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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

NEWS BULLETIN - September 2007

September 26Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Michael Pryce, Edwin Wilmshurst, Philip Darricott and "others"


It was reported in Fairpon September 21 that Irish Sea operator Celtic Link is reviewing its future following the sale of the Dublin - Liverpool service to Seatruck Ferries. “We are just focusing on closing down our Dublin operation and ensuring a good service on our successful Rosslare-Cherbourg service,” Paul Tyrrell, managing director of CelticLink commented. “It will take some weeks to sort all this out but in the meantime we need to maintain our existing service.” The company’s plans for a Portsmouth-Cherbourg service continue to be suspended until a ship can be found. “The longer we go without a ship and the less likely we will go ahead with the service,” said Tyrrell “We are also looking to sell the Diplomat in the future if we can find a suitable replacement vessel.” [Fairplay]


There are fresh hopes that the Swansea to Cork ferry link will soon be sailing again. A number of operators are said to be looking at re-introducing the service across the Irish Sea route. Swansea-Cork Ferries pulled the plug on its service last year, selling the SUPERFERRY.

But Michael McCarthy, commercial manager for the Cork Port Authority, has said he is 70 per cent certain a replacement vessel will be found within weeks.

"We are working with Swansea Cork Ferries, but also other operators interested in the route," he said.

He told business leaders in Cork: "There are a number of potential operators, in addition to the previous operator, actively seeking a suitable vessel to operate on the route.

"Due to the scarcity of suitable vessels on the market, many attempts to date have not materialised.

"However, we have been assured in recent days by the operators that two vessels are being considered, and if they fulfil the criteria of the route and price, an offer will be made."

Captain McCarthy said the Cork and Swansea port authorities were working together to find a suitable ship to operate the service.

"You can be assured that the ports of Cork and Swansea are fully behind the re-establishment of the service," he said.

"The loss of a direct service has had a major commercial effect on the region and we are confident that the re-establishment of the route with a suitable vessel will be a major success."

The Swansea to Cork ferry service was launched in 1987, and over the years it carried more than three million passengers.

It is credited with helping to pump millions of pounds into the local economies of Southern Ireland and South West Wales.

Fears over the future of the route were raised in August last year, when company bosses announced they were ending the 2006 season early and selling their only ship.

They said the 35-year-old vessel was past its best and only had limited freight carrying capacity.

It was expected a new ferry would be in place for the start of the 2007 season, but negotiations to buy a replacement ship collapsed and the service did not resume.

Thirty people lost their jobs with the closure.

Chris Holley, leader of Swansea Council, said he welcomed the development.

"I was given an inkling some months ago that discussions were taking place, but I was not aware of the time scales," he said.

"I sincerely hope, if it's true, that it happens soon.

"We have sadly missed the ferry, and not just us, Cork too.

"The tourist industry both sides of the St George's Channel needs it." [South Wales Evening Post]

September 25Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard  and "others"


The following comment appeared on the 28 Days Later Urban Exploration site concerning the former Sealink turbine steamer. Given the recent speculation about the vessel's future it is of particular interest as it lays to rest the suggestion that the ship will be scrapped:

QUOTE: I've had a reply from the daughter of the owner of Empirewise & Solitaire (LIVERPOOL) Ltd. and she says this:  "my father has no plans to scrap the ship. he's not really sure what to do with it. Any good ideas will be gratefully received. It would be nice to see it back to its best, but that would cost a lot of money! We have seen the petitions and read the comments. It's been a surprise, but still very nice to know, how much people love the ship."


SEA EXPRESS I is currently undergoing repairs was moved from Cammell Laird #5 dry dock to West Float on Monday September 24.

It has been announced in the Manx media that a statement is expected from the company in respect of the MAIB Report into the collision between SEA EXPRESS I and ALASKA RAINBOW on Thursday September 27.

SUPERSEACAT TWO had been suffering engine trouble at the weekend. On Sunday September 23 she was forced to abort her morning sailing to Belfast and return to Douglas. Passengers being sent the great way round via Heysham! on Monday September 24, both morning and afternoon round trips from Douglas to Liverpool were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.


Seatruck Ferries, the freight-only specialists on the Irish Sea, have taken over Celtic Link's Dublin-Liverpool route. In addition, capacity available on Seatruck's fast-growing Warrenpoint-Heysham route is about to increase substantially, with the addition of the large newbuilding CLIPPER POINT Seatruck will continue to invest heavily in service development on both routes. Within the next 12 months, Seatruck will introduce four newbuildings on the Irish Sea routes, providing a threefold increase in freight capacity - from 90,000 to 270,000 units per annum.

Under the agreement between the two ferry operators, which took effect 17:00 hrs Tuesday 18 September, Seatruck will continue the charter of the CELTIC STAR. This vessel will continue to operate on the Dublin-Liverpool route. CELTIC STAR has a capacity of 30,000 units per year. Within 2007 a much-needed second vessel will be added to the Dublin - Liverpool route.

The intended introduction of the Seatruck newbuilding CLIPPER POINT scheduled for November 2007, earmarked for Warrenpoint-Heysham, will then free the RR CHALLENGE, one of the three vessels currently operating on this route, to switch to Dublin-Liverpool. The RR CHALLENGE will partner CELTIC STAR. This will increase Dublin-Liverpool capacity to 65,000 units yearly. There will be a further and very substantial increase in capacity in the first and second quarters of 2008, when the next three newbuildings in the new Class, each with capacity for 120 unaccompanied units, will be added to the routes.

The four sisterships CLIPPER POINT, CLIPPER PACE, CLIPPER PENNANT and CLIPPER PANORAMA are the only purpose-built freight-only vessels for Irish Sea service to be introduced over the past 20 years. With a service speed of 22 knots, they will cut crossing times on both routes from nine hours to 7 hours.

The increase in capacity on the Warrenpoint-Heysham route from 90,000 units per year to 135,000 units will occur on the arrival of the CLIPPER POINT which will join the two existing Seatruck vessels, the MOONDANCE and RIVERDANCE. CLIPPER POINT will operate the overnight departure from Heysham, with MOONDANCE and RIVERDANCE operating two morning sailings from Heysham and two pm departures from Warrenpoint.

Seatruck CEO Kevin Hobbs says: "These developments mean that Seatruck's Irish Sea capacity will rise from 90,000 to 270,000 units annually. Furthermore we are examining the potential of adding other new services on the Irish Sea. These ideas may include our existing owned vessels, the MOONDANCE and RIVERDANCE.

"The addition of the Dublin-Liverpool route is a milestone in our strategic plan to grow Seatruck's Irish Sea network. The addition of the four newbuildings will enhance the already popular Warrenpoint-Heysham service and provide new and exciting opportunities for customers seeking direct access into Dublin. Our team shares a very friendly customer service philosophy with Celtic Link staff in Dublin and Liverpool and we look forward to welcoming them aboard."

Alistair Eagles, Seatruck's Commercial Director, adds: "Seatruck remains the only Irish Sea operator 100% dedicated to freight. Our strategy for the future is founded on the firm view that too much Irish Sea freight - currently well over 40 per cent - moves on a driver-accompanied basis. The addition of the Dublin-Liverpool route and our large and fast new vessels will bring new levels of service reliability and capacity to the unaccompanied sector. Increasingly, our clients recognise the major cost benefits of switching to unaccompanied movements.

"In terms of commercial benefit, Seatruck's clients share our enthusiasm for the new ships and we look forward to further developing new solutions for clients, based on unaccompanied Irish Sea crossings. The continued strong annual growth in the Irish Sea ro-ro freight market, coupled with our new generation, freight only vessels, presents an opportunity not to be missed by Seatruck".


HSS STENA EXPLORER from Sunday September 23, 2007 to Saturday October 06, 2007 three round trips will be operated - departing Holyhead 08:55 , 13:45 & 18:30 and Dún Laoghaire at  11.10,16.05 & 21.35. This is to provide additional capacity for passengers due to the dry docking of STENA ADVENTURER at Cammell Laird. STENA TRANSPORTER is providing extra freight cover and partnering STENA SEATRADER on sailings out of Dublin suring this period. STENA ADVENTURER arrived at Cammell Laird #5 dry dock on Monday September 24, after it had been vacated by SEA EXPRESS I

September 16Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Michael Pryce, Jenny Williamson and "others"


ROPAX 1 (MALMO LINK) & ROPAX 2 (LUBECK LINK) currently refitting at NSL Cammell Laird are believed to be offered to the charter market at 23,000 per day.


Dublin Port Company Annual Report 2006

Dublin Port Company's 10th Anniversary marks 10 years of consecutive growth, development and investment

Dublin Port Company published its 2006 Annual Report this week and its trading figures for the first half of 2007. Results for 2006 and 2007 demonstrate that Dublin Port Company continues to successfully manage Ireand's port of choice which is a key strategic infrastructure asset for the Irish economy.



  • Operating profit - €25.6 million ( up 36.2% on 2005)

  • Throughput - 29.3 million tonnes (up 8.7% on 2005)

  • Turnover - €66.4 million (up 7.9% on 2005)

  • Pension Fund assets - €157 million (96% fully funded)

January - June 2007

  • Throughput - 15.6 million tonnes - up 10% on same period last year

  • Turnover - €34 million - up 7% on same period 2006

  • Capital Investment - on course for €40 - 50 million spend in 2007

  • Tourism - tourist traffic up 17%

Trade levels at Dublin Port reached an all-time high of 29.3 million tonnes in 2006 and are experiencing further rapid growth as imports and exports increase by 10% in the first half of 2007. The containerised trade sector, which represents three quarters of total throughput, has seen the most significant rise with 10% growth in RoRo units and 15% growth in LoLo units in 2006. With these strong levels of growth, throughput at Dublin Port is expected to exceed 30 million tonnes in 2007.

Following a number of years of decline in the ferry travel sector, the sector seems to be experiencing a turnaound in fortunes. In 2006, ferry passenger numbers only marginally decreased by 0.8% compared to 14.2% in 2005 and significantly tourist traffic for the first half of 2007 has increased by 17%. Dublin Port Company remains committed to supporting this industry and is investing significantly in raising the profile of ferry travel.

Operating profit increased by 36.4% in 2006 to €25.6 million. A key driver of this has been Dublin Port Company's growth in revenue, which increased 7.9% to €66.4 million and the continued focus in reducing the Company's cost base, which saw total operating costs decrease to €40.8 million in 2006 from €42.7 million in 2005. Dublin Port Company also remains focused on staffing efficiencies, resulting in 2006 being the fifth consecutive year of payroll decrease with a 7.7% decrease, of payroll expenditure in this year.

Commenting at the launch of the 2006 report and 2007 trading figures, Mr Enda Connellan, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company said

"We are pleased to announce the tenth consecutive year of growth in throughput. Dublin Port Company continues to deliver increases in turnover and profit levels by reducing costs and increasing throughput while maintaining the Port's cost competitiveness by not increasing port charges.

Dublin Port remains the port of choice for importers and exporters. Over 80% of imports arriving at Dublin Port are consumer goods, destined for retail outlets in the city and surrounding areas. With 50% of all imports staying within the M50, Dublin Port remains the most effective way of accessing Ireland's largest market.

With over 4 million square feet of retail space planned for the Dublin area in the next few years, we remain committed to serving the needs of the economy by investing significantly in Ireland's premier port. €55 million will be invested in 2006 and 2007 bringing the investment to over €200 million over the last ten year period, through maximising land efficiencies and investing in port infrastructure.

Commenting on Dublin Port Company's financial performance, Mr. Michael Sheary, Chief Financial Officer, Dublin Port Company said

"Two of the company's most significant achievements over the last ten years has been tackling the Company's cost base and funding the Company's pension fund. Since 1996, our turnover has increased by 71%, while our operational expenditure, excluding depreciation, has increased by just 23%. We have also turned around the pension fund deficit inherited when the Company was corporatised in 1996. We are currently meeting the Minimum Funding Standard as set out by the Pension Act of 1990, with pension assets of almost €200 million"

Full details of the report can be found on the company's web site [click here]


The fine former French Line ship which was last seen on the Irish Sea in 2001 can be broken up the Indian Supreme Court has ruled this week. The ship has languished on the beach at Alang since 2006.


It was reported on September 10 that - Irish Continental Group's trading profit increased six fold in the first half of 2007 but the 16.5 million euro cost of a protracted takeover battle for the ferry operator pushed it into the red.

Irish Continental (ICG) said in August its board would recommend an improved bid by senior managers that values the firm at 611.8 million euros ($843.7 million).

The move ended an impasse whereby Aella Plc, which is owned by ICG Chief Executive Eamonn Rothwell and other top managers, and rival consortium Moonduster each made 561 million-euro bids. Each party amassed enough shares to block the other's bid.

ICG shareholders will meet this month to vote on Aella's revised bid of 24 euros a share.

"The non recurring charge of 16.5 million euros represents estimated potential costs incurred by the group to date in relation to this process," the company said in a statement with its first-half results on Monday.

Aella has shares and options amounting to 20.9 percent of ICG, while Moonduster owns or controls 20.4 percent.

Irish property developer Liam Carroll, ICG's third biggest shareholder, has been increasing his holdings in recent weeks, however, and paying a premium to Aella's offer price.

Dolmen Stockbrokers said in a statement it had purchased another 36,139 shares in ICG at 25 euros a share on Friday on behalf of Carroll, taking his holding to almost 20.2 percent.

ICG reported a trading profit of 16.4 million euros for the six months to end June versus 2.6 million a year earlier but the cost of the acquisition tussle meant its operating loss was 0.1 million euros versus a 2.6 million euro profit a year earlier.

Revenues rose to 163.2 million euros in the first half of 2007 from 141.8 million euros in 2006.




The August traffic figures for Douglas Harbour were released this week:



Year to Date





















Route Performance:






Plus 50%




Plus 2%




Minus 4%




Plus 14%




All minus




All plus



Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments: “These are excellent August passenger figures with the Liverpool and Belfast routes performing exceptionally well.  Passenger traffic has now increased every month this year”.


CHARTSMAN - it would appear that the Barrow based company's ship was involved in a mishap on September 08 when she was in collision with the containership HOOGE (15633grt). The collision occurred on the River Elbe and resulted in damage to the bow of the CHARTSMAN


MERSEY VENTURE - the company has sold the 24 year old suction dredger to Lybian interests.

Peel will be employing dredging contractors for work on the channels though the grab dredger MERSEY MARINER will be retained for dock work.

September 09Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Jenny Williamson and "others"


QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 - the company has issued the following press release for the forthcoming Round Britain 40th Anniversary Cruise which of course features the official opening of the new Liverpool Cruise Ship facility.

Next week, on September 15, QE2 sets off on an historic "lap-of-honour" around Britain to celebrate the 40th

Anniversary of her launch by Her Majesty The Queen on September 20, 1967. While the primary purpose of the voyage is to celebrate the anniversary  of QE2's launch, two other significant Cunard anniversaries will be marked: the 100th anniversary of Mauretania's departure from the Tyne for her first sea trials on September 17 (the day QE2 will also be on the Tyne) and the 40th anniversary of Queen Mary's final departure from New York (September 22).

Since she came into service, QE2 has had a spectacular career and is now simply the most famous ship afloat - quite probably the most successful liner ever. She has hosted every senior member of the Royal Family at least once; has welcomed Prime Ministers and Presidents, including Nelson Mandela - around the world; and has been host to a multitude of celebrities and film stars.

So far, she has travelled 5.6 million nautical miles, which is further than any ship ever. That has included 25 circumnavigations of the globe, 801 transatlantic crossings, 705 calls at New York and 697 at her homeport of Southampton, and the welcoming aboard of 2.5 million passengers. In September 2005 she became the longest-serving Cunarder ever.

But, of course, in addition to exotic voyages and ecstatic welcomes, QE2 has had her share of adventures - not least in 1982 when she was requisitioned to carry 3,000 troops to the Falklands War. She returned bearing the survivors of HMS Ardent, Antelope and Coventry.

The 40th Anniversary Voyage, which sold out soon after going on sale in 2005, begins in Southampton next Saturday with a farewell lunch on board for 350 invited guests.

When QE2 sails at 5:00 p.m., she will be played off by the Band of the Royal Marines and escorted down Southampton Water by two tugs firing water jets.

The following day will see her move close to the coast at Flamborough Head at 11:00 a.m., and she will be clearly visible from the shore (weather permitting) all the way to the Tyne. Thousands are expected to turn out to see her pass in coastal towns on the way, including Scarborough, Whitby, Sunderland and Hartlepool - where small boats are expected to sail out to greet her.

The maiden arrival at the Tyne promises to be spectacular, with QE2 being escorted by a flotilla of boats and a concerto of Northumbrian pipes to the accompaniment of daytime pyrotechnics. As the ship progresses up river, the Tyne will be turned into a "virtual" red carpet by the use of aqua flares.

On September 18 the ship will be on the Firth of Forth, where she will welcome on board the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and she then sails round the north of Scotland to arrive on the Clyde on September 20, exactly 40 years to the day of her launch.

There, in Greenock, the guests of honour at a celebratory lunch will be 100 workers who helped build the ship. They, and Cunard guests on board, will be treated to a 23-minute display by the Red Arrows.

The exact moment of her launch - 2:28 p.m. - will be marked by the sounding of the ship's whistle and a recording of Her Majesty The Queen launching the ship will be played over the tannoy.

The following day, September 21, sees the ship in Cunard's spiritual home, Liverpool, where the company was based from 1839 to 1967. QE2 will be one of the first ships to tie up at Liverpool's new cruise ship terminal, due to be opened that day by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent - who will come on board after the ceremony for lunch on QE2.

A spectacular highlight takes place that afternoon when there will be a magnificent Celebration Concert at the Anglican Cathedral, to be attended by all QE2 guests and local civic leaders. The concert, starring soprano Lesley Garrett, Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, the Liverpool Cathedral Choir and the Band of the Scots Guards, will be a rousing mixture of patriotic and popular music guaranteed to stir the emotions. Tributes will be paid to QE2 by regular guests Sir Jimmy Savile and Carol Thatcher.

That night, QE2, her guests and well-wishers will witness the spectacle of a splendid mid river firework display.

On her final day at sea (September 22), en route back to Southampton, activities on board will mark the last sailing of Queen Mary and, after dinner, QE2 will pass her newer sister Queen Mary 2 outward bound for New York - the first time two Queen liners have passed at sea since Queen Mary passed Queen Elizabeth in mid-Atlantic for the last time 40 years ago on 25 September 1967.

Guests on both ships are expected to be out on deck for this historic occasion.

The eventful voyage ends in Southampton on September 23.


LUBECK LINK arrived at Cammell Laird on Friday September 07, two days later than originally expected. She had been at anchor off Amlwch for around a week.

There is a rumour doing the rounds on the Mersey waterfront that the company will not be able to operate LUBECK LINK and her sister MALMO LINK, also on Merseyside, on the channel out of Dover due to their large size - the rumour suggests that the company is now looking to operate them on a western Mediterranean Service between Europe and Africa.


KRONPRINS HARALD operated her final sailing for Color Line on Friday August 30 departing Kiel at 14:00 and arriving at Oslo at 09:30 the following morning. A relief crew from Irish Ferries took charge of her later that day. The ship sailed from Oslo yesterday evening, arriving late morning at Federacia Skibsvaerft A/S. She is now in the large floating dry dock where she will spend the next four weeks being rebuilt for the Ireland-France service.


EMERAUDE FRANCE - has been returned to Tilbury at the end of her charter. It was noted by a correspondent to the Irish Sea Ships group that on arrival at Tilbury her AIS was showing SEA EXPRESS I with an ETA in Douglas at a date in March 2008!

SEA EXPRESS I - it is reported that the publication of the MAIB report into the collision between the 74m Incat and the ALASKA RAINBOW is imminent.


It appears that the BEN-MY-CHREE delivered some unwelcome visitors to the Isle of Man as reported by the Isle of Man Government web site:

For the second time within six months, the Island was recently targeted by a gang of East European itinerants. The alleged fraudsters arrived by ferry overnight and left the Island later the same day having been tracked down by the police and Office of Fair Trading enforcement officers.

In the short time that they were in the Island, members of the gang harassed members of the public, in some cases making them feel very uneasy. Many people who had been approached by members of the gang subsequently contacted either the Office of Fair Trading or the police.

When the police and Trading Standards enforcement officers caught up with members of the gang in Peel, they were advised of the law and left in no uncertain terms that positive enforcement action might ensue if their unacceptable behaviour continued. The itinerants then went straight down to the Sea Terminal to book on the next ferry.

John Peet, Chief Inspector of Trading Standards at the Office of Fair Trading, said: “This is yet another example of our enforcement officers working with the police on information provided by ever vigilant members of the public to swiftly rid the Island of nuisance and allegedly fraudulent gangs of itinerants.

Criminal prosecutions are an option but generally the gangs leave the Island forthwith when they are advised of the law and made aware of the fact that the Island is not part of the UK.

Obviously, we would not hesitate to take positive enforcement action if there were any instances of serious or repeated breaches of trading standards legislation. We have done so in the past on many occasions.

We will continue to tackle these gangs with the help of the police to send out a clear message that we will not allow them to operate their various scams in the Island.”

Quintin Gill MHK, Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, said: “Our enforcement officers do a lot of work to prevent these gangs taking advantage of members of the public. More often than not any problems are nipped in the bud with the help of the police.

In the past, gangs of itinerants from the UK and Ireland have targeted the Island, often selling power tools and carpets, and now the Island has been targeted by gangs made up of East Europeans.

This is both a consumer protection and a social well-being issue.

The working relationship between the Office and the police is excellent and this latest joint effort to rid the Island of alleged fraudsters simply reinforces that relationship.

Members of the public approached by members of these gangs should not hesitate to contact the either the Office of Fair Trading or the police.


The delayed cruise terminal finally opened on Sunday September 09, 2007 when the SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER became the first ship to berth at the facility.


The Philip & Son Shipyard on the River Dart is known as the birth place of many fine vessels some of which such as Laxey Towing Company's KARINA and the Mersey Ferries SNOWDROP and ROYAL IRIS OF THE MERSEY. Since closure it has been known that the site was to be redeveloped for Marina and related uses.

The following news item appeared in the Western Morning News this week:


Developers will today unveil controversial £100 million plans to redevelop an historic former shipyard.

The consortium, which owns Noss-On-Dart Marina near Dartmouth in South Devon, has launched a scheme to transform the decaying yard site into a mixed-use housing, retail and marina complex. The plans are being hailed as a major economic boost to the area and should create about 250 new jobs.

But the scale of the proposal on the 32-acre site has raised fears that the local economy will have to absorb a fresh influx of wealthy outsiders who will price locals out of the housing market.

The consortium includes former round-the-world yachtsmen Michael and Paul Berrow.

The pair were part of a group of investors who bought the marina in 2005 for around £15million. The consortium says that of the 250 new jobs created by the development, around 190 will be marine-based.

Councillor Jonathan Hawkins who represents the area at Devon county, district and town parish council levels said: "In principle these proposals are long overdue and very important for the future of the river.

"What I'd like to see is the retention of the employment land and the deep water quay. As long as those are a major part of scheme I'll welcome it.

"But I do have concerns that a large development like this is not just for the wealthy Londoners with large yachts and large flats who bring nothing to the area and its economy."

He said it was also important the development was in tune with the surrounding countryside which attracts thousands of visitors to the area every year.

The marina, known locally as Noss Creek, sits on the banks of the River Dart about a mile from the mouth of the estuary, and has a history of shipbuilding going back 150 years.

Michael Berrow, who lives on the Dart estuary, and his brother, Paul Berrow, came third in the Whitbread round-the-world race in 1985.

Michael Berrow is also well-known as the former manager of pop group Duran Duran.

The yard was formally owned by shipbuilders Philip & Son and Chay Blyth's British Steel round-the-world yacht was launched there in 1970. Most of the buildings on the site are now either derelict or used for storage.

The new plans are expected to increase the size of the 180-berth marina.

Captain David White, Dart harbour master said: "We've no desire to see anything decay and wither away so we've been talking to the architects for the past 18 months to tell them how we think the marina should proceed. They are not allowed to do anything without our permission because we are the leaseholders and statutory harbour authority. We have spoken about things like encroachment into the navigable channels and the general control of the area."

Chris Horan, clerk at Dartmouth parish council, said: "We have not been involved at any stage of the planning or been consulted by the developers. It would have been nice to have been kept in the picture but it hasn't happened."

September 02Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Barry Rodgers, Michael Pryce, "River Spy" and "others"


PRINSENDAM - with the Liverpool Cruise Terminal in position, though as yet not commissioned, the second ship booked to call at Liverpool on September 02, 2007 was forced to berth at West Langton when she arrived from Douglas in the early hours. It is now less than three weeks before QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 is due to arrive and mark the official opening of the terminal on September 21.


MALMO LINK - berth at NSL Bidston has now been named ROPAX 1. Sister ship LUBECK LINK dropped anchor off Amlwch on Friday August 31. She is expected to enter Cammell Laird #5 dry dock on Wednesday September 05. The vessels are apparently refitting for a new company Channel Ferries Ltd for operation on the English Channel.


HENTY PROGRESS is expected to depart Cammell Lair #4 dry dock on Tuesday September 04.


A German anti-submarine mine found in Broadstrand Bay in west Cork was destroyed this week.

A spokesman for the Irish Navy said that charges were placed on the 6mx1.2m cylindrical mine and it was detonated safely at 14:00 on August 28, 2007

Navy divers confirmed that the mine, containing some 159kg of explosive, had been destroyed.

The mine had been found by a local fisherman.

The LE EITHNE was notified after the fisherman contacted authorities and went to the scene.


EMERAUDE FRANCE - it is understood that the charter of the 74m Incat chartered to replace the collision damaged SEA EXPRESS I / SEACAT ISLE OF MAN ends this week and she is expected to depart for Tilbury this coming week.


The Barrow based marine services group has announced a 13% improvement in first-half profits despite costs incurred relating to the take over of  F.T. Everard & Sons

Pre-tax profit from continuing operations increased to £9.5m from £8.4m in the first six months of 2006. The company has increased the interim dividend by 12% to 3.89p per share.

Company chairman Tim Harris said the integration of Everard was “substantially complete”, with a single commercial department in London and a unified fleet management in Barrow.

“There remains a further opportunity to improve profitability significantly by steady management over time to improve the productivity of the enlarged James Fisher Everard fleet,” he added.

Delivery of the fourth and final Everard newbuilding, SUPREMITY, is due in September and Mr Harris said there was a “good prospect” that Fisher would re-finance the vessel as a bareboat charter, in common with the first three of the series.

The 17-year-old, single-hulled tankers AGILITY  and ALACRITY are to be sold, this will produce a book profit of more than £1m.

William Everard has stepped down from the main board as fleet director following the merger of the Fisher and Everard fleets.



LIVERPOOL VIKING - departed from Cammell Laird #5 dry dock on Saturday afternoon September 01. The ship emerged from the yard looking very smart after a repaint.



The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on August 28 that eleven foreign ships were under detention in UK ports during July 2007 after failing Port State Control (PSC) safety inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were nine new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during July 2007 and two vessels under detention from the previous month. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last twelve months is 5.2% a slight increase on Junes twelve month rate.

During the month of July 135 Port State Control inspections were carried out in the UK. A total of 39 vessels had no deficiencies raised against them, 64 had between one and five deficiencies, 20 had between six and ten deficiencies, 10 had between eleven and twenty deficiencies and there were 2 vessels inspected that had more than twenty deficiencies.

Out of the detained vessels four were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU white list, three were registered with states on the grey list and three were registered with flag states on the black list and one is not classified.

Vessels detained in July included a number at Irish and Celtic Sea Ports - full details on the MCGA web site [click here]


RFA DILIGENCE which has been in Cammell Laird #6 dry dock since mid January undergoing a life extending refit, transferred to NSL Bidston on Saturday September 01. She is due to depart during the autumn.


RIVERDANCE is expected to arrive at Cammell Laird #7 dry dock on Monday September 03. She is will be relieved by a Polish charter ship.


STENA PIONEER has been at Belfast since last Saturday morning. Scheduled maintenance was planned for Saturday and Sunday but it overran and the ship on resumed service from Larne on August 31.

Initially the Pioneer's 10:00/22:00 sailings were cancelled before the STENA SEAFARER moved up the schedule on Wednesday August 29 and her own sailings were cancelled.

On Tuesday morning the crew of the STENA PIONEER could be observed in the River Lagan trying out their ship's lifeboats and fast rescue boat.

Meanwhile, back at her normal berth again, the HSS STENA DISCOVERY's stern door could be observed open on Thursday August 30  - clearly an indication of life onboard!


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