|NOTES & NEWS |
An extra news bulletin to catch up with various happenings. The next posting will be on Saturday February 2.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Dave Crolley, Chris Jones, Chris Brindle, Brain Chambers and "others".
Adverse weather conditions on Monday affected sailings to and from Douglas. The chartered EUROPEAN MARINER operated the overnight Douglas to Heysham sailing on January 28/29, however, her return to Douglas was delayed until around 08:00.
The LADY OF MANN passenger sailing to Heysham was also delayed on January 28. The 09:00 Douglas to Heysham was put back to 18:00MANXMAN
Chris Brindle writes that the new website designed to promote and save the s.s.MANXMAN had received 360 hits in its first six days of operation, an incredible number for a new site. A large number of new photographs showing internal and external views are now on display. www.manxman-som.fsnet.co.uk
BALLYCASTLE - CAMPBELTOWN FERRY
It was announced on January 30 that the Ballycastle to Campbeltown ferry service will be re-established by March 2003
Transport Minister Wendy Alexander made the announcement on Wednesday 30 January 30 that the Scottish Executive is to put the route out to tender. The Argyll and Bute Council's Transportation spokesperson Councillor Duncan MacIntyre said, "This is great news for Kintyre and the rest of Argyll and Bute.
The Council with our partners in the Kintyre Ferry Action Group have fought long and hard for this very good result. It has huge implications for the Kintyre economy and for our friends in Moyle. "This is a very welcome commitment by the Scottish Executive showing a clear recognition of the needs of our fragile remote communities. We are delighted to note that the service will run for at least eleven months of the year and that the initial contract term will be for five years.
"Unfortunately, for various reasons, it is impossible to have the service up and running this year and that is a disappointment. However, in the long term this is a very definite commitment with subsidy being made available to the level of £1 million per year, and is very welcome indeed." Transport Minister Wendy Alexander made the announcement today saying the invitation to tender for the ferry route is a joint development project undertaken by the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Executive. It is expected tenders will be issued this spring.
HARLAND AND WOLFF
Figures published on January 31 show that the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast made losses last year of nearly £6m sterling. Although the losses were considerably down on the previous year, the yard's Norwegian owner, Olsen Energy, warned that there would be more job losses by early summer unless fresh orders were won.
MERSEY DOCKS INCIDENT
The bulk carrier GORTIS involved in last Saturday's accident at Seaforth Dock was in the process of being switched from the Greek to Bahamas flag and being renamed GALATEIA. The lifeboat drill would probably have been to satisfy the Bahamian authorities.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
The EUROPEAN MARINER, EUROPEAN PATHFINDER and EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR are all being offered for sale - 2 of the 3 will be sold. EUROPEAN MARINER may have a North Sea charter after the Sea Containers IOM charter.
Irish Ferries have announced details of a super early booking offer for anyone thinking of taking their car to Ireland this summer. Book and pay by 28 March for savings of up to 30% on current fares.
* Pembroke - Rosslare - Cruise Ferry - £89
* Holyhead - Dublin - Cruise Ferry - £109
* Holyhead - Dublin - Dublin Swift - £119
Fares are each way and cover car plus driver for Monday to Thursday travel between 1 June - 11 July and 2 Sept - 30 Sep. £20 supplement each way Friday to Sunday. Additional adults £10 each way and children £5 each way.
NORMANDY was reported storm bound at Rosslare on January 31. The vessel also missed sailings on Monday and over the weekend.
It was reported this week that Cenargo has ended its third party ship management contract with V Ships. From the end of this month, management functions will switch to Kent-based Bluewater Marine Management.
The crewing contract will be subcontracted to Cyprus-based Dobson Fleet Management.
Cenargo, led by Michael Hendry, is best known for its NorseMerchant Ferries operation on the Irish Sea, which is now second only to market leader P&O.
The move was yesterday confirmed by V.Ships, which said that Cenargo had been a valued client since 1989.
Peter Cooney, managing director of V.Ships' ship management division, said that Cenargo was a specialist operator of ro-pax vessels and had decided to go to a manager specialising in ro-pax ships.
"There's a certain logic in it for Cenargo. They are looking for a specialist solution, that is why they have gone there," he commented.
Mr Hendry's longstanding personal friendship with Bluewater managing director Ian Buchanan may also have been a factor, he added.
The loss of 13 ships would be a body blow for most managers. But V.Ships has more than 600 vessels on its books, and Cenargo&'s decision will probably have little operational impact.
However, the move represents a considerable boost for Bluewater, a management buy-out of the old Crescent Ship management third party management operation.
At a stroke, the number of ships it handles will more than double, from the current 12 to 25.
ISLES OF SCILLY STEAMSHIP COMPANY
SCILLONIAN III departed from Semple Cochrane's Penzance Dry Dock this week and is now in the wet dock. She resumes on the Penzance to St.Mary's service in March.
It is reported that to date there have been 2 parties seriously interested in buying the STENA GALLOWAY which is due to finish operating on Stena Line's Belfast - Stranraer route in a month's time.
Limadet (owners of the IBN BATOUTA (ex STENA ANTRIM)) are interested in the vessel but believed to be hoping to get Stena to lower the price.
Transmanche Ferries also seriously considered the vessel for Newhaven - Dieppe but had a number of concerns which made them look elsewhere and buy the SAGA STAR.
A&P Falmouth has recently completed repairs onboard the P&O Stena Line passenger/car ferry vessel, POSL KENT. The vessel arrived on the evening of the December 23, 2001 and dry docked on arrival into No. 2 dock, work started on the December 24 and was carried out during the holiday period with only a short break for Christmas and New Years Day.
During the docking period, work was carried out on both the starboard and port stabilisers. Other dry-dock work included underwater preparation and painting, the renewing of propeller blades and steel renewal work on the stern spade and areas of belting. The vessel undocked on the January 7, 2002 and was berthed alongside the Duchy Wharf for completion of repairs, which included the survey of the port main engine, shell water tight openings, surveys of pumps, windlasses and sea valves and internal steel work in the sponson tanks. Painting was carried out on top sides and accommodation block, and the lower car deck was blasted using Ultra High Pressure (UHP) which minimises the interference with other work being carried out in the area. The vessel sailed from Falmouth on January 12 and resumed service on the Dover to Calais route.
NORTH WESTERN SHIP REPAIRERS & SHIP BUILDERS
The Mersey Docks & Harbour Company have announced that said it is to take a 50% stake
in Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd (NSL) a joint venture company established by former directors of Cammell Laird Holdings PLC.
The price for the stake, based on the net asset value of NSL at completion, is expected to be approximately £500,000.
Mersey Docks director Frank Taylor will become chairman of NSL with immediate effect.
NSL currently operates from six dry docks on both banks of the Mersey, undertaking repair and small refit contracts for commercial ship-owners, including a string of Irish Sea ferry operators, Mersey Docks said.
NSL recently received Ministry of Defence approval and is a contender for military conversion and refit contracts.
Mersey Docks will upgrade and lease dry docks to the joint venture, providing committed capacity capable of fulfilling similar volumes of ship repair and conversion work as previously undertaken on the former Cammell Laird site, the company added.
From Hansard Northern Ireland Assembly 28 January 2001 - a question was asked by David Hilditch MLA for East Antrim concerning the failure of the proposed Loughlink ferry service to launch.
Loughlink Ferry Service
Mr Hilditch asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment what assessment he has made in relation to the failure to introduce the proposed Loughlink ferry service for Belfast Lough.
Sir Reg Empey replied that a number of factors contributed to the failure of this project, ranging from a delay in the delivery of the vessels to the failure to secure an operating licence. Despite investigation by my Department, it is regrettable that the project was unable to secure the additional funding required to take the project forward. It is also regrettable that what would have been a new business proposal for Northern Ireland will not proceed owing to the commercial difficulties experienced by the promoters of the project.
Mr Hilditch: Will the Minister indicate the cost to the taxpayer of grant payments or resources made available to the Loughlink Ferry Service, during what was supposed to be the start-up period?
Sir Reg Empey: Resources were offered to the company to assist in obtaining consultancy services. The company was offered the maximum amount available under the home start programme - because that was deemed to be a local service - but did not claim any grant money.
|NOTES & NEWS |
NEW URL FOR AN OLD FAVOURITE
Irish Sea Shipping - The Online Shipping Magazine is please to announce that with immediate effect a new easily remembered URL www.irishseashipping.com will provide access to the site.
It had become apparent that the original URL that dated back to the early days of the web site, did not truly reflect the scope of the web site.
Users are requested to update their favourites file to reflect the new URL.
The original URL www.merseyshipping.co.uk will remain available for use for the foreseeable future.
2001 MATERIAL ARCHIVED
The News Bulletins and Voyage reports for 2001 have been transferred to the Irish Sea Shipping Archives Site. Access is via the main page top menus or from the Voyage Report or News Bulletin Menus.
The next scheduled update is on Saturday February 2, however, some maintenance work is currently in progress on the web site and it its possible that there may be a number of service updates during the coming days. Should this take place additional material may be posted. Visitors are reminded to check the "What's New" page for details of today's update and the update posted on Wednesday January 23.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Philip Parker, Rob de Visser and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
LADY OF MANN - the evening return sailing from Liverpool to Douglas on Saturday January 26, was delayed due to adverse weather conditions. Departure from Liverpool was expected to be around 22:00.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT - Due to severe weather conditions the Rosslare to Cherbourg sailing scheduled 20:00 departure on Thursday January 24 and the 19:15 Cherbourg to Rosslare departure on Friday January 25 were cancelled. The new accommodation fitted aft of the vessel's funnel by NorthWestern Shiprepairers is known as the "Sky Lounge".
From 1 March, the Larne - Troon service of the EUROPEAN NAVIGATOR will be available to tourist traffic (cars and passengers). Sailing Times: Sunday - Friday 19.00 ex Larne, Monday - Saturday 02.30 ex Troon. 4 hour sailing time.
The NORBAY would appear to be putting in an appearance on Dublin - Mostyn on Sundays whilst the EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR is operating her new Dublin - Cherbourg service.
Local councillors are to examine transport links in north Wales after an increase in traffic because of the recent redevelopment of Mostyn docks in Flintshire. The £17m overhaul of the port and the introduction of a ferry service to Dublin has led to a rise in the number of vehicles using the A548 coast road.
Funding for the study was approved by Welsh Assembly Environment Minister Sue Essex on Tuesday.
Around £175,000 will now be spent on looking at a north east Wales rail freight strategy.
Flintshire County Councillor Meirion Matthews says they are already in talks with rail companies about having a rail terminal for freight at Mostyn.
However the study is also expected to reignite the debate over plans for a new bypass for Flint, which had been rejected because of the effect on the Dee Estuary - a site of scientific interest.
The volume of traffic on the road network has been highlighted as a potential problem by local people and businesses in Flintshire.
Terence Morgan, is the Managing Director of Morgan Freight in Mostyn, he used Holyhead docks until Mostyn was established.
If people can't get to the port in a free and easy way, they won't use it. He said: "This is a very major development for the area, many millions and millions of pounds have been spent at Mostyn.
"Whilst this is just the start of it, we can already see the problems of traffic - with hold ups and that sort of thing we seriously need to be looking at the roads now."
Mr. Morgan believes the dock could fail to reach its full potential if the system is not improved.
"If people can't get to the port in a free and easy way, they won't use it," he said.
The new service will carry up to 1,000 people a day to Dublin and P&0 has transferred half of its Liverpool service to Mostyn.
The docks will also handle significant freight contracts, which could include aircraft wings built at the Airbus plant at Broughton.
Jim O'Toole, Managing Director at the Port of Mostyn admitted the situation is not great: "You have to have the infrastructure in order to attract the right customers.
"We have managed to overcome a bad road system - but growth will take place, and that infrastructure must be there if we're going to attract industry in the future.
"It is pretty important that this is sorted out as soon as possible," he added.
The docks transformation from a small-time player was made possible with a multimillion pound investment under the Welsh Assembly and industry chiefs believe the redevelopment will give the region a huge boost.
HMS BROCKLESBY M33 the Hunt Class, Mine Countermeasures Ship due to visit Liverpool next weekend arriving on February 2. The vessel will be berthed at Canning Half Tide dock, adjacent to the Albert Dock Complex.
MERSEY DOCKS LIFEBOAT ACCIDENT
New crew members who were undertaking a lifeboat drill aboard the bulk carrier GORTIS were involved in an accident on Saturday, January 26.
The crew climbed inside the lifeboat whilst it was in the moored position, what happened next is very unclear, but the lifeboat became detached and fell towards the dock below, damage to the ships rail was visible presuming contact with the passing boat, this is probably how the lifeboat became holed.
The ATLANTIC COMPANION sounded its alarm at 11:00 by which time the lifeboat was semi submerged and upside down. The lifeboat from the ATLANTIC COMPANION attended the casualty in addition to the two Adsteam tugs GLADSTONE and COLLINGWOOD.
Weather conditions at the time of the incident were described as appalling.
DUBLIN COLLISION INQUEST
The inquest into the loss of the crew of the yacht DEBONAIR was opened and adjourned by the Dublin City Coroner Dr. Brain Farrell this week.
The DEBONAIR was seen wandering in and out of a restricted shipping lane, contrary to maritime rules, shortly before a fatal accident in Dublin Bay last year, an inquest heard yesterday.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the case of the yacht, Debonair, in which four of its five crew were killed after it collided with a cargo vessel, M V BLUEBIRD, about one mile east of Poolbeg Lighthouse on May 20 last.
The victims were the Debonair’s owner, Mark Styles, 39, Knocklyon Close, Knocklyon; his brother, Glen Styles, 42, Churchview Rd, Killiney; Eleanor Cullen, 43, Kerrywood Rise, Foxrock and Rowan Smith, 47, Hazelbrook Rd, Terenure.
All four victims were married with two children. The lone survivor was Philip Daly, 44, from Ballyboden who was pulled out of the water wearing an uninflated lifejacket.
Dublin Port employees aboard a pilot boat going out to assist the Bluebird to enter the port gave evidence of seeing the Debonair on the north side of the main shipping channel shortly before the accident.
However, the pilot, Capt John McKenna, said the yacht was on the southern side of the channel as he returned towards the port aboard the Bluebird about 20 minutes later. When the two vessels were about 150 metres apart, Capt McKenna said the Debonair suddenly turned across the bow of the cargo ship.
The pilot said the yacht did not appear to make any attempt to avoid a collision. Although the captain of the Bluebird sounded a warning whistle and put its engines on full reverse, the two vessels collided at around 2.52am. Capt McKenna described weather conditions at the time as “calm with excellent visibility”.
Under cross-examination, he said small vessels were meant to leave the port by the southside but yachts did not always obey these rules.
Michael Duffy of Howth Lifeboat said Mr Daly, hypothermic and shocked after being rescued, claimed the Debonair had turned to avoid colliding with the Bluebird.
Ian Bull, a friend of the Styles family, sailed on the Debonair from Malahide to the mouth of the Liffey on the day before the accident. Mr Bull said the group had wanted to sail up the river to watch the fireworks display being held as part of the deferred St Patrick’s Day celebrations. However, the East Link Bridge could not be raised due to a strike and the crew had moored the yacht at an “unstable” berth at the Poolbeg Yacht Club for the evening.
Mr. Bull said he decided to go home by car after the fireworks, understanding the Debonair was going to remain moored at Poolbeg overnight. He described Mark Styles as an “extremely cautious sailor”. No alcohol was allowed on the Debonair. Dublin City Coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, adjourned the case
STENA EUROPE which is to replace the KONINGIN BEATRIX on the Rosslare - Fishguard route arrived for refit at the Goteborg shipyard where she was constructed at 18:00 on January 22.
IRISH NAVAL SERVICE
LÉ NIAMH will commence a 22,500 mile trip to the far east on February 10. The Irish Naval Service's latest vessel will visit Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Inchon, Tokyo and Penang. The vessel is expected to return home around May 24.
The voyage will cost €190,000 The visits are being organised in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland in the hope of boosting Irish exports on the Asian market.
More than 70 businesses will use the LÉ NIAMH as a floating hospitality room where they will entertain foreign companies interested in buying Irish.
The €190,000 being spent on the journey is seen as value for money by Enterprise Ireland.
Its director Peter Coyle said the potential to tap the Asian market was vast. He said Irish exports in Asia still only amount to just 5.5%, but they grew by a phenomenal 35% in 2000.
"Asia, bar Japan, hasn’t been hit by the US economic decline. It will be the largest trade initiative undertaken by Ireland in Asia and one of the largest ever undertaken worldwide," Mr. Coyle said.
He said a major effort must be made to increase awareness in Asia of what Ireland had to offer. "Unfortunately, Ireland is often mistaken for Iceland by people in Asia," he said.
It is expected companies such as Waterford Glass, Baltimore Technologies, Network 365m, Kentz Sigma Wireless and Infocell will use the ship to entertain more than 5,000 potential customers.
The visit has been arranged by the Government’s Asia strategy committee with the help of the Department of the Environment, the IDA, Bord Fáilte and other agencies.
LÉ NIAMH’s first port of call will be Singapore, where she will remain from March 7-11. A few days later the ship will sail to Hong Kong where she will stay for St Patrick’s Day.
Commander Mark Mellett from naval headquarters said that other ships in the fleet would increase fishery protection duties to compensate for the LÉ Niamh’s absence.
He added the ship, crewed by 44 sailors, will also deliver munitions to the 220 Irish troops serving with a UN force in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Other stops will be made along the way to pick up fuel and supplies in ports in Malta and India.
Commander Mellett said the trip might not be all plain sailing as the LÉ NIAMH
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
"This Is Cumbria" reports that two Maritime and Coastguard Agency boats used by Walney and Knott End Coastguard in Morecambe Bay are to be withdrawn from service in April after failing to conform to new regulations.
The mobile 5.1-metre single outboard inflatables, which can be launched from shores, in estuaries and on lakes, no longer meet the updated Rescue Boat Code.
And it is not known if the boats will be replaced by new ones until an assessment of boat provision nationwide is completed by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, in Southampton.
Earlier this month, Walney's general purpose boat was launched from Priory Crossing, Ulverston, in the rescue effort to save Stewart Rushton, 51, and his son Adam, nine, of Dalton-in-Furness.
The father and son drowned over the weekend of January 5 after becoming lost in fog and being unable to find their way to safety when the tide came in.
Walney Coastguard covers 100-miles of coastline from the Duddon Estuary to Humphrey Head, and also has an official rescue boat which will remain in place.
Liverpool Coastguard said one of the reasons the GP boats have failed is because they are only fitted with one engine and need two in the event of a breakdown at sea, and cannot be modified to meet the standard.
Many general-purpose boats in the country have failed to meet the new code, which was updated recently by the MCA and will come into force in spring.
The regulatory body has recently introduced wide-ranging new standards for boats and said its own vessels need to lead by example.
Both Walney and Knott End Coastguards have outlined why they need a replacement boat and their submission to the MCA has been endorsed by Liverpool Coastguard.
Bernie Prescott, spokesman for Liverpool Coastguard, said: "We are hoping both Walney and Knott End gets replacement boats and that is certainly what we believe is necessary."
He added: "The need has been clearly demonstrated in the tragic incident when the father and his son lost their lives off Ulverston.
"The fact that the Walney boat was able to be towed on a trailer into the immediate area and launched where it would have been impossible to get to because of the sands, shows that."
Walney Coastguard Station officer Steve Simm said: "My hope is that when these old boats are withdrawn we will get a new one to replace it."
Of the craft, he said: "It's the only boat in the Furness area that can be put on a trailer and taken somewhere.
"If there was an incident at Greenodd, instead of sailing all the way around from Walney in the rescue boat we could take the general purpose boat on a trailer and launch it there.
"If something happened on Windermere we could launch it."
Deputy station officer Dennis Laird said: "We have received no guarantees and I wouldn't expect one.
We have expressed our concern already that we might not be able to carry out all our functions across the area if we do not get a replacement."
"We have had the boat seven years and it was up to the standards in force at that time and has been maintained and serviced regularly.
Standards have now overtaken it."
MCA spokesman Mark Clark said: "There is no guarantee that every boat that is withdrawn will be replaced because we are constantly looking at what boats are required and where, according to need, and that can change."
"We are going through that process at the moment and cannot give a decision until everything has been reviewed."
CORNISH FISHING INDUSTRY
The Cornish fishing industry is enraged, reports the Cornishman Newspaper, that a Spanish-owned boat registered in Penzance has been paid £500,000 to decommission from the county's Objective 1 funds.
Local fishing leaders are calling on the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to explain why most of the money paid to the owners of the MARI GENI, a flag-of-convenience vessel, had been taken from Cornwall's Objective 1 budget.
Chief executive of the Newlyn-based Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, Nathan de Rozarieux, said most fishermen applying for Objective 1 grants had to "jump through hoops" to prove the benefits to the Cornish economy.
"There is no economic benefit to Cornwall here," he said. "The Government has been caught using Objective 1 money quietly to decommission a flag boat and they have been rumbled. It is scandalous that our skippers were left queuing up for decommissioning money. This could have taken three or four of our boats from Newlyn but instead it has gone to a Spanish flagship. Fishermen are staggered."
DEFRA approved decommissioning grants on about 30 boats in England before Christmas, with five from Cornwall who will be paid 75 per cent of the money through Objective 1 funds - the balance being made up by the Government. Because the Mari Geni is registered in a Cornish port, she too will receive funds from Objective 1.
Chairman of Cornwall's Objective 1 fisheries manager group, skipper Tony Tomlinson said that fishermen were bitter that DEFRA had used Objective 1 funds to decommission a vessel which brought no economic benefits to the area. The Objective 1 fisheries group has written a strong letter of objection to Fisheries Minister, Elliot Morley.
St Ives MP and Lib-Dem fisheries spokesman Andrew George said: "I think this money has been nicked from Cornwall. DEFRA have been trying to eke their own money out and it appears they have come along and pinched some of ours."
A Cornwall Objective 1 office spokesman said: "This is really a DEFRA issue, but it should be stressed that this will not impact on the £5 million already earmarked for other fisheries industry projects."
NOTES & NEWS
Welcome to this mid week update. The next update will be on Saturday January 26.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Jenny Williamson, Ferry Man 2000 and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
CLAYMORE - the asking price for the vessel is now just $900,000. Apart from a brief charter to the Faroe Islands she has remained laid up at Vittoria Dock since the demise of the Campbeltown - Ballycastle service.
BELARD took the night sailings from Douglas on Saturday and Sunday, and did a round trip to Heysham during the day on Monday, arriving back late evening - probably due to lack of turn-round time, as well as the weather.
EUROPEAN MARINER took over the night run on Monday night. The expectation is now that Belard will take the "day" round trip and Mariner will take the night trip - which fits in with Mariner having more berths for drivers.LADY OF MANN SPECIAL EXCURSION PROGRAMME
The Steam Packet's splendidly refurbished passenger vessel Lady of Mann will operate a series of special day excursions this summer.
In a weeklong programme, the vessel will operate four special excursions to and from the Island. The full itinerary is as follows:
Sunday 19th May
Llandudno to Douglas 08:00
Douglas to LIandudno 16:30
Monday 20th May
Warrenpoint to Douglas 09:00
Douglas to Warrenpoint 18.00
Tuesday 21 st May
Douglas to Llandudno 06:30
Llandudno to Douglas 10:15
Douglas to Llandudno 18:30
Llandudno to Douglas 22:15
Wednesday 22nd May
Douglas to Fleetwood 06.00
Fleetwood to Douglas 10:00
Douglas to Fleetwood 18.30
Fleetwood to Douglas 22:30
Thursday 23rd May
Douglas to Whitehaven 06:30
Whitehaven to Douglas 10:15
Douglas to Whitehaven 18:30
Whitehaven to I0M 21:30
Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said, 'We know how popular our special day excursions are with the public, visitors and locals. The Fleetwood, Llandudno and Whitehaven excursions provide an excellent opportunity for Manx residents to have a great day away. Conversely, the special excursions always attract a great many visitors to our Island who we hope will return for a longer stay having sampled its unique magic".
Passenger tickets for the special excursions can be obtained from the Steam Packet Ferry Travel Shop, Sea Terminal Building Douglas.
ULYSSES resumed service on the Dublin to Holyhead service on January 22. The afternoon departure from Holyhead to Dublin departing at 17:15.
After discharging in Holyhead yesterday the ISLE OF INISHMORE proceeded to dry dock in Southampton. She is expected to recommence the Rosslare route on with the 21.30 sailing ex Rosslare on
Thursday 8th February.
JONATHAN SWIFT is expected back in service on Friday February 1st with the 06.15 sailing ex Dublin.
Finally, the Normandy after dry docking, will resume the service to France with the 16.00 sailing ex Rosslare to Cherbourg on Friday March 1st
NORSE MERCHANT FERRIES
NORSE LAGAN completed her refit and repaint into Norse Merchant Ferries livery at A&P Falmouth on January 22.
However, it is understood that she suffered a bow thruster failure as she was departing on Tuesday afternoon which has resulted in her some spoiling of the paintwork!
FREQUENT TRAVELLER SCHEME
The company has started a loyalty scheme which operates in a similar manner to that provided on Sea Containers Irish Sea services. With the Norse Merchant Anchor Club scheme passengers collect six tickets. The ticket prices are then averaged to provide a voucher towards a seventh journey. I am sure this will prove popular with enthusiasts!
Ships of Mann and Chris Brindle Webworld have produced a new web site devoted to saving the Manxman. It is in it's early stages as yet but will build up over the next few months. There is renewed hope for the ship and so we are trying to increase the awareness of her in both the public and private sectors. Log on to: www.manxman-som.fsnet.co.uk
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich has announced the launch of the new-look homepage of PORT, the Maritime Information Gateway. This will enable all users to search and browse the database far more easily and gain faster access to sites of interest.
The portal is the premier UK maritime information gateway to quality websites and resources available on the Internet. The wide variety of users includes students, academics, business people and genealogists; and also enthusiasts as well as those with a general interest, seeking information on subjects as varied as underwater archaeology, Nelson or careers at sea.
Websites accessible on PORT now number over 2800 and range from navigation to maritime art, and adventure at sea to military affairs and naval resources. A team of subject specialists and librarians at the Museum constantly adds new sites and updates existing entries. PORT also includes listings for conferences and events, and links to the Museum’s online Journal for Maritime Research.
PORT has become firmly established as the pre-eminent source for on-line maritime information and over 400 ,000 pages were accessed in 2001. There are further plans for additional resources and improvement to the design. Please send comments and suggestions to email@example.com. PORT would like thank those who have helped in its success (by cataloguing sites and suggesting events) including particular overseas colleagues: The Nederlands Scheepvaarttnuseum in Amsterdam, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, USA and the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia.
PORT Maritime Information Gateway
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
117 FOREIGN SHIPS UNDER DETENTION IN THE UK DURING 2001
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that 117 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during the year 2001 after failing port state control safety inspection.
Latest monthly figures show that 11 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during December 2001 along with 6 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 6.4%. This is an increase of 0.1% from the 12 month rate to November.
Two thirds of the vessels detained in December were registered with flags targeted for inspection. 9 of the 11 were general cargo ships to which the ISM code will apply from July 2002.
A Russian registered general cargo vessel was detained when Port Authorities alerted MCA to the fact that the vessel had two feet of water in the hold which the crew were unable to pump out. Investigation revealed a hole in a ballast tank, open to the sea, and another in the bottom of the hold. Previous cargoes of scrap iron had punched holes in the floor of the hold and while it appeared that part of the hold bottom had been repaired the area affected had not.
A Panamanian registered cargo vessel was also detained when the deep webs, ship side frames, bulkhead stiffeners and longitudinals in No 1 hold were found to be severely corroded. The vessel had carried cargoes of salt at some point in the past and it appears likely that the necessary lime wash preparation to this area may not have been carried out.
Of the ships detained between 1 January and 31 December:
Flag states targeted by the Paris MOU for priority inspection accounted for 63% of all detentions. This years figure (6.4) shows an increase of 0.1% in detention rates from the previous year. 54% of the vessels detained were general cargo vessels/multi-purpose ships.
- Six of the 7 flag states with the poorest detention rates were those targeted by the Paris MOU for priority inspection.
Commenting on the high proportion of general cargo vessels detained John Garner Head of Maritime Operations said:
"We are expecting an improvement in the record of general cargo vessels as operating companies embrace the ISM code which will apply to this type of vessel from July 2002."
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.
PORTHLEVEN HARBOUR & DOCK COMPANY
Kerrier District Council in Cornwall has insisted that a rusty crane at a picturesque fishing harbour is replaced - even though a new one may never be used.
Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company wants to remove the corroded derrick from Fisherman's Quay but needs listed building consent as the whole area is protected. It said a new derrick would cost £70,000 and was unnecessary because a mobile crane was now used instead.
But Kerrier district councillors on the planning committee said the crane was an essential part of the harbour.
They agreed that the unsafe derrick could be removed, but ordered that a new one must be put in its place.
Planning chief Stephen Bott warned that the council would not have strong grounds in the event of an appeal.
But Coun Sue Swift said the crane was "part and parcel of the village".
GOSS CATAMARAN REMAINS WASHED ASHORE
The Western Morning News reported that wreckage from Pete Goss's £4 million catamaran Team Philips has washed up on the Shetland Isles after the boat was abandoned in the Atlantic in late 2000.
The yacht was created for the round-the-world event The Race but broke up during preliminary testing.
Now, six months after parts of the hull were found in Iceland and off the north west coast of Ireland, another section of the Totnes-built Team Philips has been found on the coast of Papa Stour, in the Shetlands.
Andy Holt-Brook, who runs a guest house on the island, spotted the piece of the boat as he returned home with his family from an island meeting.
"As I was shutting the gate on our holding, I noticed something blue flashing out at sea," he said.
"I was interested because I enjoy collecting driftwood on the beach, so I went down to the shore and brought it in.
"It was about 20ft by 3ft and I saw all the names on one side of it. I knew it was from a boat but as I turned it over I guessed it might have been Team Philips.
"I rolled the piece of hull out of the water and up beyond the high tide mark so it wouldn't be dragged out to sea again."
Mr Holt-Brook said that under a local law in the Shetlands, the piece of the hull now belonged to him.
"Udal Law says that if you remove something from the sea around Shetland and roll it up the beach beyond the high tide mark then it belongs to you," he said.
"But if they want it back, they can have it. It's just that I'd like to keep it - I've never found anything like this on the beach before."
He was so pleased with his find that he decided to jog round the island to see if any more wreckage had been washed up - which nearly ended in tragedy.
"I ended up precipitating a heart attack after running round the island, but it was only minor," he said."
"I went to hospital where they gave me the all clear."
Mr Holt-Brook says it is likely that more of the catamaran could wash up on the islands. "We've had bits in Iceland, Ireland and now Shetland - more of it is out there to be found," he added.
NOTES & NEWS
Please note that there was a minor update on Monday January 14, which included the delayed voyage report on my seasonal wanderings with Sea Containers on the Irish Sea. The next update will be on January 23.
Last week I erroneously reported that the ISLE OF INISHMORE was refitting. She is currently deputising for the ULYSSES on the Holyhead - Dublin service. ULYSSES is refitting at Southampton.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Kevin Bennett, Tony Brennan, Ian Collard, John and Jenny Williamson, Brian Chambers, Justin Merrigan - Incat, Gareth Wells and "others".
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
The company has denied the speculation made by Coastal Cruising Magazine that the BEN-MY-CHREE might switch to the Mersey and operate from the new Twelve Quays ro/ro terminal. Also denied is the speculation that the LADY OF MANN may be sold or transferred elsewhere.
BEN-MY-CHREE the company issued a press release on January 18 stating that the Steam Packet flagship will undergo her biennial overhaul this month and prior to this will operate up until her sailing from Heysham at 02:15 hrs on Saturday 19th January and resume schedules on
During her absence, the Company has chartered two freighters to support the passenger sailings being operated by LADY OF MANN.
EUROPEAN MARINER will operate an overnight freight service, between the Island and Heysham daily commencing on 22nd January. Formally known as LION, she once visited the Island in October 1985.
BELARD was previously owned by The Steam Packet and operated on the Heysham/Isle of Man route prior to the arrival of Ben-my-Chree in 1998. Her charter will commence on 19th January. She will operate an overnight Heysham services until 22nd January and thereafter a daytime service on weekdays.
Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said: “The BEN-MY-CHREE is such a key element of our Steam Packet services, that when she is away for refit it is essential that we provide sufficient freight capacity for our important freight customers. These two chartered vessels should do this, whilst the popular LADY OF MANN will maintain our car and passenger services to Heysham and Liverpool”.
LADY OF MANN will provide a Monday to Thursday daily return sailing between the Island and Heysham with a Friday to Sunday return sailing between the Island and Liverpool.
A correspondent writes that BELARD arrived in Douglas on Saturday morning January 19 [picture right] whilst EUROPEAN MARINER should arrive around midday Monday January 21. The schedules for BELARD and EUROPEAN MARINER look as though they will be something like BELARD 08.00 Douglas to Heysham: 14.00 Heysham to Douglas Monday to Friday, but with stand-by for same sailings Saturday and Sunday if required. EUROPEAN MARINER 17.30 Douglas to Heysham: 02.00 (or sooner if the newspaper vans permit) Heysham to Douglas (targeted for no later than 06.15 in Douglas, to keep the newspaper wholesalers happy).
This week the company also issued a release recording passenger carryings for December and the whole of 2001:
Record Figures for December, but UK Foot & Mouth Crisis Impacts on Steam Packet's 2001 Carryings!
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company have recorded a decrease in passenger and vehicle carryings in 2001 compared to the preceding year.
Traffic figures for December 2001 show:
Passenger traffic increased by 25.8% @ 27,745
passengers (2000 – 22,057)
Vehicular traffic increased by 22.2% @ 8,179
vehicles (2000 – 6,694)
Freight traffic decreased by 3.8% @ 31,569
metres (2000 – 32,817)
Year to date figures show:
Passenger traffic decreased by 7.1% @ 567,323
passengers (2000 – 610,950)
Vehicular traffic decreased by 16% @ 133,794
vehicles (2000 – 159,296)
Freight traffic increased by 7.4% @ 422,698
metres (2000 – 393,603)
Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said: “2001 was a tough year for us with the cancellation of numerous special events on the Island due to the foot and mouth epidemic in the UK. Working with the Department of Tourism and our other partners in tourism, we redoubled our marketing efforts. These efforts were very effective, but of course could not totally replace the lost carryings due to loss of special events. As a result our 2001 passenger and car carryings reflect a drop against those of 2000. The freight sector has remained buoyant.
We can, however, look to 2002 with confidence. Our vessels are being significantly refurbished at their annual overhauls this year and we now have a modern fleet tailored to meet the demands of this market. We can offer our customers a very attractive timetable, frequency of sailing and competitive prices to back up our drive for growth. All of us should be working together to make this years special events the best ever after the disappointment of cancellation in 2001”.
The Steam Packet for its part will contribute every effort to make 2002 a bumper year to remember”.
Elsewhere in the Sea Containers empire it was announced that GNER Holdings Ltd had secured a two year extension to its GNER railway franchise through to April 2005
WAVERLEY STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
Stuart Cameron writes: Captain Graeme Gellatly, Senior Master of the Paddle Steamer Waverley since 1998 officially announced his resignation from the post at last night's meeting of the Scottish Branch of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. Captain Gellatly is leaving to pursue the next stage of his career with the pilotage authorities in South Wales. Graeme takes with him the best wishes of hundreds of PSPS members and others around the Clyde and further afielld. Graeme said that he hoped to be back aboard the Waverley in the not too distant future helping with relief work.
Graeme Gellatly was introduced to the Clyde steamer scene at a very young age by his late father, Wilf, a stalwart steamer enthusiast and producer of many fine films of the Clyde steamers and other shipping on the river in the 1950s through to the 1980s. It was most appropriate that Graeme was the Society's guest speaker last night when he presented a magnificent show of many of the wonderful films made by Wilf. Many of these films are now important records of the Clyde in its latter heyday.
Graeme has served on the Waverley in several capacities for over 20 years, starting as a volunteer and for a large part of the last decade as a senior navigating officer. He has been Senior Master and a Director of Waverley Excursions for over 4 years. In between Graeme went deep sea spending much of his time on the sailing between South Wales and the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic. When he returned home to Glasgow Graeme spent some time as a Chief Officer with Caledonian MacBrayne, chiefly on the Arran run. Returning to Waverley as Chief Officer he gained his Masters Ticket in 1997 and Waverley became his first command. For the last four summers Graeme guided Waverley through an important period in her preservation and was a significant member of the first stage rebuild team which saw the ship through her major surgery in the winter of 1999-2000.
Graeme thanked the branch members for their support for him and for the ship which he said, was important for her future. He also thanked his Senior Officers - Purser Jim McFadzean and Chief Engineer Ken Henderson (who were present at the meeting ) and Catering Manager Craig Peacock and also thanked his fellow directoors without whose help he could not have achieved what he did. Several directors were in attendance at the meeting including Waverley Excursions Ltd Chairman Ian McMillan and Deputy Chairman Joe McKendrick. The vote of thanks to Graeme for his presentation for the evening was given by the Chairman of the Waverley Steam Navigation Company, Ian MacLeod and PSPS Scottish Branch Chairman Deryck Doherty intimated that a fuller appreciation of Graeme's contribution to the preservation of the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world would be given at a later date.
HMS BEAGLE -the Devonport based survey ship returned to her home port for the last time this week. The vessel, which is the oldest ship in the Devonport fleet is to be decommissioned after 34 year of service.
The vessel returned home after her final deployment to the Arabian Gulf on a data gathering mission.
Five-and-a-half months later, she returned to the city and edged her way up the Tamar, flying her decommissioning pennant in the stiff south-westerly wind. Waiting on the quayside at Devonport Naval Base, dozens of friends and families had gathered to welcome their loved ones home. It was a happy reunion, but one underlined by a sense of regret as the crew prepared to say goodbye an old friend.
"The ship's company has performed superbly and can be proud of their collective and personal achievements during BEAGLE's last year in commission."
Among those welcoming the ship home was Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, the First Sea Lord and a previous hydrographer of the navy.
When BEAGLE sailed from the city in August, it was her second deployment of the year. She had earlier spent three months in Sierra Leone. For her final mission she was tasked with surveying oil fields in the Arabian Gulf.
Lt Cdr Turner said his crew had surveyed an area the size of Plymouth and charted more than 3,500 individual seabed features, including several wrecks of oil smuggling ships bound for Iraq that had been scuttled to evade detection.
The BEAGLE also charted a previously undiscovered sandbank while working with the Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Kent. The bank turned out to be more than three miles wide and just 30 metres beneath the surface - a major hazard to large tankers.
HMS BEAGLE will be formally decommissioned in a ceremony at Devonport next month. She is due to be replaced by one of two new survey ships, named Echo and Enterprise.
CELTIC STAR is now operating the new Liverpool - Larne service, reports suggest that carryings are excellent with P&O stating that they will consider adding a second vessel in due course.
P&O TRADING UPDATE: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2001
This is the fourth quarter update in 2001 for P&O's ports, logistics and ferries businesses. The next quarterly update (January to March 2002) is provisionally scheduled for 8 May. The
quarterly updates complement P&O's financial results statements, the next of which will be the Group's preliminary results which are expected to be announced on 7 March 2002.
Highlights for Q4
Ports continued to outperform the industry average despite the increased
overall volume growth;
P&O Trans European maintained a generally positive trend;
Cold Logistics had a good fourth quarter; and
Ferries had a reasonable final quarter in what has been a difficult year.
P&O Nedlloyd, in which P&O has a 50% interest, will report its financial
results for Q4 on 7
P&O Ferries (excluding P&O Stena Line)
Q4 Full Year
2001 2000 2001 2000
Freight units 331 339 1,327 1,333
Tourist vehicles (including
coaches) 182 171 963 951
Passengers 784 723 4,054 3,904
(1) Carryings are an aggregation of P&O's other ferry routes around the UK
namely North Sea, Irish Sea, Western Channel and Scottish Isles.
1. Freight carryings were down 2% for Q4 2001 compared to 2000. Most of the decline was on the North Sea, partly due to the first full quarter of the reduced three ship service on Felixstowe-Europoort. On the Irish Sea carryings rose by 10%.
2. In November two of the four Liverpool-Dublin ships were transferred to the Mostyn-Dublin
route. Following some minor teething problems, the new facilities at Mostyn are working well.
3. The two superfreighters, Norbay and NORBANK, which were previously on the Hull-Europoort
route, have been transferred to the Liverpool-Dublin route where they replace two chartered vessels. One of the chartered vessels has been transferred to a new one ship freight service which was started on 8 January between Liverpool and Larne. The new service is already well supported.
Tourist vehicles and Passengers
1. Strong growth of 8% in passenger volumes and 6% in tourist vehicle volumes was achieved for Q4 2001. On the North Sea, the increase was enhanced by the fact that Q4 2000 was affected by the flooding in Yorkshire at that time.
2. The Pride of Hull was successfully brought into service on Hull-Europoort in December and together with her sister ship Pride of Rotterdam they have created an attractive cruise ferry product that has been well received. The refurbished Norsun is proving popular on Hull- Zeebrugge and it will be joined by the Norsea in March 2002 after its refurbishment. Norstar and Norland were sold in early 2002.
P&O Stena Line (P&OSL)
Q4 Full Year
2001 2000 2001 2000
Freight units 271 276 1,112 1,111
Tourist vehicles (including
Coaches) 414 433 1,646 1,813
Passengers 2,494 2,528 10,885 11,627
(1) Carryings include P&O Stena Line's two routes - Dover/Calais and Dover/Zeebrugge
1. The total Short Sea freight market demonstrated strong growth for the year at 9%, with the current quarter at 5%. This reflects general trade growth and the tendency of the Short Sea to attract traffic from other routes.
2. Full year P&OSL carryings are in line with last year. Market growth has helped to offset the decline in market share caused by Norfolk Line operating two ships in 2001
compared with their limited operation in 2000.
3. Average rates for the year show a small decrease largely due to the continuing weak Euro. Average rates for 2002 are expected to increase.
Tourist vehicles and Passengers
1. The overall tourist vehicle market fell by 7% in the full year but UK based traffic showed a recovery in the final quarter and total vehicle carryings were down by 5%. The foot and mouth outbreak in the UK continued to impact negatively on tourist traffic from the Continent, with Continental bookings remaining considerably below last year.
2. P&OSL's market share is in line with last year for the quarter but slightly down for the year. Average rates show a small fall on last year due to the loss of higher rated continental traffic. Average rates for 2002 are expected to increase.
3. The total passenger market was down 3% in the quarter and 5% full year. On board sales
per passenger continued the strong growth reported in previous quarters, with average
sales per passenger 23% higher than in the previous year. This level of spend per passenger is above the levels seen under duty free, albeit with lower margins.
IRISH CONTINENTAL GROUP
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT 12 MONTHS 31 OCTOBER 2001*
Investment of €95.7 million during the year including m.v. "Ulysses", world's largest car ferry of its type.
·Adverse impact of Foot & Mouth Disease in mid-season abating by year end.
·EBITDA of €48.3 million, up from ?47.8 million the previous year.
Record Roll-on Roll-off freight carryings achieved (up by 11%) following introduction of m.v. "Ulysses".
Adjusted earnings per share (before goodwill charges) of 55.4c.
* Unaudited interim results for the 12 months to 31 October 2001. As a result of the change in year-end 14 month results to 31 December 2001 will be issued in March 2002.
ULYSSES is currently refitting at Southampton whilst ISLE OF INISHMORE is operating Dublin to Holyhead. It is believed that the company is in talks with two parties concerning a charter for the ISLE OF INNISFREE.
HARRISON LINE - CHARENTE STEAMSHIP COMPANY
PORT OF PAR
BBC Radio Cornwall reported that an enterprising Cornish company is approaching large construction firms with a view to selling its china clay waste for use in the building industry.
"We've got the hills, you've got the holes." is how Imerys - the former English China Clays - is marketing the idea.
Selling china clay waste for use in construction is an old idea which has taken on a new life.
It is costly to transport the waste any distance but this sideline of the clay industry could now become much bigger business as a new government tax penalises construction firms that use conventional aggregates which have to be specially dug out of quarries.
As part of its renewed sales drive, Imerys is now planning to build a £17m docks facility.
Clive Kessell of the St Austell-based company, said this aggregates levy made their familiar by-product look more attractive.
"It was brought to light because of the new tax imposed by Gordon Brown in last year's budget of £1.60 on all aggregate products mined out of the ground," he said.
"The success has already been phenomenal."
Using quarries may become too expensive
The company moved 503,00 tonnes in 1999, 970 000 tonnes in 2000 and 1.3m tonnes in 2001.
"We hope to move 1.6m tonnes this year," Mr Kessell said.
The company has applied for grants for its planned £17.4m expansion to its operation from the nearby port of Par.
"We want to build a new jetty and add two more berths and extend the rail link," said Mr Kessell.
The company moves the waste to East Anglia , London and the south coast as well as the Channel Islands and Germany.
|NOTES & NEWS |
Please note an additional update was posted on Wednesday January 9. News can be found below the news posting for January 12, check "What's New" for other update information.
Unfortunately due to lack of time I have been unable to include the reports on my seasonal wanderings on the Irish Sea as promised for this update. These will appear very shortly.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Dave Crolley, John Lawlor, Michael Pryce and "others"
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
SEACAT ISLE OF MAN returned to Merseyside on the evening of January 09, berthing astern of RAPIDE around 18:15. The vessel had been providing refit cover for SEACAT SCOTLAND on the Belfast - Troon service.
RAPIDE is still without her stern ramps and remains repainted only on her port side.
ISLE OF MAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
DOUGLAS HARBOUR - DECEMBER HARBOUR TRAFFIC FIGURESPassenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for December 2001 at 27,745 show a 25.8% increase on the figure for the same period in 2000 which was 22,057.
The total figure for 2001 at 567,323 passengers shows a 7.1% decrease over the total for 2000 which was 610,950.
During December car traffic through Douglas Harbour increased by 22.2% from 6,694 vehicles to 8,179 vehicles.
The total figure for 2001 at 133,794 vehicles shows a 16% decrease over the total for 2000 which was 159,296.
Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for December:
For 2001 scheduled routes show the following changes in passenger numbers:
December commercial vehicles metreage decreased by 3.8% from 32,817 metres to 31,569 metres.
The total figure for commercial vehicle metreage for 2001 at 422,698 metres shows a 7.4% increase over the total for 2000 which was 393,603. Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:
"Allowing for the impact of the Foot and Mouth crisis and the consequent loss of major sporting events, passenger figures for 2001 are reasonable. The core normal scheduled passenger traffic continues to show ongoing growth highlighted by record passenger figures for any December in December 2001. Freight vehicle metreage for 2001 is also an all time record at over 420,000 metres."
JHL'S COMMENT: Llandudno, Warrenpoint, Whitehaven and Fleetwood were operated in 2000 as special excursions using the Lady of Mann. The Lady's special excursions were cancelled in 2001.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
EUROPEAN SEAFARER experienced major problems whilst docking in Rosslare on the afternoon of January 12. It appears she lost all but one of her engines and had to berth port side to on the number one berth. This meant that her bow was at the linkspan and she doesn't have a bow door so she could not unload anything. At the time of writing the outcome is not known.
MORE MOSTYN PROBLEMS
This week Lloyd's List reported that P&O suffered another when the EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR'S propeller became tangled in a mooring rope at the North Wales port of Mostyn on Wednesday.
The vessel was unable to leave the berth, forcing the EUROPEAN ENVOY to divert into Liverpool for the second time in a week.
P&O's Irish Sea spokeswoman Sharon Toner admitted that the Dublin-Mostyn service, launched in November by relocating two vessels out of Liverpool, was experiencing "teething problems".
Shortly before Christmas, the EUROPEAN ENVOY grounded on a sandbank outside Mostyn and then, last Thursday she turned up at Liverpool after bad weather meant she was unable to enter Mostyn.
Yesterday, the EUROPEAN ENVOY arrived in Liverpool at 03:00, discharged and loaded at Gladstone Dock, and departed at 08:00.
Passengers and freight were transferred from Mostyn to Liverpool to join the sailing, said Ms Toner.
"The EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR had a technical problem with the mooring rope," she said. The vessel would be unable to leave the berth until the problem was solved, in time for the evening sailing, she added, so the EUROPEAN ENVOY was diverted into Liverpool.
"The positive thing from this is we can go into Liverpool if we are unable to get into Mostyn and still get the drivers in in time to discharge and go on to make their deliveries," she said.
P&O has a special offer on return fares between Britain and Ireland and back with your car from only £12 / €16 per person. That’s the amazing fare the company are offering on travel up to 26 March 2002. Travel on a 3 Day Return for just £48 / €76 for a car and 4 passengers on a choice of three routes; Larne - Cairnryan, Dublin - Mostyn or Dublin – Liverpool. That’s just £12 / EUR16 per person!
To take advantage bookings must be made on the following dates:
16th January 2002 - for travel ex Ireland
23rd January 2002 - for travel ex Britain
Extra passengers £10 / EUR16
No Refunds. No Changes. No Amendments. All other extras including trailers and cabins are brochure fares
NORMANDY is reported to be keeping excellent time on the new revised schedule for the Pembroke route which is in operation whilst the ISLE OF INISHMORE is covering for the ULYSSES on the Holyhead to Dublin route. The ULYSSES is currently refitting at Southampton.
IRISH NAVAL SERVICE
A report in the Irish Examiner suggests that the Naval Service is keen to acquire additional land once occupied by Irish Steel at Haulbowline Island, Cóbh. The steel works, which was sold to Ispat, closed in the summer and the process of selling off the equipment has commenced. The steel works was established on the island before the founding of the naval service which occupied the former Royal Navy base.
CARL F. PETERS GMBH
WILLY - was refloated on Friday January 11, after ten days aground off Kingsand / Cawsands in Cornwall. The vessel ran aground on New Year's Day and initially led to the evacuation of 150 villagers as there was concern that petrol vapour in the ship's tanks could explode.
Following repairs and the removal of some fuel from her tanks, the vessel was successfully refloated and put under tow to Falmouth for further repairs work.
Compressed air was pumped into the vessel's cargo tanks to give her buoyancy during the refloating and towage operations.
For the journey to Falmouth, she was escorted by the crane vessel GREY MAMMOTH and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's towing vessel FAR SKY.
Robin Middleton, Secretary of State representative for Maritime Salvage said: "This has been a particularly sensitive incident given the nature of the area in which the MV Willy found herself.
"We have been working closely with the Queen's Harbour Master, salvors and the local authorities to quickly resolve this situation and minimise the risk to the local environment. I am very pleased by the way the salvage operation has been carried out in such an efficient manner and by the excellent contingency planning carried out locally."
When the 21-year-old vessel ran aground on the night of January 1, she had already offloaded her cargo of petrol at Plymouth.
As work was underway to refloat the WILLY the Cornishman newspaper reported on the wreck of the DOLFYN, the remains of which have lain on the rocks close to the fishing village of Mousehole
More than a year after the cable-laying guardship DOLFYN came to rest on rocks near the village it is still there - with a second go at refloating out the remaining stern section now planned after a recent attempt failed.
In November 2001, Mojo Marine, who have been contracted by Penwith Council to remove the vessel, used floatation tanks to lift her clear of where she came aground 12 months pre- viously but were thwarted in trying to bring her to shallower water where she would have been cut up.
Hampered by tides lower than expected, Mojo's PORTREE III managed to lift it 50 yards before it caught on a reef and then a lump of rock.
Penwith Council's director of public services Martyn Haley told The Cornishman that the wreck had been shifted back to its original location by the sea - but that the removal operation was being looked at again.
"Basically they (Mojo) are going to cut what they can up and remove it in bits and pieces with a view to trying to float out the remainder with air bags."
Cutting up the whole of the vessel where its lies may also be an option.
Added Mr Haley: "Obviously it hinges so much on the weather, especially at this time of the year - but we're well aware of the need to get the job done."
A job which can't be done soon enough, according to Mousehole Harbourmaster Frank Wallis, who's concerned that rusty debris from the vessel could pose a danger if it ends up on the beach.
He told The Cornishman: "It's gone from being a novelty to an eyesore. Last Christmas, people came down to see it - especially when they switched on the Christmas lights. It was like killing two birds with one stone.
"Now it's just a mess and I think the whole of Mousehole will be glad to see the back of it."
The potentially more dangerous bow section of the Dolfyn has already been safely dealt with.
Meanwhile, the total cost of the removing the ex-trawler is expected to be considerable.
Penwith has approached the Duchy of Cornwall for a contribution since the forlorn vessel is on its land. The local authority also hopes to claim against the owner of the vessel.
IRISH SEA WIND FARM
The Irish government has given the go-ahead for what will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world on a sandbank in the Irish Sea, Marine Minister Frank Fahey said on Friday.
The €630 million development will produce 10% of the country's electricity needs when it is completed. Fahey said the development by the Irish Eirtricity consortium would have "three times the combined capacity of all offshore wind farms currently in production in the world".
The State will receive up to €1.9 million a year from Eirtricity in rentals and royalties for use of the sandbank. "It is a very big power station. It will allow the development of a 200 turbine, 520 megawatts (MW) wind farm providing electricity from the cleanest energy in the world," Fahey said.
An environmental impact statement has been carried out on the development and Fahey issued a foreshore licence for the project -- which is effectively planning permission at sea.
The sandbank, known as the Arklow Bank, runs north-south along the coast and measures about 27km by 2.5km with water depths of 5 to 25 metres. The first phase of the development, involving 60MW, is expected to be generating power by the Autumn. Phase one will replace €330 million of imported fossil fuels and the social benefit of avoided pollution is estimated at €25 million.
Fahey said the turbines, which will rise 80 metres from the sea, would be visible from the coast in clear weather. "Given that it is pretty well offshore, it shouldn't be a major impact on the scenic amenity or on tourism," he said.
"Otherwise it is all positive. Wind energy is clean. We will be able to reduce our levels of carbon dioxide by some 13.5 million tonnes. In the context of our Kyoto targets, it will have a major impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Fahey said there would be further wind farms and technology to harness wave power is being developed.
ARKLOW ROSE - the company is to register the new 4,500 tonne vessel under the Irish Flag. ARKLOW ROSE is due for delivery in February and has cost € 7million. Arklow Shipping had been threatening to reflag its 27 strong fleet of Irish registered vessels to the Netherlands unless the Irish Government approved a tonnage tax. Proposals for such a tax were included in the recent Irish budget
|NOTES & NEWS |
I have had several items of news etc forwarded and having some spare time have decided to post an additional update rather than hold items over until Saturday.
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, John Williams, Tomás, Chris Jones. Mike O'Brien and "others"
SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
The second vessel to cover the absence of the BEN-MY-CHREE on the Heysham to Douglas route will be the EUROPEAN MARINER [ex EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER]. She will operate alongside the former Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship BELARD which has also been chartered.
BEN-MY-CHREE's last sailing will be the 02:15 from Heysham on Saturday January 19. She will then proceed to Birkenhead for refit by North Western Ship Repairers. The BEN-MY-CHREE will resume her sailings with the 14:15 departure from Heysham on February 11.
SEACAT SCOTLAND was noted by a correspondent has having "seacat" on her hull forward in the standard format and looks fairly like the RAPIDE did at Dover. Until last week she was entirely white.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
CELTIC STAR opened the new Liverpool to Larne service on Tuesday January 8, 2002. Departures are: 03:00 Liverpool and 15:00 from Larne. The ship will be renamed NORTHERN STAR.
ISLES OF SCILLY TRANSPORT
The British Government was accused on January 8 of discriminating against the Isles of Scilly by refusing to offer the same subsidies for "lifeline" transport links that are offered to island communities in Scotland.
Andrew George, Lib Dem MP for St Ives, told MPs that some services to the Scillies could be put at risk unless Government support was forthcoming soon. Mr. George also warned that plans to use Objective One money to help pay for a replacement for the Scillonian III ferry, which serves the islands, could be jeopardized unless the Government provided matching funding.
He said: "The Isles of Scilly are not asking for special treatment, but just for parity with other similar areas." Scilly residents have long complained that they do not benefit from the same type of support as island communities in Scotland, whose transport links to the mainland are subsidised by Government grants worth more than £32 million a year.
Mr. George said the discrepancy meant that while Scilly residents paid 86p per nautical mile to travel to the mainland by ferry and £1.45 per mile by helicopter, the cost of travelling to similar Scottish islands was 23p per mile by ferry and 98p per mile by air.
He said the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which operates ferry services to the islands, lost £100,000 last year on its inter-island services and only made a "marginal" profit in good years. European state aid rules mean that services can only be supported if they would not otherwise be viable.
He pointed out that the ferry only operated from late March to early November and he said that the "lifeline" helicopter services in the winter could only operate because British International chose to "cross-subsidise" them with more profitable routes.
Transport Minister Sally Keeble agreed to meet Mr. George to discuss the issue.
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
The MCGA issued the following update on February 9 concerning the grounded tanker WILLY:
The Motor Tanker `Willy’ remains in a stable condition on the rock shelf in Cawsand Bay, near Plymouth.
- Work continues to remove surface oil from the engine room and pump it into holding tanks on a Ministry of Defence sullage barge. Pumping continues from the various other tanks on board.
- The vessel’s rudder still needs to be recovered from the seabed near the stern of the vessel.
- Falmouth has now been confirmed as the port of destination.
- Pressure testing of the cargo tanks has continued with 6 tanks now having been pressurised to 3 pounds per square inch in advance of any flotation.
- Divers are undertaking repairs to the vessels damaged forepeak.
- The surveillance aircraft flew over the area yesterday and reported the area free of pollution. A remote sensing aircraft patrol is again scheduled to over-fly the `Willy’ today, weather permitting.
- Monitoring of the coastline and rock pools continues with no adverse effects noted. Booms by the stern of the vessel, which were damaged by the sea swell overnight, have been replaced.
- A Naval Architect has produced stability/trim/draft calculations for refloating, taking account of the vessel’s engine room remaining flooded. He is continuing to prepare additional buoyancy, stability and draft calculations for different scenarios.
- A draft passage plan is in preparation.
The weather forecast for today locally is south-easterly winds 3 to 4 backing easterly 2 to 3 becoming cyclonic, increasing 4. There will be showers with a risk of local mist patches with visibility moderate to good – poor in the mist - and the sea state is moderate becoming slight.
Local press reports indicate that the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand were bustling over the weekend as the WILLY's presence pulled in the kind of crowds normally only seen in August!
NOVEMBER SHIP DETENTIONS
Twenty one foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during November 2001 after failing port state control safety inspection, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today.
Latest monthly figures show that 11 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during November 2001 along with 10 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detention is 6.3% compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months. This is an increase of 0.1% from the 12 month rate to October. Over half the vessels detained in November were registered with flags targeted for inspection.
Three of the vessels detained during November had problems with the stowage of cargo on board. An Antigua and Barbuda flagged vessel was detained for two days in Southampton when bridge visibility was severely obscured by a cargo of yachts stowed across the hatch covers.
An Estonian flagged vessel was detained when the timber cargo on deck was not properly secured. This had resulted in a crewmember being severely injured when he attempted to release the timber securing attachments. The cargo had been stacked too high and improperly lashed which resulted in it shifting during the voyage from Estonia. The crew had tried to shore it up however it came into harbour with the cargo shifted to the port side. Whilst unloading the ship, some of the timber fell off the ship’s side taking one of the crew into the water with it.
A third vessel was detained in Gibraltar by a local PSC officer when excessive water was found in a solid bulk cargo of copper sulphate. The cargo had been delivered to the vessel in open topped bags stored in open railway carriages. After loading the vessel had experienced three days of very heavy weather and when the condition of the cargo was checked it was found to have turned to slurry. In this condition a heavy cargo like copper sulphate would impair the vessel’s stability and impose dangerous stresses on hold bulkheads.
In the case of two of the vessels this was the only deficiency identified, however the effect on the safety of the ships was considered to be serious enough to warrant detention. Such detentions highlight the necessity of ensuring that cargo is stowed in accordance with the relevant regulations and with the vessel’s cargo securing manual.
STRANGFORD LOUGH FERRY
On January 8 Regional Development Minister Peter Robinson officially inaugurated the new £2.7m ferry PORTAFERRY II which was constructed last year by Mc.Tay of Bromborough, Merseyside.
PORTAFERRY II replaces the STRANGFORD and has a capacity of 28 vehicles, 8 more than STRANGFORD
Mr Robinson said it represented a considerable investment in the ferry service across Strangford Lough and hinted at possible private sector involvement in the future running of the ferry.
He said: "We will continue to look at ways of improving the service and, as most people are aware, are currently considering involving the private sector to provide innovation in the management and operation of the ferry."
Strangford Alliance MLA, Kieran McCarthy welcomed the ferry and said it was the first time in the route's 33-year-old history that a brand new ferry had been launched.
"We are delighted to see the new ferry up and running as we have been campaigning for this for a long time.
"Before now we have had second-hand ferries on the route and we hope that this new ferry will mean the people of Strangford will have a good, reliable service," he said.
IRISH NAVAL SERVICE
L.E. NIAMH is due to leave Irish waters on February 11th on a 3 month voyage to China. This visit is the first of its kind for the Irish Naval Service, she is due to visit a number of ports including Hong Kong. She will be commanded by Lt. Cdr Gerard O Flynn.
Ireland is to host the Admiral's Cup in July next year. The event, once considered one of the most prestigious in the yacht racing calendar, will be centred at Dun Laoghaire and is expected to include a race around Ireland. The announcement was made in London this morning by the Royal Ocean Racing Club which organises offshore yacht racing.
The Belfast Telegraph reported this week that plans to launch a fast-ferry service on Belfast Lough have been sunk, the company behind the £4m project have announced.
Loughlink said it had been unable to raise sufficient funding to start operations from Bangor and Carrickfergus to Belfast.
In a brief statement, the company said the only course of action was not to proceed and to "settle the company's obligations in an orderly manner".
It added: "All concerned with Loughlink thanks everyone who supported it during the last number of months and are very disappointed that the project will not be going ahead."
It was not clear what would happen to the two £1.5m catamarans which were to operate the service, but it is expected they will move to another location.
Hammond Coppinger, who took over as chief executive of Loughlink in November, had vowed last month that he would prove the cynics wrong and make the venture a success.
The plan was originally unveiled last May, and initially the company said it would be starting operations in September.
But a succession of delays ensued and the launch was progressively put back until last month the firm said it hoped to get under way "in the New Year".
A Press trip took place in December but at that stage negotiations were still continuing with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
In November, Business Telegraph disclosed that the two craft had been put up for sale in a German trade magazine, but Loughlink said the placing of the advertisement had been unauthorised
The two catamarans are leased from North Queensland Engineering and were delivered to Belfast last August.
But David and Roy Bendall, the Australian father and son team who originally promoted the scheme, sold their interest out to a local consortium in November.
Last month, Loughlink said it had recruited seven staff and hoped ultimately to have a workforce of 35.
Mike O'Brien noted that the KONINGIN BEATRIX unusually berthed stern on to the ramp at Fishguard on January 8. Mike has photographs online at: http://abergwaun.com/places/fishguard/kb080102/index.htm
|NOTES & NEWS|
Quite a large update this week. For those who have been away over the holiday period, please note that several satellite sites have been established. These can be accessed via the web site front page, from the menu which appears at the top of most pages or from the "What's New" listing where satellite site updates will be notified as are other updates.
The satellite sites are Maritime Memorials, Irish Sea Shipping Archives and Irish Sea Shipping Heritage.
Next week will include reports of my seasonal wanderings on the LADY OF MANN and BEN-MY-CHREE. These are virtually complete but lack of time has precluded their inclusion this week.
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank the following for supplying information etc for this week's update: Gary Andrews, Tony Brennan, Ian Collard and "others".
BEN-MY-CHREE The dates for the vessels refit appear to be 30 January to 13 February instead of the original proposals as shown in both the printed and on-line timetables for January 9 to 29. She will be replaced by two vessels one of which is the former Isle of Man Steam Packet ro/ro freighter BELARD. The second vessel is subject to confirmation.
DIAMANT was involved in a minor collision at 09:53 on Sunday January 6, 2002. The 81m Incat collided with NORTHERN MERCHANT which is currently chartered to Norfolkline by Cenargo.
DIAMANT was enroute from Ostend to Dover with 148 persons on board whilst NORTHERN MERCHANT was carrying 59 passengers and 43 crew. The incident is reported to have occurred in dense fog 3 miles south east of Dover Harbour visibility was estimated at 200 to 300 yards.
The MCAs counter pollution branch were put on standby and an MCA surveyor has been alerted. After initial assessment the two vessels proceeded onto their ports of destination for further inspection. DIAMANT is a sister vessel to RAPIDE whilst NORTHERN MERCHANT is one of two sister vessels to DAWN MERCHANT and BRAVE MERCHANT which operate between Liverpool and Dublin.
PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY
EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT the new accommodation unit recently lifted onto the after deck of EUROPEAN DIPLOMAT at North Western Ship Repairers is a Drivers' Lounge.
CENARGO: NORSEMERCHANT FERRIES
BRAVE MERCHANT - towards the end of the week it was noted that the vessel which has been in Canada Graving Dock over the holiday period was having the "NorseMerchant.com" fleet names applied to the hull.
TARBIN MARITIME LTD
The SUN PEGASUS has become CLIPPER SUN not SUN CLIPPER as previously reported in these pages. The stern name was noted as being applied last week. The ship is registered in Valetta, Malta.
A&P CAMMELL LAIRD
It appears that A&P are preparing to reopen the Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead in the summer or autumn. A&P chief executive is to meet union representatives in Liverpool on Tuesday and the company has confirmed that it is talks with potential customers.
Mr. Ring has indicated that work will recommence on a fairly small scale to build a solid base. He said "We are taking a softly softly approach, a lot of people and ourselves have a very good regard for the people of Merseyside. We’re working hard with customers. Getting the first contract is the key. We’re in regular contact with the unions and they have been very helpful and are keen to have us on board.
Ted Gilbertson AEEU regional officer said, " What happened in August is a closed chapter and our priority now is to get the yard doing what it does best, and that is repairing ships. I don’t think there is any reason to celebrate this news - what happened to Cammell Laird was a disaster and it will take an awful long time to recover. However, what A&P intend to do may be the start of that long recovery so we will be working with them."
One of course wonders why this sudden turn around has occurred? Only months ago there was speculation that the site could be sold for redevelopment and A&P was claiming that there wasn't enough work to keep its existing yards busy let alone reactivate Cammell Laird. Perhaps the fact is A&P have noted that North Western Ship Repairers, operated by a team led by former Cammell Laird executive John Syvret appears to have been rather busy during the winter refit period and there is obviously plenty of work to be picked up in the area!
CARL F. PETERS
MV WILLY - The crane barge GRAY MAMMOTH and tug GRAY TEST have arrived to aid the stricken German owned and Cypriot registered tanker WILLY which is stranded on rocks off the Cornish village of Cawsands. However, it could take up to 10 days to refloat the vessel. The length of the operation will depend on the tides and weather.
The WILLY emptied her cargo of petrol at Cattedown, Plymouth and was at anchor in Plymouth Sound. However she dragged her anchor and ran aground off Cawsands on New Years Day.
Her own tanks still contain 80 tons of fuel which could be spilled if the vessel moves too violently on the rocks.
Residents who were originally evacuated from their homes have now been reassured there is no risk of an explosion. However a 150 metre exclusion zone remains in force around the vessel.
The Secretary of State's representative Robin Middleton said: "We are extremely pleased with the way the operation is proceeding. We are progressing to float the Willy with minimal impact to the environment."
Capt Eric Johnson, of salvage company United Salvage, said: "We are very confident of success. The explosion risk has completely disappeared.
"We need to clear the water from the engine room and we will then fill the tanks with compressed air to increase buoyancy.
"If the weather continues to improve and the swell continues to drop, we could start that late morning."
Heinrich Rieck, of owners Carl F Peters, based near Hamburg, said: "We are working very carefully. Our main concern is that there is no spillage.
"The vessel is gas-free and we are hopeful that we can get her afloat in the next couple of days and tow her to a yard at Falmouth for further investigations.
"We have to find a way to get the ship afloat - this is the main concern of the salvage team."
|NOTES & NEWS |
CRUISE SHIP CALLS
I am now compiling the Cruise Ship Calls list for 2002. If you have any information concerning liner calls between Dartmouth and Greenock in the UK and at any port in Ireland. Please e-mail details. Information for the Port of Cork is now on-line for 2002.
The update schedule for January through March is now available and generally maintains the every Saturday with occasional Wednesday pattern. However, the next update will be on Sunday evening January 6, as I will be in the Isle of Man again Friday and Saturday.
John H. Luxton
January 2, 2002
PORT OF CORK
During December the Port of Cork announced the publication of a new book on the history of the Cork Harbour Commissioners entitled "That Endless Adventure" by Cork born author and journalist, Mary Leland.
In Mary's words. "A port is many things - all of them encapsulates in the harbour authority which governs it. "That Endless Adventure" is a review of the institution known as the Cork Harbour Commissioners, which governed the port of Cork from 1814 to 1997. The port around which Cork city grew and from which it developed was an important element in the economies of Munster for centuries before 1814. After that its role in the national economy, its significance as a catalyst for local development and its increasing international status became more purposeful, and the members and staff of the Harbour Board were the people whose vision, energy and resilience brought the port to the point at which, in 1997, its status was changed to that of the Port of Cork Company.
Now that the Cork Harbour Commissioners are no more it is time to remember who they were and what they achieved. Merchants, businessmen and ship owners of Cork worked with such commitment to the prosperity of the port - and therefore of the city - that they became as crucial a civic institution as Cork Corporation or Cork County Council. Drawing on Minutes Books, reports, archival material and local history Mary Leland gives an account of their stewardship and of the events in the port and harbour of Cork which created the modern city itself."
Speaking at a reception in the Port of Cork's boardroom to mark the launch of the book, the author said that the writing of the book was a most enriching experience which highlighted for her the commitment which the successive board of Cork Harbour Commissioners had to the common good of the port rather than to their individual interests. She said that the book emphasised the centrality of the port in the development of the City of Cork and Munster as a whole. Ms. Leland paid special tributes to recently retired Chief Executive of the Port of Cork, Pat Keenan for his major input into the production of the book and also to current Chairman Frank Boland without whose support publication would not have been possible.
Mary Leland is an author and journalist living in Cork. She has published two novels "The Killen" (London 1985 and New York 1986) and "Approaching Priests" (London 1992) and a collection of short stories "The Little Galloway Girls" (London 1986). Her work has been frequently anthological and broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio 3 and 4.
A regular contributor to the Irish Examiner. The Irish Times and The Sunday Independent, her most recent publication is "The Lie of the Land: Literary Journeys through Cork City and County" (Cork University Press 1999).
MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY
WILLY AGROUND OFF CORNWALL
Brixham Coastguard were summoned to assist the 3000 grt Cypriot tanker WILLY, which ran aground off the Cornish village of Cawsands on the evening of January 1. The vessel, operated by Carl F. Peters of Germany, had been at anchor sheltering from a storm.
The vessel which had twelve crew on board was in ballast and at anchor in Cawsands Bay. The Coastguard were alerted at 22.45 following several 999 calls from members of the public.
The Tamar Coastguard Rescue Team, and Plymouth Lifeboat as well as the FAR SKY, the emergency towing vessel based at Falmouth have been summoned to the scene. the Queen's Harbour Master has despatched a tug from Devonport Dockyard and MoD Police launches to the scene.
Over 100 people living near the stricken tanker have been evacuated due to the danger of explosion with a half mile exclusion zone being imposed around the vessel.
Cracks have appeared in the hull of the ship as the tide began to ebb and the vessel's own fuel - 100 tonnes of diesel - may have begun leaking. The WILLY had discharged its cargo of petrol in Plymouth two days earlier, however, there are fears that vapours remaining in the hold could ignite.
The crew of 12 - nine Filipinos, two Germans and a Croatian - were rescued during the night and taken to the home of coastguard officers in Kingsand.
Coastguard press officer Wailim Wong said the tanker was embedded on rocks, and at high tide it was hoped to attach cables to stabilise her.
Mr Wong said: "The main concern is the possibility of an explosion caused by fumes in the empty tanks."
Cables were being attached to stop the vessel moving about on rocks and possibly creating a spark.
Pat Holdrup, who witnessed the stranding from Cawsand Fort, said: "I could see her drifting quite fast. "She went on to the rocks very quickly. The emergency services were called just before 11pm. The lifeboat and coastguards were on the scene within 20 minutes. This has happened with smaller boats like yachts. This is the first big one I've seen in 12 years.
"It is a very sad sight - this vessel is a regular visitor to the area."
Leaking fuel poses a threat to a site of special scientific interest off the coast at Cawsand, as well as to the River Tamar, a special area of conservation.
COASTGUARDS RESCUE BOYS
Liverpool Coastguard coordinated the rescue of two children from incoming tides after they had become trapped by the incoming tide at Broughby Sands.
Liverpool Coastguard received a 999 call from the children’s parents at 13.00 on January 1, requesting assistance after their children had become trapped on and old coal landing dock whilst playing. The Coastguard immediately requested the assistance of the Broughby Sands Coastguard Boat and the two children, a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 12, from Port Carlisle were rescued. They were returned to their worried parents, who were waiting on a jetty. The children were cold and shocked but otherwise unharmed.
Brian George, Liverpool Coastguard Watch Manager said:
“We would like to warn both parents and children to be very careful when playing in or close to water, keeping a particularly close eye on the tide and weather. If you are ever concerned about anyone who may be in trouble at sea or on the coast, dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.”