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Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond


  JULY 2002




Please note that your web master will be away from August 2 to the evening of August 7. An update will be posted on Thursday August 1.

Please note that no emails will be answered or Photographic CD orders processed during this period.

If you need to contact me urgently during this period with news or other items please use the mobile number for voice or text messages.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Tony Brennan, Ian Collard, Clive Jackson, Tommy Dover, Jenny Williamson and "others".


Ships of Mann has been updated with three new galleries: The Lady this Summer, The Ben's Early Summer and The Cat's are Purring.


The results of the "One That Got Away" poll were as follows:

- PS Bristol Queen [1946], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- PS Cardiff Queen [1947], 2 votes, 6.45% 
- PS Glen Gower [1922], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- Empress Queen [1940], 0 votes, 0.00% 
- Lady of Mann [I]  [1930], 6 votes, 19.35%       <<<WINNER OF FIRST ROUND
- Monas Isle [1950], 2 votes, 6.45% 
- King George V [1926], 0 votes, 0.00% 
- King Orry [1946], 2 votes, 6.45% 
- Munster [1948], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- Innisfallen [1948], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- Leinster [1948], 0 votes, 0.00% 
- Ulster Prince [1937], 0 votes, 0.00% 
- Scillonian II [1956], 3 votes, 9.68% 
- Queen of the Isles [1965], 0 votes, 0.00% 
- St. David [1947], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- Cambria [1949], 3 votes, 9.68% 
- Hibernia [1948], 2 votes, 6.45% 
- St. Seriol [1931], 1 votes, 3.23% 
- St. Tudno [1926], 2 votes, 6.45% 
- Jeanie Deans [1931], 3 votes, 9.68%

The turnout was just over 10% - the best yet for an ISS group poll but it is still disappointing that so few group members have bothered to vote.

Romping home to a clear victory with 6 votes was the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's LADY OF MANN [I]. Though the poll was dominated by some well loved central corridor ships it was good to see some balance being shown with Jeanie Deans to the north and Scillonian [II] to the south having some noticeable following.

It did come as something of a surprise to discover that KING GEORGE V did not receive any votes, given the strong following the ship had in the 1970s. And what of P&A Campbell's short lived but graceful EMPRESS QUEEN? 

It is now intended that those ships with two or more votes will go through to a final ballot with the ships only scoring vote being eliminated. This leaves some votes to be redistributed amongst the remaining ships if the same number of people care to vote. If your chosen ship didn't make it through the first round, please make a choice from your preferred ship in the final ballot. 

Of course if you missed the first ballot you may still vote.

Hopefully this second ballot will produce a clear winner. 

To vote click on link: 

The poll closes August 11.

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

It is believed that the vessel inspected by Sea Containers - referred to in the mid week update was  NGV LIAMONE. You can find out more at:

SUPERSEACAT TWO - this view shows the ship laid up at Portsmouth last week. 

Her funnels are covered with bags and a wooden partition has been erected on her open car ramp to provide access.

Photo by Jenny Williamson

RAPIDE on July 26, the morning sailing from Belfast had to divert to Douglas to pick up water which had a knock on effect on her schedules. An observer noted her mid day departure crossing Morecambe Bay after 16:00. 


A report in the Daily Post this week indicates that Wirral Council is demanding to be consulted on controversial dredging in the Dee Estuary, amid fears of the impact on one of the country's most important sites.

Conservation officers have identified several issues of "serious concern" including the effects on erosion of the Dee Cliffs, the tidal flows, the wildlife and habitat, and the spread of Spartina grass.

They are particularly concerned about the estuary banks running from West Kirby to Heswall.

Despite the authority owning and being responsible for management of parts of the estuary, officers were not consulted on applications from Mostyn Docks to dredge underwater channels.

The Port of Mostyn were given permission to dredge in 1996 to allow large ro/ro vessels to access the port.

The port company has now made a further application to dredge another berth in a bid to win a lucrative contract to ship huge aircraft wings built at the Airbus plant at Broughton.

However, Wirral Council has written to the Government's Marine Consents and Environment Unit (MCEU) asking to be consulted in anticipation of new applications and amid conservationists' fears that beaches could silt up as a result of the dredging process.

Councillor Dennis Knowles, cabinet member for environment and planning, admitted the council was "very concerned" about the implications for the English side of the estuary.

"They are dredging for the good of their business and while we don't want to stand in the way at all, it could create major problems for us on this side of the water," he said.

"If the dredged waste is dumped and flows back into the estuary it could affect the natural habitat and we are trying very much to protect that for future generations."


MERCHANT VENTURE  - the long time laid up resident of Birkenhead's Vittoria Dock looks set to go back into action later this year in a new joint venture "NORSE ISLAND FERRIES" operating between Aberdeen and Shetland.

Norse Island Ferries is to start a 6 times weekly service Aberdeen-Shetland- Aberdeen using the P&OSF ST ROGNVALD Rognvald (from 1st October to be operated by Gulf Offshore) and the MERCHANT VENTURE from end of August operated by Cenargo.

The other partners are Jim Brackenridge Transport, Shetland Transport and Northwards(the former P&OSF road haulage operation now operating as a management buyout). It is not clear yet whether they will operate to Lerwick or Scalloway (there is no linkspan at Scalloway meantime but it seems the Local Authority operated port is keen to compete with the privately operated Lerwick Harbour Trust)

MERCHANT BRILLIANT departed from the Mersey after refitting at North Western's Bdiston Dry Dock on July 25.


ROYAL PRINCESS became the largest cruise ship to call at Greencastle, County Donegal on July 26. The ship arrived with 1,200 passengers many of whom were taken on organised tours to Londonderry and other parts of  North West Ireland.

The visit of the Royal Princess, which was launched in 1984 and is named after Princess Diana, was today hailed as a significant coup for the developing cruise industry in the local area.

The vessel is one of eight cruise liners due to dock in Greencastle and Derry this year - bringing an estimated 4,500 tourists to the region.


The two surviving Mersey Docks & Harbour Board Camels have moved. One of these floating caissons has been berthed adjacent to the Hydraulic Pumping House on the Four Bridges route for many years. The other Camel was berthed in Huskisson Dock.

On Saturday morning July 27 they were both noted outside of Clarence Dry Docks.

Presumably just some routine maintenance to keep them in working order should they ever be needed or has MD&HC a job lined up for them ?


WAVERLEY - around 13:20 on July 27 the Waverley suffered a disabling paddle wheel failure whilst the vessel was on a Glasgow to Rothsay sailing.

A coastguard spokeswoman said: "The Waverley lost the power of its starboard
wheel after it became damaged.

It is understood that the number one radius rod  fractured.  The feathering gear on the paddles was thus collapsed. 

The ship was towed back by tugs whilst the Tighnabruaich and Troon lifeboats stood by.

She was reported back in service after repairs on Sunday July 28.


Coasters calling to the port this week included BEN VARREY, SCOT VENTURE  and  KORALLE.

Wicklow lifeboat was launched on Sunday afternoon to give assistance to a motor launch, with mechanical problems near Wicklow head.The launch was towed into port.

Two tugs and barges are operating out of Arklow on a coastal protection project at Bray head



Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for June 2002 at 96,073 show a 61.4% increase on the figure for the same period in 2001 which was 59,542.

The year to date figure at 302,071 passengers shows a 28.3% increase over the same period in 2001 which was 235,441.

During June, car and motorcycle traffic through Douglas Harbour increased by 106% from 15,096 vehicles to 31,048 vehicles.

The year to date figure at 87,363 vehicles shows a 50.8% increase over the same period in 2001 which was 57,951.

Scheduled Routes show the following changes in passenger numbers for June:-

Belfastplus 87%from3,200to5,971
Dublinplus 29%from2,882to3,720
Heyshamplus 87%from18,787to35,059
Liverpoolplus 38%from33,756to46,653

Freight Traffic

June commercial vehicles metreage decreased by 1.1% from 37,069 metres to 36,649 metres.

Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

"The return of the TT following last year's cancellation contributes to the excellent June passenger figures. On a like for like basis passenger traffic to date shows a 6.4% increase over the same period in 2000 which highlights the on-going increase in passenger numbers. Traffic for 2001 having been influenced by the cancellation of various sporting events due to the Foot and Mouth crisis."




As I will be away from Friday August 2 through to Wednesday August 7, there will be a delay in processing orders for disks during my absence. 

If you are planning to order a copy of the " ISS 1994 - 1998 Photographic Collection CD" in the near future please try and get your order to me by Tuesday morning July 30 and I will ensure dispatch before my departure on August 2. 

Work is continuing on production of the second CD which should be available during August - more news soon.


Only two days remain for votes to be placed in the  ONE THAT GOT AWAY POLL. Polling closes on July 27. If you still have not voted please click on the link and cast your vote now.

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

LADY OF MANN - there appears to be a rumour doing the rounds that the LADY OF MANN may only serve one further winter season on the Irish Sea and next year she could be sold to her summer charterers ACOR LINE. It is also rumoured that Sea Containers have viewed a Corsican ferry as a possible replacement. If anyone knows any more please email



At just before19:00 on July 21, Brixham Coastguard received a Mayday call from the three crew of the 45ft Ketch AMBERSTAIRE who reported that they were taking water 30 miles south of Plymouth. The crew were on a passage from Burnham on Crouch to Whitehaven by way of Oostende and Cherbourg

Approximately 45 minutes before this time, the crew thought they had hit something in the water. There had been a loud bang and the engine had stopped. The crew initially thought they had caught something in the propeller. However, there was no apparent damage to the ferro-cement hull at that time, but on later inspection the engine space was seen to be flooding rapidly.

The crew were advised by the Coastguard to don lifejackets and launch their liferaft. A rescue helicopter was scrambled and a `Mayday’ relay signal transmitted into the area for assistance. The warship HMS IRON DUKE, the tanker MERSEY FISHER and the container vessel P & O Nedlloyd MARSEILLES all proceeded to her position.

The Plymouth lifeboat was also requested to launch to the yacht with pumps but to no avail as the AMBERSTAIRE sank at 7:42, some four minutes after the helicopter had winched off the crew. The were taken to a landing site in Cornwall where the Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team met them and took them to the Fishermen’s Mission in Newlyn for the night.

Dave Scullion, Brixham Coastguard Watch Manager said:

"The weather on scene at the time of the accident was quite good, with westerly winds force 5, a moderate sea and good visibility. There appears to be no obvious item that the vessel hit yesterday evening but the force of the collision clearly had a fatal effect on the vessel and we would remind sea farers to be extra vigilant when keeping watch for large items of debris in the water."


The late Mike Goodwyn author of the controversial book on Manx shipping "Is this anyway to run a shipping line ?" and former Chairman of the Manx Electricity Railway Society is to be remembered with a commemorative plaque.

Mike Goodwyn held the position from the mid-1970s until his death in October 1999.

An unveiling ceremony at Pole 515, the summit of the Manx Electric Railway, at Bulgham Bay, will take place on August 14th.

Current Chairman says the plaque will bear an inscription written by Mike himself.



Maersk Sealand, the world’s largest container shipping line, is to launch a new service from the Port of Liverpool to Northern Europe, Iberia and the Mediterranean.

Bookings are already being taken for the first sailing on Sunday, 28th July of the weekly "Liverpool Express" service which potentially opens up Maersk Sealand’s global network to Liverpool’s heavily industrialised hinterland.

The arrival of the 1,650 teu ATLANTIC LADY at the Seaforth Container Terminal will mark the launch of the second service to be started from Liverpool in the last six months by an operator with worldwide links.

Liverpool Express will have three fully cellular ships serving a port rotation taking in Maersk Sealand’s hub ports of Le Havre, Algeciras and Gioia Tauro, plus Lisbon, Salerno and Leixoes.

Said Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Director of Marketing Frank Robotham: "We are delighted that the world’s largest container shipping line recognises the benefits of operating out of Liverpool to service the Port’s regional hinterland which stretches from Birmingham to Scotland and includes Ireland.

"We anticipate that the decision by Maersk Sealand to operate a Mediterranean service with connections to its deep sea hubs at Le Havre, Algeciras and Gioia Tauro, will give exporters and importers from Liverpool’s hinterland greater opportunities not only to serve the Mediterranean trade route but also to access the global network of services operated by this major Line."


Minesweeper HMS CHIDDINGFOLD [M37] and Archer Class patrol vessels HMS CHARGER [P292] and HMS BITER [P270] attended the official opening of the Imperial War Museum at Manchester on July 23.


Cornish Shipping reports that During the past week the joint operators of the Torpoint Ferry Co., Plymouth City Council and Cornwall County Council, have announced that plans have been drawn up to refurbish both the Plymouth and Torpoint terminals serving the River Tamar. This work will involve preparing both slipways for the arrival of the first of three new ferries in the Autumn 2004 being built at a cost of £3.5 million each. This work will cost approximately £1 million.




An additional update was posted on July 17. The  Wednesday July 24 update has been rescheduled to Thursday July 25.


There is just one week remaining before the IRISH SEA SHIPPING - ONE THAT GOT AWAY POLL closes on July 27.

This is your chance to nominate one of the classic passenger vessels which operated on routes crossing the Irish and Celtic Seas from the Clyde to Cornwall or which cruised local waters.

The poll aims to identify which classic ship in the opinion of enthusiasts should have been preserved but wasn't.

Ships are featured from P&A Campbell, Isle of Man Steam Packet, B&I Line, Isles of Scilly Steamship Co, British Railways etc etc. Most of the ships featured have were nominated as worthy of inclusion by ISS readers. 

You don't actually have to have travelled on any of the ships. Having merely seen photographs of them should be sufficient enable you to identify the most attractive and worthy vessel. It isn't possible to turn the clock back - but a little bit of "What if?" is interesting! 

To vote, please visit the following web page:

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Trevor Kidd, Tony Brennan and "others".


 Has a new set of traditional postcards on offer. Visit for details.

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

SUPERSEACAT THREE - this week sailings to Dublin and Douglas were missed Wednesday to Friday due to "technical problems". For further details see July 17 update below.

SuperSeaCat Three departing late for Douglas on Saturday July 20. Photo: Ian Collard

The official line reported in Merseyside press this week was that SUPERSEACAT THREE was off service due to engine problems. The vessel departed Prince's Landing Stage bound for the Manchester Ship Canal at 06:00 on Thursday July 18, an observer noting her passing Bromborough Buoy at 06:16.

She returned to the Mersey shortly before midnight on Friday July 19, passing Bromborough at around 23:47 and was on the stage after departure of the rescheduled SEACAT ISLE OF MAN sailing.

However SUPERSEACAT THREE's problems were not over. It transpires that she encountered engine problems in Liverpool Bay on Saturday's 08:15 departure from Liverpool. This resulted in a late arrival at Dublin at 13:30. She departed Dublin at 14:38 and was noted by a correspondent passing Q1 inbound at 18:33. Obviously still not in a healthy condition. Her Saturday evening sailing to Douglas finally got away from Liverpool at 20:16.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN - with SUPERSEACAT THREE off service it there was some rescheduling necessary as detailed in the July 17 update below.

However SEACAT ISLE OF MAN then experienced technical problems with her plumbing on Thursday which then disrupted the revised schedules.

A correspondent reports that all toilets on SEACAT ISLE OF MAN had become blocked during the voyage from Douglas. Once the vehicles had been off loaded the crew attempted repairs by disconnecting the discharge pipes above the car deck. This created quite a mess which other members of the crew had to hose down.

By 11:20 a Dyno-Rod van arrived. It is reported that a joyous sounding of car horns greeted its departure at 11:55. Boarding commenced at 12:00 despite the car deck being awash with water. Meanwhile most of the cabin crew were still cleaning out the toilet areas which were nearly awash with disinfectant.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN finally sailed just over two hours late at 12:32 and it is understood that the vessel was well down the channel before the crew were in a fit state to open the retail outlets. SEACAT ISLE OF MAN finally arrived at Douglas at 14:55. 

By this time she should have been well into her afternoon voyage to Dublin. A quick turnaround at Douglas enabled SEACAT ISLE OF MAN to get away by 15:30.

Though she was only 1.5 hours late departing from Douglas, by the time she left Dublin at 21:50 she was then four hours behind schedule. The added delay being caused by lost slots. 

Her SSC3 replacement Douglas - Liverpool sailing was consequently very late. Passengers having been advised it would be 00:30. She eventually got back to Douglas on Friday Morning at 06:45. 

This then consequently delayed her 07:00 Douglas to Liverpool sailing, and she was noted by a correspondent passing New Brighton inbound at 10:50.

By Saturday morning she appeared to be almost back on schedule passing the Rock outbound shortly after 11:00 on her 10:30 Liverpool - Douglas sailing.


EUROPEAN PATHFINDER became the first ship to enter the former Cammell Laird yard on Friday evening July 19 when she went into the wet basin at what appears to be the end of her career with P&O.

Arriving a day earlier in the Cammell Laird #4 dry dock was James Fisher and Sons GALWAY FISHER. However, this dock has been used by North Western on occasions since the demise of Cammell Laird Plc.


Just as most observers had thought that the new built for NATO the CSV LEONARDO had departed from the Mersey for good, she reappeared at the McTay berth in the East Float during the week.


ATLANTIC OSPREY remains in West Float Birkenhead.


Mersey Ferries are currently using the berth at the Alexandra Dock Passenger Terminal for lay over purposes. This berth being used by the LADY OF MANN currently away on charter in the Azores. 

It is understood that this is due to work being undertaken on Alfred Lock which may hinder access to Mersey Ferries East Float berth.



The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on July 18 that 14 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during June 2002 after failing port state control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that 9 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during June 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 6.3 which is a decrease of 0.1% on the 12 month rate to May.

The ships detained included a Norwegian flagged general cargo vessel detained at Seaham. While the crew had just completed a drill the Surveyor noticed when he arrived that the embarkation ladder was some 4 metres short. He also found that the emergency fire pump would not pump when the vessel was in the ballast condition. It was reported to him that the vessel had always operated with these defects and although the problems were known no attempts had been made to rectify them. There were also no charts for the area on board which could be particularly hazardous given Seaham Harbour’s narrow entrance and rocky approach. This vessel was to have left for Norway to complete the work for its ISM certificate.

A Romanian flagged Ro-Ro cargo vessel was also detained. Once again the crew seemed prepared to accept obvious defects with watertight doors being defective and the necessary maintenance not carried out, and lifejacket lights not working. The vessel was inspected prior to the ISM code applying. However, the apparent lack of safety culture on board was confirmed when the vessel was subsequently detained in Dunkerque for major non-conformities in its safety management system despite having been recently issued with full ISM certificates.  




Welcome to an extra update posted to keep up with news events and submissions.

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Michael Pryce, Kevin Bennett, Tony Brennan, Tommy Dover, David Allen and "others". 

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

SUPERSEACAT THREE - there can never be a good time for a ship to suffer a technical problem. Such an occurrence just as the English schools break up for summer and the peak holiday season gets underway is particularly unfortunate.

On Tuesday evening SUPERSEACAT THREE docked at West Langton. On Tuesdays the second sailing to Douglas is scheduled to be operated by SEACAT ISLE OF MAN to allow for scheduled maintenance on SSC3.

By Wednesday morning July 17 she was back on the berth at Prince's Landing Stage, however, a correspondent advised me that both her morning sailing to Dublin and evening sailing to Douglas had both been cancelled.

It appears that a stress crack occurred in the hull resulting in the need for dry docking.

With the available Merseyside Dry Docks full and Cammell Laird, now A&P Birkenhead not yet reopened I understand SuperSeaCat Three will go for repairs up the Manchester Ship Canal - presumably Manchester Dry Docks. It appears she may enter the ship canal on the morning tide of July 18.

The sudden withdrawal of SUPERSEACAT THREE has led to some reshuffling of the Sea Containers Irish Sea Timetables. The company press release indicates the following changes:

Liverpool to Isle of Man

17th July 2002   18:30hrs service cancelled - alternative sailing - 02:15 hrs 18th Heysham to Isle of Man [BEN-MY-CHREE]

18th July 2002   18:30hrs service cancelled - alternative sailing - 00:30 hrs 19th Liverpool to Isle of Man [SCIOM]

19th July 2002   18:30hrs service - cancelled

Isle of Man to Liverpool

17th July 2002   22:00hrs service cancelled  - alternate sailing - 19:45hrs 17th Isle Of Man to Heysham [BEN-MY-CHREE]
18th July 2002   22:00hrs service - alternate sailing - 21:30hrs 18th Isle Of Man to Liverpool [SEACAT ISLE OF MAN]
19th July 2002   22:00hrs service - cancelled 

Revised/additional schedules:

Friday 19th July 2002:
SeaCat IOM Douglas/Liverpool 14:00 hrs (Not Heysham)
SeaCat IOM Douglas/Liverpool 22:00 hrs (Not Belfast)

Belfast to Isle of Man
19th July 2002   23:00 hrs service - alternate sailing - 20:45 hrs 19th Belfast to Isle of Man -  SEACAT SCOTLAND

Isle of Man to Belfast

19th July 2002  19:30 hrs Service - alternate sailing - 00:15 hrs 20th Isle of Man to Belfast - SEACAT SCOTLAND.


Tralee Urban District Council are reported to have accepted an offer by the Argri-Foods company Kerry Group to help the troubled JEANIE JOHNSTON project.

The council have voted in favour of a plan from the company to see the project through for the next few months.

The vote was taken after four hours of debate, during which a number of councillors opposed any future involvement in the project.

Under the plan Kerry Group will put up €200,000, with Tralee UDC contributing €100,000. Kerry County Council has already agreed to contribute €100,000.

The contributing parties will team up with Shannon Development to manage the project over its next stage. A new board, with a chairman appointed by Kerry Group, will assume control.


The other emigrant ship DUNBRODY appears to have had a successful first year trading according to press reports.

Visitor numbers to the Dunbrody which is berthed in New Ross, Co Wexford, are showing  6% increase on 2001, despite a tough season for the tourist industry.

Speaking at the start of the JFK Dunbrody Festival, project chief executive Sean Reidy, said the ship had become a source of incredible inspiration and pride for the people of the town.

"It was not easy at times but we are now in a situation where we are making a profit. It was hard work and will continue to be. There are difficulties in a project like this one in that it eats up a lot of money in terms of maintenance and staffing," he said yesterday.

While the 5.6m euro project did hit stormy waters and work was halted in 1998 for evaluation , the time-out did allow for a lot of reflection.

"We spent a full year looking at all the various options we had, including sail training and the visitor option. That time did give us important breathing space. Our spend speaks for itself 5.6m euro on the ship itself and a further 600,000 euro on land with the new audio visual centre, café, merchandising, mooring arrangements and other facilities."

DUNBRODY opened in May 2001 and at the end of the first twelve months of trading the ship had received 68,000 visitors. Of these 40% are from the UK and 35% from Ireland.

It's difficult to chart the future for the tourist attraction, Mr Reidy admitted. "It was completed as an exhibition ship and if it does sail, and we hope it will, it will do so in self-financing trips."

The JFK Dunbrody Festival this weekend has a major peace theme. Bill Clinton and Mo Mowlam will join in a video link for a peace conference and Jean Kennedy Smith, Mark Durkin, Martin Manseragh and Charlie Bird will all be in town for the event.

EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY will re-enter service following dry-dock with her 23.59 sailing Larne - Cairnryan on July 17.

EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR leaves Larne on Saturday 20 July for dry-dock in Dunkerque prior to sale to Trans Europa Ferries to sail from Ramsgate to Ostend. 

EUROPEAN PATHFINDER  goes to lay-up in Liverpool on Friday 19 Jul with potential purchasers showing interest.

EUROPEAN ENVOY will refit at A&P Birkenhead [Formerly Cammell Laird] later this month.


The first vessel to be refitted at A&P Birkenhead, Formerly Cammell Laird will be P&O's EUROPEAN ENVOY expected later this month. Local press reports that the company is now recruiting through local Job Centres.


STV TENACIOUS paid a visit to Dún Laoghaire berthing at the East Pier naval berth on Saturday July 13.

LÉ ROSIN [P51] spent some time anchored off Wicklow on Saturday evening before heading north.


Stena Line has announced that it is to introduce a larger new generation superferry to the Dublin to Holyhead route.

wpe1.jpg (8291 bytes)The  STENA BRITANNICA seen fitting out at Hyundai, South Korea will operate on the North Sea.  The new vessel for the Dublin - Holyhead service due for completion in 2003 will be a sister ship.

The new vessel is currently being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, Korea and will replace the existing RoPax ferry, the STENA FORWARDER.

The new ship will commence service during the summer of 2003 proving a significant increase in the Tourist and Freight capacity on the route and offer the highest standards of hospitality. 

Facilities will include restaurants, bars, and lounges for car and coach customers, as well as a dedicated lounge and restaurant for up to 200 freight drivers.

The new RoPax vessel will carry up to 1500 passengers, representing an  increase of 50%. The deck capacity will be increased by 70% to 3,400 lane  metres, and will include double tier, Bow and Stern loading. At 211 metres, it will also be the longest vessel ever to operate on the Holyhead - Dublin route. Consequently Port facilities will be enhanced in Dublin and Holyhead to accommodate the new ship.

Commenting on this exciting announcement Vic Goodwin, Route Director for Stena Line services between Holyhead ? Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead - Dublin, said: "We have already seen tremendous growth on the route as a result of introducing the Stena Forwarder, and we have now decided to introduce this larger RoPax to meet the growing demands of the tourism and freight markets."

"This vessel will operate in tandem with the HSS Stena Explorer, the World's largest Fast ferry, which uniquely also carries Tourism and Heavy Freight Traffic, giving Stena Line an unequalled combination of Fast and Superferry options on these strategic Central Corridor routes. This major investment emphasises our commitment to strengthening the economic link between Ireland, Wales and the Continent of Europe."

Gunnar Blomdahl, Stena Line's Area Director for the Irish Sea routes added "The investment in this new RoPax vessel on the Holyhead - Dublin route follows the introduction earlier this year of the Stena Europe on the Fishguard - Rosslare route and will strengthen our position on both corridors. The decision to introduce this new RoPax Ship follows Stena Line's decision to invest in a £12.3 Million development in the port of Holyhead, part of which will be paid for by Objective 1 funding support from the European Regional Development Fund.

Stena Line carried over 3.5 million passengers on its Holyhead-Dublin/Dun  Laoghaire, Fishguard-Rosslare and Stranraer-Belfast routes in 2001.


GRT 44,200

Length 210.8 m

Breadth 29 m

Passengers 1,500

Cabins 148

Beds 364

Lane meters 3 400

Speed 22 knots

Free-flow Restaurant

Truckers Lounge

Globetrotter Café



Globetrotter Restaurant

Bar / Lounge areas

Business Lounge

Gaming areas

Conference Rooms

Cocktail Bar Lounge

Fast Food Restaurant

Children's playrooms




The "One That Got Away" poll has commenced on the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo Group. You are invited to cast your vote to identify which one one classic passenger ships [scrapped after 1945] was the most worthy of preservation?

The choice of ships was based on the nominations received from ISS visitors. The poll remains open until July 27.

To vote, please visit the following web page:


Please note that an extra update was posted on July 11. Details in "What's New" . 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Cornish Shipping, David Stuart, Ian Collard, Jim Cowden, Derek Bailey and "others".


The Russian owned, Maltese registered, cargo ship KODIMA [6395grt - ex KAPITAN GLOTOV] which ran aground off the Cornish coast in a force 9 gale whilst on a voyage from Sweden to Libya with a cargo of timber has been sold.

KODIMA has been laying at Falmouth since she was recovered from a beach near Tregantle on Whitsand Bay.

Cornish Shipping has revealed that the Kodiam was sold on June 17 to BHAVI Ship Managers of Marina di Carrara, Italy. The vessel has been moved from King's Wharf to Duchy Wharf, Falmouth Docks by the harbour tugs PERCUIL and ANKORVA.and is being prepared for towage to a repair port. The vessel has now been renamed REDSTONE and is being made ready for her journey to Klaipeda, where she will be repaired.

The KODIMA's cargo has also been in the news this week. At the time of the wreck it was reported that a considerable amount of timber was salvaged by locals.

Some of it however was used to build a beach hut according to a report in the Western Morning News on July 10:

The mystery of the Crusoe-style hut built on a Cornish cliff was solved yesterday when a group of local design students admitted they had been putting their skills into practice. The spectacular "Robinson Crusoe hut" was built by a group of friends from Exeter School of Art and Design, University of Plymouth - most of whom study 3-D design.

The students said they were first taken to the secluded spot by their tutor, Kerry Whittle, who lives locally and describes the beach as one of his favourite places. He took two bus-loads of students on a one-day trip to Whitsand Bay in South-East Cornwall earlier this year, and helped them build a structure from the piles of wood washed ashore by the grounded cargo ship, Kodima, back in February.

The Russian-built ship ran aground in stormy seas, and about 4,000 tonnes of pine was washed up along the coastline. David Platt, 21, from Polsloe Road, Exeter, was one of the students involved in the construction of the hut. He said: "The first time we went to Whitsand Bay we just built a baywatch tower. But when we saw all the wood we thought it would be a really good idea to build something else.

"Then we got the idea for this hut, and about 10 or 20 of us have been going back at weekends and whenever the weather has been good since February to add a few bits to the structure. "Every time we go down we pick up extra nails. We've used thousands in its construction and think it could have cost a couple of thousand pounds in wood too.

"The structure gradually got bigger and bigger and it'll never really be finished. I hope it's somewhere we'll all come back to one day." The cliff path down to the hut is quite treacherous and the structure is very difficult to spot.

But David said many of the locals knew it was there.

"It's a popular dog walking area," he said.

"Lots of local people knew about it but kept it to themselves."

David was adamant that he and his friends did not want the structure to be demolished as the local council is currently threatening.

"Everyone who visits it seems to like it and we don't want it pulled down. We would all be pretty gutted because so much hard work has gone into it and it's given us a lot of enjoyment."

David and his friends have slept in the hut a few times. "It's the ideal situation for watching the sun go down over the sea," he said.

The three-storey hut has an access ramp and decking area for sitting and looking out over the sea.

The first floor is on stilts and has a sealed, waterproof hut.

The students have also furnished the hut with deck chairs, hammocks and a portable barbecue.

"I think our degrees helped us build it," said David.

"But it's all made up of triangles and just took common sense."

Several of the students are graduating this year and have been busy recently showing their work at the New Designers exhibition in London.

Fellow student, Jenny Doyle, 23, also helped out at the hut.

She said: "It started out as a one-day project and then we decided to go and build something ourselves, and it just got bigger and bigger.

"We'd try and go down on a Friday night and stay overnight so we could start work early. There were often loads of people already there having barbecues.

"I generally helped out with the house-keeping when the building work all got a bit macho."

Jenny was keen to emphasise that anyone was welcome to use the hut, and described the number of visitors the hut has already received.

"Hundreds of people have left nice notes," she said.

One read 'Sometimes amazing things happen and dreams are made'."

Another note left by a four-year-old said how much she loved the swing.

"It was fun to make and it will be a real shame it if is pulled down.

"It will be really disappointing after all the effort that's gone into it," said Jenny.

Keith Rolfe, development control officer for Caradon District Council, said: "We need to check the planning position, because a structure like this needs planning permission.

"There are building regulations and basic standards which must be met by anything being constructed. This hut was built with no such controls.

"It is great for the youngsters but we have obvious safety concerns.

"The structure was wobbling with just one person on it this morning, and with all this national publicity people are going to start clambering all over it."

Mr Rolfe said the council had put up tape and a notice saying the structure is dangerous.

"We're not being heavy-handed but this needs to be fully considered by the planning committee," he said.

"We're not saying we're going to destroy it but we have to follow the course.

"Firstly we need to find the landowner and write a letter explaining what has been built. If he or she is not concerned then it will be down to the council to decide what is in the public interest."

Graphic design student, Mez Davar, 23, said the structure was pretty solid but accepted the concerns of the council.

"I hope it will stay here for the summer at least," he said.

"It has been such a memorable experience, with all of us collaborating to make it.

"But it was only ever meant to be a playful thing and it's not exactly built to regulation standard."

The future of the hut could be decided at the next council committee meeting on August 1.

Mr Whittle said: "The hut was built for other people to enjoy, but while it will be sad to see it go it was only ever supposed to be transient."


HMS BRONINGTON [M1115] one of the last wooden warships to be constructed for the Royal Navy joined the historic warships collection at Birkenhead. The preserved vessel had previously been based in Manchester and had been commanded HRH Prince of Wales during 1976.


The charter of Oldenburg by Clevedon Pier Trust due to take place this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is reported cancelled at short notice possibly due to poor ticket sales. Conseqently OLDENBURG may operate some coastal cruises from Ilfracombe on Monday and / or Tuesday - details from Lundy booking office 01271 863636.


During the early hours on Monday the ferry European Pioneer moved from the County Wharf and docked stern first into No. 3 dry-dock at Falmouth.


Nuclear submarine HMS Courageous was opened as the first exhibit of its kind in the country at Devonport Naval Base this week by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth.

The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Ian Gordon, cut a cake to mark the official opening of the decommissioned submarine in the Plymouth base's South Yard.

Ex-submariners who served on Courageous and members of the Devonport Regeneration Group were among guests at the ceremony.

Commodore Ric Cheadle, the base's commander, said: "The Courageous exhibit is unique and we hope to develop it further if there is enough public interest."

Devonport has been developing a heritage and visitor area in South Yard and Courageous will further enhance our efforts to inform and we hope to reassure the public about the presence of nuclear-powered submarines here."

Courageous has been stripped of her nuclear reactor, uranium fuel and cooling water, leaving just the stainless steel circuit.

Visitors will be able to see where torpedoes and missiles were once fired.

In a series of themed rooms, it features scale models and information boards on submarines, and a rare scale model of the structure of a nuclear submarine's classified reactor and propeller shaft.

The submarine will open to the general public for Navy Days from August 24-26.





Some housekeeping work has been undertaken this week on the Irish Sea Shipping associated Yahoo Groups Irish Sea Ships and Maritime Questions

Much of the work has involved uploaded files and photographs:

A number of individual images posted to the files section have now been moved to the Photo Albums.

A more organised structure of photographs albums is also being created. This will ensure that some folders contain subfolders of related material. Further work in this are will be undertaken during the coming week.

If you have recently uploaded something and wonder where it has gone - you will find it has moved to a new location.

Some notes on making uploads to the Irish Sea Shipping associated Yahoo Groups will be posted in the near future.

The Membership Directory of the associated Yahoo Groups has also been removed to prevent mis-use of the information by third parties and ensure subscriber confidentiality as I am aware that some potential subscribers are put off joining the group as they do not wish their identity to be visible to others for professional or personal reasons.


Most visitors to the Irish Sea Shipping will now be aware of the excellent web cam operated by Manx Radio which overlooks Douglas Harbour. A very useful means for checking arrivals and departures.

ISS is also aware of one or two other web cams which may be of interest to shipping enthusiasts following the Irish Sea Scene. 

It would be useful to compile a directory of the relevant ones on the web site. If you know of a web cam at any location in the coverage area of Irish Sea Shipping - The Online Shipping Magazine - please send details of its URL to [Subject: web cams] for inclusion in the planned directory. 


The update schedule for July to September has been posted. Please note that a number of dates are marked as being subject to change during late July and August. 


This week I received via the post some news material. However, the correspondent forgot to sign their note. Therefore I cannot list that person in the acknowledgements. If you are corresponding please let me know who you are so I can say thank you! Of course if you request anonymity for professional or personal reasons on the site you will not be identified.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Gary Andrews, Kevin Bennett, Tony Brennan, Ian Collard, Tommy Dover, Adrian Sweeney, Clive Jackson, Jenny Williamson and "others". 

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

RAPIDE has been off the Belfast - Heysham service for several days with technical problems. Passengers have been diverted via the company's other routes. On Saturday July 7 foot passengers were sent down from Belfast to Dublin by coach, however, the coaches lost their way to Dublin Docks which resulted in the 13:45 SUPERSEACAT THREE sailing being delayed to 14:05.

SUPERSEACAT THREE has also had her share of technical problems this week. Last week she was noted requiring tug assistance on the Mersey. 

An observer noted that SUPERSEACAT THREE actually arrived twice in Douglas on Wednesday evening July 3. She apparently developed a technical problem as she entered the harbour, forcing the turn to be aborted and she was noted going astern at some speed into Douglas Bay. 

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN was initially cleared to enter the harbour before SSC3 for No 5 berth but SSC3 then reported fit enough to enter, and was given precedence to No 1.

SUPERSEACAT THREE finally departed from Douglas at 22:47 on three engines arriving at Liverpool at 01:30.

On Thursday both the Dublin and Douglas sailings were cancelled whilst repairs were carried out. The evening sailing from Douglas to Liverpool was undertaken by SEACAT ISLE OF MAN at the scheduled time. SCIOM then returned SSC3's passengers to Douglas somewhat later then they expected!

SUPERSEACAT THREE was back in service by Friday.

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN - the proposed cruise to view the firework display at Laxey was cancelled on Thursday. The firework display was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions for the display which forecast a strong inshore wind. It is expected that the firework display and cruise will go ahead at a later date. The cancellation of the cruise was probably fortuitous as it enabled SEACAT ISLE OF MAN to provide cover on Thursday evening for SUPERSEACAT THREE which was out of service.


The Manxman Steamship Company has been formed as a UK limited company with the purpose of purchasing, restoring and preserving the former Isle of Man Steam Packet Company turbine steamer MANXMAN built by Cammell Laird shipbuilders in 1955. The Manxman Steamship Company has applied for charitable status, which is now pending.

The company proposes to:

  • Survey the vessel and make her fit for sea at the Pallion Shipyard in Sunderland where she currently lies.
  • Dry Dock and repaint the vessel in her original livery.
  • Tow her to the Mersey to a proposed berth in Birkenhead after a courtesy visit to Douglas, Isle of Man.
  • Strip, clean and refurbish the vessel with a range of on-board leisure facilities.
  • Ensure her survival through pursuit of appropriate leisure and heritage facilities - the money from which would be retained to further restore and maintain the vessel.

The nature of the project suggests that funding needs to be obtained on a rolling basis though the company initially requires £200,000 to secure the vessel, refurbish her hull and tow her to the Mersey.

Active partners are being sought by the company to assist in the rebuilding of the public facilities on board the ship. These facilities may include restaurants, cafes, conference and gymnasium facilities.

The vessel will not be used for nightclub purposes.

It is intended that a large part of the ship will be used for educational purposes - including the machinery rooms and other areas of the ship.

Further information regarding the Manxman Steamship Company can be obtained from Adrian Sweeney: at

The Manxman Website:


It is estimated that more than 200 jobs could be created if the Birkenhead Dock Railway system is reopened. Though there had been attempts to get the dock railway reopened by local business leaders the plans had been frustrated by the problems facing Railtrack plc.

However, a consortium comprising Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, the Strategic Rail Authority, Wirral Council and English, Welsh and Scottish Railways have put forward a proposal costing £4.5m. The local council would contribute £200,000 towards the project.


EUROPEAN SEAFARER the vessel departed Liverpool on Saturday July 6 and arrived in Fleetwood shortly after 21:00. EUROPEAN SEAFARER has been berthed at Canada Dock undergoing engine repairs since the start of June.


The MV PORTAFERRY was sold at by Wilsons Auctions of Newtown Abbey  on June 27, 2002. 

Details from the Advertisement:

Portaferry Ferry: no:303253 year 1962 Built by Hancocks Shipbuilding Company. 17 Car Roll on Roll off vessel complete with safety equipment. Power by Kelvin TA6 Type 4 diesel engine x 2 and Brown Voith Schneider Propulsion Unit and one spare unit.

The purchasers were believed to be a Waterford company who intend fitting her with a crane. It therefore looks as though she will have a new career as some sort of floating crane / work vessel.


GRANUAILE - A correspondent reports that the tender spent a night at Strangford Lough on Saturday June 26 whilst undertaking the Commissioners' Cruise.


JONATHAN SWIFT was unfortunately damaged on Friday July 5 whilst berthing at Holyhead on the 12:15 sailing from Dublin. 

The collision also damaged the linkspan.

JONATHAN SWIFT sustained a 3 metre gash to her bow. The vessel returned light to Dublin for repairs and the remaining Friday sailings, plus Saturday and Sunday's sailings were cancelled whilst repairs are undertaken. It is hoped that she will be back in service by Monday.

The linkspan damage may take longer to repair and consequently she may have to use the ULYSSES' berth  with a consequent change to her sailing schedules being necessary.

WICKLOW PORT NEWS from Tommy Dover

Coasters calling to the port this week included  BEN VARRY, RMS RUHRORT, NOORTZEE , CROWN ALIZEE ex ZWARTAMEER, and Scot Lines SCOT MARINER,

Mussel trawlers were working in the bay all week, landing their catch at Arklow.

3 Royal Navy "P200"  Archer Class fast patrol craft went south on Saturday July 6. Local press reports indicated they were due to visit Arklow on July 4/5, though were not noted when the correspondent visited the harbour in the evening,

The COASTGUARD SAR SIKORSKY was in Wicklow bay on July 6 winch training with Coastguard rescue craft.  Crews from various coastguard units around Ireland, were in Wicklow for a boat handling course.

On Sunday July 6 the Wicklow Lifeboat Station will have its annual open day. On view will be RNLB ANNIE BLAKER (47-035) and RNLB INBHEAR DEAS (d class)


The company aims to submit a bid to run the Ballycastle to Campbeltown service  if the Scottish Executive go ahead in supporting the reintroduction in 2003.

Argyll Ferries have returned the pre-qualification tender documentation to the Scottish Executive in time for their deadline for submissions on 28th June 2002.

Argyll Ferries issued the following press release on July 1, 2002. 
WHO: Argyll Ferries are a division of the Argyll Group plc. Argyll Ferries consists of officers, crew, management and ship owners from aspects of the 1970's Western Ferries Campbeltown to Red Bay operation and the 1990's Sea Containers Campbeltown to Ballycastle service, as well as incorporating the Landwest Shipping group who organised the bid to run a "warm-up" service in 2001. The proposed board of directors has over 203 years collective experience in shipping - management, officers, technical and safety compliance, marketing, and ship owning.

WHERE: Argyll Ferries are based locally in Campbeltown, Argyll. The company intends to operate UK flagged tonnage with UK officers and crew. Priority is to be given to employing local people wherever possible.

HOW: Argyll Ferries have learnt from last years tender process, and are currently putting together a 100% equity driven bid, with sufficient reserves to purchase, class and operate suitable tonnage without having to resort to bank borrowing in any form. Target tonnage: Class IIa Ferry; 1500 to 2000 tons; 40 to 80 cars; 200 to 400 passenger capacity.

WHEN: Argyll Ferries are keen to start marketing the route as soon as possible. Preferably by late summer in order to satisfy the annual advance holiday booking part of business, not to mention the possibility of providing autumn 2002 (non-subsidised & trials) freight only service. The key start date is likely to be May 2003.

EXTRA: Whilst not directly part of the current tender process, Argyll Ferries have had local feedback on issues above and beyond the prominent marketing concerns arising from the 1997-1999 operation. Whichever company that is awarded the tender, they should be alive to:-

1. Local Liaison - Recommend Local Ferry Liaison Group in both Argyll & Antrim. To resolve local concerns over issues arising such as promotion/marketing, route variation, time tabling, pricing, to the important area of exploring how the ferry may best assist specific areas in the local communities - e.g. hoteliers, hauliers, retailers, farmers, fishermen, business leaders, manufacturers (windfarm) etc, and to generally adopt a "joined-up" approach to operating the route with local community support and constructive, meaningful participation.

2. Price - (1997-1999 operation 75% empty *). Suggest price reduction on tariff to increase passenger numbers. Whole point of the ferry is to boost tourism in an economically fragile area.

3. Route Variation - Suggest at least one return sailing from Campbeltown to Ayr each week - perhaps on quiet off peak Wednesday afternoon. Also consider Campbeltown-Brodick, Arran once a week, and Ballycastle to Port Ellen once a week, without disrupting the core Campbeltown-Ballycastle morning schedule.

If you have any questions, please feel free to telephone Russ McLean at Argyll Ferries on 01586 55 2345 or direct on 01586 810 226.

* Figures drawn from the Deck Log returns of mv Claymore when operating on the Campbeltown - Ballycastle route overall average 24.6% car or car equivalent units carried, 75.4% empty. Peak season capacity never exceeded 50.1% full, or 49.9% empty at the best of times.

Argyll Ferries is a wholly owned subsidiary of Argyll Group plc Registered in Scotland Number 195145. Registered Office: 6 Main Street, Campbeltown, Argyll, PA28 6AG.



Welcome to this mid week update which features the Norwegian Royal Yacht Norge. The vessel visited Liverpool on July 3, to pick up King Harald and Queen Sonja for conveyance to the Tynwald Day ceremony on the Isle of Man

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Andrew King, Keith Messant, Geoff Hamer and "others".

SEA CONTAINERS \ Isle of Man Steam Packet Company


Steam Packet Managing Director, Hamish Ross, urges all enthusiasts to book early for next year's TT

This year's TT period was an especially busy time for the Steam Packet who carried a record number of motorcycle fans from Liverpool and Heysham to the world famous road races on the Isle of Man.

A total of 37,548 people travelled with Steam Packet to this year's TT, beating the previous record set two years ago and is the highest recorded figure for at least 20 years, since records began.

"We are delighted with these figures and the numbers are the best we have confirmed on record," explains Managing Director, Hamish Ross.  "The number of cars and vans is also the best ever and the amount of motorcycles the third largest.  This event seems to grow in popularity year on year, hence the necessity for those thinking about coming to the Isle of Man for next year's races, to book now as demand is already high.

It was a fortnight of frenzied activity in which the Company's six vessels completed over 250 sailings, carried over 12,834 motor bikes, 4,132 cars, vans and support vehicles from all over the On board they managed to consume 36,000 pints of beer, 40,000 sandwiches, 9 tonnes of chips and 200,000 cups of tea.

"Since the TT Road Races began in 1907 the Company have always looked forward to the intense operational challenges that face them over this time. After welcoming in the thousands of fans to the Island during the run up to the festival, it is the job of the Steam Packet to get them safely home as soon as the races have finished," concludes Hamish Ross.

Passengers arriving at Liverpool were also met with a pleasant surprise. Staff at the terminal organised their own 'mini' festival.  Live entertainment, side stalls and helped set the 'mood' and got fans into the 'spirit' of TT before reaching the real 'live' event on the Isle of Man.


On June 28, the company confirmed that the May 2002 are amongst the best ever recorded by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Company carryings released and confirmed by the Department of Transport shows:

 Passenger traffic increased by 36.6% @ 78,006 passengers (2001 - 57,104)

 Vehicular traffic increased by 90% @ 22,888 vehicles (2001 - 12,044)

 Freight traffic increased by 16.7% @ 42,954 metres (2001 - 36,821)

 Year to date figures show:

 Passenger traffic increased by 17.1% @ 205,998 passengers (2001 - 175,899)

 Vehicular traffic increased by 31.4% @ 56,315 vehicles (2001 - 42,855)

 Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said: "These striking increases in our carryings this month, are potentially down to the TT and reflect the hard work put in by ourselves and by our partners in tourism here in the Island especially the Department of Tourism, in promoting this premier Road Racing Festival.  These results show how the TT has bounced back resiliently after the cancellation of the races in 2001.

 The freight sector of our business continues to perform strongly with our monthly commercial meterage exceeding 40,000 metres for the first time.  We look forward with confidence to achieving good carryings in both the passenger and freight sectors during the peak summer period."

The Steam Packet operates a year round twice daily service to and from the North West port of Heysham.  From March through to October daily fastcraft services are operated to and from Liverpool together with regular weekly seasonal services to Belfast, Dublin and Heysham.

Passenger fares start at just £38.00 return with Car + 2 short break return from just £159.00.  Bookings made via the Company website attracting a 2% discount.  Reservations can also be made at the Company's Ferry Travel Shop in the Sea Terminal Buildings or through local travel agents.


The classic motor yacht R.M.Y. NORGE arrived at Liverpool on July 3 to convey King Harald and Queen Sonja to the Isle of Man.

During their three day visit to island the King and Queen will attend the open air sitting of Tynwald Court at St Johns, start the Isle of Man Yacht Club's Cruiser Championship Race at Port St Mary, visit the House of Manannan, officially open the new visitor centre at the Sound and start the Manx Air Derby race at the Festival of Aviation in Jurby.

The vessel was noted by a correspondent passing the Rock in bound at 14:00. She rounded off EGG bouy 14:15 and was in Langton Lock by 14:30. She berthed at the former Norse Irish Ferries Brocklebank Terminal where the their Majesties were expected to board for the onward journey to the Isle of Man, having flow into Manchester Airport. Her departure from Liverpool is expected to be at 03:00 on July 4.

R.M.Y. "Norge", ex "Philante", was built by Camper & Nicholson, Soton, in 1937, for T.O.M. Sopwith, the aircraft manufacturer.   After WWII service with the Royal Navy. she was bought by the Norwegian people for the Norwegian Royal Family.   

Her details: L.O.A. 263ft, Beam: 38ft, Dft: 14ft 6in,  1 611tons TM, Cruising 14 knots. Engines are quoted as M.A.N. 8-cyls diesels of 3000 b.h.p.   

She is reputedly the largest diesel yacht built in Britain.  A very good looking vessel, often to be seen at her moorings in Oslo Fjord.  


It appears that the second Stena Hyundai newbuild will replace the STENA FORWARDER on the Holyhead - Dublin route next year.  She will have a capacity for 1,500 passengers.


Following a delay of a few days - the EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER entered service with her 08.00 Larne - Cairnryan sailing today, 3 July.


HMS WALNEY [M104] a Royal Navy Sandown Class mine hunter arrived in Douglas on Wednesday July 3 as Royal Navy representative for the annual Tynwald Ceremony. This is the ship's first visit to the Isle of Man.

HMAV BOUNTY - the great-great-great grandson of Fletcher Christian the Manx sailor responsible for leading the mutiny on HMAV BOUNTY is visiting the Isle of Man for this year's Tynwald Ceremony. Tom Christian lives on the small Pacific Pitcairn Island where the mutineers established a settlement.


UK shipping and transport group Crescent has unified its ownership structure. As of June 28, 2002, Crescent is wholly owned by the Bahamas-based Clipper Group.

"It has been a great challenge to work with Clipper to focus and develop Crescent after its separation from the Hays transport group. It is a good time now for me to move on to new entrepreneurial challenges, and for Crescent to benefit from the backing which only a major group like Clipper can provide," says Hutch Wright, who is stepping down as Crescent ceo.

Torben G Jensen, chairman and CEO of the Clipper Group, says, "We believe that Crescent offers opportunities for growth in interesting sectors, and we are happy to have had the opportunity first to develop it with Hutch Wright, and now to take over the company completely. We will be active owners, and you can expect new developments."

Kevin Hobbs, Crescent’s newly appointed chief executive, says, "With the single-minded backing of Clipper we can focus on developing our two core sectors. Those are our high-intensity coastal tanker fleet and our freight ferry operations, and we are actively working on new projects in both areas."

The Crescent group of companies comprises three distinct divisions operating throughout Europe. Crescent Tankships, the group’s petroleum product distribution arm, is recognised by a number of oil majors as a reliable and high-quality products carrier. Seatruck Ferries, the group’s freight ferry division, is a key independent player on the Ireland-UK trades with an unsurpassed reputation for reliability and service. Crescent Marine Services, the group’s ship management division, is a fully certified technical and commercial manager specialising in high-intensity short sea management.


The converted WWII Harbour Defence Motor Launch PRIDE OF THE DART, believed to be the last of her type still operating in passenger service, was involved in a major incident on June 28. <photo Andrew King>

The  PRIDE OF THE DART which is operated by an independent operator was taking 27 passengers, mostly elderly people, from Torquay to Dartmouth when she suffered a steering problem and collided with rocks close to the entrance to the River Dart.

Following a Mayday call sent out by the boat's skipper, Brixham Coastguard launched a major rescue operation involving a helicopter from Portland, two Torbay lifeboats and two coastguard teams from Dartmouth and Berry Head.

Some of the passengers who were brought ashore by two local ferries, Dart Explorer and the Dartmouth Castle Ferry, were later taken to Dartmouth Hospital for medical attention.

Andrew Pound, coastguard officer at Dartmouth, explained: "The operation was
co-ordinated by Brixham Coastguard, which received the Mayday from the sinking boat.

"They requested the launch of the main lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat, which arrived soon after the incident. There were also two paramedics from Totnes who assessed the passengers on board the sinking boat.

Seven passengers had to be taken on a stretcher because they were extremely shaken."

Ken Rice, a Totnes paramedic, said: "There were people of all ages, ranging from babies to 90-year-olds who were quite shocked.

"We called Dartmouth Hospital and asked for a room to be made available. Sometimes there is a very thin line between being shocked and being shaken, and we had to look after the welfare of these people."

The PRIDE OF THE DART was taken under tow by a harbour authority vessel and  was beached at Kingswear Lighthouse. 

A boatman on board the marooned vessel said: "I cannot make any comments for the two crew members. I'm sure the company which runs the boat will issue a statement."

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The local harbour authority orchestrated a boom around the vessel as a precautionary measure against pollution.


It may be many years since the Eastham to Liverpool ferry last sailed, however, a reminder of the former ferry service could soon be open to the public.

Wirral council have approved plans to convert the historic Eastham Ferry ticket office into a coffee shop. The attractive sandstone ticket office was constructed close to the former Eastham Ferry Pier and Landing Stage beside the River Mersey, close to the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal.

With the closure of the Eastham ferry in the 1930s the building became public toilets until close by the council four years ago due to increased maintenance costs.

The local press reports that the building will be developed as a coffee shop by the Ewart brothers, owners of the "Showtime Ice Cream Company".

The conversion work is expected to be undertaken during the coming winter with a view to it being opened next summer.

The new owners say they will  be getting designers in and utilise the ticket office theme with memorabilia and pictures."


Ireland's top models will be on display during next Sunday's (7th July 2002) Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Station Open Day.  Visitors will be able to view the All-Weather and  Inshore Lifeboats from 11am-5pm as well as model boats such as tugs, submarines, ships and Lifeboats.  An Air-Sea Rescue display with the Coastguard Helicopter will take place at approximately 4.30pm.

Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Station is one of the busiest centres in the RNLI Ireland Division, answering an average of one emergency call per week.  A volunteer crew panel of 25 local people is available 24 hours a day to respond to calls for help.  The crew train weekly from a modern facility in the harbour in addition to special courses at RNLI centres in Poole and the Isle of Wight.

The Dublin Society of Model-makers & Engineers draws its members from as far away as Belfast and Carlow and as many as 30 displays will be on view at the Lifeboat Station during the day.  The group was founded more than 100 years ago and boats are a particular speciality.  Visiting children will also be able to take part in one-hour lessons in the basics of model-making. (A nominal charge applies).

The Open day is a unique opportunity to view the Lifeboats and see the work of the crews.  The day concludes with an exciting Air-Sea Rescue demonstration of techniques used between the Lifeboats and the Irish Coastguard Helicopter.  This is planned to take place in the harbour and the East Pier will provide an ideal grandstand view.



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