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NEWS BULLETIN

 OCTOBER 2003

October 26

Acknowledgements: Ian Collard, Michael Bracken, Trevor Kidd, Kevin Bennett and "others"
NOTES & NEWS

WEBMASTER AWAY - please note that the ISS webmaster will be away from October 27 to the evening of November 1 in Devon / Cornwall. During this time please only make contact via voice or text on the mobile number <contact details>. There will during this period be a delay in responding to email messages and completing ISS Shop Orders.

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY

LADY OF MANN returned to service with the 08:30 Douglas - Dublin sailing Friday October 24. After completion of this weekend's sailings. She will return to Merseyside and is due to enter Langton Lock at noon on Tuesday. She will lay up on Merseyside for a few days before re-entering service on Tuesday November 4, 2003.

She will then sail daily on the Douglas to Liverpool route until Christmas.

IRISH FERRIES

ULYSSES - The body of a woman was discovered by fisherman shortly after a search for a ferry passenger was called off by north Wales coastguards.

Emergency crews were alerted after a pile of clothing was found on the outer deck of the ULYSSES at around 03:00 BST when it was still docked at Holyhead ready to sail to Dublin on October 24.

The RNLI all-weather lifeboat - joined by a cliff rescue team - called off their extensive search late on Friday morning after failing to find any sign of the passenger.

When scouring the beach and the ferry port terminal, a spokesman for the RNLI said they "feared the worst".

"We have covered the whole area thoroughly and come up with nothing," he added.

Just a few hours after they abandoned the search, a body was discovered by a fishing boat, two miles from the Kish Lighthouse near Dublin.

North Wales Police - who said the missing woman was her 30s - are continuing to investigate her disappearance.

The Ulysses,  set sail for Ireland after a 30 minute delay.

NORMANDY - A woman who claimed she suffered back pain after slipping on the deck of an
Irish Ferries ship, the NORMANDY, had her action for damages struck out with no order at the High Court this week.

Ms. Myriam Demaine Harold (35), a French national who was living in Celbridge, Co Kildare, at the time of the accident on August 10th, 1998, said she had slipped on the deck while carrying her one- year-old child in her right arm.

Her three-year-old child was holding her hand on her left side as she walked along.

After she slipped, she said she felt a really big pain and her breathing stopped. She had difficulty speaking. Her children had panicked. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Cherbourg.

Ms Harold said she had experienced problems with her back.

Six months later, she still could not do housework. Two years after the accident, her back had started to improve but sometimes she would still have pain, she said.

Cross-examined by Mr Kieran Fleck SC, for Irish Ferries, Ms Harold said that, as far as she could remember, the surface on which she had slipped was wet. She could not say for sure.

Mr Justice de Valera said he would be taking into account the fact that the plaintiff had two children with her and also that she could not say why she fell. He noted the onus was on the plaintiff to establish her case on the balance of probabilities and remarked that, in his view, as the case stood before him, this was well below the 50 per cent mark.

After a short adjournment, the judge was told that the matter could be struck out with no order.

PENINSULAR & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY

EUROPEAN MARINER called at Campbeltown on Saturday October 25 to load wind farm components for shipment to Larne.

There are to be further sailings out of Campbeltown during successive Saturdays in November, the EUROPEAN SEAFARER should be on those.  (The European Seafarer is on Fleetwood this weekend to allow the European Pioneer to do some maintenance.)

NORBAY was scheduled to call at Larne on Sunday  October 26 for divers to conduct an underwater hull survey

MARINE INSTITUTE OF IRELAND

Dermot Ahern T.D., Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources turned the first sod at the new €40 million Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway on October 23, 2003.

Over 160 people will be accommodated at the headquarters which will also house marine laboratories on completion in 2005.

Minister Ahern said the re-location of the Marine Institute in Galway underlined the Government’s strong commitment to regional policy and decentralisation.

The Minister said: “One estimate is that the region’s economy will benefit by €17 million a year.  The relocation also brings facilities and skills to the region which will attract international marine research, and provide the conditions needed to forge new knowledge-intensive and internationally-competitive niche marine products and services.  The location in Galway will also allow closer links with NUI Galway and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and will provide access for students and graduates of marine science to national and international research initiatives.” 

The Minister said the new headquarters was part of ongoing development of Ireland as a world class centre of excellence for marine research which has included:

·         The €32 million Celtic Explorer, Ireland’s first purpose built deep sea research vessel

·         A substantial upgrading of the unique catchment research facility at Newport, costing €2.3 million, now completed.

The Minister said the Institute provided the basic scientific evidence which underpinned the New Irish Conservation Box agreed at EU level.

Minister Ahern said, “We had been facing the total elimination of the Irish Box and therefore all fishing activity limitations for foreign fleets in Irish waters.  This information demonstrated that, on conservation grounds, restrictions around our coast must be kept in place.”

HISTORIC CORNISH LUGGER TO BE RESTORED

The Cornishman reports that a 110-year-old Cornish fishing lugger has been brought to Newlyn harbourside for major restoration - and hopes are high that she will sail again.

She was last in the port nearly 70 years ago. Work on the massive task has begun by owner John Lambourn, 57, who spent 30 years in
Hong Kong . He is the son of artist George Lambourn of Mousehole and younger brother, Sam, is a leader in the Cornish fishing industry. The St Ives lugger 'Ripple' SS19 has had a remarkable history and, says Mr Lambourn, "when restored will be come part of Newlyn's marine heritage."

She was brought by road from Penryn on Monday and 'brought ashore' by crane after 68 years as a houseboat in and around the Fal estuary.

"The 44-ft long overall, 15-tons Ripple is a survivor. As far as is known there are only two other original double-ended sailing fishing luggers left and one of these is on the East coast of America.

"These distinctive fishing boats, peculiar to
West Cornwall , were once commonly seen off Cornwall , fishing with nets for pilchards, mackerel and herring.

"This is a unique boat with a long and colourful history. Although now dilapidated, she is to be rescued by a full restoration to seagoing sailing conditions at Newlyn.

"Newlyn was chosen as the ideal location because this is where Ripple landed most of her catch and would have so much to contribute towards the presentation of its fishing heritage envisaged by the Newlyn Fish Industry Forum."

Built in 1894 - at St Ives or perhaps Newlyn - she was registered two years later at St Ives and fished until 1933 under the ownership of the Barber family, through Bessie Barber. The first skipper was William and his brother Matthew died in the lifeboat tragedy of 1937.

Mr Lambourn who has made his home in the
port said : "It is not restoration for restoration's sake. People will be able to go on board and we are going to try to give her a new function when the work is complete.

"But she will be returned to full sailing conditions to sail in local waters." The Newlyn Harbour Commissioners have provided a site on land adjacent to Cosalt on The Strand.

This site, which is large enough to take the boat plus some working and observation space, was chosen because it provides an opportunity for the local community - and others who are interested - to watch the progress of the restoration.

This, in turn, will lead to advice and draw out memories and artefacts.

"Such responses will also help fill in gaps in knowledge about these luggers which might otherwise be lost to future generations.

"Advice has been promised on how these boats were built and rigged," he commented. She was originally a sailing lugger, principally by two lugsails carried on two masts. This was later boosted in 1915 by the installation of a 13hp port wing engine.

"Following a bad experience in a gale William Barber decided that Ripple should be lengthened by ten feet. She came to Peake's at Newlyn, sawn in half and ten feet added in her middle. This was probably done in 1927 when two new engines of 26hp were fitted.

"This would have meant the end of sail as the main means of propulsion," John remarked.

"Following a serious engine room fire in 1933 at Newlyn, only put out with the help of the fire brigade, Ripple ceased fishing."

Then came the years as a houseboat on the Fal, 50 of which were under the ownership of
West Cornwall man Ralph Tomlin.

After having several other owners she sank at her moorings and had to be taken ashore.

SS 19 will prove a popular attraction in
England 's top fishing port in the coming months and years.


PENDENNIS SHIPYARD

Western Morning News reported this week that the first of three planned marine training centres of excellence in the West Country is being set up.

Pendennis Shipyard, which recently announced a £7 million investment in facilities at its
Falmouth base, is to establish the UK 's first specialised marine painting and fairing school.

Sir Timothy Sainsbury, chairman of the shipyard, which specialises in building luxury yachts, said: "These are exciting times here at the moment. We are developing a training facility which I hope will be world-class and deliver a world-class product for our customers."

The shipyard, founded in the late 1980s, employs 173 people. It already offers modern apprenticeships in the specialist trades of boat-building, fabrication, welding, engineering, electrical and painting. It is planned that 30 new training places a year will be created by the centre of excellence and 83 new jobs by the entire expansion.

The new centre will concentrate on the painting side to help Pendennis capture the growing and lucrative market in luxury vessel refurbishment.

Adam Corney, co-ordinator for the Regional Development Agency's Marine South West, said
Falmouth would be one of three training centres, with Poole and Plymouth .

Mike Carr, Pendennis commercial director, said: "We see training as the key to the future. Our yachts sell for many millions of pounds, and with refit costs alone amounting to the cost of a large house, the quality of paintwork, and a high calibre finish, will be crucial selling points for our superyachts."

ROYAL NAVY

HMS AMBUSH

Defence Procurement Minister Lord Bach performed the traditional laying of the keel ceremony for the second of the Astute-class submarines being built by BAE Systems at Barrow-in-Furness this week.

HMS Ambush will be one of the biggest and most powerful attack submarines ever ordered by the Royal Navy, and joins HMS Astute, which is currently being assembled on the same site.

A third boat, HMS Artful, will follow in due course.

The nuclear-powered Astute-class vessels will have advanced communications systems and a greater capacity for joint operations than existing Swiftsure and Trafalgar class submarines which the Astutes will replace.

Their ability to carry more weaponry will also make them a cornerstone of UK defence capability.

The submarines will displace 7,800 tonnes when submerged, are almost 100 metres long, and will operate with a compliment of 98 officers and ratings..

They have six weapons tubes, used for launching both torpedoes and missiles, and can dive to depths greater than 300 metres.

They are powered by a Rolls-Royce Pressurised Water Reactor 2, equipped with Core H, which is designed to fuel the reactor for the submarine’s entire service life, thereby avoiding the need for costly reactor refuellings.

The first of the class, HMS Astute, is expected to enter service in 2008, and she and her sisters will be based at Faslane on the Clyde, undergoing refits at Devonport.

After touring the Cumbrian yard and meeting members of the workforce, Lord Bach said: “This ceremony marks an important stage in a challenging project.

“The Astute class will be the most advanced and powerful attack submarine the Royal Navy has ever operated, and these boats will play a key part in our defences for decades to come.

“The Royal Navy has a requirement for nuclear-powered submarines well into the future, and the Barrow-in-Furness yard remains the UK’s centre of excellence for submarine building.

“Submarines are extremely demanding engineering projects, and the Astute class is no exception. I am happy to be able to witness this significant project landmark.”

Around 5,000 people are employed on the Astute programme, which is expected to cost the MOD some £3.6 billion.

NEW NAVAL WARNING SIRENS

Residents in the Torpoint and Wilcove areas in Cornwall are being sent letters to inform them that an additional alert siren is to be brought into service at HMS Raleigh early next month.

The siren is one of the Devonport Nuclear Accident Alarm Sirens, and is designed to ensure that all those in the 2km pre-planned countermeasure zone – which includes Torpoint and Wilcove – will be able to hear the sirens no matter what the weather conditions.

On Monday November 3 the new siren will be routinely tested at 11.30am for the first time, along with the other seven sirens located in and around Devonport Naval Base, which are tested at this time every week.

Although the existing sirens are already audible in this area, the addition of the new siren will mean the coverage is increased to exceed the minimum legal requirement, and will result in some people – particularly in Millbrook, Antony and St John – hearing the siren for the first time.

Letters will also be sent to people in these areas.

The sirens make a rising and falling wailing sound, similar to the old Civil Defence air raid sirens, and this will last for one minute. It will be followed by the ‘All Clear’ – a steady note – for half a minute.

Captain Base Safety Capt John Binns said: “Safety is paramount at Devonport Naval Base and comprehensive proven plans exist to protect the public in the unlikely event of an accident.

“The Royal Navy has an excellent safety record in the operation of its nuclear submarines, but we keep our plans constantly under review.

“It’s a well-known fact that weather conditions can affect the distance at which sound can be heard. The range of the existing sirens have met and exceeded requirements during the vast majority of weather conditions, but we want to be confident that the siren will be audible to all those who need to hear it regardless of the weather.”

Dependent on wind direction, people who are further a field in St Germans, Polbathic, Sheviock, Crafthole, Portwrinkle, Whitsand Bay, Kingsand, Cawsand and Rame may also be able to hear the siren. Public notices have been placed in newspapers to let these people know.

Information on what to do if the sirens are heard other than at 11.30am on Mondays is available on the inside front cover of the BT telephone directory.

In addition, those who live and work within the 2km zone have been given a leaflet entitled What to do in a nuclear emergency.

October 19

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Edwin Wilmshurst, Phil Welsh and "others"

IRISH FERRIES

ULYSSES - Irish Ferries To Market ‘Ulysses’ As Conference Venue. - When does a ferry become more than a ferry? When it doubles as a conference venue!

At least that’s the theory being put to the test by Irish Ferries who have launched an initiative aimed at promoting their giant Dublin-Holyhead cruise ferry ‘Ulysses’, the world’s largest car ferry, as a floating venue for sales meetings, small conferences and seminars, staff-away days, think-tank sessions and suchlike.

Under the theme ‘Ulysses Conference Centre – Open for Business’ Irish Ferries are targeting organisers to show how sections of the vessel can be set aside during normal operations to create an exclusive and imaginative venue.

One such facility is the vessel’s Martello Sky Lounge, wired for sound and audio visual inputs, it is equipped with a large plasma screen, podium and stage area and self-contained bar and catering facility. Visits to view this facility can be arranged but in the meantime why not take a virtual tour by visiting our website at www.irishferries.com

The Irish Ferries package promises something unique for organisers in search of a venue that opens up new vistas for thought and ideas. Their offering includes welcome breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee. In addition, delegates would have full access to all of ship’s on-board facilities including the option of returning to Dublin on the Company’s Dublin Swift fast ferry service.

‘It’s the perfect idea for an event organiser who must think outside the box and encourage clients to do likewise’ said Irish Ferries’ Mary Black. ‘For managers, it may also provide a means to stimulate staff to look beyond the horizon.’

RNLI - LOOE

A new lifeboat station has been opened at Looe in Cornwall. It houses a new Atlantic 75 class boat, larger and faster than the previous boat stationed in the port. The boat carries the name "Alan and Margaret" named by Elizabeth Beaton after her late parents.

PENINSULA & ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY

Further to the announcement of 27 May 2003, P&O announced on October 13 that contracts
have now been exchanged Stena's proposed acquisition of a significant part of P&O's ferry
operations on the Irish Sea and also for the transfer of Stena's Stranraer port operations to P&O's port at Cairnryan, with Stena taking a 50% shareholding in the Cairnryan port.

As noted in the subsequent announcement of 22 August, the transaction concerning the ferry operations has been referred to the UK Competition Commission by the Office of Fair Trading ('OFT'). This transaction is also subject to clearance by the Irish regulatory authorities. The Cairnryan transaction received OFT approval to proceed. Both transactions remain subject to certain other conditions.

Third Party Evidence Submissions to the Competition Commission Investigation into the P&O Irish Sea/Stena deal are now online at:

http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/inquiries/current/stena/index.htm

STENA LINE

 It iss reported that Stena has won a battle over a patent relating to the construction of high speed catamaran ferries.

Austal ships has agreed to pay royalties to Stena to licence the designs. in return Stena will drop claims against ferry companies in the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Greece which operate 

Stena has also dropped legal action against Austal. Irish Ferries JONATHAN SWIFT was at the centre of a battle in the London courts earlier this year. The dispute relates to the use of a latticework of beams to strengthen the hulls of high-speed vessels, by strengthening the structure triangular windows can be incorporated into the hull

 In a statement agreed with Austal Stena announced:

"In a gratifying end to the long standing patent infringement disputes in various countries, Swedish company, Stena Rederi AB, and the Australian ship builder, Austal Ships, have reached an amicable settlement. The disputes arose by way of Stena's claims in the
patents relating to the use of lattice work in the superstructure of catamarans. As part of the settlement Stena will not pursue its claims against operators in Denmark, Greece, UK & Ireland and elsewhere nor against Austal who has built the vessels. Austal in turn has agreed that for use of the patents it will take a royalty paying licence from Stena."

WHITTAKER GROUP

WHITIDE - one of the collection of laid up Whittaker Group tankers resident in Vittoria Dock, Birkenhead was noted by a correspondent in the process of being renamed LIPTON and re-registered in Panama this weekend.

MERSEY FERRIES

WOODCHURCH - an engine and other components from the WOODCHURCH will be donated to the Laird Foundation for apprentices to train on. The vessel is currently undergoing a £3.5m refit in A&P Birkenhead by Mersey Heritage Ship Repair.

STAR OF INDIA

The historic Ramsey built sailing ship STAR OF INDIA which is preserved at San Diego Maritime Museum, California will be celebrating her 140 anniversary over the weekend of November 15 and 16.

ROYAL NAVY

HMS ENTERPRISE - the new survey ship HMS Enterprise [H88] was formally commissioned into the Royal Navy on October 18 at the Devonport Naval Base. 

The 3,500 tonne Enterprise will work with the Fleet in world-wide, front-line operational roles, including supporting mine warfare and amphibious operations, as well as undertaking specialist exploration tasks necessary to the long-term effectiveness of the Royal Navy.

HMS Enterprise and her sister ship HMS Echo were ordered from Vosper Thornycroft (VT) (UK) Ltd , with construction sub-contracted by VT to Appledore Shipbuilders. The contract with VT also covers the support of the ships throughout their expected 25-year service life with the Royal Navy, with a potential through life value of £130M. 

APPLEDORE SHIPBUILDERS

On October 17 it was reported that receivers appointed to the Devon based Appledore Shipbuilders were in talks with a "front runner" following the closure of bids for the yard on Wednesday.

Of 30 potential buyers reported in the press, one of which is believed to be DML - operators of Devonport Dockyard. Other businesses believed to be involved include a business that could place orders for several vessels, an international shipbuilder and a West Country-based consortium.

A&P FALMOUTH

October 17 saw the reopening of a new Queen's Wharf at Falmouth docks. The previous timber structure had been destroyed in a spectacular blaze, caused a light which blew over in a gale.

The new, concrete wharf has been in use since September. The official opening was performed by Mike and Judith Ridley, of P &O Ferries, Dover, and hosted by Peter Child, managing director of A &P (Falmouth) Ltd, which runs the docks.

A&P Falmouth will be refitting a number of P&O ships during the coming winter refit season.

October 12

 
Acknowledgements: Ian Collard, Michael Bracken, David Billinge and "others" 
SEA CONTAINERS

A correspondent reports that the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company / Sea Containers Ltd - online booking computer reveals the following vessel deployment changes for the winter months on the Belfast - Troon route:

RAPIDE will sail until the end of December and then be replaced by SEACAT ISLE OF MAN from January 02. From January 08 SEACAT SCOTLAND is shown as operating the route. Appears strange that SCIOM should be deployed for such as short period of time.

However, comment must be made that this appears to be a rather strange scenario. One wonders if not all the on-line booking entries where changed when RAPIDE was deployed early this year, therefore until further information comes to light this must remain questionable.

Sea Containers have confirmed that operations on the Dover - Calais route will be suspended between December 22 and resume on March 18. The company had announced its intention to cease operations during the winter months earlier this year.

I will be interesting to see if any of the vessels make their way north to A&P Birkenhead's "Cattery"  for winter lay-up / refit.

DUBLIN PORT

Thieves stole three 40ft containers from the port on Friday evening. 

The containers held consignments of chocolate bars, bathroom fittings and towels worth over €100,000 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí at Store Street garda station, Dublin

APPLEDORE SHIPBUILDERS

The Western Morning news reported on October 11 that although the staff of the Appledore Shipyard have been laid off following the appointment of receivers, former employees returned to the yard to work for nothing to complete work on a small coaster.

The coaster ARDENT had arrived at the yard just before the receivers were appointed.

The appointment of receivers could have resulted in the vessel becoming embroiled in the protracted negotiations to sort out the affairs of the business.

But receivers Tenon Recovery agreed that the work should be carried out and a small team utilising all the skills the shipyard has to offer was put together to get the ARDENT back to sea.

More significant than that was that the team members were all working for nothing - their aim being to make sure the vessel could go back to work.

Yesterday, the finishing touches were being carried out on the coaster, which carries a wide variety of general cargoes, and hopes were high that the little ship - dwarfed in Appledore's mighty covered dock - would be able to leave early next week.

Yesterday, Mr. Glover was away from the yard fetching supplies, but Steve "Jumbo" Richards, who has been managing the project on his behalf, praised the workers at Appledore for the way in which they had all pulled together to ensure that the ARDENT would soon be back at sea.

Mr. Richards said: "It would have been a complete disaster for Anthony but for the boys who have been on this job and the goodwill they have shown. Hopefully, because of that and the goodwill shown by the receivers, we'll be out of here in a couple of days.

"We were told that the work could take four to five weeks - but the blokes have been great, they have worked really hard and it has been done in under two.

"This has all been done without any involvement from the people who used to manage the shipyard. It has been people on the shop floor, who have helped sort this out. It's a good indication of what the yard can do."

Gary Cook, secretary of the joint shop stewards' committee at the shipyard, said: "We don't want to see anyone's business suffer as a result of what has happened here. We were glad that the lads could help. Any money goes into the hardship fund.

"Lloyds still have to test the ship, but we expect it to go out early next week."

Simon Thomas, of Tenon Recovery, said: "The money has been paid for the work and the ship can go."

The Appledore workforce was led by David Pither, who has worked at the shipyard for the past nine years.

Mr. Pither, who was a burner at the yard, said: "It has been a challenge, but we all felt sorry for Mr. Glover and Mr. Richards. It has been nice doing this because everybody has mucked in and done everything.

"A lot of the success of what we have done has been about having the right team. At the end of the day when the redundancies were announced, Mr. Glover was looking very worried. I approached them and said 'I can get a squad together to help you out'."

The work done over the last few days has included putting in new shell plates and frames, and an engine rebuild.

The shipyard is being offered for sale by the receivers after the entire workforce of more than 500 people was made redundant on the last day of September.

The receivers have been approached by a number of potential buyers, but so far there has been no indication of any definite bids to buy the yard.

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM CORNWALL

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall will to present a series of paintings from the Diploma Collection of The Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) from 18 October - 21 December 2003 .

To coincide with this inaugural show, members of the Society will lecture on the history of the RSMA and give a fascinating insight into marine painting in general.

JEANIE JOHNSTON

The replica emigrant ship which has enjoyed a highly successful tour of the USA & Canada will depart on her voyage home to Ireland on October 23, 2003.

TRANS ATLANTIC SAILING RECORD SMASHED

Billionaire Robert Millar established a new record for the crossing the Atlantic under sail.

Robert Millar skippered the £10 million Mari Cha IV from New York in just six days, breaking the previous record by two days. The vessel crossed the finish line off Lizard Point on October 09, 2003..

The 70-year-old said: "It is a phenomenal achievement to have sailed across the Atlantic in under seven days. Mari Cha IV is the fastest monohull in history."

ROYAL NAVY

The following report appeared in the Western Morning News this week:

The sight of sailors wearing their traditional bell-bottoms could soon become commonplace after a leading figure in the Royal Navy called for servicemen to wear their uniforms with pride when off duty. Sailors are being encouraged to wear their uniforms while ashore in a bid to boost Royal Navy recruiting levels. The Army and Royal Air Force are expected to follow suit.

There are currently 8,000 active Royal Navy personnel in Plymouth, although few wear their uniforms in the city.

A Royal Navy spokesman said yesterday: "We are encouraging servicemen and women to wear their uniforms when they are conducting duties in public.

"Part of the idea is to encourage recruitment but also we recognise that the Royal Navy must be kept in the public eye."

But he added that there would be some circumstances when servicemen were not encouraged to wear their uniforms.

"We would not think it appropriate for servicemen to wear uniforms when in pubs drinking but we would encourage them to wear them more than they do at present."

Navy chiefs have warned off duty personnel to be constantly alert to terrorist attacks but said the threat was being constantly monitored.

A ban on military servicemen and women wearing uniforms in public was introduced in the 1970s when the armed forces were targeted by the IRA.

Although the ban was lifted three years ago, few servicemen actually took advantage of the option to wear their uniforms when off duty.

In a personal letter to members of the navy, the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral James Burnell-Nugent, stresses that the terrorist threat is assessed monthly.

"The decision to wear uniform in public is a personal one and vigilance must be maintained at all times," he said.

"However, there are benefits to being seen wearing uniform in public, and I strongly encourage all personnel to do so when and where possible.

"We take great pride in being members of the Naval Service and I believe that it is important that we should be able to express this pride in a visible way."

Vice Admiral Burnell-Nugent warned in the letter that "the pool of talented young people" from which the service could recruit was "growing smaller".

"Using ourselves to increase the visibility of the service will help to fill gaps," he writes.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said sailors would be encouraged to assess appropriate times to wear their whites.

"We are not saying they should be encouraged to wear their uniforms when there is a potential for trouble," she explained.

"It is a case of commonsense prevailing."

Defence expert Mike Critchley said uniformed servicemen would be a "welcome sight" on the streets.

"I have not seen sailors in their uniform while off duty for many years," he said. "It would be something that raises the profile of the Royal Navy."

TRINITY HOUSE

Wolf Rock Lighthouse, the centuries-old landmark off Land's End, is being made more environmentally friendly in a switch to solar power.

The 155 ft granite lighthouse completed in 1870 is having its diesel generators replaced by solar panels which will effect considerable savings each year.

A spokesman for Trinity House said that the operation had been made harder by the fact that staff and materials have had to be transported by helicopter.

The solar-power will be used to operate the light and fog signal at Wolf Rock, thus eliminating the requirement to transport and store fuel offshore and eradicate potential pollutants from exhaust and heat generated by the existing diesel engines.

Trinity House chairman, Rear Admiral Jeremy de Halpert said: "The solarisation of Wolf Rock Lighthouse is a further step in our plans to harness alternative energy sources and avoid adverse impacts on the environment. This is very much in line with Government policy on the greater use of renewable energy sources."

Trinity House has already converted 380 lighted buoys to solar power operation and 15 other lighthouses, including the Eddystone.

October 8

 
Acknowledgements: Dan Cross, Jim Edgar, NSL and "others" 
ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY

SEACAT ISLE OF MAN - adverse conditions led to the cancellation of sailings on October 5 and 6. Passengers being routed via Heysham and the BEN-MY-CHREE.

SUPERSEACAT TWO also missed sailings due to adverse conditions on October 5 and 6.

LADY OF MANN - its is believed that the Lady's visit to A&P on her return from the Azores could be to resolve a problem with a clutch.

SEA CONTAINERS

RAPIDE had a drama on the afternoon of October 5 when she arrived at Belfast from
Troon.  

Technical problems with the vessels stern doors resulted in vehicles being trapped on board for two hours until the doors could be released. The evening round trip was subsequently cancelled.

IRISH NAVAL SERVICE

LE NÍAMH is heading to the west Africa nation of Liberia, in preparation for the deployment
of over 400 members of the Irish Defence Forces there later this year. 

LE NÍAMH  is acting in support of a Defence Forces reconnaissance mission, which is assessing the situation on the ground in Liberia. It is the first time an Irish Naval vessel has been used in the planning and reconnaissance process. The LE NÍAMH  is scheduled to arrive in Monrovia on October 17th.

NORTH WESTERN SHIP REPAIRERS

Tug OAKGARTH docked at Clarence Dry Dock on Monday, October 6 for her annual overhaul.

Henty's oil barge ALBERT T is due to dock at Clarence next Monday for general repairs.

MERSEY DOCKS & HARBOUR COMPANY 

It is rumoured that MDHC are having a clear up around the port, and with sunken / derelict / abandoned vessels will being scrapped [e.g. SARSIA at Four Bridges] and NORSTAR by a Fleetwood ship demolition company.

RMS MULHEIM 

The BBC reports that souvenir hunters climbing onto the wreck of a ship at Land's End have been told they are risking their lives.

The RMS Mulheim is now in such a poor condition the site has been described as treacherous.

The vessel, which ran aground on 22 March, started breaking up on Tuesday - a three-metre swell and strong winds ripped off the bow.

Some people have been climbing on board the wreck to take bits away and the National Trust is erecting signs warning people of the dangers.

Trust spokeswoman Lyndsey Butterfield said: "We have had people clambering on board trying to get bits of metal off and even trying to take the propeller off.

"We have put up warning signs and we hope people keep well away from the dangerous parts of the ship."

The authorities said they had expected the vessel to break up when the autumn bad weather arrived and it would not pose a problem for shipping.

The RMS MULHEIM was transporting thousands of tonnes of waste plastic from Ireland to Germany when she went aground.

There have been some concerns that what remains of the plastic could be washed up on beaches as the ship breaks up.

But the authorities say there is very little left and beaches will be cleaned if any debris does appear.

Conservationists want an exclusion zone around Cornwall 's coast to stop big ships like the RMS MULHEIM from causing damage and pollution.

October 5

 
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Michael Bracken, Tommy Dover, C.J. Lawrenson "others". 
NOTES & NEWS

UPDATES

A reminder that an extra update was posted on September 30. 

BROADBAND

As from Friday Irish Sea Shipping - The Online Shipping Magazine now has a broadband connection. This will certainly help speed up work on the web site. 

As a result of the change over it has been felt necessary to make some slight changes to the Notes for Contributors.

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY

LADY OF MANN - the Lady returned home on October 5 following her summer charter to Acor Line. She was noted passing The Rock [New Brighton] at 07:00 and was fast in A&P Wet Basin at 07:36.

When she sailed past SSC2 berthed at Prince's Landing Stage the youngster blew her whistle to welcome her older sister home after her long journey. 

IRISH CONTINENTAL GROUP

JONATHAN SWIFT Due to technical problems believed to be stress fractures, all  sailings on Sunday October 5 were cancelled with passengers transferred to ULYSSES.

On Saturday her return evening sailing from Holyhead was delayed from 20:15 to 20:50 due to adverse conditions. She arrived back at Dublin around 23:40. 

CARNIVAL CORPORATION

QUEEN MARY 2 is expected to undertake further sea trials off Arran on the west coast of Scotland during the first week in November, along the route taken by QUEEN MARY.

GLACIERE RISES AGAIN

The 19th century sailing ship Galciere  has been raised from the waters of Collingwood Dock yet again. 

The ship which had been used as a sail training vessel first sank in the 1990s. She was then sold and raised again three years ago. However, she once again sank in the dock. She has now been bought by sailing enthusiast Dave Murray of Liverpool who plans to restore the vessel and moor her as an attraction in the Albert Dock. www.glaciere.co.uk

WICKLOW & EAST COAST NOTES from Tommy Dover

WICKLOW PORT

Coaster callers this week included the RIKA , UNION SATURN , LEONA and THULE .

Wicklow lifeboat launched on Tuesday afternoon after a whelk trawler developed engine trouble south of Wicklow Head, the lifeboat towed the vessel into port.

Traffic in the bay included the Dutch navel ships ROTTERDAM , VAN SPEKE and VAN NES, JOPI , ATLAS and EUROPEAN AMBASSADOR. 

Visitors to the harbour were ASGARD 11 and RINN VOYAGER.

Coastguard units arrived for a boat handling course in the bay over the weekend.

MARITIME & COASTGUARD AGENCY

14 FOREIGN SHIPS UNDER DETENTION IN THE UK DURING AUGUST 2003

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that 14 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during August 2003 after failing port state control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that 4 foreign ships were detained in UK ports during August 2003 along with 10 other ships still under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 7.2% which is a decrease of 0.2% on the detention rate to July. Three out of the four vessels detained during the month were registered with flags targeted by the Paris MOU.

The ships detained in August included:-

• an Albanian registered, 1105 GT, general cargo ship for 4 days due to ISM DOC and SMC expired and nautical charts and publications out of date.

• an Estonian registered, 657 GT general cargo ship due to the poor condition of the ships hull structure. The ship is not classed and a total of 57 deficiencies were recorded prior to the inspection being suspended.

• a St Vincent and Grenadines 22,372 GT bulk carrier for 7 days for lifeboats not properly maintained and not operationally ready, leaking breathing apparatus and a poor abandon ship drill, a total of 24 deficiencies were recorded.

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.


FALMOUTH COASTGUARD CO-ORDINATE RESCUE OF THREE UNINJURED PASSENGERS FROM A DITCHED CESSNA AIRCRAFT OFF THE ISLES OF SCILLY

At 11.16 on Saturday October 4, Falmouth Coastguard received a radio call from a fishing vessel SEMPER ALLEGRO stating they had just witnessed a Cessna aircraft ditch into the water in a position south west off the Isles of Scilly.

Simon Rabett, Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager said:

“The three casualties (all male) were taken aboard the fishing vessel from where they were airlifted by a Royal Navy Rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and taken to Treliske Hospital in Truro to receive medical attention. We believe the three casualties to be suffering from cold and shock.

The single engine Cessna was en route from Lands End to St Mary's when it experienced engine failure 7 miles south east of the Isles of Scilly.

The weather conditions on scene were northerly force 4 – 5.”

RNLI - HOYLAKE

A dispute has broken out between residents of the Wirral town of Hoylake and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The RNLI wish to construct a new lifeboat station on part of the site of the former open air baths on Hoylake promenade.

Objectors are opposing the plans, which will see half of the site used, by the RNLI because they claim it will remove a public open space and spoil the view.

One has to ask if the objectors views are reasonable? Surely the need to save life is more important than the need to protect a view and a small patch of open space? Given that there had once already been a much larger swimming pool on the site the objector's actions do appear unreasonable. 

WATERFORD PORT

Gardaí in Waterford City were called to Rice Bridge in the city on Friday October 03 following an escalation of a two-week-old industrial dispute.

The dispute centres on a row over pay and conditions for six boatmen employed by Waterford Port.

It is understood a number of pickets were placed on the bridge shortly before 11:00, when a bridge lift was due.

An oil tanker fully laden with fuel was unable to make its delivery to an oil company in South Kilkenny because of the dispute.

Another attempt was to be made tomorrow to bring the tanker up river, but the striking boatmen said pickets would be placed on the Bridge on Saturday morning.

APPLEDORE SHIPBUILDERS

On Saturday October 04 the Western Morning News reported that financial help for redundant workers at Appledore Shipbuilders has come pouring in from all quarters.

The plight of more than 500 workers at the shipyard, who lost their jobs on Tuesday, has touched the hearts of people throughout North Devon and further a field.

Gary Cook, the secretary of the joint shop stewards' committee at the yard, said the offers of help had been heartwarming, and were vitally important because many staff at the shipyard were already in financial difficulties because they had been on short time working.

Cash and pledges totalling around £8,000 have been received, but Mr. Cook pointed out that the demand was likely to be great with around 500 redundant workers and inevitable delays in receiving benefits.

He said: "Although the help people are offering has been wonderful it should be remembered that the situation everyone finds themselves in now comes on the back of 15 weeks' short time working and they did not get their wages last week or this week.

"People were already overdrawn and hard-up and the redundancies are just a hammer blow at the end of it all."

Mr. Cook said people in the local community had been bringing in money and cheques for the Appledore Shipbuilders' Welfare Club, while other donations had been sent in.

He said: "We have had £1,000 from ex-shipbuilders in Sunderland. They know what it is like to lose their livelihoods. We have also had £1,500 from a local Masonic lodge, which goes to show they are aware of the impact these redundancies will have on the community."

Help has also been pledged from workers at the Ferguson Shipyard in Glasgow which won an order to build new ferries, which Appledore Shipbuilders had hoped would be placed with them to keep the yard going.

Earlier this year it was announced that the three ferries which run between Torpoint and Plymouth are to be replaced by three larger vessels at a cost of £15 million. There was dismay when the order was placed with the Scottish yard.

Mr. Cook said: "Although we would really have liked that order, there is certainly no ill feeling between the two yards and the lads in Scotland have pledged help."

He said any cheques should be made payable to the Appledore Shipbuilders Welfare Club and can be sent to the union offices at the shipyard. With possibly up to two months before some of the redundant workers receive payment, the need for welfare money will remain high for some time to come.

Colin Pettifer, a full-time officer with union Amicus, said: "The workforce has been on severely reduced earnings for over three months and now they have no income at all. It is a catastrophe for the individuals concerned. We need money to make welfare payments to those who have been tragically affected."

The shipyard was yesterday formally advertised for sale by receivers who moved into the yard on Wednesday.

Simon Thomas, of receivers Tenon Recovery, said that since the yard was advertised around 30 inquiries had been received.

He said: "Some of the inquiries look quite good."

ATLANTIC SAILING SPEED RECORD

A 70-year-old British billionaire set sail from New York on October 2 in a bid to break the world speed record for crossing the Atlantic by sea. Retail and investments tycoon Robert Miller departed from Chelsea Pier in Manhattan, with his crew of 23, aboard the 140ft vessel, the Mari Cha IV.

They will attempt to make the 2,925-mile journey to Lizard Point, off Cornwall, in the single hull yacht in less than eight days.

"I've been a sailor all my life. There's nothing more exciting than the adrenaline rush of being on a fast boat in severe weather conditions," said Mr. Miller. "I have a great team of sailors and an awesome boat so we think we can do considerable damage to all the leading world records if we have the right conditions."

The sailing fanatic, who named the yacht after his three daughters, is believed to have spent up to £10 million on the project. They also hope to be the first monohull crew to sail over 500 miles in 24 hours.

 

 

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