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June 28 


BEN-MY-CHREE will operate her second "Round The Island" cruise on Saturday July 15, 2006. Departing from Douglas at 18:45. Fare is £17.50 inclusive of Buffet refreshments.

Bookings in person or via phone to the Douglas Office.


NOMADIC the ship will be transported from Le Havre where she currently lies to Belfast by Anchor Marine Transportation of Farnham, Surrey.

She was last used as a floating restaurant on the River Seine until she was laid up for sale at Le Havre. NOMADIC was purchased at auction by the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development for around £171,000 earlier this year.

The voyage from Le Havre to Belfast will take around five days during July. She will be transported on the submersible barge AMT MARINER towed by a tug.


Long standing visitors to the Irish Sea Shipping web site will remember the little Yugoslavian passenger ship PRINCE ALBERT which spent some time at Canning Dock. Her then owners had planned to turn her into a restaurant and bar adjacent to the Albert Dock complex. However, for various reasons, recorded in the Irish Sea Shipping News Archives things didn't quite go according to plan and she had quite a controversial and "colourful" stay in Canning Dock.

She tried to depart in January 2001 but had to be rescued in Crosby Channel when her engines failed and she began listing when trying to do a "runner" loaded down with old tyres! She then spent time laid up in the Langton /  Alexandra Dock area.

PRINCE ALBERT was later reported sold and was towed away to south east England, at the time it was said that she was to be refitted as an exhibition ship for a furniture manufacturer.

Last summer she was relaunched having been rebuilt as a Mega-Yacht and renamed HARMONY II for Pedley Furniture.

June 25Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, John Thomas, Mark Ervine and "others"


Passenger figures compiled by the Harbours Division for May 2006 at 51,616 show An 11.9% decrease on the figure for the same period in 2005 which was 58,585.

The year to date figure at 171,825 passengers shows a 2.6% decrease over the same period in 2005 which was 176,397.

During May car traffic through Douglas Harbour increased by 6.2% from 14,573 vehicles to 15,479 vehicles.

The year to date figure at 49,934 vehicles shows a 4.4% increase over the same period in 2005 which was 47,826.

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

Route ChangeFromTo
BelfastPlus 27%1,7332,193
DublinMinus 70%1,039309
HeyshamPlus 3%20,08820,729
LiverpoolPlus 3%26,15227,049
LarneAll PlusNil138
FleetwoodAll minus3,259Nil
BarrowAll minus1,260Nil
WhitehavenAll minus880Nil
TroonAll minus191Nil
LlandudnoAll minus1,523Nil

Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

“Whilst the monthly figures show a fall on 2005 traffic levels, this I mainly attributable to the absence of the traditional Lady of Mann day trips from other ports around the Irish Sea. If this traffic is excluded from the 2005 figures the total passenger traffic is on a par with 2005. Vehicle traffic continues to show satisfying steady growth. On a more positive note, May 2006 was a record month for freight vehicle metreage at 43,033 metres, an 11.1% increase on May 2005.”


The DUNBRODY replica emigrant ship which is based at New Ross has embarked on her maiden international voyage on June 22.

The ship with 14 crew members and 26 trainees on board left Dunmore East and to its way to Milford Haven in Wales.

The DUNBRODY will be the star attraction at the Seafair Haven Maritime Festival in Milford Haven.

She is expected to return to the Waterford estuary on 4 July. It had been intended for the ship to visit the Dublin Dockland's Festival in early June but she missed this visit as refit work was still on-going.


LE ORLA did not appear at Liverpool this weekend as originally listed on by Friday the entry had been removed as had several other INS port calls scheduled for this summer.



Holyhead Coastguard co-ordinated a rescue of yachtsmen in the water from the off shore racing vessel Hugh Jars whilst sailing off the Holyhead breakwater in a local sailing race on Wednesday June 21, 2006.

Holyhead Coastguard received a radio call at 18:59 on channel 16 from the yacht Mickey Finn reporting two crew in the water from the vessel Hugh Jars. The Coastguard requested the launch of the Holyhead RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats and scrambled Rescue helicopter R122 from RAF Valley.

John McClymont, Holyhead Coastguard Watch Manager, says:

We understand that two of the crew from the racing yacht Hugh Jars had fallen overboard, one being unconscious; subsequently several other crew members went to their assistance in the water. The inshore lifeboat recovered the unconscious casualty who was then airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, near Bangor.

The remaining crew in the water were recovered by yachts and transferred to the lifeboat on scene who took them to Holyhead Marina where an ambulance was waiting for them.

We have been informed that the unconscious casualty that was airlifted to hospital has been pronounced dead, our sympathies go out to his friends and family at this time.


The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced this week that 11 foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during May 2006 after failing Port State Control safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were 10 new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during May 2006, along with 1 other ship still under detention from previous months. The number of new detentions compared to last month has increased by 233% (there were only 3 new detentions in April), but the overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last 12 months as a whole is still just over 5%, barely changed from Aprils 12 month rate.

During the month of May 148 Port State Control Inspections were carried out in the UK, which brings the total from January to May this year to 630 inspections. For those ships inspected during May a total of 35 vessels had no deficiencies raised against them. 67 had between 1 to 5 deficiencies, 26 had between 6 to 10 deficiencies, 13 had between 11 to 20 deficiencies, but 7 vessels (all detained) had more than 20 deficiencies.

Of the 10 vessels detained in April, 5 were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU black list, 2 were registered with states on the grey list and 3 were registered with states on the white list.

1 bulk carrier, 2 refrigerated cargo vessels, 5 general cargo vessels, I chemical tanker and 1 passenger vessel were detained in the UK during May.

Among the vessels detained in the UK in May were:

• A 1,174 GT chemical tanker detained at Aberdeen for 2 days with inoperative/improperly maintained fire pumps, inoperative ventilation and insufficient cleanliness of the engine room.

• Several different vessels, all with ISM non-conformities for emergency preparedness and maintenance of the ship and its equipment. [ MCGA DETENTIONS LISTING ]


A high-speed ambulance vessel - the only one of its kind in Britain - built at a cost of £260,000 to serve the Isles of Scilly is out of action while a search is made for two new skippers. The distinctive yellow catamaran STAR OF LIFE was launched in 2003 to deliver patients from the off-islands of Tresco, Bryher, St Martin's and St Agnes to the community hospital at St Mary's.

But in February this year she suffered mechanical problems and had to be taken to a shipyard at Falmouth for repairs. In her absence the local Medical Launch Trust operated a relief boat to fill the gap, and that arrangement has continued since she returned to St Mary's in May.

West Country Ambulance Services Trust project manager Mike Killoran said: "Since she returned there has been no one to take the controls. We understand the previous skipper is continuing to run the relief boat.

"We have decided to take on the full cost of running the STAR OF LIFE and have advertised for two part-time skippers to be available to run a seven-day-a-week service.


Next weekend - July 1 /2  playing host to eight of the world’s most magnificent tall ships. They are travelling to the city’s docks as part of our Belfast Maritime Festival.

The festival, supported by the
Belfast Harbour Commissioners, takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July at Clarendon Dock as part of the Celebrate Belfast year.

The ships will arrive from Thursday 29th June and will be accompanied by:

  • international naval visits,
  • sea rescue demonstrations, and
  • lifeboat activities conducted by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

There’s the chance to get on board some of the vessels.

Earl of Pembroke,
Kaskelot, Grand Turk, Tenacious, Ruth, Zebu, De Gallant and Jeanie Johnston

For more information about the event contact the Belfast Welcome Centre on 9024 6609.


Mersey Ferries are giving people a unique opportunity to visit the magnificent Tall Ships in Wellington Dock.

Passengers aboard the three-hour Mersey Ferry cruise, being held on Saturday 1st July, will be given the chance to revel in the history of the visiting ships and listen to live on board commentary about their rich and varied histories.

Cllr Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, which owns and operates the Mersey Ferries and Spaceport, said: “All of these visiting Tall Ships have a rich history and some fascinating stories to tell, much like our very own Mersey Ferries. It will be a great day out.”

The Tall Ships visiting are: -

  • Christian Radich (which may also be on the river during the day) – the ship was launched in 1937 and named after a Calvary Officer who donated money to build the ship.

  • Swan Fan Makkum - the Largest Brigantine in the world and one of the most striking sailing vessels currently roaming the seas.

  • Eye of the Wind – the ship has stared in films including "Bounty" with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, "Blue Lagoon" with Brooke Shields and BBC Horizon`s "The Search for Longitude"

  • Bessie Ellen - a West Country Trading Ketch built in Plymouth in 1904.

  • Iris - a 1916 lugger that shares its name with one of the Mersey Ferries

This leisurely three-hour cruise departs from Seacombe at 12.15pm and from Pier Head at 12.30pm.

Mersey Ferries flagship vessel, The Royal Daffodil, will host the cruise and a bar will be available on board.

Prices are £10 for adults and £5 for children.

Tickets must be booked in advance on 0151 330 1444 or are available online at

June 21Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Tony Brennan, Kevin Bennet, Ian Collard,  "riverspy" and "others"


HSS STENA DISCOVERY It has been reported on a number of shipping newsgroups that the ship will close the Harwick - Hoek high speed service on January 07, 2007. She will then move to Holyhead for lay-up, but will be kept serviceable to provide refit cover for HSS STENA EXPLORER and HSS STENA DISCOVERY.


DIAMANT - following her charter to the Isle of Man Steam Packet company she departed Birkenhead for her new Mediterranean career on June 20 with a call booked at Oporto for June 21.

She had been inspected at Birkenhead prior to the commencement of her Steam Packet charter by Port State Control and had been found to have 6 deficiencies [click here] for Port State Control database.


James Fisher, the Barrow based marine services provider, announced on June 13 that it has completed the sale of CS OCEANIC PRINCESS, its last remaining cable ship, to South East Asia Marine & Engineering and Construction Ltd for US$18.25 million.

In the James Fisher 2005 annual accounts, cable laying was treated as a discontinued business and the OCEANIC PRINCESS was shown as being held for sale with a written down value of £8.0 million. The associated debt at the date of sale was £5.75 million. This sale ends James Fisher's involvement in the cable laying market. The net proceeds of the sale, after costs and repayment of the associated debt, will be used to grow further the core marine support service activities which, in 2005, produced 57% of group operating profits.

Tim Harris, Chairman of James Fisher, commented:

'We have said for some time that cable ships are not a core business because their operation is a capital intensive, commodity business which does not fit with our marine service skills and strategy. I am pleased that we have been able to achieve a good price for the vessel while at the same time drawing a line under our involvement in and exposure to the cable laying market.'


Fresh experts are to be drafted in to try to get the ill-fated Fleetwood to Knott End ferry back into service.

Some £500,000 of public money has been lavished on the new vessel which has been out of service for four weeks since a mechanical failure. Engineers from Wyre and Lancashire County councils have been left baffled by the problems which have hit the sophisticated craft.

But now consultants are being called in to try to solve the mystery. A Wyre spokesman said: "Lancashire County Council has commissioned a report by a marine engineering expert.

"We are also working along side the county to employ a consultant to look into how the problems with the ferry can be solved."

He added that costs of repair would be covered by the craft's warranty. The new boat was earmarked as the answer for a service which has suffered unreliability over the years and has not always run during the winter. Wyre Council had been interested in axing the service but protests forced a change of heart and there was a 12-month stay of execution. Then the council struck a deal with the county council to guarantee the service for 10 years.

But the new boat has been dogged by delays since it was constructed in Pembrokeshire. When it finally sailed up the River Wyre last August there were hopes for an early start. But there were hold-ups while sufficient staff were trained to stringent safety standards.

Adjustments were also needed to the craft and at one time she was left high and dry on Fleetwood dockside. The service was not relaunched until April this year.

The ferry suffered shorter breaks in service before the current stoppage, which occurred when debris from the river bed was sucked into the engine. Now council experts have said that they have to find a way to fix the problem as well as ensuring the same thing doesn't happen again when the service is reopened.

Revenue is being lost each day the boat is out of service with 7,000 passengers having been carried during May. In the meantime, Wyre Waste Management, which runs the service, has been reduced to running a relief bus service between Knott End and Fleetwood.  [BLACKPOOL TODAY 21 June 2006]


KILMORE - the "new" second ship for the recently opened Dublin - Liverpool service is the CHONG MING DAO (ex NORSKY / STENA SHIPPER) currently owned by the Government of the People's Republic of China. She is similar to the company's existing ship DIPLOMAT which operates on the Rosslare - Cherbourg service.


AFON DYFRDYWY the BAE Wing barge operated by Holyhead Towing docked with NSL at No 6 Dry-dock at Birkenhead on Monday.

Adsteam's COLLINGWOOD dry docked at No 4 on Tuesday afternoon tide.

HOHEBANK - a small coaster which operates for Scotline was towed into the wet basin by An Adsteam tug for crankshaft repairs after failing in Cumbria.

IRISH SEA PIONEER is due to arrive for her annual dry docking on June 28, 2006.

June 18Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian McConnell, Adrian Sweeney, Steve Mee, John and Jenny Williamson, Jim Edgar and "others"


DIAMANT made her first and probably last ever visit to Belfast on Wednesday June 14 whilst providing cover this week for SUPERSEACAT TWO whilst the errant SuperSeaCat was dry docked yet again! After operating the afternoon Douglas to Liverpool sailing on Thursday she entered NSL Birkenhead wet basin around 01:00 on Friday morning and laid up with SEA EXPRESS I

SUPERSEACAT TWO entered NSL Birkenhead for a further dry docking during the past week. She returned to service with the 18:30 Liverpool - Douglas on Thursday June 15.


RAPIDE - which saw several seasons on the Irish Sea has now departed Tilbury on Saturday June 17, bound for Palma De Mallorca and a new career with Baleria.

DIAMANT - as noted above DIAMANT has laid up at NSL Birkenhead following her charter to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. She, along with RAPIDE were reported both sold a few weeks ago.

However, recent news release from Sea Containers only mentions RAPIDE as being sold and not DIAMANT. Photo - DIAMANT at NSL Birkenhead - June 17.



Italia Marittima SpA (ITS) and Zim are to launch a new weekly transatlantic service early August.  Designated the North Europe - US east coast service, it will link the North European ports of Antwerp, Hamburg and Liverpool with New York, Norfolk and Savannah.

The new service will deploy four ships, each with a loading capacity of approximately 1,800 teu. ITS will provide two ships, while Zim will contribute the other two ships.


The annual Friends of the Mersey Ferries Dock and River Cruise took place in fine conditions on Saturday - June 17, 2006. [Photo- Passengers waiting at Liverpool]

A well loaded ROYAL DAFFODIL sailed through the Liverpool Dock System entering at Gladstone and exiting at Langton Locks.

Many ships were noted at various berths in the docks which made for a good afternoon's photography.

After leaving the dock system the ROYAL DAFFODIL then sailed up the Eastham Channel to the former Eastham Ferry terminal, before sailing up the Garston Channel to a point just north of Garston Docks.

She then sailed down stream and out into the Crosby Channel before returning to drop off passengers at Woodside, Liverpool and Seacombe.

It was an excellent five and a half hours afloat for only £11.00.


KARINA - marked her 60th Birthday on Saturday June 17 with the first Douglas to Castletown passenger sailing in around 100 years. A report and photographs has been provided by John and Jenny Williamson.


The yard which built the Titanic is bidding to become the first in the United Kingdom licensed for the environmentally-friendly dismantling of aged ships and oil rigs once their time at sea comes to an end.

It has joined forces with worldwide environmental waste management company Golder Associates to offer a new marine vessel and offshore structure recovery and recycling service.

New jobs are likely to be created in the shipyard when the project gets under way.

It is the latest phase in the `greening` of the once mighty shipyard. It recently completed two major renewable projects, the assembly of an offshore wind farm and manufacture of a wave-energy prototype generator.

Vessel recycling in Europe is a rapidly growing industry which operates within tight environmental and health and safety controls, said the company.

Tough new European regulations on the dismantling of old ships means owners can no longer have them driven onto beaches in the Far East where they are stripped for scrap without any safety or environmental checks.

Instead of being paid for the scrap, owners will have to pay to have a ship dismantled.

Harland and Wolff and Golder Associates say their alliance provides an unparalleled ship recycling capability in the UK.

"The successful alignment of H&W and Golder Associates brings together best environmental practice and world-class facilities to foster environmentally-focused and sustainable recovery and recycling of vessels and offshore structures within the UK," said Martin Bjerregaard of Golder.

Harland and Wolff chief executive, Robert Cooper, added: "We have applied to the Environment and Heritage Service for a waste management licence to allow us to expand our activities into this important area."

He added: "We have the largest dry docks in Europe as well as unparalleled experience in marine design, construction and conversion.

"Golder Associates have a global reputation as leaders in environmental engineering with a track record of successfully completing complex recycling and decommissioning projects under the most stringent environmental parameters."

Mr Bjerregaard said the growing demand for environmentally sound methods of managing end-of-life ships meant Harland and Wolff was positioned to benefit.

"Through this venture, Harland and Wolff and Golder Associates will be contributing to the economic development of the Belfast region through increased employment and income generation.

"We are also able to support the shipping industry with a sound environmental solution to the growing waste management issue of what to do with vessels and offshore structures when they reach the end of their useful life." [Press Association].


The Naval Service provided pall bearers and graveside firing party at the state funeral of former Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey on Friday June 16.

L.E. ORLA is due to visit Liverpool over the weekend of June 23/25 berthing in Canning Half Tide Dock.


The French Government's decision to offer new legal protection to the final resting place of over 3,000 British servicemen who died when the HMT LANCASTRIA was sunk in World War Two has been welcomed by Veterans Minister Tom Watson.

The requisitioned Cunard liner was lending support to the war effort, helping to rescue members of the British Expeditionary Force from France, when she was attacked by enemy aircraft off St. Nazaire on 17 June 1940.

At the time she was carrying several thousand troops, RAF personnel and civilian refugees, who were being evacuated from France. The ship sank rapidly with heavy loss of life.  So grievous was the disaster that news of the LANCASTRIA's sinking was initially suppressed by the wartime Cabinet, fearful of the effect on the nation's morale.

Mr Watson said:

"The sinking of the HMT LANCASTRIA was a national tragedy which resulted in thousands of men, women and children losing their lives. To recognise this we have been working closely with the French Government to establish new legal protections for the final resting place of these brave souls.

"Survivors, relatives and members of the LANCASTRIA Association brought to our attention that diving on the wreck was proving intrusive and potentially damaging. I would like to thank them for this. However, as she lies in French territorial waters we had no legal powers available to us to protect the wreck.

"We immediately discussed our concerns with the French authorities and asked for their help preventing this. I am delighted they have responded so positively and that divers are no longer allowed to come in contact with the wreck. This will do much to preserve the sanctity of the ship's remains and illustrates the importance both Governments attach to the protection of war graves, such as the HMT LANCASTRIA."

Personnel who served on the HMT LANCASTRIA will be honoured, among others, when the first annual Veterans Day is held on 27 June."We immediately discussed our concerns with the French authorities and asked for their help preventing this.


I am delighted they have responded so positively and that divers are no longer allowed to come in contact with the wreck. This will do much to preserve the sanctity of the ship's remains and illustrates the importance both Governments attach to the protection of war graves, such as the HMT LANCASTRIA."


Personnel who served on the HMT LANCASTRIA will be honoured, among others, when the first annual Veterans Day is held on 27 June.




Detailed information is now available of the popular bi-ennial "Navy Days" event to be held at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth between August 26 and 28. Full details and list of ships attending which are currently booked to attend, though this list is still growing can be found at . Details of how to obtain advance, discounted tickets are also given.




Five junior Royal Navy ratings have been marched through Hugh Town on St Mary’s to say sorry for their behaviour on Saturday June 10.

Sailors from the Type 23 frigate HMS IRON DUKE enjoying a night out in the town were recalled back to the ship by Naval Police shortly before 11pm.

Police dealt with a number of incidents including drunken behaviour and fighting during the evening,

Islanders and visitors hoping to look around the Portsmouth-based Frigate were left disappointed when swell around the ship on Sunday meant tours were cancelled.

Tourism officer Steve Watt, who was among a select group from the Islands treated to a Saturday night cocktail party aboard the ship, said visits by Royal Navy vessels had always gone without problems in the past and this was unlikely to affect any future visits.

"These were relatively minor incidents, but I certainly wouldn't like to be in the shoes of those junior ratings," he told BBC News, adding that HMS Ocean and HMS Cornwall were due to visit the Islands soon and it was important not to blow things out of proportion.

Sgt Ian Stevens from St Mary's Police confirmed that complaints had been received and some sailors were given £80 fixed penalty fines.

"It was a lively old evening with some drunkenness and boisterous behaviour,” he said.

One crew-member, who was alleged to have tampered with a fishing boat at the quay, has apologised to the boat’s owner.

The Ministry of Defence are considering internal disciplinary action. [SCILLY NEWS]

June 15Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian McConnell,. Tony Brennan, Philip Parker, David Billinge, Michael Bracken, "Shuggie"  and "others"


Apparently the information received concerning the ONYX requiring a dry dock survey before towing was not inaccurate. Irish Sea Shipping has learnt that in lieu of dry docking an underwater survey was carried out.


Sea Containers Ltd. and AS Tallink Grupp say they have entered into a definitive agreement that will see Sea Containers sell its Baltic ferry subsidiary Silja Oy Ab to Tallink approximately $594 million in cash and shares.

The consideration for the sale of Silja's core business is Euros 450 million cash and 5 million ordinary shares in Tallink. The dollar equivalent values are approximately $570 million cash and $24 million in shares. Sea Containers may not dispose of the shares within 12 months of the sale's completion without Tallink's permission.

The sale includes six of the eight ships held for sale by Sea Containers as part of the Silja core business. The deal does not include the fast ferry services from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia and the two SuperSeaCat fast ferries which operate on the route.

That business will continue to be operated by Sea Containers on a stand-alone basis.

The transaction also excludes Silja's three "legacy" vessels which are not employed on the core routes.

Two of the non-core Silja 'legacy' fleet, Opera and Finnjet, will become free of bank debt and Sea Containers will continue to seek to dispose of them. Sea Containers has separately completed the sale of the third legacy ship, the Walrus, for a consideration of $21 million, paying all related bank debt of $21 million.

Tallink will continue to operate the business under the Silja brand and the ships will continue to sail under their current flags and with their existing officers and crew. Tallink will ensure that Silja's existing obligations towards the employees, including pension obligations, are not adversely affected by the transaction.

Commenting on the sale, Enn Pant, Chairman and CEO of Tallink, said that as a result of the acquisition Tallink and Silja will together form the leading shipping company in the Baltic Sea area, which has been a vision of Tallink for years.

Bob MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of Sea Containers, added: "We updated the market on March 24, 2006 on the process of selling the core of the Silja fleet and we believe that the price we have negotiated is a fair one. The sale of Silja is a vital part of our efforts to reduce substantially the overall level of Sea Containers' debt.

As a result of the transaction, approximately $510 million of related bank debt will be repaid." Upon completion of the Silja sale, Sea Containers anticipates that after working capital adjustments and transaction fees it will receive net cash proceeds of approximately $60 million and repay approximately $510 million of related bank debt.

Sea Containers has also signed a memorandum of agreement to sell its 81meter fast ferry Rapide. If completed, all the proceeds of the sale would be used to retire debt secured by the ship. [MARITIME CLIPPINGS]


The drive to set up a ferry service linking Ilfracombe with Swansea has been given a boost by an enthusiastic expert. Chris Marrow, from Wellington in Somerset, is drawing up new proposals for a roll-on-roll-off service for Ilfracombe - and a sister service which could link Minehead and Barry in South Wales.

The eagerly awaited move could prove a tremendous boost to tourism and also have environmental benefits, by cutting the traffic that crosses the Severn Bridge.

Local councillors believe Welsh authorities are keen on adding Ilfracombe to a "daisy chain" link of ports.

Town, district and county councillor Geoff Fowler explained: "The Welsh Assembly are keen to link all their ports up in a daisy chain, to promote greater sea traffic - and it would be crazy not to take the opportunity for Ilfracombe to join up with them."

Previous proposals to set up the trans-channel ferry link ran aground in the mid-1990s, and again three years ago.

But last September Devon County Council said the possibility of a passenger ferry link between Ilfracombe and Wales had been included in the county's 20-year draft regional plan.

Mr Marrow has successfully set up ferry services in Scotland and Africa- and is now setting his sights on North Devon.

While the plans are still in the very early stages and not expected to become a reality until 2008 at the earliest, Mr Marrow has drawn up a concept paper and embryonic business plan and is in discussions with local authorities and potential financial backers.

He said: "I have opened ferry services before and one of the things I can do, is spot a ferry route.

"It has always struck me that there should be a ferry service here.

"Now is the time to stop saying someone should do it - it's time to say someone will.

"It's an idea for which the time is right."

Mr Marrow and the local authorities involved are hoping that a more detailed feasibility study will be the next step.

"It is a slow process, getting people enthusiastic about the project, holding meetings and getting people behind us," he said.

"You have to have everyone on board.

"But I have looked at all the ports in the world which have a similar demography and geography and there is nowhere else which doesn't have a successful ferry service." [North Devon Journal]


The proposed canal which will cut across the Pier Head piazza has been redesigned. The original proposals would have seen the canal boarded over for around three months of the year when events take place in the area.

Liverpool City Council officials found that it would cost around £1m to cover the canal for five events per year and that in so doing the canal would be closed for much of the spring and summer boating season.

The redesign will allow for more open space. Presumably more of the canal will pass underground?


The following tall ships will visit Merseyside over the weekend of July 1 -2.

Christian Radich, Swan Fan Makkum, Eye of the Wind, Bessie Ellen and Iris. They will berth at Wellington Dock, Liverpool.


Mersey Ferries are operating a Tall Ships Dock Cruise to Wellington Dock on July 1st Departing Seacombe 12:15 and Pier Head 12:30 - Fare 10:00 [Click Here]


It appears that a bidding war could break out between a Goldman-Sachs based consortium and a consortium led by Macquarie Bank for ownership of the UK ports group.

June 11Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, John & Jenny Williamson and "others"


Many visitors to this site will have acquired Volume 1 of "The Irish Boats" by Malcolm McRonald which covered services on the Dublin Routes.

Volume 2 which covers services out of Cork and Waterford is scheduled for publication later this year. Currently orders placed for this title via Amazon appear to be attracting a good discount over the £19.99 cover price. You can order now via this link and the book will be despatched on publication. See order link in left margin.


RR TRIUMPH will enter service in July. Timings are Dublin depart 15:30, Liverpool depart 03:30.


The Sunday Times reports that the troubled transport group is poised to take a step towards recovery with the sale of Silja Line, its largest remaining ferry business.

It is understood to be in the final stages of talks with Tallink, a quoted Estonian ferry operator.

Sources close to the negotiations said a deal could be completed in the next few days, although there was still a possibility that it could be called off. It is likely that the sale price will be close to €500m (£340m), and that Sea Containers will retain in the short term a small part of Silja's fleet.


KARINA - on June 17 the historic passenger vessel will celebrate her 60th Anniversary by operating the first scheduled passenger service from Douglas to Castletown in 100 years. She sails from the Villiers Steps at 14:00 and is due back at Douglas by 17:30.


The as yet un-named Fleetwood - Knott End ferry has been withdrawn from service just weeks after it entered service following months of delays.

It is not clear just how long the sickly vessel will be out of service following mechanical problems. However, prior to the latest breakdown she had been reported out of service for short periods on three occasions.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said the boat had suffered "operational damage" to the propulsion system.

He said: "Suppliers came to determine what happened this time. Parts will be required." We don't know when it will be operational again."

He added: "We are trying to determine how this happened and whether any measures can be put in place to reduce the chance of it re-occurring. "Lancashire County Council has provided strong financial backing and support for the ferry and we are very keen to see it operating once more. Local residents and businesses understandably want to see the ferry operating  again and we wholeheartedly agree.

"The ferry will be out of action while the repairs are carried out and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: "This is very frustrating because the service got off to a great start with plenty of support from the public. "Everyone involved in this project wants to see the service return to successful operation again."


KILMORE - the second ship for the new Liverpool - Dublin freight service will be named KILMORE the exact identity of ship is as yet unknown.


It appears that things may be looking up for the MANXMAN following the recent alleged near sinking incident and threats by Pallion Engineering to have the vessel scrapped.

Apparently whilst thieves have taken some piping from the vessel the hull remains intact. It is hoped that there will be talks on Merseyside involving councils, regeneration bodies and significant local investors in the coming weeks aimed at finding the funding to buy the ship and bring her home.

For further details on the Manxman visit



Customers travelling on Stena Line’s Central Corridor route from Dublin to Holyhead are to benefit from an investment by the ferry company of almost €1.5 million in a new ferry terminal building at Dublin Port Company and a new Stena Plus lounge on board the Stena Adventurer.

The new Terminal 2 building will offer passengers spacious surroundings, a significant increase in comfortable seating and two large plasma screens, with a wider choice of refreshments, while the Stena Plus lounge will allow guests to travel in sumptuous style for a small additional charge.

Stena Line Irish Sea Area Director Fredrik Lantz said that customer service was a key driving factor for the ferry company and thanked Dublin Port Company for its support in developing the route, which started back in 1995.

“Great customer service and added value has always been a priority at Stena Line and gives us a point of difference over our rivals, both air and sea,” said Fredrik.

“In the last 15 years, Stena Line has invested some €500 MILLION in our Irish Sea routes to improve our fleet, our route network and our overall offering to customers both ashore and on board.

“We have pursued a policy of significantly improving tonnage at regular intervals which culminated in the introduction of the Superferry Stena Adventurer on the Dublin to Holyhead route in 2003 and we need to ensure that onshore facilities match those onboard.  Dublin Port Company has always been very supportive and we would like to thank them for their kind assistance in improvements such as this” he added.

Dublin Port Company Chairman Joe Burke said:

“In all our dealings with Stena Line we have found them to be a progressive and resourceful company who even in a tough commercial climate were willing to invest in improvements both ashore and onboard. This new terminal building and the magnificent Stena Adventurer are both testament to that philosophy.

“We always endeavour to provide the best services and facilities to our customers but we do need to expand and create new berthing and standage facilities. Currently there is a foreshore application in place and planning permission is being prepared with a view to achieving this,” he concluded.

The new and improved Stena Plus lounge on board the Stena Adventurer is located on deck seven of the ship and offers a wide range of benefits for all our guests including express boarding, a dedicated business centre, complimentary refreshments, newspapers and magazines. As well as an exclusive menu and retail offers for one and all, there are also portable DVD players and Gameboys for all the family.

Stena Plus offers guests the ultimate luxury in comfortable and relaxed surroundings. With stunning panoramic views, the spacious lounge contains 43 reclining seats to re-charge the batteries and 73 comfortable seats along with dedicated staff offering complimentary drinks, snacks and a full and exclusive Stena Plus menu.  Meanwhile two large plasma TVs will relay the Sky Network.

To gain access to the exclusive Stena Plus lounge, customers pay just €16 per adult and €12 per child (under 16) each way.

Since Stena Plus was introduced across Stena Line’s Irish Sea network it has proved to be a huge success and last year alone over 174,000 customers chose to avail of this First Class service, which confirms its popularity.

Stena Line is the market leading Ferry Company on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet (nine vessels) and choice of routes between Ireland and Britain, a total of five routes including Dublin Port / Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard, Belfast to Stranraer and Larne to Fleetwood.  The company carries approximately three million passengers between Ireland and Britain each year, more than its rival ferry operators combined.

June 04Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Mark Ervine, Dave Billinge, Alex. McCormac, John Lewis, Helen Blackburn, Tommy Dover, and "others"


SUPERSEACAT TWO - the company announced that the vessel would operate its first ever round the Island Cruise on Thursday afternoon - June 08 at 12:30. However, the sailing was subsequently cancelled to allow for essential maintenance work.

DIAMANT failed to enter service on her first scheduled TT charter sailing on Tuesday May 30, with passengers having to be diverted to the BEN-MY-CHREE, the DIAMANT following along behind. She took up service with the 19:30 sailing ex-Douglas. The reason for her not entering service on the afternoon sailing from Heysham is believed to have been due to some problem with paperwork necessary to meet MCGA requirements.


DIAMANT and RAPIDE are believed to have been sold to Baleria of Spain for $13m each.


For many years ship enthusiasts have probably yearned for a simulator program which could offer them a similar experience to that long available to aircraft enthusiasts.

From mid June a new program "Ship Simulator" will be available to buy in the shops or download on-line.

There is a web site on line now which has screen shots and animations available for viewing. Graphics look pretty good too. There will be a variety of ships supplied as part of the package including a tug, container ship, speed boat, Titanic etc and no doubt add-ons featuring other favourite vessels will soon appear.

For further details visit


PONT-AVEN - Brittany Ferries' flagship vessel which was damaged by a freak wave on May 21 returned to service on Friday May 26 with repairs to water affected cabins still under way.

However, it appears that the windows at the front of the vessel's shelter deck that were smashed by the freak wave have been permanently replaced with steel panels.

Those who have travelled on the ship will realise what a splendid vantage point the shelter deck windows provided. It is a shame that removable dead lights cannot be fitted over the windows in adverse conditions.


The Dartmouth to Kingswear passenger ferry service across the River Dart could be safeguarded at current levels for two more years with help from  Devon County Council, according to a Dartmouth councillor. Former mayor Cllr Richard Rendle made the claim when reporting a meeting with South Hams  Council officers and Kingswear parish councillors to Dartmouth Town Council's finance committee.

Cllr Rendle said he believed that the district council's officers had every chance of securing funding from Devon County Council to support the service. He said: 'We left the meeting with the hope that officers will work towards a position where two more years of the current levels of service can be secured under the current arrangement with Devon County Council.' Last year, the county council provided vital funding to secure the full service for the passenger ferry, after Dart Valley Railway had demanded a reduction of the hours that the ferry ran, due to falling passenger numbers.

After months of negotiations, a deal was finally struck in which South Hams Council agreed to cut the fee charged for the licence to run the ferry service, if Dartmouth and Kingswear councils paid a subsidy of £2,500 to DVR. Both councils refused to pay the subsidy and the deal looked doomed to failure. At the last minute, the county council agreed to pay the subsidy and the full service was guaranteed for another year.

Cllr Rendle said that during the meeting district council officers admitted that it had been wrong to ask the parish councils for a subsidy. Mike Palmer, general manager of DVR's operations, said that if the same arrangement could be maintained, he believed an agreement could be reached.

He said: 'If councillors are determined a service must be maintained in the evenings and on Sundays during the winter, then a subsidy will be needed. If a similar arrangement is possible it is very likely we will come to an agreement. It's very positive news.' A spokesman for Devon County Council  said that negotiations were continuing concerning the ferry service. Paul Abrey, principal valuer, South Hams Council, said: 'We are currently in talks with the county council to try to secure the users of the ferry a further two years of the existing service.' [Kingsbridge Today]


Stena Line has cutback on the sailings of the HSS Discovery on the Harwich, UK-Hook of Holland, Netherlands route and the HSS Explorer which links Holyhead, UK with Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

On the North Sea route a normal schedule of two round trips a day will be maintained on Friday-Sunday but on Monday and Thursday there will three crossings a day and two each on Tuesday and Wednesday between October and early December.

"This is the first action coming out of the fleet review in response to the continuing high oil prices," a Stena Line spokesman told Fairplay. "It is likely these will stay."

He indicated that other measures were being taken for the Belfast HSS service, such as bunkering changes that have reduced fuel consumption by around 5% and leaving early and travelling at slower speed but still arriving on time. He added that "other changes will be coming in the future such as the two new ships for the Killinghome service, the first of which should be in service in July." [Fairplay]


There are hopes of an eleventh hour package can be put together to raise the £500,000 required to save the  TSS MANXMAN from the breakers. Full details on the Manxman Steamship Company web site. [CLICK HERE]


HMS ONYX - by Dave Billinge

The first signs that the efforts to keep the Historic Warships Collection on the Wirral has failed has come with news that the Oberon class submarine HMS Onyx has been bought for more than £100,000 by Barrovian businessman Joe Mullins.

The submarine is set to be towed to Barrow where she is set to become part of a submarine heritage centre. According to the Northwest Evening Mail, it is hoped that she can be towed up to Barrow in time for the Barrow Festival of the Sea on June 17/18. Once in Barrow she is set to become part of a new Submarine Heritage centre.

 HM Submarine Onyx an Oberon class attack submarine was originally ordered for the Royal Canadian Navy. Although, she was transferred to the Royal Navy whilst she was being built at Cammell Lairds, just a short way from her berth in the East Float in Birkenhead. Onyx was launched in August 1966, and severed with the Royal Navy for the next 14 years. During which time she undertook Special Forces operations as part of the Falklands Campaign in 1982 finally being retired in 1990.

Acquired by the Warships Preservation Trust, which went into liquidation in February this year,  Onyx has been at Birkenhead since 1991. Since when the submarine has been part  as part of the largest collection of preserved warships in Europe along side a German U-boat the Falklands Veteran Frigate HMS Plymouth and Prince Charles former minesweeper HMS BRONINGTON, just a short way from the shipyard where she was built.



Monday 23rd - Sunday 4th June 2006


Visitor's to the port included a former Trinity House tender VERITY (left).

Traffic included SARDIJN, BLACKROCK, a RNLI Severn class lifeboat on passage north, VANQUISH, COASTAL BREEZE, RED DUCHESS, JEANNIE JOHNSTON and the tanker MT HUMMEL .

Wicklow lifeboats launched on crew exercises in the bay . 

Wicklow Rowing Club crews continue to train for the coming East Coast Regatta's . 

Its getting close to the Wicklow Sailing Club 2006 Round Ireland Yacht race , for more details click here


JOPI has been working on projects along the Wicklow Coast over the last few weeks , she loads Rock at the Arklow Roadstone Jetty.

Rosslare RNLI Severn class lifeboat was on the slip for a overhaul recently.


June 02 

In the May 25 update a review of the new World Ship Society publication - "Stena - A Group Fleet History" appeared on Irish Sea Shipping The Online Shipping Magazine.

As part of this review your web master made comment that the book recorded that a "STENA LYNX IV was planned for delivery in 1996/7 - this was to have been Incat 043. However, Stena refused delivery as the vessel failed to meet minimum specifications." This information was incorrect.

The WSS will now issue the following erratum with each copy of the book:
"In the course of research for this publication the author referred to a report in the shipping press of the period, in relation to a vessel proposed as STENA LYNX IV for charter by Stena.  That report implied that the vessel was under construction by INCAT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD and had been refused by her intended owner, and the relevant entry on page 199 of the book reflects that report.

However, Incat, have raised a concern about the wording in the book, pointing out that the vessel in question was actually under construction by Austalships in Western Australia, intended as SUPERSEACAT FRANCE and which had been refused by the Sea Containers Group.

We thank Justin Merrigan, Business Development Officer at Incat for bringing this fact to our attention, and hereby freely acknowledge that we should have contacted Incat so as to ascertain the accuracy of this ambiguous report before going to press.   We also apologise unreservedly to INCAT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD for this error."


Last month it was reported that the replica emigrant ship JEANIE JOHNSTON would be making her first visit to Liverpool over the weekend of June 12 to 15. However, the Liverpool call has now been deleted from the 2006 sailing programme.

The full programme can be viewed at .


The other replica emigrant ship had been due to attend the Dublin Docklands Festival this weekend departing New Ross on May 30. However, she was still at her New Ross berth on June 1st with masts removed and undergoing maintenance.


It is understood that P&O are to deploy the chartered RR TRIUMPH on the Liverpool to Dublin route in early June to boost capacity. The ship has been operating out of Hull but has now been replaced by the GLOBAL CARRIER.


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