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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


January 28Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Liston, Alex McCormac and "others"


ULYSSES departed North Western Ship Repairers' #5 dry dock on Thursday evening - January 26, two days behind schedule.

ISLE OF INISHMORE arrived at Liverpool Bar anchorage and remained there through Saturday January 28 not proceeding on either the morning or evening tides to Birkenhead.



LAGAN VIKING a 35 year old man from Belfast jumped overboard on last night's Belfast - Birkenhead sailing.

A company spokesman said its staff had tried to calm down the passenger, who was travelling with a female, about an hour before the incident.

The loss of the man, 11 miles south of the Isle of Man, was reported to Liverpool Coastguard at 2.20am and a four-hour search was launched involving a lifeboat crew and helicopter.

Spokesman Pat Adamson said the man had been identified as being "aggressive" at 01.30, about 50 minutes before he had jumped overboard.

"The captain, hotel manager and hotel steward got involved because they were concerned he would jump.

"They calmed him down and later he asked if he could go for a cigarette.

"He jumped up on the rail and they tried to talk him down.

"It was a most regrettable incident.

Mr Adamson added: "The ship stopped immediately and turned around to the position where he jumped. Buoys and lights were put down and the coastguard was immediately called."

Port St.Mary Lifeboat was launched and a helicopter from RAF was tasked to the incident. Sister ship MERSEY VIKING, Seatruck's MOONDANCE and the survey ship CORYSTES joined in the search.

On arrival at Birkenhead witnesses were interviewed by Merseyside police.

LAGAN VIKING resumed her sailing to Birkenhead at 05:00 where she arrived behind schedule at around 09:00.


Scilly News reports that the sea link between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is amongst transport schemes which could receive major funding from the South West Regional Assembly, it has been announced.

Under the new Regional Funding Allocation process, members of the SWRA were asked to decide which major schemes should benefit from Government funding over the next decade.

The recommended programme of funding will be considered by the Regional Assembly this week.


A bidding war has broken out between two suitors for the company.

The original bid of 443p by Dubai Ports World which was recommended by the P&O board was this week countered with a bid this week of 470p by PSA International of Singapore which was then backed by the P&O board. However, within 24 hours Dubai Ports World came back with a revised bid of 520p. The Dubai bid then being backed again by the P&O board!

Obviously there is still something to play for here and it will be interesting to see what deal finally materialises.


NOMADIC - the last surviving White Star ship was saved from possible scrapping at this week.

The Northern Ireland Office bought the ship at an auction in Paris for £171,320.

Social Development Minister David Hanson said his department had been hoping to buy the vessel for some time.

"My department has been working behind the scenes since before Christmas to establish the case for acquiring this historic vessel," he said.

"It was necessary to maintain confidentiality round this work to ensure that government's bidding for the Nomadic at open auction was not compromised."

She will be returned to Belfast for restoration. Further details on


Plans for a multi-million pound Stena/P&O port at Cairnryan are back on track after councillors agreed not to oppose the operators' application to the Scottish Executive.

Their decision came after planners' fears about the noise impacts of increased ferry operations at the new port were overcome at a public meeting on Monday.

Many Cairnryan residents were dismayed by the decision of the Wigtown Area Regulatory Committee not to oppose Port of Cairnryan Ltd's application to the Scottish Executive for a Harbour Empowerment Order (HEO).

Such an order would allow Port of Cairnryan to construct and maintain an enlarged port, which they aim to complete by 2007.

The three members present at Monday's meeting agreed unanimously not to stand in the applicant's way. Normally nine members sit on the Regulatory Committee, but at least three declared a conflict of interest. Up until Monday's meeting, a recommendation had been made by Area Planning Manager John Ferguson to the committee to object to the HEO on the grounds that the applicant had not done enough to address the noise impact during operations at the port.

But after environmental consultants for the applicant on Friday submitted pledges on specific measures it would take, planning chief John Ferguson agreed to support the bid.

Among the assurances made by environmental consultants Royal Haskoning were a plan to create a Port Liaison Group to maintain contact with locals, and an Environmental Management System to look at ways to minimise noise impact. Mr Ferguson was also reassured by the council's Environmental Health officer, who said he was convinced by plans to create a management committee to deal with noise issues.

Route Director for Stena Line, Alan Gordon, welcomed the outcome. He said: "We are delighted that the council have withdrawn their objection - we see this investment as a huge investment for the area.

"This is a long term commitment and we want to work with the people of Cairnryan to ensure we can be good neighbours."

But many Cairnryan residents left the meeting angry at the way in which the consultants' assurances over noise pollution were so readily accepted. Marjorie McGhie, of Bankhead Farm, one of the three properties which will look directly onto the new port, said: "I was disappointed that the articles submitted just seemed to negate the noise objections.

"I don't think that something like that should have been submitted at the last minute when there was hardly enough time to read it, and there's certainly nothing in the letter to allay my fears over noise. "John Ferguson did his job very well, but I think the Environmental Health Department need to look deeper into this."

Cairnryan Community Council's Chairman James Coulter said a lot of people left the meeting "in an agitated state". He said: "I think once we saw that six members of the committee were missing, we stood no chance, and that was very disappointing, and the fact they only gave us ten minutes to read the latest correspondence was a disgrace.

"We as a community council had to write down our objections for the Scottish Executive, but when these people are allowed to bring in their response at the last minute it makes us look foolish.

"They have brought forward these proposals, which look good on paper, but these things might not work out if they are not adhered to, so only time will tell.

"I felt sorry for John Ferguson, who had no option but to recommend after the things he brought up seemed to be addressed, but the way the whole meeting was conducted left a lot of people very angry."

All three councillors at Monday's meeting moved a motion not to object to the HEO application, on the condition that a number of recommendations were adhered to.

These included an improvement of the planting scheme, cycle path and footpath, improved lighting, the creation of an emergency management plan, as well as a port liaison group including a local member and community council representative.  [WIGTOWN FREE PRESS]


SEA RUNNER the Cambridge Shipping ro/ro ship currently on charter to Stena Line was involved in a pollution incident at Fleetwood on Thursday January 26, 2006.

At 21:00 that day Port State Control Officers from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency detained the 10,669 ton Maltese flagged ro-ro vessel SEA RUNNER at the port of Fleetwood.

The 'Sea Runner' was detained after it was involved in a pollution incident when approximately 2 cu metres of fuel oil was pumped into the River Wyre. It has subsequently been found by the attending Port State Control officer that fuel oil had been pumped overboard from a ballast tank. The ballast tank is adjacent to the fuel oil bunker tank. As such it is believed that the division between the tanks has been breached.

Due to the breach between tanks the safety of the ship has been compromised. The bilge/ballast system has been contaminated with oil.

During loading operations the master of the vessel was required to discharge ballast water due to the tide. Upon noticing that the ballast water was contaminated, pumping operations were immediately suspended and the master of the vessel notified Stena Line, who in turn notified the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The master of this vessel acted responsibly by notifying the authorities.

The vessel has been detained by the MCA until such time that the Maltese flag state authority and Bureau Veritas Classification Society confirm that the integrity of the hull has been restored and or measures put in place to allow the vessel to sail to a repair port.

SEA RUNNER moved to a safe anchorage off Fleetwood Harbour before sailing to Northwestern Shiprepairers where she arrived at the wet basin on the morning of Saturday January 28, 2006.


Chairman's Statement on 2005

Total cargo throughput at the Port of Cork reached a record level of 10.42 million tonnes in 2005. Imports and exports increased by just over 1 million tonnes when compared with 2004’s throughput and are almost 300,000 tonnes more than the previous record of 10.14 million tonnes reached in the year 2000. Port of Cork Company Chairman, Dermot O’Mahoney, in announcing this excellent result stated “I am delighted that port traffic reached a record level in 2005 and this performance reiterates Cork’s position as the premier port on the south coast of Ireland.


Container traffic continued to show remarkable growth reaching 167,000 TEU’s (20 foot equivalent units) up 10,000 TEU’s or 6.3%. This performance vindicates the port’s investment in facilities at the Tivoli Container Terminal over the past number of years. At the present time there are at least 10 sailings per week to European ports including Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge offering importers and exporters reliable and frequent services for their shipments. These ports offer a wide choice of deep-sea sailings around the globe ensuring swift delivery of Irish goods. In 2005 two new services were introduced by APL and Eurofeeders. These sailings together with services operated by BG Freightline, Eucon, Geest and Lys Line provide a minimum of two calls per day at the container terminal.


The port’s oil traffic increased by 18% or 954,000 tonnes in 2005 reaching 6.24 million tonnes. Almost all of this traffic is accounted for by ConocoPhillips’ Whitegate Oil Refinery.


Non-oil traffic at the port also performed satisfactorily returning an increase of 115,000 tonnes or 2.8% when compared with the same period in 2004. In addition to our existing products the port commenced importing cement in July 2005 for Irish Cement which has helped to boost this traffic sector. The agri-sector performed satisfactorily in 2005 with combined imports of cereals and animal feeds increasing by 3,000 tonnes to 660,000 tonnes.


Imports of trade cars for the Irish market increased by 11.8% to 62,000 vehicles. Companies using the port’s facilities include Ford, Opel and Fiat as well as Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Peugeot, Citroen, Chrysler and Skoda. The port’s car traffic is handled at both Ringaskiddy and Tivoli with extensive areas dedicated to car storage at each location. Car Ferry traffic continues to face intense competition from low-cost airlines and as a result Cork’s passenger traffic reduced by 9,000 passengers or 4.9% to 178,000 passengers. Accompanied tourist cars also fell by 3.6% to 54,000 vehicles. Brittany Ferries’ operate to Roscoff and Swansea Cork Ferries sail to Swansea from the Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal.


In 2005 work was completed on upgrading the Cobh Cruise Terminal enabling most of the port’s cruise liner traffic to be handled at the terminal. Thirty two cruise ships called to the port during the year bringing 29,000 passengers to visit the region. Mr. O’Mahoney said the port company invested €3.6 million in the facility and cruise lines have welcomed this investment as it enables passengers on the largest vessels to disembark in Cobh.


Looking ahead to 2006 Mr. O’Mahoney said that by continuing to implement innovative development strategies which offer competitive services the outlook for the port is very positive. He thanked all the employees of the Port of Cork Company for their contribution over the past 12 months and acknowledged their continuing loyalty and commitment.

January 25Acknowledgements: Alex Mc. Cormac, John Lewis, Edwin Wilmshurst, Michael Bracken, Kevin Bennett and "others"


SUPERSEACAT TWO reports indicate that the ship now has painted on the hull. She has also had her name reapplied.

Last week Irish Sea Shipping had received information from several sources indicating that SUPERSEACAT TWO was to be renamed VIKING.

However, visitors to this site may well remember that the Mersey Ferry SNOWDROP departed dry dock after a major refit carrying her original name WOODCHURCH despite information being received of a name change to SNOWDROP. A few weeks later the name WOODCHURCH was changed, so perhaps we may see VIKING yet?!

VIKING really would be a much better name!

BEN-MY-CHREE - the ship completed a unique company passenger vessel record on the 02:15 sailing from Heysham to Douglas on Saturday January 21, 2006.

That sailing marked the ships 10,000th voyage and an accumulated mileage of 590,000 since her delivery on Tynwald Day 1998.

Hamish Ross, Steam Packet Managing Director said, ‘We are rightly proud of the superb service record achieved by this vessel which must be regarded as probably the most reliable ever owned by this Company throughout its 175 year old history.

Ben My Chree is in a class of her own and has without doubt played a major part in our Company’s success in recent years. She is a fine and popular vessel’.

Every passenger who travelled on the special sailing was given an upgrade and a celebratory drink courtesy of The Steam Packet.

The completed mileage equates to 24 circumnavigation’s of the world, 28 return trips to Australia one and a half return journey’s to the moon and 16,000 times around the Island’s famous TT course.


ULYSSES should have departed Cammell Laird #5 dry dock at 17:00 on Tuesday January 24. However she did not appear. Hence she missed her scheduled return to service on the 09:05 sailing from Dublin sailing from Dublin today was missed.

JONATHAN SWIFT - Irish Ferries have announced cutbacks in JONATHAN SWIFT sailings for 2006, blaming continued decline in the Irish Sea car ferry market. As a consequence of the cuts the 17:30 and 20:15 sailings will not be operated when she returns to service after dry docking. Sailing times or the remaining sailings will also be changed.

Since the announcement was made, Irish Sea Shipping has learnt of another reason for the decision to withdraw the evening round trip sailing at 17:30 from Dublin.

Apparently the new outsourced crews for the SWIFT will have accommodation on board the ULYSSES. Therefore, if a 17:30 round trip was operated they would not have returned to Dublin before the ULYSSES departed on her overnight round trip!


Time is running out to save the last White Star Line ship. She will be auctioned in France on Thursday January 26. If not bought she could be broken up for scrap. The last ship from one of the most famous lines in shipping history, the Belfast built NOMADIC, could be lost for ever. Visit for more details. Belfast City Council have pledged £100,000 towards the attempt to save this historic ship.


Mersey Docks and Harbour Company announced that the first freight train has traversed the loop line serving the Port of Liverpool's new logistics and warehousing complex, in anticipation of a regular flow of forest products by rail.

The trial run was undertaken by a Class 66 diesel locomotive and six freight wagons in readiness for the movement of Europe's largest reels of paper into the 105,000 sq ft specialist store of Stanton Grove Limited.

The loop line was established in the first phase development of the Liverpool Intermodal Freeport Terminal (LIFT) complex by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company. It runs from the port's main link with the national rail network and travels beneath specially designed canopies at the Stanton Grove and neighbouring warehouses, to allow all-weather handling of cargo.

The EWS loco undertook several manoeuvres on the rail link before safety and operational experts gave their approval for the loop to prepare to receive its first commercial train in March.

The trial was prompted by growing interest in moving imported newsprint by rail from the UK East and South East coasts to the Stanton Grove warehouse. Manufactured in Norway, Sweden and Finland, the 4.3 metre high reels – Europe's largest – would then be stored to await just-in-time delivery to presses in the North West of England.

Mersey Docks Business Development Manager John Rogers, commented: "The trial train into the LIFT area highlights the foresight of Mersey Docks in establishing the rail link when the first phase of the 860,000 sq ft logistics development was undertaken several years ago."

Stanton Grove Managing Director Rob Stewart. said: "The introduction of rail delivery to our distribution centre adds a further cost effective element to the comprehensive facilities and services we offer the forest product industry and its customers."


It appears from reports in the local press that the much delayed £19m extension to Prince's Landing Stage to accommodate cruise ships will get the go ahead with work expected to start on the 250metre extension within weeks.


Those people who value the Liverpool Pier Head waterfront will be delighted to hear that the monstrosity of a construction which was to be the Museum of Liverpool has been denied a £11.4m Heritage Lottery Fund application.

The new building would have seen the destruction of the huddle of small dockland buildings surrounding the former Pilotage House which presently house the "Museum of Liverpool Life" destroyed along with the very useful Maritime Museum Car Park.

The Pilotage Building was to have been retained but would have been overshadowed by an ugly architectural monstrosity which has been dubbed the "sun lounger".

The Museum authorities have said they will fight on to secure funding for the £65m building, but the project has received a significant set back which will significantly delay the commencement of work and allow those who object to this blight to consolidate their act.

In refusing the development the HLF acknowledged the positive aspects of the application but had serious concerns about overall costs and a lack of detail on the displays and content of the museum.

January 22 



On January 26 the last surviving White Star Line ship will be put up for auction in France.

If she is not sold she is likely to be broken up for scrap.

Visit for details of the group which is endeavouring to secure her future and return her to Belfast.

January 21Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Kevin Bennett, Jürgen Fock, Andrew Dickson, Gareth Wight, John Lewis and "others"


SUPERSEACAT TWO - it is understood that the vessel will be renamed VIKING on completion of her refit.

By adopting the name VIKING the company has resurrected a famous name from the company's glory days.

Constructed by Armstrong Whitworth in 1905 the original VIKING was one of the fastest ships in the world when she was launched. Though she had a cruising speed of 22.5 knots she was capable of at least 24 knots. Only the trans-Atlantic Cunard ships MAURETANIA and LUSITANIA were faster.  Her fastest crossing from Fleetwood to Douglas being 2 hours and 22 minutes.

VIKING served the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company until the end of the 1954 season when she was sold for breaking by Thos. Ward. She also served with distinction during WWI as HMS VINDEX and as a troop ship during WWII.


At the start of the week rumours began to circulate that the Historic Warship Trust was to place itself into voluntary liquidation. Unfortunately these rumours were confirmed as fact on Tuesday.

The trust has preserved HMS PLYMOUTH, HMS ONYX, HMS BRONINGTON and LCT7074 at their Birkenhead East Float base since the 1990s. They have also acted as custodians of U534.

However, faced with the need to relocate to a new berth in the Birkenhead dock system and reported adverse trading conditions the trust will go into voluntary liquidation in February.

The final opportunity for visits to the ships will be on February 05, 2006.

Reports in the west country press suggest that HMS PLYMOUTH may find a new home in Plymouth, though it is suggest that the City Council may not have the resources to support such a move.

[ISS COMMENT: The news that the historic warships collection is to close in early February is certainly to be regretted as the dispersal, or worse still demolition, of the warships will leave Britain's collection of historic vessels seriously depleted.

It is unfortunate that redevelopment and a commercial considerations have led to the winding up of this venture which was a considerable asset to Merseyside and the North West of England.

Surely there is a case for some wider support for this collection? Given the amount of money being spent on Merseyside on redevelopment work which includes the construction of some buildings of dubious architectural merit - why can't some funding be directed towards supporting the Historic Warships and  assisting in the development of improved shore based infrastructure and visitor centre. Given the acres of derelict dockland surely something could be done to integrate these ships into a redevelopment plan which would enhance the area.

Though located in Wirral these ships are only a stone's throw from Liverpool and as Liverpool's European City of Culture Year approaches in 2008 why is there not some joint Liverpool - Wirral support to help the trust get over their current difficulties? ]


Services on the Torpoint - Devonport route were disrupted on January 19 / 20 following an incident in which a car rolled down the slipway and entered the waters of the River Tamar.

Eyewitness reports suggested the Porsche Boxster, which appeared to have no one inside, rolled off the road into the water at about 21:00 on January 19, 2006, leaving it completely submerged.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: "It was a spring tide so the water was particularly deep. The ferry service has had to be suspended, which has meant the Tamar bridge has been a lot busier than usual."

He said attempts to retrieve the vehicle, which costs £35,000 new, would be made once the tide was out.

The spokesman said: "We will need to retrieve it fairly quickly as it could cause an obstruction to the Royal Navy base at Devonport. The ferry service can also not run until it is retrieved."

The police spokesman said there was some confusion as to how the incident happened.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation has included the laid-up ocean liner United States  among its 2006 nominees for its prestigious "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" list.


The nearly 1000-foot ship still took the North Atlantic Blue Riband speed record on its maiden voyage in 1952 and is considered by historians as among the most important engineering feats of the Twentieth Century.

"This is a great honour for our great national flagship," said Robert Hudson Westover, whose organization,

the S.S. United States Foundation, filed the nomination application with the National Trust. "The last

time the S.S. UNITED STATES created this much excitement was when the Foundation successfully petitioned to have the

ship placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999."


Although the S.S. UNITED STATES is currently owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), Westover's organization would like to see the ship converted into maritime museum celebrating American's history at sea.


This vision, however, seems to be at odds with NCL's stated plans of returning the United States back to sea as a modern-day cruise ship. NCL has owned the vessel since April, 2003. "The Foundation can see no possible scenario where putting the ship back to sea won't result in destroying the few historic elements which remain after nearly 30 years of auctioning off items, environmental deterioration and just plain neglect by her previous owners," said Westover. "The only historic elements that remain are her two impressive ten-deck-high engine rooms and her overall streamlined outside architecture which is unique among ocean liners." According to Westover's organization, these important historic elements would have to be removed or greatly altered because of the economic necessities of competing in the modern cruise ship market.


The Foundation hopes that if the National Trust selects the S.S. United States for the "11 Most Endangered" list it will help their efforts in Congress to bring about legislation to protect the ship from any further damage to its historic integrity.




LE EITHNE - the helicopter patrol ship and flagship of the Irish Navy will be deploying to Argentina in early February.

The LE EITHNE will depart the Naval base on 6th February and is expected to return on 8th April 2006. During that time the ships crew, under the command of Commander Mark Mellet will:

·     Fulfil the diplomatic and military obligations associated with such a high level invitation and at the same time support Irish economic and other National Interests in the countries being visited.

·     Support the work of a variety of NGOs & Missionaries working along the South Atlantic American rim. Electricians, carpenters and engineers of the ships crew will provide assistance in some of the missions and NGO groups visited.

·     Build on the ship's official twinning arrangement will Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin by using the ship as a focal point for health service provider recruitment & support for sick children. In an initiative organised by Dr Diarmuid Martin DD, Archbishop of Dublin, toys given into parishes in the Dublin diocese will be distributed to sick children in the various ports visited. The ship will also be visited by sick children and the ships crew will visit children in hospitals, just as they do in Ireland.

·     Attend celebrations to commemorate Admiral William Brown, the Mayo man who founded the Argentine Navy. 

In addition to Buenos Aries and Mar del Plata in Argentina the ship will also visit Montevideo in Uruguay, Rio de Janeiro and Fortalessa in Brazil.


The following article appeared in "The Herald" following the news that there had been tenders received to reinstate and operate the Scotland - Ireland link.

A local firm stands ready to reinstate a car ferry between Scotland and Northern Ireland for the £1m subsidy offered by ministers.

Last week the transport minister announced that the Scottish Executive had received no tenders from prospective operators for the route between Campbeltown and Ballycastle.

A former senior policeman with the Metropolitan Police wants to run a passenger-only service, but community and business leaders believe a car ferry is the key to Kintyre's economic recovery.

Now Dalriada Shipping says it has an arrangement to charter the vessel [CLAYMORE] which plied the route for three seasons from 1997, and has the expertise and experience to make it a success. It wants to open discussions with the Scottish Executive with a view to starting the service as soon as possible. James Robertson, a former employee of both Caledonian MacBrayne and Western Ferries, is one of those behind Dalriada Shipping.

He explained he and his associates had become involved late in the day, "formed a company Dalriada Shipping, two hours before the deadline and applied to the Scottish Executive by e-mail. But we were turned down because we didn't have a lot of the information required by the executive... But we actually anticipated that none of the four firms invited to tender, would in the end tender. We had been doing a lot of research."

He said the main players in Kintyre had considerable experience of running ferries and shipping.


The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that 9 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during December 2005 after failing Port State Control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were 6 new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during December 2005, along with 3 other ships still under detention from previous months. The number of new detentions compared to last month remains the same while the overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months is 5.17%, which is a 0.19% increase on November’s 12 month rate, although the Christmas holiday period accounted for 24% fewer Port State Control Inspections being recorded during December.

During the month of December 116 Port State Control Inspections were carried out in the UK, which brings the total so far this year to 1352 inspections. For those ships inspected during December a total of 87 vessels had deficiencies raised against them. 58 had between 1 to 5 deficiencies, 18 had between 6 to 10 deficiencies, 8 had between 11 to 20 deficiencies and 3 had more than 20 deficiencies.

2 of the vessels detained in November were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU white list, 2 were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU grey list, and 5 were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU black list.

2 bulk carriers, 1 tug, 2 oil tankers, and 4 general cargo vessels were detained in the UK during December.

Vessels detained in December included the following:

  • A 43,733 GT Marshall Islands registered oil tanker at the Royal Portbury Dock, Bristol, on 01/12/2005 found to have serious cracks to the deck as well as radio equipment and emergency preparedness deficiencies.  A total of 19 deficiencies were raised;

  • A 14,971 GT Panamanian registered bulk carrier on the River Tees on 22/12/2005 with radio defects, a starboard lifeboat engine which failed to start and an emergency fire pump which could not deliver water to the ship’s fire hydrants. A total of 11 deficiencies were raised;

  • On 23/12/2005 at Grimsby a 679 GT Russian registered general cargo vessel which, besides having an excessively oily engine room which posed a fire hazard, also had an inoperative starboard lifeboat engine, as well as numerous other SOLAS deficiencies indicating a major ISM non-conformity.  A total of 14 deficiencies were raised.



The MAIB report into the sinking of the scallop dredger SOLWAY HARVESTER was published by the MAIB on January 20, 2006. Copies can be downloaded from the MAIB web site. It appears that a faulty bilge alarm meant that her crew were unaware of the vessel taking on water as she battled heavy seas off the Isle of Man on January 11, 2000.



Coaster traffic this week included ANNLEN G and HAV ALDEBARAN . Traffic in the bay included LE EITHNE southbound out of Dublin, next month she will leave for a 8 week tour of South America to take part in a ceremony in Argentina to celebrate the founding of the Argentine Navy by Irishman Admiral William Brown. KILQUADE was out winch training with the Coastguard helicopter during the week . Wicklow lifeboat launched on a crew exercise during the week with an inspector onboard .


The Letter of Intent (LOI) for a roro-passenger ferry signed on December 23,  2005 by Aker Yards and the French company Brittany Ferries was today confirmed as a firm contract worth approximately 110 million euro. The vessel will be delivered from Aker Yards, Finland in October 2008.

The present order book of Aker Yards includes another order from Brittany Ferries, i.e. a trailer ro pax worth EUR 80 million to be delivered in autumn 2007.

The new ferry is designed to carry passengers, cars and road cargo vehicles between France and the United Kingdom at a speed of 23 knots. The 167 m long and 26.8 m wide vessel, which has been developed in a close co-operation between the Owner and the yard, will have space for 1,500 passengers and 1.1 kilometres of vehicle deck space.

"The new type of ferry now ordered by Brittany Ferries strengthens our reputation further as a leading international supplier of modern, quality vessels", says Yrjö Julin, President responsible for Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries business area. "It also raises the order book of our Finnish yards to record numbers: the order book of Aker Yards in Finland amounts to EUR 3.4 billion, consisting of 17 new buildings, some of which are the largest in the world". The contract is subject to final confirmation of buyers financing.


SEA RUNNER - Cambridge Shipping's Malta registered ro/ro ship is currently providing cover on the Fleetwood - Larne service whilst the STENA SEAFARER is away providing refit cover.


Planners have recommended local councillors oppose an order allowing construction of the P&O/Stena port at Cairnryan. Concerns over the noise impact of the new port - scheduled for completion in 2007 - prompted the shock move to recommend an objection to a Harbour Empowerment Order for the applicant.

A Harbour Empowerment Order, which is granted by the Scottish Executive, would allow the applicant, Port of Cairnryan Ltd, to construct and maintain an enlarged port and other port facilities at Cairnryan. In their report, to be heard by Wigtown Area Regulatory Committee on Monday, planners say that an environmental statement drawn up by the developer "fails to adequately address and mitigate the residual noise impacts of the development during operation of the port".

A number of factors would contribute to the rise in noise levels, they say, including the increase in the number of ferry trips, the additional ferry overlap events, the proximity of new berths to the residential property in the village, and increased movement within the port.

The report adds that "in the absence of appropriate commitments/further mitigation measures, a precautionary approach is appropriate." Noise pollution has been one of the pre-application concerns raised individually by Cairnryan residents and by the local community council, along with issues such as air quality, light pollution and traffic movements.

At present, there are nine daily sailings from Cairnryan to Larne, operating 24 hours a day; with Stena relocating from Stranraer to join P&O at Cairnryan, the sailings would rise to 17 a day, comprising two additional ferry and six Stena HSS sailings.

The developer's environmental statement said: "The most effective means of mitigation and noise control would be detailed examination of the individual sources of noise and mitigation of each.

"This is a continual process that would form a major part of a wider Environmental Management System for the port and form part of the harbourmaster's duties."

Among the measures so far taken to reduce noise are a second weighbridge to speed up vehicle processing at the port, and trials to fit silencers to ferry generators.

At Monday's meeting planners will also recommend that the Area Committee informs Scottish Ministers it has no objections to the application on landscaping grounds, subject to the applicants resolving several issues. These issues include submitting and receiving approval for a detailed lighting design, a planting strip along the A77 and maintenance details of the planting scheme.

Planners also urge recommendation on traffic impact grounds, provided the contract for the development states that the majority of bulk materials are brought in by sea.

Finally, councillors are asked to request that their objection be dealt with at a hearing and that their comments are dealt with in writing by the applicant.

The meeting of Wigtown Area Regulatory Committee will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday in Stranraer at the Council Offices, Sun Street.

January 14Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Mark Ervine, Kevin Bennett, Edwin Wilmshurst and "others".

DANIEL ADAMSON - The historic steam tug - tender which is currently being restored by the Daniel Adamson Preservation society will be moved from its current berth at Salisbury Dock, Liverpool to West Float Birkenhead later this month to facilitate asbestos removal and dry docking at the Bidston Dry Dock. For further details and  the latest news visit


SUPERSEACAT TWO entered NSL Birkenhead on Monday January 09, 2006 to commence refit.

SEA EXPRESS 1 should have taken up service on the Douglas - Liverpool service on Friday January 13, but it looks as though the "Friday 13th" jinx struck as a result of the weather and consequently SE1 had an "Olympic Flame" day with passengers sent the "great way round" via the BEN-MY-CHREE!

P&O EXPRESS - it appears that rumours of a Steam Packet charter are unfounded.

Though it was indicated that the company had been invited to submit a tender offer for the Ballycastle - Campbeltown service non was submitted.


The Scottish Executive invitation for shipping companies to submit tenders to restore the ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle in Antrim has received no submissions despite the offer of a £1 million subsidy.

Four companies were invited to tender, Harrisons (Clyde) Ltd, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Serco Denholm, and Western Ferries.

Councillor Allan Macaskill, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said, "Naturally we are all bitterly disappointed to learn that no bids have been received for the Irish ferry route.

"Whilst we recognise that this particular window of opportunity is now closed, we will not give up hope that a new one might open in the future and we will undertake to explore any opportunity that may present itself.

"In addition, we intend to maintain the close links that we have developed with the communities of Northern Ireland and Moyle in particular, and make full use of existing routes."

A spokesperson for Moyle District Council echoed the disappointment felt at the announcement but stressed that the close links already established between the two communities would continue to be maintained and developed


The company which operates services between Scotland and Northern Ireland and Liverpool and Dublin has gone non smoking on all their vessels from January 09 2006.

Terry Cairns, Managing Director - P&O Irish Sea comments "Whilst we have for many years operated a partial non smoking policy dependant on type of ship, there is an overwhelming customer demand for our vessels to be completely non smoking.

This, and impending legislation on either side of the Irish Sea, has encouraged us to introduce our complete non smoking policy across the fleet this month. The comfort and safety of all our customers and staff is very important to us and we know that this full implementation of a smoking ban will further enhance the enjoyment of all travelling with us."

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation company has been made the subject of a second take-over bid this week. The Singaporean state-owned operator PSA International has made a £3.5bn bid for the company. In a statement P&O said the approach valued its shares at 470p, beating the takeover offer of 443p a share it has already agreed with Dubai Ports.

P&O said it would give PSA until early February to examine its accounts and decide whether to make a formal bid. Ports are benefiting from expanding Asian exports to the US and Europe.


P&O has received this week a £3.5 billion bid approach from Singapore state port operator PSA International, this exceeds the offer made by Dubai Ports. The Singapore bid values the company's stock at £4.70 per share compared to the £4.43 per share offered by Dubai Ports. 

A press report said suggested that Dubai Ports would wait to see if PSA submitted a formal offer before contemplating raising its own bid

The P&O shareholder meeting originally scheduled for January 20 has been delayed for two weeks to give PSA time to decide whether to make a formal bid.


It was announced this week that the company had ordered a further two new vessels in addition to the two currently building. They will be deployed on a route other than Heysham - Warrenpoint.


ULYSSES arrived at NSL Birkenhead on the early morning tide of Tuesday January 10, 2006. Photographs on this site show her in NSL #5 Dry Dock.

On the Irish Ships web site there is some excellent high resolution broadband video material of the ULYSSES in dry dock which can be downloaded.

A GROUP of Irish Ferries workers who had hoped to stay on in their jobs have been told they are now to be made redundant.

The staff members were shocked to get letters on Wednesday telling them that they "did not qualify" to remain on in their positions. It is understood that the number affected are in the single digits and all have temporary status.

A SIPTU spokesperson said they are taking the matter up with the company.

The letter, signed by Human Resources director Alf McGrath, states that under the terms of the Labour Court agreement of December 14, a maximum of 48 existing staff could choose to remain in the employment of Irish Ferries Ltd on a 'Red Circled' basis - meaning their current pay would be protected under the new employment deal.

The letter informed them that the number seeking to remain on had exceeded the maximum number provided for and so it was necessary to reduce the number.

The letter said: "I regret to advise you that, based on the above criteria, you do not qualify for the 'Red Circle' list."

They were told they would be, therefore, made redundant and receive compensation in accordance with the Redundancy Compensation formula.

One affected person said yesterday he had been working there for two years but his 'permanent' staff status had never been rubber-stamped by the company.

He and two other colleagues - all cabin/deck crew - had chosen not to opt for the redundancy package as it would only be worth around €2,000 to them.

He claimed he had received verbal assurances from senior managers that he would be kept on and told he would be able to help with training foreign workers.

"Irish Ferries are now changing the goal posts," he said.

He said he and some other temporary workers would be further hit because they would not be entitled to claim redundancy for the entire period in which they had been employed since the package effectively stopped at October 2.

A spokesman for Irish Ferries said the workers fell outside the scope of the LRC agreement with regard to 'Red Circling' and stressed that all were temporary employees.

However, he said they did qualify for the package on offer to everybody else - the two weeks statutory redundancy plus six weeks pay per completed year of service and pro rata reduction for less than a complete year. "I understand the unions are fully aware of everything the company planned to do in respect of these workers," he said.



The rebranding of Norse Merchant Ferries is well underway. Press advertisements are now featuring the Maersk - Norfolk Line branding. Images of the LAGAN VIKING and MERSEY VIKING are appearing in Maersk blue even though the ships are still red! The company is currently offering very competitive fares on the Birkenhead - Dublin route of £95 return for a car and 2 including meals on day time sailings.

BRAVE MERCHANT departed from the Mersey bound for her new career on the Barcelona - Palma route with Iscomar as the BLANCA DEL MAR operating in direct competition with her sister DAWN MERCHANT now PAU CASALS.


The Western Morning News reported this week that controversial plans for massive super tankers to be supplied with crude oil off the Cornish coast have been rejected by councillors fearing the environmental impact of a major disaster.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners have tabled the proposals - and its plans in the event of a pollution incident - to Cornwall County Council, English Nature, Defra and the Environment Agency for Falmouth Bay.

It would result in small tankers steaming down the English Channel from the shallower waters of the Baltic to supply the huge tankers - capable of carrying up to 250,000 tonnes of the fuel - possibly on a monthly basis. The business could be worth anything up to £1.25 million a year for the port, which is run as a trust, and would nearly double its current annual turnover of £1.4 million.

However, last April the county council chose to oppose ship to ship transfers as a matter of policy. And yesterday it's Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee unanimously rejected the revised Falmouth Bay and Estuaries Oil Spill Contingency Plan saying there were too many "unanswered questions".

"Most members of the council have received letters of concern from people not just from Falmouth but all over Cornwall about these huge tankers being refuelled off the Cornish coast," committee chairman Councillor Mark Kaczmarek said last night.

"The only thing we've had from the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners is about dealing with possible spillage not about what would happen if one of the vessels was wrecked on the coastline.

"They haven't answered all the questions that the public, and councillors, are very concerned about. We don't want to get in the way of Falmouth developing as a port but on the other hand we don't want the worst case scenario happening because these vessels are six times the size of the Torrey Canyon and look at the damage that caused."

Falmouth Harbourmaster Mark Sansom said it had been approached by Norfolk-based company Fender Care to allow such cargo transfers.

Currently, he said, up to 2,000 tonnes of fuel oil was transferred to vessels in the bay although the new operation could involve anything up to 50,000 tonnes of crude oil being transferred to vessels capable of carrying 250,000 tonnes.

He said that with the decline in shipping movements in recent years the business could be an important "diversification" for the port and that the revenue generated would be reinvested.


Work on the new King Harry Ferry is on schedule and the remarkable £2.9 million vessel - which her owners say will be a tourist attraction in her own right - is due to be completed at the end of March.

Toughened glass will be positioned on one side of the ferry, giving passengers a superb view downstream of the Fal from their cars when she goes into service at Easter.

They will also be able to peer down through a glazed panel to see the chain passing over the wheel which will propel the 400-tonne ferry and its complement of vehicles and passengers across the beautiful stretch of the River Fal from Trelissick to Tolverne on the Roseland and back.

Propelled by 135 kilowatt Scania turbo diesel hydraulic engines, with three fitted even though only one will be in use at a time, she will cross the river in less than four minutes.

The new ferry will also be quieter than the present vessel as the power units are housed in acoustic booths." The engines will be quiet, but you will still hear the familiar sound of the chains passing over the drive-wheels," said Mike Clay, project manager for the shipyard.

"The present ferry was designed in the 1960s, but this is 21st century technology," he said.

A good sized control room of four metres by three, which is being termed as the bridge, has been built to give better vision to those operating the ferry.

There is also a fire control station, with an emergency fire pump and a fixed phone system plus an insulated office, and, Mr Clay says, some of the systems which have been fitted are comparable to those in super-yachts.

The hull of the vessel was constructed in Holland and brought to Falmouth, where Pendennis have fitted the piping and electrical cabling, fitted the engines, built the accommodation and two good sized toilets with facilities for the disabled, and laid a non-slip decking. The large glass panels which make up one side are the next to be fitted.

The seventh ferry will, at 55 metres, be 11 metres longer than the current ferry and 1.5 metres wider, carrying 34 cars as opposed to the current 23.

The average car now is bigger than in the days of the present ferry which was designed in the days of little Morris Minors and Ford Populars.

Each vehicle will have a third more space. "It will be easier for people to open their doors to get out, and if the weather is not good they will be able to remain in their vehicles and look down the river through the glass side," said Tim Light, managing director of the ferry company.

Almost £1 million is coming from Objective 1 through the European Regional Development Fund, and the remainder from the shareholders of the ferry company.

There have been three offers for the present ferry, from purchasers who want to either moor it on the Fal as an environmentally friendly  houseboat and education centre, to open it as an entertainment centre, or to  take it to Holland to be converted into a fuel bowser. [West Briton].


NOMADIC - The debate over the merits of a mission to save the Nomadic continued this week.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast urged a full condition report to be carried out on the Nomadic to determine whether the former White Star Line vessel is worth saving.

But campaigners battling to bring the Titanic-era ferry back to Belfast said she has already received the seal of approval from Harland & Wolff, the company that built her.

The luxury vessel carried film stars and celebrities to the Titanic as they embarked on her first and only voyage in 1912.

Now moored at Le Havre in northern France, the only remaining White Star Line vessel is up for auction in less than two weeks - and if no buyer is found, she may be sold for scrap.

North Belfast MLA Nigel Dodds has called for Belfast City Council to join the campaign to bring the Nomadic back to the city where she was built, but Belfast mayor Wallace Browne said today: "I don't think the city council itself should undertake such an operation without the support of the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

"A full engineering report should be made to see what condition it's in."

But Kathleen Neill, chief executive of Belfast Industrial Heritage Ltd, which is campaigning to bring the Nomadic back, said Harland & Wolff carried out a survey two years ago and found she was in remarkably good condition.

"The hull density had hardly deteriorated at all. They built them good in Harland & Wolff," she said.

"She's in remarkably good condition, given her age and her history. She was built at the same time as the Olympic and the Titanic and also served in two world wars.

"The level of restoration will depend on what we find when we take her out of the water."

The Nomadic has also received favourable reports following surveys carried out by DCAL and a French company that was interested in converting her into floating offices, Mrs Neill said.

"The Harland & Wolff supersedes them all because it's the latest and it was done by shipbuilders."

As well as the reserve price of 250,000 euros, it will cost an estimated £85,000 to £105,000 to bring the Nomadic back by towing or piggybacking Mrs Neill said.

This includes the cost of making her waterproof and replacing a bulkhead that was removed by the previous owner to make room for under deck conference space.

However, Belfast Industrial Heritage Ltd is currently in talks with two potential corporate sponsors that would each have the wherewithal to underwrite the entire project, Mrs Neill said.

Neither company is Ulster-based but the founders of both have connections to the history of the White Star Line.

"We don't yet have a decision, but so far we've been getting fairly good signals," Mrs Neill said.

[Belfast Telegraph]

January 07Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Dan Cross, Bill Dingwell, Michael Bracken, Martyn Bryce, Edwin Wilmshurst, Martin Edmondson and "others"


SUPERSEACAT TWO is expected at Liverpool Bar at 16:00 on Monday and is due to enter Lairds basin.

SEA EXPRESS 1 was noted by a correspondent taking bunkers from a road tanker during the past week. She will be providing refit cover for SUPERSEACAT TWO during her refit.


STENA SEAFARER - departed NSL Birkenhead on Friday January 06 at 16:10 bound for Fishguard.



LIVERPOOL VIKING departed dry dock at NSL Birkenhead around 15:15 on Thursday January 05, 2006 and was moved to the wet basin for finishing. Her NMF fleet names have been removed and she now carries NORFOLK LINE fleet names. Maersk Group stars are being fitted to her funnels. She carries route branding Belfast - Liverpool - Dublin. [One wonders why they have reverted to "Liverpool" when LAGAN VIKING and MERSEY VIKING carry Birkenhead.]


ROYAL DAFFODIL entered #4 Dry Dock at NSL Birkenhead around 14:15 on Thursday, January 05. 2006.


On January 05, 2005 the company announced that that Robert MacKenzie has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from January 4, 2006.

Mr James B Sherwood, the founder of the company, remains Chairman in a non-executive capacity and Ian C Durant, Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Executive has reverted to the purely Chief Financial Officer role.  Mr Sherwood underwent surgery in November and handed over his Chief Executive duties on a temporary basis to Mr Durant.  Mr Sherwood has now recovered.

Mr MacKenzie is 53, a British national with an education in accounting and finance after which he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  His recent career has encompassed being Group Financial Director of BET plc 1991-1994, Chief Executive and then Chairman of National Parking Corporation 1995-1999, Chairman of PHS Group plc 2000-2005 and most recently he was a senior advisor to the Texas Pacific Group.

Mr Sherwood said “We are delighted to welcome Bob MacKenzie to the company.  The company needs a leader with Bob’s wide experience to tackle the current challenges in each of our operating divisions.”


ULYSSES is expected to arrive at North Western Shiprepairers Birkenhead on the early evening tide on Monday January 09, 2006.


 The photographs of the former Port of Cork liner tender CILL ÁIRNE at Cork Dockyard this week coming to the end of a major refit for her new owners the Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company. Bill Dingwell who send the photographs comments, "Currently she is sitting in the water next to the dry dock. I must say the work that is going on must not be cheap, as I can see welding flames in the evening and hear racket many times  in the evening and sometimes on the weekend.

January 04

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Michael Bracken, Adrian Sweeney, Jim Edgar, John Williams and "others".


Sometimes the words one visualises when typing do not always appear as intended on screen!

In the last news update on December 31 the comment was made that it had "......been announced that the last surviving operational trans-Atlantic liner will not resume its latter day career as a cruise ship and will be dispatched for breaking in Bangladesh soon".  The missing words were of course "steam powered" as she certainly is not the last trans-Atlantic liner!


RIVERDANCE departed from Birkenhead on January 02 on completion of her refit, she had arrived on December 23. Her period in dry dock being shorter than her sister MOONDANCE which arrived on December 22.

MOONDANCE departed a day later on January 03.


Preliminary details of he annual visit to the Irish Sea by the sailing ships chartered by Historical Ships Ltd has been advertised on the web site as:

Sailing Kiel to Northern Ireland May 21st - 26th

Celtic European Festival in Northern Ireland, Ballycastle, Portrush, Colerain  and Derry May 26th - June 4th

Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland May 31st June 1st

Dublin June 2nd - 5th

Douglas in Isle of Man June 6th - 8th

Fleetwood June 9th - 11th

Sailing Fleetwood to Kiel


As there will be no Lady of Mann to sail on this year from Fleetwood, those in Lancashire looking for a different day out at sea may find the prospect of a cruise by tall ship a suitable alternative.


Last May your webmaster sailed on the SV ARTEMIS and can heartily recommend a trip.


NORMANDY - will dry dock at Harland & Wolff on February 01.


RESOLUTION - the wind farm construction vessel which is currently working on the Barrow offshore wind farm is to be upgraded for work in the oil and gas industry.

The company is expected to sign a contract with a leading offshore company that will see the vessel employed in construction work in the southern North Sea.

Ownership of RESOLUTION will remain with Marine Projects International and she will be used by the company for the construction of a wind farm in 2007.


KING HARRY FERRY VII photographs of the new car ferry which was delivered to Pendennis shipyard for completion in the autumn are available on the company's web site [click here].


ADRIAN GILBERT - one of the smallest vessels to be built and sail for British Railways and which now sails on the Falmouth - St.Mawes ferry ran into difficulty on Thursday December 29, 2005.

The vessel broke down after the engine had overheated, leaving passengers stranded at sea. A passing fishing boat towed the vessel to within 100 metres off Prince of Wales pier in Falmouth, where another ferry arrived and transferred the passengers to  another vessel to bring them ashore.


BRAVE MERCHANT will be renamed BLANCA DEL MAR for her new career with Iscomar - the vessel is due to leave Merseyside for Spain next week. She is likely to be handed over next Monday or Tuesday. She will operate on the Barcelona - Palma route and the ship will be in direct competition to Baleria's PAU CASALS (her sister DAWN MERCHANT which was briefly renamed EUROPAX APPIA).


The well known builder of the Stena HSS 1500 vessels and Irish Ferries ULYSSES announced on January 04, 2006 that they intend to join forces with Alstom and create together one of the world leaders in the shipbuilding industry, focused on high value added ships, including world class cruise ships.

The parties plan to establish a new company consisting of the shipyards in Saint Nazaire and Lorient. Aker Yards would own 75 % of this new company, and ALSTOM would commit itself to keep the remaining 25 % until 2010. The transaction would enable continuity in management and the actions taken as part of the "Marine 2010" performance improvement and cost reduction programme already under implementation in Alstom Marine. The transaction would have no direct impact on employment.

By being part of Aker Yards, the new company would benefit from a broadened product range and strong industrial synergies. Aker Yards has 13 yards in 5 countries in which it has demonstrated its ability to implement synergies.

It would be in a position to address the strong growth which is expected in this market. The new company would benefit from a unique design competence, combining the long tradition of French and Finnish cruise shipbuilding, that has produced icons such as SS France, Queen Mary 2, the Voyager class and the Freedom class ships. Aker Yards would also be in a position to fully leverage Chantiers de l'Atlantique's large industrial capacity in cruise ships and naval vessels in Saint Nazaire.

The shipyard is ideally positioned to handle the construction of very large ships and is able to respond to a cruise market which demands vessels of ever-increasing size.

Aker Yards would pay EUR 50 million for the 75 % stake of the new company. Depending on the financial performance, the remaining 25 % would be sold to Aker Yards for up to EUR 125 million in 2010. The new company would be adequately funded to ensure the ability to independently finance its future growth. An estimated amount of EUR 350 million would be injected by ALSTOM  into the newly formed company. This amount would notably cover the anticipated increase in working capital requirements from the current negative situation to an average of EUR 100 million for the new company.

The proposed transaction would be subject to a number of conditions, including finalization of the agreement between the parties, the effective setting-up of the new company, the requisite financing for the new company's activities, the authorization of the European authorities, the information / consultation of the work councils, confirmatory due diligence and other relevant conditions. It is expected to be concluded by the end of March 2006.

The transaction would be carried out as a "Sale of Assets" from Chantiers de l'Atlantique to Aker Yards. The LNG tankers under construction at Saint-Nazaire are not a part of the transaction. The LNG vessels would be completed by the new company as a subcontractor to Alstom. Apart from the LNG vessels, the current order book, consisting of four cruise vessels would be included in the transaction.

Patrick Kron, Chairman and CEO of ALSTOM, said: "Putting together Aker Yards and ALSTOM Marine would create a champion on the market of high-valued ships, notably of cruise ships. We would be proud to be part of its development in the coming years."

Karl Erik Kjelstad, President & CEO of Aker Yards states in a comment: "By joining the forces of Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Aker Yards, we can create a unique position in the shipbuilding industry, ready to meet the ever increasing needs of tomorrows' demanding cruise passengers. "

Patrick Boissier, President of ALSTOM Marine, declared "The yard in Saint Nazaire has a long tradition in building complex and specialized vessels, with state of the art technology, modern facilities and a very competent staff. I do believe that a strong and fruitful combination between Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Aker Yards can be achieved."



Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will feature in a third series of the successful BBC documentary ‘Seaside Rescue’ starting on Thursday, 5 January on BBC One at 8:00 pm.
 The returning series was filmed earlier this year at four locations; Weymouth, Lee on Solent, Perranporth and St Agnes.
Portland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre is featured along with the Wyke Regis and Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue Team and the work of the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter `India Juliet’, which is based at Lee on Solent. Also featured are the Weymouth RNLI All weather and inshore lifeboats. In Cornwall, the cameras have followed the work of the RNLI lifeguards at Perranporth, along with St Agnes Coastguard Rescue Team.
The RNLI lifeguards in Cornwall are joined by two new teams to the series - the crew of Coastguard helicopter India Juliet, and the RNLI lifeboat volunteers in Weymouth. ‘India Juliet’ is scrambled to a trawler with a seriously injured crewman on board. The inshore lifeboat in Weymouth rushes to rescue two boys clinging to rocks, and on the beach at Perranporth, the RNLI lifeguards have minutes to save a surfer found floating face down in the sea.
The Weymouth RNLI lifeboat battles through heavy seas to a yacht with a very sick woman on board, Coastguard helicopter India Juliet is scrambled to a paraglider who’s fallen out of the sky, and for the RNLI lifeguards, it’s a race against time and tide to save a stranded porpoise.
The Coastguard are alerted to a ship collision in the channel, 38 sailors lives are at risk and marine rescue resources are launched. On the beach in Cornwall RNLI lifeguards have to deal with a suspected spinal injury, while Coastguard helicopter India Juliet is scrambled to a yachtsman with severe chest pains. In Weymouth, the lifeboats search for the missing crew of a fishing boat that has sunk.
The RNLI lifeguards have their biggest incident of the summer, as 35 people are swept out to sea. Coastguard helicopter India Juliet is scrambled to a very sick woman on a ferry, who has to get to hospital quickly. The Weymouth inshore lifeboat races to a sinking speedboat.


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