The Irish Sea Shipping Archive

About ISSContactContentVoyage ReportsISS Amazon Shop
PhotographsFeaturesShip AISShips on FilmNews
Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond


  MAY 2002

May 26


Welcome to this week's update, which once again is quite large. Once again I would like to thank those people who have forwarded information and photographs either directly or via the Irish Sea Ships group.

There has been quite a lot of weather disruption in the past few days on various routes, some of which is recorded below.

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Nick Widdows, Trevor O'Hanlon, Brian Chambers, John Lawlor, Chris Jones, Ian Collard, Jim Edgar, Clive Jackson, Ron Mapplebeck, Tommy Dover and "others".

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

SUPERSEACAT THREE sailings were cancelled on Friday Mary 24 due to adverse weather conditions.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN the 10:30 sailing from Liverpool to Douglas on May 25 was delayed until around 12:00

LADY OF MANN - the Mother's Union "Round the Island" charter cruise is reported to have remained in Douglas Harbour on May 25, due to adverse conditions!

An observer reports that the Fleetwood based car ramp was craned on to the Lady on her return excursion sailing to Douglas on Wednesday evening this week


Adverse weather conditions led to the cancellation of STENA LYNX III's sailings on Saturday May 25. These were reported fully booked due to the Rugby Final in Cardiff. STENA EUROPE's morning sailing did not get away until 12:00. Brian Chambers reports that on May 24, STENA EUROPE suffered delays on due to her being held on the wall at Rosslare by strong North Westerly gales.



The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on May 23 that 7 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during April 2002 after failing port state control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that 4 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during April 2002 along with 3 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% which is a decrease of 0.2% on the 12-month rate to March.

All the vessels detained in April were registered with flags targeted by the Paris MOU. In addition to those vessels detained approximately 36 vessels were issued with letters of warning as a result of failure to comply with the STCW95 requirements for crew certification which came into force on 1 Feb 2002.

The ships detained included a Cyprus flagged bulk carrier with a serious shortfall in the maintenance of safety equipment onboard.

Both the fire main isolation valve in the engine room and the accommodation fire damper were incapable of closure, while the fire detention system to the engine room and accommodation areas was switched off. The fixed fire fighting system in the paint locker was also inoperative. A surveyor witnessed fire and abandons ship drills on three separate occasions during the detention and released the vessel only when they had reached a satisfactory standard.

During the abandon ship drill as the lifeboat was lowered to the embarkation station two crewmembers were almost thrown out of the boat. A general lack of control and guidance from the senior officers was also evident during the fire drill where a delay of 16 minutes was recorded from the time the alarm was raised to the fireman being instructed to enter the affected area.

A Radio Survey revealed that the MF/HF radio set could not transmit because the antennae was disconnected, while the EPIRB had a loose screw inside it which risked shorting out the unit.

23 hardware deficiencies were raised in relation to the safety equipment and some deficiencies, for example the wastage on the cheekplate of the starboard lifeboat falls block could have been present for years. The safety culture on board the vessel and the Safety Management System fell short of the required standard.


The Dart Valley Railway Company, operators of the Dartmouth - Kingswear Ferry, Totnes - Dartmouth Riverlink and coastal and harbour cruises from the port of Dartmouth have published their annual report.

Group turnover rose by £175,000 to £2,143,116 in 2001 an increase of 8.9%. However, increasing costs left the company with a gross profit of £774,264 a reduction of £93,000 on 2000, though £135,000 of costs was accounted for by repairs to a culvert on the railway. Following interest and tax deductions earnings for the year are £47,137. A dividend of 20p per share has been declared.

The company has acquired PLYMOUTH VENTURER from Plymouth Boat Cruises operators of the Dockyard Cruise service and Plymouth to Calstock River Tamar ferry. PLYMOUTH VENTURER has been renamed DART VENTURER. In part exchange the company sold PLYMOUTH BELLE  to 

The chairman comments that the River Dart ferry service has conveyed 600,000 passengers during the year. However, Chairman David Madge comments that the ferry service will have to be re-considered as the company has to pay the council £20,000 per annum for the ferry licence and the early morning and evening services are subsidised by the company's other operations. The chairman states that if the company is " run a public service, at a cost, let alone subsidy then the very least we require is cooperation, not hindrance from the Authorities."

The company also hopes to do something about providing covered accommodation at their Old Mill Creek Shipyard were winter maintenance takes place.


PS WAVERLEY arrived in port on Thursday, on passage to the Bristol Channel, sheltering from bad weather. On Saturday crew expected to resume passage that afternoon. Whilst in port painting was underway.

The workboat in Arklow has the name ENVIRO SHARM painted on her bow in English and Arabic !,port of reg is Suez.I

Wicklow port became a commercial state company earlier this month, the move away from the harbour board run operation will see the new company take on more responsibility for running and development of the port.


The billed two ship day was subject to change on May 25 following delay of the WAVERLEY reaching the Bristol Channel due to adverse conditions [ see above]. BALMORAL was noted operating the 10:00 departure from Penarth which should have been operated by WAVERLEY. It was expected that WAVERLEY would pick up her timetable later in the day.


RMV SCILLONIAN III celebrated its twenty fifth birthday this week as the Cornishman reports:.

To mark the occasion the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is offered lucky passengers return fares to the Scillies at 1977 prices - just £6.50.

The SCILLONIAN has provided a lifeline between the mainland and the islands since 1926 when the first SCILLONIAN was purchased for just £24,500. The SCILLONIAN 11 replaced her in 1956 at a cost of £250,000.

The current vessel, SCILLONIAN 111, built by Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon at a cost of £2 million, was launched on May 17 1977 by the Prince of Wales.

The Government of the day provided an interest-free loan to the company to help with the purchase in recognition of the essential service provided by the vessel, which can carry up to 600 passengers.

She made her maiden voyage to the Scillies on May 19, 1977, prompting comments from sceptical islanders of "she'll never last" and "too big" and carried her first passengers on May 25, 1977.

But she has lasted, carrying more than two and a half million passengers during almost 11,000 journeys covering more than 420,000 miles on the 72-mile round-trip from Penzance.

And in all that time she has only needed one major refit, carried out in 1999 at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth at a cost of £2 million.

John Banfield, chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said: "Twenty-five years ago, when the SCILLONIAN 111 came into service, we were celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

"This month in Cornwall we've been celebrating Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee and it is appropriate that we recognise the achievements of our own queen of the seas over all these years.

"She's been a fantastic vessel but inevitably we must look to the future, which is why we are looking at a replacement ship in the next few years, which will be larger, faster and more comfortable."

To celebrate the Scillonian's 25th birthday the first 50 callers on May 23) were able to obtain a special anniversary day trip fare of £6.50p, the day trip fare when SCILLONIAN 111 made her first crossing to the Isles of Scilly in 1977. The fare is only valid between Monday May 27 and Friday May 31. 

Chris Jones writes that SCILLONIAN III's sailings on Friday May 24 were cancelled, and the ship moved to Albert Pier Penzance for shelter due to adverse conditions. This past week it was only Monday she sailed as timetable - she did a freight only run on Wednesday and a quick run to Scilly and back on May 24.


It was reported this week that the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, located at the historic port of Charlestown, near St. Austell has paid more than £15,000 to save famous shipwreck artefacts from disappearing from Cornwall.

The Shipwreck Rescue and Heritage Centre, at Charlestown, near St Austell, bought almost half the items in the Roland Morris Maritime Museum sale, at Lays Auctioneers, in Penzance this week.

Mr Morris's stepson Tony Pearce, who inherited the museum in 1988, said he was "gutted" to have to sell all the artefacts but he had no choice.

But John Kneale, owner of the shipwreck centre, said that he was delighted to be able to keep so many important items in the county.

Among the many new acquisitions for the centre are a carved wooden deck support with cherubs and a longitudinal section of a 90-gun Royal Navy warship from around 1719.

"We have got the biggest collection in Europe now," he said. "The idea is to keep it in Cornwall because they are Cornish wrecks. We get up to 200,000 visitors a year, including about 8,000 schoolchildren, and with this we can do a British man-o'-war section in the museum for them." Of the 389 lots on sale at the auction, 281 were from the Roland Morris collection. Mr Morris was a famous diver in the late 1960s and 1970s, who explored the wrecks of men-o'-war battleships which were lost off the Isles of Scilly almost 300 years ago.

Among the lots was a piece of calcified meat from the wreck of Association, which sank in 1707. It fetched £20. Meanwhile, a 19th century brass compass from Sennen Cove fetched £850. Auction owner David Lay said the entire collection had raised about £36,000 - £11,000 more than he had expected.

Replica cannons were believed to have been bought yesterday by the company producing the new Hornblower television series. The auction was filmed for Channel Four's Time Team programme.


Bromborough based Mc Tay Marine secured a £4.5m contract on May 23 to construct another new car ferry for Caledonian MacBrayne. 

The new vessel which is yet to be named will carry 32 cars and 200 passengers. 

The Merseyside company managed to beat off competition from Fergusons of Port Glasgow


It was reported in the Isle of Man press that there have still been no arrests in connection with the sinking of the Solway Harvester, two weeks after the surprise announcement there will be charges.

It was revealed on May 10 that Attorney General John Corlett intends to proceed with prosecutions in relation to the sinking of the Kirkcudbright-registered scallop dredger.

The announcement was made by the UK's Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions in a statement explaining why the Marine Accident Investigation Branch was again delaying publication of its report into the tragedy.

The announcement came as a shock to Island authorities, pre-empting their own statement.

The police refused to comment and a hurriedly-prepared statement was issued on Mr Corlett's behalf confirming proceedings would be prepared.

Although he said no proceedings had then been issued he said it would be dealt with 'in the usual way in the course of the next week or so'.

However, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Bell, who heads the department leading the investigation, confirmed there have still been no arrests.

He refused to comment on what charges may be brought.

The Solway Harvester sank 11 miles off Douglas in January 2000. All seven crew skipper Craig Mills, 29, his brother Robin, 33, their cousin David, 17, Martin Milligan, 26, John Murphy, 22, David Lyons, 18, and Wesley Jolly, 17, drowned.

The trawler, owned by Richard Gidney-run Jack Robinson (Trawlers), had been heading into Ramsey to shelter from force nine gales when disaster struck.

The Manx Government spent more than £1 million recovering the crews bodies and later lifting the wreck, which is still moored in Douglas harbour.

DCI Bell said: 'The team investigating the Solway Harvester are now gearing up to progress the inquiry in line with the announcements made in the press recently.

'I can confirm no-one has been arrested, but I don't think I can say what charges, if any, will be laid at the present time.'

He added officers have been in regular contact with the families of the dead fisherman, all from the Whithorn area of Scotland, to keep them informed of developments.

'In our view it is important the families are updated at every stage,' he said.


It is reported that the CARRIGALOE [ex KYLEAKIN of CSP/CalMac] is to be chartered from the Cóbh based Cross River Ferries to inaugurate the new Lough Foyle passenger and vehicle ferry service.

The company is eventually hoping to acquire a vessel from the continent but are unwilling to give any more details as the deal has not yet been completed. With the decline in traffic on Cross River Ferries service following the opening of the River Lee Tunnel the company no longer requires two vessels other than to provide a spare to cover for breakdowns, refits etc. 

It is hoped that the new service can be commenced on June 14.

The following information comes from publicity information:

Lough Foyle Ferry Company Limited
Greencastle : Co. Donegal : Ireland : Tel. 077 81901 : Fax. 077 81903

Operating Times
1st April to 30th September
First Sailings Monday to Saturday from Greencastle: 07:20
Last Sailings from Greencastle: 22:00
First Sailing Sunday: 09:00
Last Sailing from Greencastle: 22:00

1st October to 31st March
First Sailing Monday to Saturday from Greencastle:  07:20
Last Sailing From Greencastle: 20:00
First Sailing Sunday: 09:00
Last Sailing from Greencastle: 20:00

During operating hours the ferry will provide a continuous ON DEMAND service
with each crossing taking approximately 20 minutes.




Multi-Trip (l2)

Foot Passenger








Cars & Small Vans




Caravans & Trailers






















ISLE OF INNISFREE is expected at A&P Falmouth on June 6 for refit and renaming prior to her charter to P&O.

May 22


Welcome to this mid week update. Please check the "What's New" page for details of all updates. Time has precluded the inclusion of a voyage report for the Lady of Mann excursion from Llandudno until Sunday's update. However, photographs are now on-line.

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Kevin Bennett, Jenny Williamson, Chris Jones, Philip Parker, Ian Collard and "others".

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

SEACAT SCOTLAND is reported to be in dry dock in Belfast with RAPIDE operating one round trip to Heysham and then running to Troon.

SUPERSEACAT THREE - adverse conditions led to the cancellation of the Dublin sailings on May 20 and 22. On Sunday May 19 she had returned from Dublin late. Her evening sailing to Douglas not getting away until 22:49.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN sailing to Belfast on Monday 20 was delayed, with the ship not arriving back at Douglas until 06:30 on Tuesday.

The former Chairman of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Norman Corlett, has earlier this week at the age of 80. Mr. Corlett, who lived at Ballaquane in Peel, held the position from 1986 to 1992.  The funeral will be held at Peel Methodist Chapel at 2:00pm this Friday


Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for April 2002 at 49,877 show a 12% decrease on the figure for the same period in 2001 which was 56,685.

The year to date figure at 127,992 passengers shows a 7.7% increase over the same period in 2001 which. was 118,795.

During April, car traffic, through Douglas Harbour decreased by 0.9% from 11,356 vehicles to 11255. vehicles.

The year to date figure at 33,427 vehicles shows an. 8.5% increase over the same period in 2001 which was 30,811.

Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for April:

Belfast mints 8% from 2,413 to 2,223

Dublin minus 29% from 3,357 to 2,389

Heysham minus 17% from 19,148 to 15,819

Liverpool minus 4% from 27,691 to 26,468

Freight Traffic

April commercial vehicle metreage increased by 23.8% from 31,907 metres to 39,488 metres.

Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

April passenger figures reflect the impact of the earlier Easter which contributed to the excellent March figures. Taking the two months together, passenger traffic has grown by 9.5% underlining the steady ongoing growth seen over recent years



Today in Chester Magistrates Court, F.T. Everards Shipping Ltd., Owners of the coastal tanker ‘Averity’ were found guilty of a breach of the Pollution provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

F.T. Everards Shipping Ltd., were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,173 after an incident at Stanlow Oil Refinery on the Manchester Ship Canal on Wednesday 26th September 2001.

The `Averity’ had arrived at White Oil Dock No.1 Berth at Stanlow in the early afternoon of Tuesday 25th September 2001 to load two cargoes of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) and Kerosene. The vessel de-ballasted on arrival but there was a delay before loading commenced. Loading of the ULSD finally started at 00:30 on Wednesday 26th September 2001. Some twenty minutes after loading commenced the seaman on watch detected a discoloration in the water, which he traced back to the ship's side in the vicinity of the pump room. The Seaman went down into the pump room and found that both of the sea valves were open.

After closing them the seaman informed the Mate, who was in charge of loading operations. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding between the Mate and seaman and loading was not stopped. In fact shortly afterwards loading of the Kerosene commenced. Loading was eventually completed at 3:20 a.m. When figures were compared it was found there was a difference of approximately 155 tonnes of ULSD. Only when the discrepancy became apparent was the alarm raised. It was found that ULSD had entered the enclosed dock but had been contained by a "bubble barrier" across the entrance and none of the product had entered the Canal proper.

The Magistrates said that when taking mitigation into account, they noted that the company had entered an early guilty plea, had no previous convictions, had paid the full clean up costs and had taken preventative measures to avoid a reoccurrence. However, this was a serious offence of strict liability that had resulted in a large spillage. They had also taken into account that there had been a delay in raising the alarm, and a breakdown in communication between the crew.

Mr David Pickup, Surveyor in Charge at the Liverpool Marine Office, stated " This incident shows the importance of checking and ensuring the security of sea valves. It also emphasises the point that loading/discharging should be stopped immediately by any person involved in the operation if they believe there has been a pollution incident."


The Belfast Newsletter reports that the Foyle ferry service should be up and running any time now. The service will operate along  one-time smugglers route between Magilligan, Co Londonderry, and Greencastle, Co Donegal.

The latest word is that the service will begin on a daily basis within the next couple of weeks, carrying commuters and tourists.

Jim McClenaghan, Lough Foyle Ferry Company manager, said: "It has been going on now over the last three or four years and it's just coming to the final stage and hopefully, all going well, we'll have the vessel up and running by the end of this month."

He said that the service would operate continuously from 7am to 10pm daily. The 1 million euro ferry contract was awarded last week to Mr McClenaghan's company.


Coastal Container Line, the leading Irish Sea lo-lo operator, has been presented with a new award for excellence launched by one of the UK's blue chip companies.

The Line, which is a subsidiary of the Mersey Docks Group, has been declared "Export Haulier of the Year 2001" by Lever Fabergé.

The service provided by Coastal was judged superior to the performance of more than 15 other European carriers moving product for the home and personal products manufacturer.

Chris Broadbent, Head of Distribution, Lever Fabergé UK, presented the first of what will be an annual trophy, to Coastal's Director of Marketing, Ken Barrett.

"Coastal have managed to achieve a truly world class level of performance of 100% for 2001," said Mr Broadbent. "The Award is based on a combined measurement of safety, service and performance. The Coastal team have been able to respond efficiently and professionally to Lever Fabergé's changing business requirements. They have set the highest competitive standards to be matched for the 2002 Export Haulier of the Year Award."

Coastal Container Line which operates scheduled sailings between the Ports of Liverpool and Cardiff and Belfast and Dublin, has been serving Lever Fabergé's Port Sunlight plant for 25 years.

Said Ken Barrett: "We are in the business of providing the best of service to all our customers but it is particularly gratifying to receive such recognition from a major, long standing client. We are delighted to be the first recipient of this prestigious annual Lever Fabergé Award."

Lever Fabergé is the home of the Personal Care Division of Unilever in the UK with brands such as Lynx, Persil, Domestos and Dove.


LE NIAMH, the latest addition to the naval fleet, returned to its home port of Cork On May 21 having completed a goodwill voyage to Asia which lasted 100 days and covered 22,500 miles.

The ship's route took in Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan, India and Malaysia with the NIAMH also stopping off at Massawa in Eritrea to visit Irish troops serving with UNMEE. Minister for Defence Michael Smith was on hand to welcome the ship's crew having previously met up with the sailors during St Patrick's day celebrations in Hong Kong.

The LE Niamh hosted over 60 trade promotion functions on board the ship in a bid to boost export rates between Ireland and Asia.

The trade mission was spearheaded by Enterprise Ireland as part of the government's Asia strategy published in October 1999. Some 2,000 Asian business representatives were targeted during the mission which began on February 10 last.

The Niamh received over 10,000 visitors when it was opened to the public during the voyage. The vessel which is under the command of Lieutenant  Commander Gerry O'Flynn became the first Irish Naval vessel to cross the equator on her return voyage from the far east,.

May 18



Please note there has been a some minor changes to the update schedule. There will not be an update on Wednesday May 29. However, there will now be a Wednesday update on May 22.


I have been informed by several contacts that they have received an email with a virus attachment which has appeared to come from my personal email address .

The virus concerned is the KLEZ virus which has the ability to send itself from an infected computer and take as the originating email address an address stored in the address book of the infected computer. This spoofing procedure makes it appear that the sender has an infected machine whereas in reality it is another machine which is infected.

I would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone that the machine used to produce Irish Sea Shipping and handle emails is virus free and is protected by the latest version of Norton Anti Virus which scans all incoming and outgoing mail.

 Should an email with an attachment be received by you from either or  the exact nature of the attachment will be explained.

If there is no description of the attachment, or a message just invites you to look at the attachment - then DON'T!!!

Please DO ensure that your computer is protected against virus attack. At least one person out there who has my email addresses stored in their address book is infected - hence the "spoofing". Please check you machine now!


Gary Andrews, Tony Brennan, Chris Jones, Ian Collard, Jim Edgar, Dave Crolley, Michael Pryce and "others".


Space remains available on the WSS Merseyside Branch outings as follows:


P&O Cruise on board the NORBAY from Mostyn to Liverpool [duration 4 hours] on Monday August 5. Fare includes coaching from Birkenhead Woodside [Grasshopper Beam Engine House] to Mostyn and from the P&O Terminal at Seaforth to Liverpool City Centre / Birkenhead. A meal on board the ship is also included in the £23 inclusive fare.


The branch is operating a coach trip to Bristol Docks Saturday June 22 to view SS GREAT BRITAIN, THE MATTHEW take a dock cruise, visit museums, shops etc. Fare dependent on numbers. Though is expected to be very reasonable.

For further information please email Hon Treasurer John Williams at:

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

SUPERSEACAT THREE - From June 12, the evening sailing from Douglas to Liverpool is rescheduled to 22:00, to allow more time for turnarounds at Douglas.

LADY OF MANN - departed from Liverpool Docks bound for Douglas on Friday evening after several weeks of preparation for her special excursion programme and TT sailings.


Non Landing Day Trip fares are priced between £15 and £20 [and not between £10 and £20 as reported the other week] The on-line booking code for the non landing day trips is: DT NLD To book go to The fares are not listed on the site, just enter the above code when completing the on-line reservation form.


Sea Containers Ltd. announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002 on May 15.  Net loss for the period was $6 million (loss of $0.32 per common share) compared with a net profit of $0.9 million ($0.05 per common share) in the first quarter of 2001.  The prior year period benefited from a $15.2 million gain on the sale of port assets.  Revenue for the first quarter of 2002 was $272 million compared with $291 million in the prior year period.  The prior year’s revenue included the gain on sale of port assets.

 The first quarter is the seasonally worst period of the year with many ferry services suspended, hotels closed for the winter and container demand at its lowest ebb due to factory closings and lower consumer demand following the Christmas season.  The company’s leisure division was exceptionally affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and major devaluations of the South African Rand and Brazilian Real.

 Mr. James B. Sherwood, president, said that first quarter results would not be indicative of full year results.  He noted that operating profits from passenger transport operations, the company’s largest segment, were up $5 million over the first quarter of 2001 excluding the port assets sale.  Earnings from the marine container leasing business after interest were $1.6 million better than in the year earlier period.  In the leisure segment, represented by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., the company’s 60% owned subsidiary, RevPAR was down 12% compared with the prior year while in the fourth quarter of 2001 it was down 17% from the prior year, indicating good progress in recovery from September 11th.

 Mr. Sherwood noted with respect to individual segments of the company’s business:

 Silja.  The company’s 50% share of Silja’s operating profit increased by $2.1 million compared with the prior year.  Silja is expected to have an excellent result for 2002.  Sea Containers will increase its shareholding in Silja to 76% on or before June 20, 2002 and will make a tender offer for the remainder of the shares shortly thereafter.

 Silja has made a preliminary offer to buy Compania Trasmediterranea S.A., the profitable Spanish state owned ferry company which is being privatized.  There are a number of bidders and the determination of the winner will only be made at the end of June.

 Rail.  GNER had a mediocre first quarter with passenger levels showing no increase over 2000’s first quarter.  There were many delays caused by the infrastructure provider, Railtrack plc and a series of strikes on connecting railways.  Earnings were sustained largely through penalties paid by Railtrack and insurance claims.  The company has a large claim against Railtrack and settlement discussions are scheduled to be held between Mr. Sherwood and the Chief Executive of Railtrack before the end of May.

 Other ferries.  The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company performed well in the period as did SeaStreak in New York.  A majority of English Channel and Irish Sea services do not operate in the first quarter, nor does the company’s Adriatic service.  Nonetheless, from the slim evidence available it would appear that U.K. – Continent and Britain - Ireland passenger and car traffic is rising over 2001 when it was damaged by the foot and mouth epidemic in the U.K.

 Container leasing.  Demand is currently extremely strong for standard dry cargo containers in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.  The company has 10,000 units on the high seas moving to Asian ports to meet the demand as existing stocks in this region are nearly exhausted.  Fleet utilization has risen 2% to 77% since the beginning of the year.  New container demand is at its strongest level for two years and GE SeaCo, the company’s container leasing joint venture with GE Capital Corporation, has recently ordered 43,000 new units from manufacturers to meet this demand.

 Leisure.  Orient-Express Hotels has been able to make four acquisitions since January 1st at reasonable prices.  It sees September 11th causing price expectations for properties to decline in step with reduced earnings, while at the same time it sees recovery to pre-September 11th RevPAR levels by the third quarter of this year.  The company has made offers on additional properties in the U.K., Italy, U.S. West Coast and Southeast Asia.

 Mr. Sherwood said that progressively Sea Containers was reducing its shareholding in Orient-Express Hotels by selling blocks to long term investors.  It has completed the placement of 1 million such shares in recent months at satisfactory prices.  The company plans to spin off a proportion of its shareholding to Sea Containers shareholders but was unable to do so in 2001 because of the extraordinary events which adversely impacted its results.  It has promised to reconsider the spin off once 2002 results can be accurately predicted and are satisfactory to its bank creditors.

The company’s small plantations, publishing and property division reported an improvement in operating profits of $0.3 million over the year earlier period.

Net finance costs reduced from $35.4 million in the year earlier period to $30.7 million in the first quarter of 2002.  Further significant reductions in finance costs are expected later in the year when various interest rate and Euro currency swaps expire.

Mr. Sherwood said the company’s 2001 annual report to shareholders has now been mailed and is available on the company’s website  The annual meeting of shareholders will be held at the company’s offices in Hamilton, Bermuda on June 5, 2002



Plans were hurriedly considered on May 13 to airlift non-essential crew off the Spanish registered, 208 gross tonne fishing vessel 'Ereka' after a lifeboat took her under tow in force 7 winds three miles east of Portavogie, County Down.

Belfast Coastguard received a call just after 14:00  when the vessel, with 17 crew on board, lost all power in south easterly winds, could not anchor and was drifting at speed towards land. Belfast Coastguard requested the launch of the Donagadee lifeboat, the crew of which has now managed to get a tow on board and bring the vessel into Belfast Lough

A rescue helicopter was  scrambled from the Royal Naval base at Prestwick to be on standby should the non-essential crew have needed to be airlifted off 'Ereka'.


ULYSSES - technical problems saw the ship running on three engines last weekend. On May 13 a further complication resulted in the cancellation of the 09:45 sailing at 08:45. Cars and passengers were to have been accommodated on the JONATHAN SWIFT's 12:15 sailing. However  It then transpired that the Swift 09:15 sailing from Holyhead had a mishap which resulted in her being holed above the waterline on the port bow.  Following an examination she was able to sail to Holyhead with the delayed passengers and cars.


MERSEY VIKING returned to service this week after her dry docking at Canada Graving Dock.

LAGAN VIKING carried out further berthing trials at Twelve Quays on Wednesday May 15. Berthing at least twice.


Construction work is to start almost immediately on a multi-million pound warehouse after contracts were signed between the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company and one of the world's largest grain trading groups.

The giant 250,000 sq ft (23,100 sq m) warehouse will be built at the Port of Liverpool's Seaforth Dock for long-term use by Arkady Feed (UK) Limited from January 2003.

This new warehouse facility  will be located on the Nature Reserve side of the "West Side" Access Road. - Hence the recent concern shown by conservation groups about the development of the port on the Nature Reserve site. However, this area of reclaimed land  has always been intended for future port development.

Construction of the building will be undertaken by Merseyside based Mazdon Construction Limited of Birkenhead. The contract for the 460 metre long overhead conveyor linking the warehouse to a deepwater berth in Royal Seaforth Dock, is expected to be placed within the next two weeks.

The construction phase is expected to create work for more than 100 people, up to one fifth of them in new jobs. The new facility will further strengthen Liverpool's position as the UK's leading gateway for imports of grain and animal feed,

The fully enclosed conveyor will be able to transfer animal feed from large Panamax sized ships at Seaforth's S10 berth to the warehouse at up to 800 tonnes per hour. All loading of road distribution trucks will be undertaken in a 15 metre wide roadway inside the giant store.

The 220 metre long and 105 metre wide cladded, steel frame store will be able to hold as much as 75,000 tonnes of up to six different products.

On completion of the new warehouse and conveyor Arkady will transfer operations from Canada Dock where there is a limit on the size of bulk carrier that can be accommodated.

Peter Lowe, Director of Liverpool for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, said: "We are delighted that contracts have been signed to enable work to get underway on this substantial development to provide one of Liverpool's major customers with sophisticated, modern facilities. This conveyor-fed warehouse will enable Arkady to expand business for itself and the Port."

He added that the environmental safeguards built into the project would ensure that the Port continued to be a good neighbour.

Arkady Feed (UK) Ltd., which is part of the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Group of the USA, one of the world's leading processors of agricultural products, has been increasing the volume of animal feed it moves through Liverpool since it first started using the Port in 1989.

Its Managing Director Graham Atkinson, commented: "This major investment by Mersey Docks will ensure that we are able to offer our customers the highest standards of service and care in a buoyant environment which will benefit both Arkady and the Port of Liverpool."


At a meeting at the end of the week Liverpool City Council finally agreed to the transfer of the land in St. Nicholas Place to facilitate improvements to the Liverpool Sea Terminal.


HMS LIVERPOOL the recently refitted type 42 destroyer is expected to visit its home port to coincide with Armistice Day celebrations this November.


Further information concerning the Prince Albert formerly owned by Norton Stewart Investors and which has had something of a controversial stay on Merseyside since her arrival around three years ago has come to light this week.

It is believed that the vessel had been bought by an American furniture manufacturer who plans to build sample cruise liner cabins on board and display them in America.

If she will cross the Atlantic under her own steam remains to be seen. Her last venture into the Mersey in January 2001 ended in near disaster when she had tried to set sail for Africa loaded with used tyres! This led to the vessel being detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. She was later repossessed by Mortgagees and offered for sale.


The Western Morning News reported this week that thousands of Swedish pine planks from the grounded freighter KODIMA have been "arrested" by Her Majesty's Admiralty Marshall as another chapter opens in the Maltese-registered ship's colourful history.

The Russian-built ice-breaker turned the south coast of Cornwall at Whitsand Bay into a beach-combers' paradise at the beginning of February after she spilled 4,000 cubic metres of wood from her decks while running aground in fierce storms.

Coastguards showed distaste as hundreds of booty-hunters collected valuable chunks of timber which had been strewn across the cliffs, risking their lives in the same 70mph winds in which the ship was abandoned by her crew when she started to list badly.

Soon tales emerged of sheds and even stable-blocks on the surrounding hills being built from wood gleaned from the stricken ship.

It was two weeks before KODIMA was refloated on a rising tide and towed to Falmouth Docks by Dutch salvage company Wijsmuller Salvage where the vessel currently remains. as does the 6,000 cubic metres of Swedish pine which was in her holds during her fortnight on the picturesque Cornish beach.

The arrest of the wood, unlike the criminal arrest of a person, simply means it cannot be moved now that a writ has been placed on the timber bundles. To move them now requires the consent of a High Court judge as it is the subject of a claim against the wood's owners - whoever they may be.

One local worker said: "It's an amazing sight, the wood covers a vast area, perhaps an acre or more. It's not great wood but it's a pile of timber that could make decking for every garden in Falmouth. There's tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of it."

Like everyone involved in the KODIMA affair, Her Majesty's Admiralty Marshall, Keith Houghton, is not able to say exactly who the wood's owners are - only that there are probably many of them. Even Her Majesty's Receiver of Wreck, Sophia Exelby, whose task it is to liaise between owner and the many salvers, has thus far been unable to track them.

Whoever owns the wood, they have 11 of their 14 days left to come forward to answer the claim before a judge in the High Court decides the case.

Mr Houghton said yesterday: "It's not very often, perhaps once a year, that I have to arrest a cargo but I probably arrest about 100 ships a year in England and Wales.

"Now that the documents have been served on the cargo, the owners have 14 days in which to respond. What happens next depends on what their response is. If they don't respond it is open for the claimants to get an order from the judge for me to sell it and settle their claim.


The former Thames fire boat LONDON PHOENIX was an unusual visitor to the Port of Liverpool this week. She was lifted aboard a ship bound for Cyprus where she is to have a new life as a diving support vessel.


A report in Lloyd's List this week has reaffirmed A&P Groups commitment to reopen the former Cammell Laird shipyards later this year. 

The yards have not been employed directly by the ship repair specialist since they were bought from Cammell Laird's receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers for £10m in August, 2002.

A&P's new chairman, Simon Sherrard, said: "It is apart of A&P's policy to offer the shipowner repair facilities with the least possible deviation. "It is therefore essential that our yard in the northwest (Birkenhead) is available. We therefore have plans to reopen that yard (formerly Cammell Laird, Birkenhead) during the latter part of this summer."

He was underlining earlier comments made by A&P Holdings non-executive director Brian Slade to the House of Commons in the aftermath of the controversial acquisition.
"Give us three to six months properly to assess the Birkenhead yard and fully identify its potential," he said in August last year. "I personally would be disappointed not to see activity at the yard within nine to 12 months." he added.

Mr Sherrard said the Hebburn shipyard was already active with a ship in the facility under a rented-out agreement with Swan Hunter. The new chairman said: "At Teesside we are in the final stage of negotiations with the port authorities to reopen. The sequence will therefore see Hebburn, then Birkenhead and then Teesside reopen later this

A&P took over some of the facilities on a facility-only basis from the receivers of Cammell Laird last year. These included the yards at Hebburn, Birkenhead and Teesside. The facilities at Bidston, Sunderland, and the group's international operations were not
included in the deal.

May 12



A rather large update again this week - thanks to the many contributors! If you have not visited the site since last weekend there was a mid week update - check "What's New" for details.

Please note that next week's update will be posted around 18:00 on Saturday May 18 as I will be sailing on the LADY OF MANN from Llandudno next Sunday.

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Clive Jackson, Ian Collard, James Edgar, Jenny Williamson, Michael Pryce, Chris Jones and "others".

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

LADY OF MANN - by the end of last week the Lady had been turned at her berth at Alexandra Dock to allow painting work to be undertaken on her starboard side. New windows have now been fitted to the crew and passenger side passages leading from the car ramps. In addition the metal doors to the car ramps which had become increasingly tatty in recent years have also been replace by what looks to be wooden doors, or at least wood stained doors. The LADY commences her programme of special trips with a sailing from Llandudno on Sunday May 19.

On Saturday May 25 the LADY OF MANN will operate a special charter Mother's Union "Round the Island" cruise from Douglas.


MERSEY VIKING has been in Canada Dry Dock over this weekend. Her services being covered by SAGA MOON. It is understood MERSEY VIKING will be off service for four days.


MONTEBELLO the Barrow-in-Furness based company has agreed a 10-year bareboat charter on the
Montebello, a 14,122 dwt clean product tanker.

The 1997-built, double-hull Montebello will be the largest vessel in James Fisher Tankships' 23-strong fleet of coastal and short-sea product tankers. Renamed Pembroke Fisher, the vessel is expected to join the group's fleet in June after undergoing its special survey. 

Lloyd's List reports that James Fisher has long been considering investing in newbuildings at both the smaller and larger range of its fleet - 3,000-4,000 dwt and 13,000-14,000 dwt. 

Group chief executive Angus Buchanan said the latest deal shelved plans at the upper end of the range, although Fisher would look to "build sister ships in due course". The Montebello was close to the specifications Fisher would have sought in a newbuilding, he added. Fisher is planning the replacement of eight 3,000 dwt vessels with fewer but larger ships.

Mr Buchanan said the group was likely to go down the newbuilding route as the choice of modern second-hand vessels in this segment was limited. The 10-year charter on the Montebello is part of Fisher's strategy to expand its tanker operation without the commitment of further capital and on competitive terms.

Mr Harris has previously stressed that arrangements such as long-term charters and leases have become more attractive under the new British tonnage tax regime because the company no longer requires capital allowances from purchase of its own ships to set against profits. Under Mr Harris's leadership, Fisher is accelerating its transformation from shipowner to a leading marine services provider. Mr Buchanan added: "This charter is in line with the company's strategy to strengthen its position as a marine service provider to the oil industry by increasing the size and reducing the average age of its fleet." Since Mr Harris's appointment as Fisher's chairman was announced last September, the group's shares have risen more than 60% to 136.5p from 84.5p


LÉ NIAMH became the first Irish Naval ship to cross the equator on April 22, 2002 whilst on the return leg of her voyage to the far east. A full report of the celebrations on board can be found at: This weekend the vessel is due to pass through the Suez Canal and will call at Palma, Mallorca on May 16. She is expected back in Ireland later this month. 


LEONARDO - Mc Tay Marine this week moved the new NATO research vessel from its Bromborough Yard to the fitting out berth at East Float, Birkenhead.


The former Yugoslav passenger ship left Clarence Graving Dock, Liverpool on Saturday May 11. She was noted on Sunday May 12 at Alexandra #2 Branch Dock. Work appears to have been concentrated on her hull and she has fresh boot topping. However, little else appears to have been done. If anyone has any further information as to what the future holds for this interesting little ship please email.



Though well outside the usual news scope of Irish Sea Shipping the Hull based fishing vessel MARBELLA has visited Merseyside. The photograph by Ian Collard shows her at Liverpool's Canada Dock last year when she was working on the Irish Sea.

Humber Coastguard were contacted at just after 9:30 a.m. this morning after the fishing factory vessel `Marbella’ reported that she had been in collision with the gas platform 473B based in the Rough gas field. The platform is located 24 miles from the mouth of the River Humber and 27 miles from Bridlington off the East Coast. 2 lifeboats from Bridlington and Humber have been launched to the incident and will arrive on scene just after 11.00 a.m. this morning. A rescue helicopter R 128 has also been deployed to the gas field.

There are 128 people on board the platform who are all accounted for with 21 on board the damaged trawler. No injuries have been reported. The `Marbella’ has been badly holed but is not taking water. She remains under her own power and will be escorted into the River Humber by the Humber lifeboat. The gas platform, had already been shut down for maintenance and Dynegy Storage are presently assessing the damage. The platform is linked by walkways with two others and people are being transferred to the other platforms. A number of vessels are standing by the platform including the `Putford Achilles and the `Navion Europa’, a 73,000 ton shuttle tanker with a heli-deck and several fishing vessels.


HMS ST. ALBANS  The 2001 commissioned Duke Class Type 23 Frigate HMS ST ALBANS F 83 arrived at Dublin Port around 12:30 on May 11, 2002. She was escorted into the port by tugs  CLUAIN TARBH and DALGINNIS. .


The Western Morning News reported this week that the Devon shipyard has been beaten to an important contract by a foreign competitor who is paying workers just £1 an hour.

Appledore shipbuilders was on the shortlist to build up to five ships for a South African customer but was beaten to it by the Dutch firm, Damen shipbuilders, who contracted the job to the Ukraine where labour and steel is up to ten times cheaper than in Europe.

Appledore's chairman, John Langham, said that wages there are about £1 an hour and added that although he was disappointed, Appledore had to persuade buyers that cheap does not mean quality.

"There is a question of quality. Appledore build ships to last and the cheapest is not always the best.

"We have been proven to deliver excellent ships and we naturally disappointed but we will continue to build the best naval ships in the world."

Appledore still has enough work to carry itself into next year, and is looking for more naval orders.

Jim Wilson, managing director of the yard, said he was presently "in cahoots" with a major British company over a future contract.

"We've lost out before but that's the way business goes, we're still aggressively pursuing other contracts and still belting them out.

"We thought we had a good chance of getting the contract because we'd built a similar 85 metre boat for an Irish firm.

"No one can touch us in Europe for quality and we are still confident of being a major force for naval ships."

He added that none of the 550 direct staff were at risk of losing their jobs nor were the 250 other staff who are also employed by the company.

"We dust ourselves down and get on with it," said Mr Wilson.

But pressure is mounting on the British Government to award naval contracts to British yards.

Torridge and West Devon Lib Dem MP John Burnett said that Appledore Shipbuilders were still "in with a shout" on building a large pontoon which would be used for transporting heavy machinery and goods.

He explained that the North Devon yard was hoping to win a contract from South Africa in which the shipyard would work with a South African partner on three small offshore vessels and one larger vessel.

Dutch yard Damen compete by getting contracts and then sub-contracting to Ukraine, where labour is cheap and steel costs 20 per cent of world market price.

"It's blatant unfair competition. They use our money to subsidise their industry against us," said Mr Burnett.

He added that Appledore could still deliver the best.

"We can match Damen on everything including quality and delivery time," he said.

"The public have to know that Appledore Shipbuilders is now the only major commercial shipyard left in England. We cannot allow these skills to be lost. The British Government and the European Union are beginning to fight this. One thing we can't allow is for Appledore Shipbuilders is to become like Damen, who are basically just designers. We have every reason to be proud of what is probably the finest shipyard in the world."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence last night said that the Government were in no position to decide on commercial contracts.

"This was a commercial contract and the fact that the South Africans decided to award it elsewhere is not for the British Government to decide



On Tuesday evening May 7 a correspondent reports that a large self-propelled floating crane, presumably MERSEY MAMMOTH was seen out in Morecambe Bay. Later what looked to be the grab dredger MERSEY MARINER departed from Heysham and went alongside the crane. On Wednesday evening the dredger was once again noted in Heysham Harbour.

MDHC have been undertaking dredging at Heysham for a number of weeks now and the level of this activity is much greater than before MDHC assumed control of Heysham from Sea Containers. 

One wonders if there is any significance to this increased level of dredging operations? Are operators using the port considering the introduction of deeper draughted vessels?

ISLES OF SCILLY STEAMSHIP COMPANY reported that on Wednesday May 2 SCILLONIAN III was out of service due to a mechanical defect and that there were fears that the vessel would be unable to serve the islands over the busy May Bank Holiday weekend when the International Gig Racing Championships are held.

Fortunately, it was possible to return SCILLONIAN III to service by Thursday May 3 after repairs on her gear box.

In a statement from the Steamship Company, they wrote: "The coupling failed on her return to Penzance Tuesday evening in the area of Lamorna Cove, one engine was immediately shut down and Scillonian proceeded on to Penzance on the other engine."

Lisa Soper of the Steamship Company writes: "In the interests of passenger safety the decision was made not to sail Scillonian until the repair work was completed and our engineers, joined by those of Penzance Dry Dock, worked overnight to remedy the problem."

"The work was completed this morning and after testing the engines Scillonian sailed at 12:45 with 450 passengers on board."

"All passengers were in good spirits looking forward to an enjoyable Gig Championship."

"Scillonian III will resume her normal schedule tomorrow [May 4] and has a full manifest of 600 passengers."

May 8


Quite a large mid-week update this week featuring much material from my recent trip to Ireland. 

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Tommy Dover, Tony Brennan, Ian Collard and "others".


Currently under auction is a promotional model of one of the Sealink British Ferries Harland & Wolff built vessels complete with original box. The Auction ends on Sunday May 12. Click on the link below to go to the auction page.

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

LADY OF MANN - work continues at Alexandra Dock, Liverpool to prepare the Lady for her TT and special excursion duties which commence later this month. Evacuation drill was reported to have been carried out on the LADY OF MANN on Wednesday May 8.


Non Landing Fares Day Trip have made a welcome return to the Liverpool to Dublin route. Priced in the band £10 to £20 depending on date of travel. The on-line booking code for the non landing day trips is: DT NLD To book go to The fares are not listed on the site, just enter the above code when completing the on-line reservation form. Sea Containers deserve a pat on the back from ship enthusiasts for reintroducing this popular facility.



Sea Containers Ltd. announced on May 7 that various Finnish and Swedish leading companies had exercised their option to require Sea Containers to purchase 26% of the shares of Silja Oyj Abp at a price of €2.52 per share, equivalent to approximately US $36 million. This will bring Sea Containers’ shareholding to 76% of Silja. Completion of the purchase is required by June 20, 2002. Sea Containers intends to acquire the balance of Silja’s shares by tender offer to the remaining shareholders for cash or common shares in Sea Containers. Lazard AB, Stockholm has been engaged to advise the company on these transactions.

Up until now, Silja’s assets and liabilities did not appear on Sea Containers’ balance sheet as its shareholding was 50%. Once 76% of Silja is owned, all of Silja’s assets of $532 million at December 31, 2001 and liabilities of $386 million will be added to Sea Containers assets and liabilities, less minority interests. It is Sea Containers’ opinion that the Silja assets are significantly undervalued. Silja’s revenue in 2001 was €573 million. Silja today announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002, registering a €9.5 million improvement in net income compared with the first quarter of 2001.

In a related matter, Silja has made a preliminary offer at the behest of Sea Containers to acquire Compania Trasmediterranea S.A., the Spanish state owned ferry company which is being privatized. Trasmed has a fleet of 24 ships and operates passenger, car and freight trailer services from mainland Spain to the Balearic Islands, from the South of Spain to Mediterranean North African ports, from Cadiz to the Canary Islands and within the Canary Islands. In many respects Silja’s services are similar in the Baltic to those of Trasmed in Iberia. Trasmed had revenue of approximately €300 million, EBITDA of approximately €45 million in 2001 and has long term debt of approximately €175 million.

Mr. James B. Sherwood, President of Sea Containers, said that Silja has been invited to the next stage of the privatization, along with several other bidders. He noted, however, that none of the other bidders has the same strong credentials in the ferry business as Silja. He indicated that Silja may include a Spanish partner in its final bid. A transaction, if concluded, would probably not take place until late in 2002. Silja has agreed to retain the existing work force other than for retirements and voluntary severance.

Sea Containers acquired the British government ferry business, Sealink U.K.Ltd., in 1986 and sold a part to Stena Line of Sweden in 1990. It also secured in 1996 a 9 year concession from the British government to operate Britain’s high speed railway, GNER, on the London to Scotland route along the East Coast Main Line.


LAGAN VIKING did successfully completed berthing trials at the Twelve Quays terminal, Birkenhead on May 8.

The ship came alongside three times.

More berthing trials in a variety of conditions are to be arranged in the near future before the terminal opens to Belfast traffic in a few weeks time


Tommy Dover writes: On Tuesday April 30, 2002 the tug FORAGER left the port heading north, then in the early hours of Friday May 3, 2002 the tug MAURA (registered in Belfast) arrived.

MAURA took the drill platform out to the Codling Bank where it is undertaking work as part of the offshore windfarm project. Both tug and platform returned in the early hours of Sunday morning, MAURA departed from Wicklow after 10:30 heading north the same morning. The FORAGER returned to Wicklow on Monday May 6, mooring at the east pier.

On Saturday in Arklow, FORTH ENGINEER and the jack up rig CONQUEST IPSWICH were in port, preparing for a project at Courtown, a few miles down the coast. It is understood that Carmet's tug VANGUARD towed the rig to Arklow during the week.

Arklow Marine Services launched a new workboat during last week. Unconfirmed reports say that she is a oil pollution control vessel, and destined for work in the far east !  

At 16:00 on Saturday 4 rowing boats departed from Arklow to race across the Irish sea to Aberystwyth,



Captain Kevin Doyle of the EUROPEAN PATHFINDER is shortly to embark on a major fundraising exercise in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Kevin is to give up driving his busy freight ferry to cycle around the coast of Ireland at around 70 miles per day in June to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

Starting at Larne on 3 June he will cycle anti-clockwise around the coast of Ireland, returning to Larne on 20 June in time for an event held to mark National Cycling week.

All monies received are going direct to the Marie Curie fund as Kevin is treating it as his "holiday".  Kevin says that the 70 miles a day should be well within his ability but with the long days of June there should be plenty of daylight to allow him to catch up if he falls behind schedule.

Kevin's initial target is £10,000 - if you'd like to support this worthwhile cause send cheques (made payable to 'Circle Of Ireland') to

Circle Of Ireland 2002,
c/o Sharon Toner
P&O Irish Sea
Larne Harbour
BT40 1AW.

The full route is: (no of miles)

Day 1 Larne - Magilligan (70)
Day 2 Magilligan - Letterkenny (80)
Day 3 Letterkenny - Ardara (75)
Day 4 Ardara - Bundoran (75)
Day 5 Bundoran - Bangor Erris (85)
Day 6. Bangor Erris - Clifden (80)
Day 7 Clifden - Kinvara (75)
Day 8 Kinvara - Tarbert (65)
Day 9 Tarbert - Kenmare (79)
Day 10 Kenmare - Clonakilty (72)
Day 11 Clonakilty - Lismore+ (67+)
Day 12 Lismore + - Rosslare (85-)
Day 13 Rosslare - Dublin (100)
Day 14 Rest Day
Day 15 Rest Day
Day 16 Dublin - Newry (75)
Day 17 Newry - Bangor (75)
Day 18 Bangor - Larne.(15)


The Liverpool Echo reports that conservationists and the Mersey Docks and Harbour company  are locked in a row over the future of a nature reserve adjacent to the Royal Seaforth Dock.

The land was reclaimed from the sea by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in the early 1970s and set aside for future development.

But over the years, the plot grassed over and pools developed that provided rich pickings for all manner of wildlife. A formal nature reserve was established in 1984.

The site attracts 230 bird species who feed or roost at the reserve. There have also been a number of rare sightings.

Now conservationists want the site to be preserved as a permanent Special Protection Area.

However, MD&HC claim the reserve was only a temporary arrangement and the site has always been earmarked for future development.

Steve White, of Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who has been based at Seaforth Nature Reserve for 12 years, said: "It's a birdwatchers' paradise.

"It has picked up an amazing list of very rare birds, including song birds from North America.

"We get 7% of the British population of cormorants who come to Seaforth to roost and sleep.

"Then you have the wading birds, the turnstones and redshanks. Some of the turnstones come from as far as northern Canada in the winter. The Mersey is particularly important to the thousand or so we see."

The Mersey is also attracting large numbers of black-tailed godwits, a wading bird whose numbers have dramatically increased in the last five years.

Mr White has constructed special feeding rafts on the reserve so that the numbers of common terns who head there to breed after wintering in West Africa can feed. It is also the only site in the country which is visited by the world's smallest gull, called the little gull, in spring.

They come in for up to four weeks to feast on hatching insects.

"We think they come here because one of the lagoons is freshwater and the other seawater."

Liam Fisher, of English Nature, the group allowed to retain the area as a nature reserve by MDHC, said: "It is part of a wider area called the Mersey Narrows which is already a site of Special Scientific Interest.

"It includes the Egremont foreshore opposite Seaforth Dock and the two together form a network of sites the birds will use. They feed on Egremont and then fly over to Seaforth to rest and hide from predators.

"In terms of its wildlife value the lagoons and pools caused by a movement of flood water creates quite a special area for vegetation."

English Nature has applied for the area to be a Special Protection Area to preserve its status permanently.

In its environmental review published in April, MDHC stressed its commitment to promoting the environment.

But the report added: "It seems to us absurd that land reclaimed from the sea for future port development at the port's cost should become designated as a Special Protection Area because the port has voluntarily helped in assisting local nature groups whilst the land has lain fallow awaiting development.

"The UK ports' competitive position is adversely affected by such action because European environmental legislation is not implemented uniformly.

" Most European countries exclude navigation channels and port working areas from the environmental sites they designate giving equal weight to social, economic and cultural criteria."

May 3


A fairly brief update this evening due to the fact that I am running somewhat behind schedule following a puncture on the way home. Fortunately, I had posted an extra update on May 1, which appears immediately below which details news from the first part of the week.

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Açôr Line is to charter the LADY OF MAN as their second ferry in the Azores again this season according to a report by Luís Miguel Correia in Lisbon.


Vestas - Celtic Wind Technology Ltd has awarded the contract to transport wind farm parts across the Irish Sea to the P&O Shipping Company. Vestas had to find an alternative route after the Campbeltown to Ballycastle ferry service failed to restart this year, but the company hopes to use the service if it restarts next year. EUROPEAN NAVIGATOR is expected to call at Campbeltown this weekend for berthing trails.


Travel between Ireland and Scotland has been given an additional boost with the introduction by P&O Irish Sea of a new passenger service between Larne and Troon in Ayrshire.

The new no-frills service, operated by European Navigator, offers a value for money crossing, with prices starting at just under £55 per person for a car and 2 passengers on a four-day return package.  With meals included in the price, the leisurely four-hour crossing offers excellent value.

James Esler, P&O Irish Sea, Sales & Marketing Manager comments: "Our new Larne-Troon service has been well received by our customers and interest in it is high.  It complements our well-established and very popular Larne-Cairnryan service and gives our customers even more choice when choosing to travel to Scotland".

Located just 10 minutes from Ayr and 35 minutes from Glasgow, Troon is an excellent choice for a short-break.  A golfer's paradise, it is home to Royal Troon Golf Club which has hosted the British Open Championships seven times and which extends a warm welcome to visitors.  For sports enthusiast of the non-golfing variety Troon offers tennis, squash, rugby and with a beautiful clean, sandy beach, long walks along the sea shore are a must.  A less energetic day at the races at Ayr Racecourse may of course be equally as enjoyable.

James Esler adds: "Scotland offers opportunities for short-breaks or longer holidays.  Travelling with a car to either Troon or Cairnryan with P&O Irish Sea means that customers have flexibility to explore these opportunities and tailor a holiday to suit themselves."


For just under £29 per person each way, you can take your car and a passenger to Scotland with P&O Irish Sea. (Based on a three day return for a car + 2 passenger travelling).

This is just one of a range of new offers and fares which P&O Irish Sea have introduced to ensure that their customers enjoy greater choice, flexibility and value for money.

Families who are planning to holiday in Scotland or England this year can take advantage of the new "Kids Go Free" offer when they book before 31st May 2002 while foot passengers will enjoy reductions of up to 28% on the Larne - Cairnryan service.

A new 24-hour return is a welcome option particularly for the business traveller who can travel to Scotland for just £99.  With no early booking requirement and a fixed price, the business traveller can make travel plans at the last minute without having to pay exorbitant prices.

James Esler, P&O Irish Sea, Sales & Marketing Manager comments: "We have devised a range of fares which meets the individual needs of all our customers and offers excellent value for money per person travelling.  In addition to the flexibility which travelling with a car brings, our customers can be sure that when they book with P&O Irish Sea they don't have to worry about excess baggage charges nor do they need to budget for the cost of car parking at airports.  The fare which we quote is the total cost."

P&O Irish Sea's timetable offers a choice of 16 sailings per day to and from Scotland on either Superstar Express, the only one-hour crossing from Ireland to Britain or on European Causeway, the new ferry which crosses in just 1 hour 45 minutes.  European Highlander, a brand new £36 m ferry, will join Larne-Cairnryan route in July increasing the number of sailings per day to 24.

The tariffs have been devised to offer a greater range of fare options. James Esler adds: "We offer the greatest number of sailings to and from Britain than any other operator.   This together with our range of fares, means the customers can choose the sailing which best suit their needs and their budget".

May 1


An extra news bulletin to keep up with this week's events.

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Charlie Tennant, Michael Pryce and "others".

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Adverse conditions on Monday April 29 saw some disruption to services:

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN departed from Douglas on time at 07:00 for Liverpool. However she returned light ship to Douglas to take the afternoon Belfast sailing. Passengers on her 10:30 sailing from Liverpool were transferred to the BEN-MY-CHREE sailing from Heysham.

The BEN-MY-CHREE's 14:15 sailing was somewhat delayed arriving at Douglas at 19:00. SEACAT ISLE OF MAN's sailing to Belfast was rescheduled to 19:00 but managed to get away at 18:40.

SUPERSEACAT THREE's Liverpool to Dublin sailing on April 29 was cancelled, though the evening round trip to Douglas operated. It is understood that the Sunday evening [April 28] sailing from Liverpool to Douglas was a particularly lively event, not enjoyed by all of the passengers on board, which took just over three hours.


Following a disappointing turnout of just under 10% of the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo group membership The LADY OF MANN had a landslide victory in the classic ship poll. WAVERLEY and BALMORAL between them not managing half her vote.

The other vessels HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS, SCILLONIAN and OLDENBURG only managing one vote each.

POLL QUESTION: Vote for your favourite
operational "classic" passenger vessel
operating on the Irish / Celtic Seas.
[ro/ros etc are excluded!]

- Hebridean Princess, 1 votes, 4.35%
- Balmoral, 2 votes, 8.70%
- Lady of Mann [II], 14 votes, 60.87%
- Oldenburg, 1 votes, 4.35%
- Scillonian III, 1 votes, 4.35%
- Waverley, 4 votes, 17.39%

A poll for the ultimate classic ship that escaped preservation will be posted on the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo Group shortly. Please forward nominations to - subject: Classic Nominations.


Irish Ferries is reported to have warded off a patent infringement claim by Stena Line in
respect of the design of a high-speed catamaran, the Jonathan Swift, employed on its Dublin to Holyhead ferry service.

Stena sued claiming the design of the JONATHAN SWIFT infringed its "Superstructure for Multihull Vessels" European Patent (UK) no 0 648 173, which relates to designs aimed at making such vessels more stable by preventing "hogging" and "sagging" in the hulls.

Now Mr Justice Laddie at London's High Court has held that Stena's patent is valid. However, he went on to rule that Irish Ferries had not infringed it on the basis of provisions in the Patents Act 1977. Those provisions state that an act which would constitute an infringement of a patent in respect of a ship do not do so if the act is carried out in circumstances where the ship has "temporarily or accidentally" entered internal or territorial UK waters. 

The judge said that the Jonathan Swift carries out between three and four return crossings between Ireland and Holyhead each day with Dublin as its home port. During normal operations it would remain in UK waters for about three hours on each trip. "The primary question to be answered is whether in all the circumstances, the JONATHAN SWIFT has 'temporarily' entered the territorial waters of the UK," said the judge.

He held that the ferry service did give the vessel the necessary 'temporary' status to enable it to take advantage of the get-out clause in the Patents Act. "The JONATHAN SWIFT can only infringe when it is within our territorial waters," he said.

"The issue of infringement therefore has to be looked at each time it is here. Weather permitting, it does not stay in our waters for more than about three hours at a time.
"That is the intention of the operator. The fact that the same journey is repeated over and over again, does not alter the fact that each entry into our waters is designed to be short. Indeed, the fact that it is repeated so frequently emphasises the temporary nature of its entry and the fact that it is a means of transport being used in the international carriage of goods and people.

 Its entry each time is temporary." He said that in the result, while Stena succeeded on the issue of validity of the patent Irish Ferries succeeded on the issue of infringement. Stena Rederi Aktiebolag and Stena Line Aktiebolag v Irish Ferries Ltd before Laddie J, chancery division. Richard Arnold QC and Hugo Cuddigan (instructed by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert) appeared for the claimants. Richard Miller QC and Douglas Campbell (instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan) appeared for the defendants


SUPERSTAR EXPRESS missed out on her early morning return crossing from Larne/Cairnryan on May 1. Instead she conducted timing and berthing trials from Larne to the Troon P&O linkspan and return earlier today. Is a Larne - Troon service in the offing?

EUROPEAN NAVIGATOR it is believed that the vessel will carry out berthing trails at Campbeltown this weekend.



The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on April 29 that 12 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during March 2002 after failing port state control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that 7 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during March 2002 along with 5 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 6.6% which is identical to the 12-month rate to February.

4 out of the 7 vessels detained in March were registered with flags targeted by the Paris MOU. In addition to those vessels detained approximately 22 vessels were issued with letters of warning as a result of failure to comply with the STCW95 requirements for crew certification which came into force on 1 Feb 2002.

The ships detained included a Greek flagged general cargo vessel with 37 recorded deficiencies. The vessel was generally in poor condition and extensive corrosion was found throughout the ship, for example in the bridge bulkhead, accommodation deck port side funnel, No 2 access hold and the engine room ventilators. In addition to this some of the navigation charts used on the voyage to South Shields were found to be over 30 years old.

Fire and abandon ships drill were observed and found to be inadequate. The first fire drill was quickly stopped when it became apparent that the crew were unaware of the correct donning of the fire suit and breathing apparatus. During the second drill the failure of one of the crew to tighten the shoulder straps on the breathing apparatus nearly resulted in one of the team falling down a set of engineroom stairs. At the boat drill one crew member suffered a lacerated finger caused by the boat being lowered when the crew member, who had been in the boat putting out the forward painter, was in the process of stepping out onto the davit.

Surveyors had to return to the vessel on four occasions before all deficiencies were rectified and the drills were considered to be of sufficient standard to enable the vessel to be released from detention. This cargo vessel had a valid SMC which was due of re-audit. Fire and abandon ships drill may become a more prominent feature of such PSC inspections from July 2002 when ISM is extended to cover this type of ship.

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. (A copy of the list is attached to hard copies of this press notice).


On April 29 the MCGA reported that a Dutch Coaster is currently awaiting repair in Falmouth after it broke down last night and began drifting towards the coast in severe gale force weather.

The vessel, EMMAPLEIN , which was in ballast at the time of the incident called Falmouth Coastguard at 01.45  on April 28 to request assistance after its engines failed. It was drifting off Gwennap Head near Lands End with six crew on board.

The Coastguard requested the Coastguard Emergency Towing Vehicle (ETV or tug) and the Sennen Cove Lifeboat to assist and also asked the RNAS Culdrose rescue helicopter to stand by. When the vessel was three miles off the coast, and preparations were being made to put a tow on board, it managed to re-start its engines. The vessel was then escorted into Falmouth Bay by the ETV and is now waiting to go alongside for repair.

Peter Bullard, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager said: "Despite the gale force 9 weather, the incident was under control at all times and had the vessel not managed to re-start its engines then it would have been towed into harbour by the tug."


On Wednesday May 1 Lloyd's List reported that UK ferry operator Cenargo's dispute with Seville-based yard Izar Construcciones Navales has reached the Court of Appeal over capacity for two of Cenargo's ro-ros the DAWN MERCHANT and the BRAVE MERCHANT 
Cenargo's appeal being dismissed and the builder's allowed.

Both parties had appealed against a judgment by Mr Justice Andrew Smith in the High Court last year in which Cenargo was awarded liquidated damages for breach of trailer carrying capacity of $450,000 for each vessel.

"The Court of Appeal held that, even if there had been a breach of Article 1.4 of the contract to the extent of an inability on the part of the vessel to provide six required slots, the loss resulting from that breach was not intended to be covered by the liquidated damages clause," said Emma Rios-Ternero of Sinclair Roche and Temperley.


Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, Mr. Frank Fahey, T.D.  launched the Task Force Report on Transport Logistics in Connection with Seaports on April 29.  

The report is the culmination of the work of the Task Force set up by the Minister in early 2001 to examine transport access problems that ports are experiencing and to identify workable and practical solutions.

Minister Fahey said, “This is the first time ever that the commercial seaports access / egress needs and the position of our ports within the transport chain has been assessed and researched - from the ports perspective looking outwards.”

In total there are 47 recommendations put forward by the Task Force on transport planning, port governance, short term issues relative to Dublin, traffic management and infrastructure, road / other modes and policy development.  The principal recommendation of the Task Force is the setting up of a Department of Transport with full responsibility for the development and implementation of policy across all transport modes.  The Task Force also advocates a radical shake up of transport policy formulation and an integrated across the board strategy.  Port Companies must take on board the interests of local communities and port users in their decision making.
The Minister commented “We must ensure that our ports are equipped for the demands of our growing economy.  This can be achieved through ongoing investment and the development of seamless transport systems between road, rail and ports and the optimum utilisation of property assets.” 

The critical importance of Ireland’s ports to the national economy cannot be overstated.  In 2000 the weight of goods handled exceeded 45 million tonnes, up 5.5% on the previous year.  It is estimated that traffic through ports will increase by some 50% up to 2007 when the current National Development Plan ends.

Minister Fahey thanked Chairman Dr. John Mangan of the IMI and the Task Force members for their dedication, commitment and time invested in producing the Report and concluded, “This comprehensive and detailed report will be fully and carefully considered and in this context it has already been put on the agenda of the Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport for consideration.  It will work into the policy making framework of all Departments involved and represented on the Task Force - and most importantly it will inform public policy in the areas identified as part of a radical change agenda.”

Main Task Force findings / recommendations

 The importance of the ports as a vital link in the logistics chain between producers and their customers and the effect any inefficiencies can have on the competitiveness of our economy.

  •  The serious congestion close to ports but not within ports.

  •  The lack of priority accorded to commercial freight traffic generally in the transport policy framework and the need to identify it as a sector of primary national interest.

  •  The essential importance of ports to a peripheral and island economy.

  •  The recommendation for a new all embracing Transport Department across all modes with integration the key.

  •  Support for the DTO vision and goals but concerns on aspects of implementation.

  •  Recognition of improvements needed in infrastructure and longer time horizons needed for planning and investment.

Full List of 47 Recommendations of Task Force 

[The proposals for Bay ferries at Dublin and Cork are particularly interesting - JHL]

The Task Force on Transport Logistics in Connections with Seaports has agreed the following recommendations.

Transport Planning and Port Governance

1. A new Department of Transport with full cabinet representation should be created with full responsibility for the development and implementation of policy across all transport modes and with particular emphasis on the development of integrated transport systems in line with EU policy.

2. The role of ports in developing the efficiency of the whole supply chain and in stimulating balanced regional development needs to be highlighted and prioritised.  In the case of Dublin, the Task Force favours the commencement of the DTO’s freight distribution study as a matter of urgency with a view to devising an enhanced traffic management strategy for freight distribution generally in the Greater Dublin Region.

3. Port projects should be given priority in planning processes where it can be shown that there will be positive net benefits to the economy.

4. The current model for port governance may result in excess competition between ports when an alternative model could provide benefits. The Task Force welcomes the planned review of the current regional structure for port governance and operations to identify how the ports network as a whole may best function in the context of the development of the all-Ireland economy.

5. An examination of the adequacy of the existing regulatory environment for ports and its enforcement should precede any consideration of regional amalgamation.

6. This review should also examine the potential role of a statutory office holder to adjudicate in cases of disputes in ports.

7. Initiatives should be promoted to overcome the perception that the interests of local communities and of port users are inadequately represented in decision making by Port Boards.

8. The new Department of Transport should put in place the necessary structures to mediate the conflicting objectives of port stakeholders and to facilitate the expression of views by port users.

9. The proposed Strategic Land Use and Transportation Authority for Dublin should be established as a matter of urgency.

10.A long-term strategic approach is required that sets objectives for the development of the port sector over the next 20 to 50 years.

11. Irish transport policy needs to set a long-term objective that Ireland will have a transport system and international linkages that are a basis for the development of transport related industries, with Ireland acting as a gateway to Europe.

Short-term Issues and Recommendations Specific to Dublin

12. Implementation of a one-way system in the area of Dublin Port should be considered in the DTO Freight Study as a matter of priority. 

13. The reinstatement of the Newcomen Road railway bridge for freight traffic requires urgent examination.

14. The reconstruction of the East Wall Road Bridge should be progressed as soon as possible and greater measures should be taken to reduce the risk of future damage.

15. Urgent attention should be given in the DTO freight transport study to initiatives to overcome the impact on freight flows of displaced traffic as a result of construction of the Port Tunnel.  Dublin Port and its users should be consulted in this undertaking.

16. The potential benefits from developing dedicated freight ways in no-car lanes should be examined in the DTO freight study.

17. As a matter of policy, tolls on the Port Tunnel should be set at a level that ensures that adequate priority is given to HGVs that are accessing the port.  The level of the toll should be monitored on an on-going basis and, should it prove impossible to increase tolls sufficiently to achieve the desired aim, the feasibility of implementing a no-car lane in the Port Tunnel should be examined.

18. The option of extending the Dublin Port Tunnel to the south side of the river should be examined in the context of the conclusions of the NRA study of the Eastern by-pass. 

19. The Task Force welcomes the feasibility study by the NRA for the building of the Dublin Outer Orbital Route (DOOR) as well as the expansion of the M50 and advocates that the DOOR should be progressed as quickly as possible.

20. While recognising that difficulties are inevitable during the implementation period, an enhanced sequencing of the implementation of DTO initiatives is required.

21. Specific reference to the impact of DTO measures on the flow of goods should be included in all programmes with an assessment of the scale of the impact.
22. An area in the vicinity of Dublin Port should be identified as the basis for an Integrated Area Framework Plan with respect to transport and land use planning.

23. As a key stakeholder, a representative of Dublin Port should be appointed to the DTO Steering Committee.

Traffic Management and Infrastructure

24. Adequate resources should be applied to ensure that traffic regulations are enforced more strictly and it is recommended that a discrete force should be formed with the sole function of implementing these regulations.

25. Due recognition of the delays that the implementation on new traffic management initiatives can cause is required and complementary measures undertaken for traffic that does not have a choice with regard to the route travelled or the time of the journey. 

26. Demand for 24-hour operation of the major trading ports should be stimulated by the state ports in conjunction with corresponding and complementary initiatives by industry, for example, off-peak scheduling.

27. incentives to address freight transport during peak congestion periods, such as discounted tolls for freight traffic in off-peak hours, should be examined.

28. Local authorities should identify and state their preferred route of connection between ports, major transport nodes and primary routes.
29. The planned upgrading of the N28 between Cork and Ringaskiddy and the N69 between Limerick and Foynes, including a bypass of Foynes village, should be progressed as a matter of priority.

30. The provision of a new northern access route to Drogheda Port should be re-examined.

31. Traffic management agencies should, within the context of integrated traffic management strategies, develop specific spatial policies on the flow of goods.

32. Investment in port services in non-congested areas should be examined to identify overall benefits to the economy.

33. While noting the role of private finance in the NDP and welcoming the commitment to the development of integrated tolling, tolls should develop as a means to supplement, rather than to supplant, the public provision of infrastructure.

34. Performance indicators should be developed to monitor the efficiency of transport in the vicinity and hinterland of the ports.

35. Careful consideration should be given to the recommendations of the Oscar Faber report on the potential uses of road pricing in traffic management.

36. This Task Force has examined the role of the ports in traffic congestion and recommends that a similar examination should be undertaken in other sectors, for example, the impact of altering school starting times or other initiatives on congestion.

Rail and Other Modes

37. On the basis of the outcome of the upcoming review of rail transport in Ireland, recently announced by the Minister for Public Enterprise, a clear up-to-date statement of rail freight policy should be formulated along with a programme of action to achieve the objectives contained in this statement.

38. Direct access to the rail infrastructure by private operators in the business of freight transport should be examined in the review.

39. The feasibility of developing a multi-product oil pipeline from Dublin Port to a remote location should be examined, particularly in the context of the opportunities presented by the proposed line to Dublin Airport.

40. Research should be undertaken to identify which operations might best be carried on in locations that are remote from the port from the point of view of their traffic impacts.

41. The development of inland container handling facilities and inland dry ports should be examined to identify the potential benefits. 

42. The potential economic benefits of ferries, including cross-bay ferries for Cork and Dublin, should be evaluated and fiscal incentives formulated, if appropriate.

43. Ways to promote the development and adoption of information technology, such as real-time information systems and integrated systems to link ships, drivers, ports and customs, should be examined.

Policy Development

44. Freight transport should be identified as a sector of primary national interest.

45. The agencies charged with decisions in relation to traffic management should become more inclusive of business interests to ensure that their views are adequately represented.

46. The absence of an effective forum to champion the interests of freight operators is undesirable.  It would be advisable for stakeholders to come together to form a single, cohesive representative entity to contribute to rational planning and to remove current perceptions of inadequate consultation.

47. The new Department of Transport should be charged with producing an action plan for the implementation of these recommendations.  In the interim, the cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure should consider the recommendations.



Resplendent in her new feline livery Incat’s hull number 045 left Hobart for Italy at 15.00hrs (EST) on April 27.

Trading as Winner, the 86 metre craft will enter service for Tris (Traghetti Isole Sarde) on the Genoa - Palau, Sardinia route. Sailing from mainland Italy at 8.45 am, arriving in Sardinia at 2.15 pm, Winner will return at 3.00 pm with an arrival in Genoa at 8.30 pm. On Mondays the vessel will also call at Porto Vecchio, Corsica.

Amidst much waving of their national flag, Captain Nicola Parascandolo of Tris was joined by members of the Italian community in Tasmania to farewell the ship as she departed on her 20-day delivery voyage.

Speaking as the ship sailed Captain Parascandolo commented; "In Europe there are many shipbuilders but in Tasmania we have found the best in Incat."

Under the command of Captain Mik Henriksen Winner’s first port of call is Fremantle followed by the Seychelles before sailing on to Genoa via the Suez Canal. Captain Henriksen has spent the past year working in conjunction with US Military crew on HSV-X1 Joint Venture. The 20-day passage will allow Captain Henriksen to work with the Tris Captains Michele Costagliola and Vincenzo Lofaro and their Italian crew, to familiarise them with high speed craft operation, thus ensuring a smooth transition when the ship goes into service.

The departure marks Incat’s second delivery within as many weeks, illustrating Chairman Robert Clifford’s prediction that the high speed ferry industry is on the road to expansion. Just twelve days previously Incat bade farewell to Bay Ferries’ new 98 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran The Cat, for the international route between Yarmouth in Canada and Bar Harbor in the United States.

With the charter of Winner Tris is bringing a new way of thinking to ferry operations in Italy where routes up to 200 nautical miles can be very competitive when operated with fast craft compared with the conventional medium speed tonnage currently operating crossings in excess of eight hours duration. In service Winner will save passengers between 3 and 5 hours per crossing compared against other services.

Well known as the former Royal Australian Navy craft HMAS Jervis Bay, the sleek catamaran has a capacity for up to 900 persons and 200 cars and can travel at speeds of over 40 knots.

Winner General Particulars
Builder: Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd.
Class Society: Det Norske Veritas
Certification: DNV +1A1 HSLC R1 Car Ferry "A" EO
Length overall: 86.62m
Length waterline: 76.41m
Beam overall: 26.00m
Beam of Hulls: 4.33m
Draft: 3.50m approx. in salt water
Service Speed: approx. 40 knots
Lightship Speed: approx. 48 knots

Total persons: 900 persons
Vehicle Capacity: 200 cars at 4.5m length x 2.3m wide or combination of cars and up to 4 buses.

Main Engines: 4 x Ruston 20RK270 marine diesel engines.
Water Jets: 4 x Lips LJ145D waterjets configured for steering and reverse.
Transmission: 4 x Renk ASL60 gearboxes
Ride Control: A ‘Maritime Dynamics’ active ride control system is fitted to maximise passenger comfort. The system combines active trim tabs aft and T-foil located at the forward end of each hull.



Visit for Transport, Industrial Heritage & Regional Digital Photographs and Growing Online 35mm Archive

Irish Sea Shipping - What's New July 2008Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009Back Home Up Next 

Irish Sea Shipping © John H. Luxton 1995-2018. Content © John H. Luxton and Contributors