to support this record breaking challenge in aid of the British Heart Foundation. We wish John the very best of luck in his attempt."
John added: "I am extremely grateful to SeaCat for its marvellous support". Last year he was the first jet skier to successfully cross between Dublin and Liverpool following a Holyhead to Dublin crossing in 1999.
Any member of the public wishing to support John's attempt or make a donation to the British Heart Foundation should contact Ken Fretwell on 0151 678 2646.
On May 12 The Times confirmed the sale of Heysham Port to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company for £25m. This now leaves Folkestone has the sole Sea Container Port in the UK which is on the market for £6m. Newhaven having already been sold to French interests for £15m.
PORTREE II - the Cornish company, operators of the former Cal-Mac ferry PORTREE II made history last week when on Tuesday the vessel landed the first ever double decker bus to set a tyre on the Islands. The bus is a on open top vehicle reportedly dates from the late 1930 and will be used by a local taxi and bus proprietor to boost capacity on island sightseeing tours.
WAVERLEY STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
WAVERLEY - has spend the present weekend operating cruises out of Dublin. This is the first time that WAVERLEY has visited the Irish capital for a number of years.
The sailing on June 19 from Liverpool to Llandudno and Holyhead is reported to be fully booked, with a standby list in operation. Space remains available on the Lancashire coast and Mersey Showboat cruises scheduled for June 20.
BALMORAL - Last weekend BALMORAL had to put into Avonmouth with engine trouble. Unfortunately the coastal cruise from Barrow on Friday May 11 and the excursion from Barrow to Douglas on Saturday May 12 have had to be cancelled. Normal timetabled services were now due to commence on Sunday May 13.
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
LIVERPOOL COASTGUARD ALERTED TO DITCHED LIGHT AIRCRAFT
A call at 10:54 on May 11 from Blackpool Air Traffic Control alerted Liverpool Coastguard to the plight of a single pilot of a twin engine light aircraft which was developing engine problems twelve miles off the coast of Blackpool. The aircraft had been on a flight from Ronaldsway airport in the Isle of Man to Blackpool.
As the Coastguard was being informed the pilot reported that he was ditching and the Coastguard immediately scrambled a rescue helicopter – R 122 - from RAF Valley to the scene.
Lifeboats from Lytham St Anne’s and Fleetwood were also requested to launch and a fast rescue craft was launched from the stand-by vessel `Highland Sprite’. One man was recovered safe and well from the water by the fast rescue craft and he was airlifted to the helicopter before being flown to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Blackpool. The weather on scene today is fine and sunny with light winds, a slight sea and good visibility.
Don McDonald, District Controller at Liverpool Coastguard said:
" This incident highlights the importance of close liaison with all the maritime industries which today has proved its worth with the successful outcome of this incident."
HMAS JERVIS BAY STANDS DOWN AFTER A DISTINGUISHED NAVAL CAREER
At a ceremony in Hobart on May 11 HMAS Jervis Bay (045), the Incat 86m wavepiercing catamaran built for commercial service, completed her distinguished mission with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) following a two-year charter. She was commissioned for logistics operations between Australia and East Timor in May 1999.
Since her debut with the navy HMAS Jervis Bay, Incat hull number 045, has completed 107 trips between Darwin and Dili, transporting personnel and equipment as part of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
The Maritime Commander, Rear Admiral Geoff Smith AM RAN, paid tribute to HMAS Jervis Bay saying that "she was precisely the vessel we wanted in the East Timor crisis, we needed to transport personnel quickly, reliably and in large numbers".
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral David Shackleton also paid tribute stating "HMAS Jervis Bay, affectionately referred to as the 'Dili Express', served Australia well and successfully filled a shortfall in the Navy's operational capability". He went on to say that "she has been extensively trialed and assessed during her service and the RAN has obtained much valuable data for use in the future."
The advent of the Timor crisis gave rise to an immediate need to transport large numbers of troops and equipment quickly. Travelling at 43 knots fully loaded and 48 knots lightship, HMAS Jervis Bay usually crossed between Darwin and Dilli in approximately 11 hours.
Just as Incat identified the fast ferry niche over a decade ago another area of the marine world in need of radical development has been identified. The US military is particularly impressed with the high-speed platform, to the extent that HMAS Jervis Bay is said to have "stunned" US 7th Fleet personnel during East Timor peacekeeping operations.
With its sights set on the military Incat is committed to revolutionise the way world navies think about, and use, innovative fast craft technology.
HMAS Jervis Bay Facts & Figures
During her two year charter to the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Jervis Bay completed 107 trips covering some 100,000 nautical miles, carried 20,000 passengers and 430 military vehicles. In addition, an impressive 5,600 tonnes of stores were shipped.
On May 12 Fairplay revealed that Incat will be moving to a four-day production week as soon as possible in a bid to address serious cash flow problems. A majority of the company*s 900-strong workforce voted to support the proposal.
All staff, including senior management, will take a 20 per cent cut in salary. The Hobart-based company has been severely affected by the international downturn in orders for new vessels. The company also has three second-hand wavepiercers and a K50 vessel on its books, which it is
urgently trying to sell.
Work will continue, albeit more slowly than normal, on the 98-m Hulls 058 and 059, which are well advanced in production, and on the similar sized 060 but it appears at this stage that work on 061 will not be started.
NOTES & NEWS
MARITIME CONTACTS YAHOO GROUP
The Maritime Contacts Yahoo Group operational within the next week or so. Sorry about the delay.
SHIPS ON FILM
This week new additions have been made to the "Ships on Film" directory following a submission from a visitor to the site. It is sometime since any new entries have been made, however, there must be many more ships worth recording which have appeared in Movies and TV series. Only last week I was flicking through the channels and came across the last few minutes of a somewhat crazy movie that appeared to have been filmed around Pigeon House Harbour and on Dún Laoghaire West Pier. In the background to the Pigeon House Harbour should could be seen the former Dublin Corporation "Bovril" boat SIR JOSEPH BAZELGETTE. Anyone know the name of the film?
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Justin Merrigan - Incat, Stan Basnett, Brian Chambers, Jenny Williamson, M. Miles, Patrick C. Taylor, Mike Pryce, Matt Cross and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS / Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
SEACAT ISLE OF MAN - On Tuesday to Thursday May 1 to 3 the 07:00 departure from Douglas to Liverpool was retimed to 06:15. This was to permit maintenance work to be undertaken on the Edward Pier Department of Transport's linkspan berth. The Victoria Pier berth being required by the incoming BEN-MY-CHREE. This has resulted in the Ben's late arrival from Heysham as she has to wait until SCIOM has cleared. Consequently the daily newspapers have been delayed!
ISLE OF MAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for March 2001 at 26,120 show a 4.2% increase on the figure for the same period in 2000 which was 25,068.
The year to date figure at 62,111 passengers shows a 7% increase over the same period in 2000 which was 58,031.
During March car and motorcycle traffic through Douglas Harbour increased by 4.6% from 7,456 vehicles to 7,796 vehicles.
The year to date figure at 19,455 vehicles shows a 10.9% increase over the same period in 2000 which was 17,548.
Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for March:-
Heysham plus 0.5% from 14,796 to 14,864
Liverpool plus 6% from 8,993 to 9,562
Dublin minus from 163 to nil [no sailings to/from Dublin in March 2001]
Freight Traffic March commercial vehicle metreage increased by 10.4% from 34,503 metres to 38,097 metres.
Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew commented: "The fall in passenger traffic shows a fall from the rate of around 9% seen in January and February to only 4.2%. March passenger figures are still the best since 1989. Freight traffic figures have set another all time record at 38,097 metres. The total increase in freight traffic since 1998 and the introduction of the Ben-My-Chree is running at around 40%."
STENA LYNX III is being offered for sale by her owners when her current charter to Stena Line ends this autumn. On May 5 she was reported running late due to engine trouble.
With STENA recently reported to be considering the KONINGIN BEATRIX unsuitable for the Fishguard to Rosslare route and facing competition from the increased capacity offered by Irish Ferries deployment of the ISLE OF INISHMORE on the Rosslare to Pembroke route perhaps some interesting changes might be seen in the next year or so.
ISLE OF INNISFREE - It is understood that delegates from Stena Line, Sweden visited the ship this week with a view to chartering her for operation between Germany and Sweden. No deal is reported to have been signed as yet with Italian interests despite the fact that the Italians have issued press releases concerning their charter of the vessel and showing her on a web site.
Some notes received from Stan Basnett concerning the tragic scallop dredger which remains in Douglas Harbour: Stan writes:
"You may like an update on SOLWAY HARVESTER which remains something of an eyesore and maybe even an embarrassment where it is berthed. About a month ago a lot of 'suits' arrived with cameras and clipboards and swarmed all over the vessel which until then was taped off with police SOCU tape. Then nothing happend until it was moved last week to the breakwater I thought it was on its way, but no. Officials from MAIB carried out 2 days of testing on the on board pumps I believe. it has since been returned to the Fort William berth and it is likely to remain there for anything up to 4 years! Length of time depends on whether or not there are ensuing Court cases."
MERSEY RIVER FESTIVAL 2001
The provisional programme of events for this year's festival:
Friday June 8
Saturday June 9
International Mersey Shanty Festival at venues on both sides of the river
Royal Marines Chef Branch Display Team (Pier Head)
Royal Marines Climbing Wall (Pier Head)
Royal Marines Marching Band
Royal Mersey Yacht Club Regatta
Performances from Africa Oye
Colourscape Festival (walk-through sculpture)
Free Walks and Talks
Royal Liver Building Tours
10th Merseyside Canoe Polo International (Duke's Dock)
Slavery Trail Tours
Model-Boat Show (Merseyside Maritime Museum Long Room)
Have-A-Go Day (free lessons in watersports)
NMGM Programme of Events
Mersey River Festival Photographic Prize Presentations
Street Theatre Programme
8 hour Dinghy Race (New Brighton Marine Lake)
North West Infantry (TA) King's regiment Band
Royal Marines Helicopter Rescue Display
HMS Ramsey open to Public
Royal Marines Unarmed Combat Display (Pier Head)
Tall ships The Pheonix and the Earl of Pembroke open to the public. Other tall ships to view : Greater Manchester Challenge, Spirit of Scotland, Zebu
International Mersey Shanty Festival at venues on both sides of the river
Sunday June 10
Repeat of most of Saturday's programme plus :-
Liverpool Yacht Club Regatta
Merseyside Police Charity Raft Race
Parade of Sail
21st Annual Nobby Race
Royal Marines Helicopter Rescue Display
River Festival Marriage Ceremony
Royal Marines Band in Concert in aid of the King George Fund for Sailors (St. George's Hall)
Monday June 11
Tall ships Pheonix and Earl of Pembroke open to the public
Narrow boats depart Canning Half Tide Dock
Canadian Canoe Race Night
KATHLEEN & MAY
The historic schooner KATHLEEN & MAY whose launch in March was delayed due to the failure of a giant crane in March finally took place on Saturday May 5 at Bideford. The vessel which is regarded as one of the fifty most significant historic ships once operated services between Bideford, north Devon and Youghal in County Cork. Visit the BBC North Devon web site for photos and more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/news/052001/06/schooner.shtml
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
MCA AND RNLI JOIN FORCES FOR TV FILM
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the RNLI have produced a TV Public Information Broadcast in a bid to reduce the many preventable accidents and deaths that occur on our coastline every year, focusing on promoting ‘Sea Smart’ beach safety messages to parents of young children across the UK.
The film will be launched on bank holiday Monday May 7 and promoted across national television, all subscription channels and for viewing at football stadiums, shopping centres, ferry terminals and airports across the UK.
This TV film ‘Beside the Seaside’, produced on location at Weymouth in March 2001, will alert parents and youngsters to the potential dangers when holidaying at the coast.
During last year’s summer holiday season HM Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of over 200 children on inflatable toys swept out to sea purely because these inflatables had not been tethered on the beach. Last year statistics show that the Coastguard was alerted to 1572 yachts and dinghies in need of assistance where, for instance, sailors had not taken account of the weather forecast or checked the amount of fuel on board.
MCA’s Chief Coastguard, John Astbury said:
"People want to relax when on holiday with their family, however we urge parents to make themselves aware of dangers at coast and we hope that this film will make all the family aware of our coastal safety messages and in doing so will ensure they enjoy every minute of their holiday safely.
"A lot of effort went into making this film not least from the volunteer teams of the RNLI lifeboats at Weymouth and the Coastguard teams from the Portland area. Weymouth & Portland Borough Council also gave great support and, amongst other things, helped organise a group of school children to take part in the film. The MCA and the RNLI would like to thank everyone involved, it was a great team effort."
Peter Bradley, National Sea Safety Manager at the RNLI said:
"This is an excellent opportunity for our two organisations to work together to promote sea safety and to highlight some of the dangers we both have to deal with, sadly all too regularly.
"We hope that between us and through this film we can really make a difference."
MAIB PUBLISHES REPORT INTO ST HELENA
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) today published the report of its investigation into an engine room fire on RMS St Helena on 25 August 2000.
At 01:08 on 25 August 2000 the UK-registered Class I passenger ship, RMS St Helena, left Cardiff for Tenerife on the first leg of a voyage to the South Atlantic.
At about 13:25 that afternoon, in an effort to locate a coolant leak, the watchkeeping engineer lifted a rocker box cover on the starboard main engine. This is common practice on the vessel. As he did so, oil sprayed from beneath the cover and impinged on the cladding of the engine's exhaust, where it ignited.
The engineer immediately closed the cover, raised the alarm and hurried to the machinery control room (MCR) from where he stopped the engine. Meanwhile daywork engine room ratings extinguished the fire using a portable extinguisher. There was no significant damage and no one was injured.
Later inspection revealed that a flexible oil pipe inside the rocker box had failed. When the rocker box cover was lifted, oil from the faulty pipe sprayed on to the exhaust.
The vessel's three watchkeeping engineer officers maintain single-handed watches; no ratings are part of the watch. The owners have written permission from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to operate in this fashion. Nonetheless, this does contravene the vessel's Safe Manning Certificate, issued by the MCA, which specifies three assistant watchkeepers in addition to the watchkeeping engineer officers.
Therefore, on 24 November 2000, the MAIB issued the MCA with an interim recommendation to address this inconsistency. It was recommended that the MCA reviews its acceptance of the single-man engineering watch system presently being operated on RMS St Helena.
RMS St Helena's owners are recommended to consider making it a requirement that when the vessel is at sea, at least a second person is present in the engine room when any enclosure from which flammable gas, vapour or liquid can escape is opened.
An interim recommendation was made to the MCA on 24 November 2000. This was:
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is recommended to:
1. Review its acceptance of the single-man engineering watch system presently being operated on RMS St Helena, a Class I passenger vessel.
The owners of RMS St Helena are recommended to:
2. Consider making it a requirement that, when the vessel is at sea, there is at least a second person present in the engine room during the opening of any enclosure from which flammable gas, vapour or liquid can escape.
Note: The MAIB was informed on 2 April 2001 that the owners of RMS St Helena have voluntarily returned to a two-person engine room watchkeeping system.
This week Fairplay reported that the offices of Curnow Shipping in Falmouth have been raided by police as part of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. The raid was described as an evidential search operation by David Jones of the SFO and no arrests were made. Curnow Shipping provides operates the shipping service between the UK, St.Helena, The Ascension Islands and South Africa using the RMV ST HELENA. The company also operates a vessel management and chartering business. The company is seeking to renew its UK government contract from August 2001.
Kroese to bid for all Cammell Laird yards
Swan Hunter owner is meeting receivers to discuss ambitious plans for UK
shipbuilder by Nigel Green and Jerry Frank-Wednesday May 02 2001
It appears that the Jaap Kroese will be making a bid to buy Cammell Laird group from the receivers. Mr Kroese, from the Netherlands was successful in taking over the troubled Swan Hunter shipyard at Wallsend on Tyneside seven years ago.
Last year, Mr Kroese expressed interest in reopening the old Tyneside Neptune naval yard, just one mile upriver at Walker. But the yard, which had been closed for 20 years, was derelict and too costly to develop.
Mr Kroese believes, however, the Cammell Laird's Hebburn yard would be an ideal site to expand his company's offshore operation. He said: "We would like to take over the Hebburn yard. It is just across the river from Wallsend, it has a dry dock and would be ideal for offshore work and floating oil production vessels. "We have had talks with the receivers about the possibility of taking over
all three Cammell Laird yards as a going concern. "We are not interested in going into ship repair - we are looking for someone else to take that side over - but this could be the best way for us
to secure the Tyneside yard."
It appears that the Birkenhead and Teeside yards could be passed on to a third party who specialises in ship repair. However, this favouring of the east coast yards by Mr. Kroese may very well offend those on Merseyside who may still be unable to see though the clouds of uncertainty hovering over Birkenhead.
NEWS FROM INCAT
BEST SHIPS – BEST MAGAZINE!
The world’s leading builder of high-speed ships, and three-times winner of the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a commercial vessel, has added another accolade to its list of achievements by winning the Australian Industry Award for "Australian Manufacturing Trade Magazine of the Year" with Incat – The Magazine!
As an industry subscription publication, Incat – The Magazine (ITM) actively promotes Tasmania’s unique role on the global high-speed ship scene through first-class journalism, expert commentary and customer participation.
Published six times a year the 36 page full colour magazine not only focuses on Incat’s product range but also the vital role of an abundance of Australian suppliers involved in the completion of the world’s best ships. Of particular interest to middle and senior management of some of the world’s largest shipping companies are the contributions to the magazine by Incat’s suppliers, detailing their own specific areas of business through editorial and advertising.
The first issue of ITM was published as recently as 1999, with the eleventh edition distributed this week. For such a young magazine to take this award is testimony to the Incat team constantly on the move around the world, who ensure ITM is kept fully up to date with all issues affecting the industry.
Each member of the Incat workforce receives a copy of ITM to keep them up to date with the company’s activities worldwide, but over 90% of the magazine’s remaining distribution is international.
Tasmania’s Premier, Mr. Jim Bacon, congratulated Incat on receiving the award. "It is pleasing to acknowledge that the entire graphics, design and artwork process of Incat –The Magazine is handled "in-house" at the Hobart head office", he said.
Who better to produce a dedicated publication with the aim of informing crews, terminal staff, agents, management, the military and indeed all interested in fast ships, of industry news than Incat - the world’s leading high-speed ship builder.
ITM significantly enhances the employment prospects of Australian shipbuilders, by its ability to reach the world’s fast ferry operators and by informing those within the industry of the rapid product developments taking place. We believe ITM carries out a very important task. That task to promote Australian industry.