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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


May 31

Acknowledgements:  Gary Andrews, Jenny Williamson, George Jones, John Pryce, John Caley, John Byrne, Kevin Bennett Ian Collard  and "others"


NAOMH CIARAN II - crew on the ferry serving Cape Clear Island in west Cork are to stage a stoppage next month. Crew are taking the action in protest at pay cuts for deckhands and the ship's master.

They also say their employer expects them to work four extra weeks between May and September for nothing. The workers say they will be taking strike action on June 4th from 08.30 until 19:00.


MANANNAN - appears to have settled into service well and your web master took a trip a few days ago and was very impressed. A full voyage report will follow in the next few days.

During the latter part of the week some visitors to the web site might have tried to view the walk around MANANNAN video which was linked to from this web site including last week's news bulletin.

Unfortunately this video hosted on YouTube was removed on Monday as a member of the Manannan Executive Club who must have accidentally appeared on the video made a complaint to the company who asked for its removal.

However, it is hoped many people were able to watch the video before its removal and see just how impressive this new vessel is.

VIKING - is believed to have been inspected recently by representatives of Atlantico Line which operates in the Azores and may be chartered for the summer season. If she does go she will be following in the wake of the LADY OF MANN which also saw summer charters to the Azores in her latter years.

SNAEFELL - it has been reported in the press that the company is continuing to review the future of the veteran fast craft in the light of the increased capacity offered by the new MANANNAN and the poor support for the seasonal Dublin and Belfast routes.

Despite the provision of user friendly departure times the Irish sailings are still failing to generate enough passengers. An observer at Douglas on Thursday reported that only 60 passengers sailed on the 13:45 SNAEFELL sailing to Dublin. It really does look like a case of use it or loose it!



MAERSK ANGLIA arrived at Heysham on May 31 to take up the 19:00 sailing to Dublin. The Arrow and Shield both go off charter at Heysham on Monday June 1.  it is believed either Arrow or Shield will be employed will be chartered to IoMSPCo for TT freight.

This will bring the Heysham Norfolk Line sailings down to a three ship operation, two to Belfast one to Dublin.  The sailing to Dublin from Heysham is reputedly to be 02:00. 


A dramatic rescue operation was launched on Wednesday May 27  to regain control of the IKOM K which drifted out of control after the master collapsed and died.

The small car ferry with six passengers on board was heading for Lawrence Cove on Bere Island, County Cork when the drama began.

It was reported that the ship's master, Patrick Murphy, suffered a heart attack in the wheelhouse and died.

The alert was raised and Valentia Island Coast Guard co-ordinated a rescue plan. The Shannon Coast Guard helicopter was scrambled along with a coastguard unit and lifeboat.

Another ferry operating in the area dispatched two people in a small boat when the alarm was raised.

They succeeded in getting on board and brought the vessel safely into Lough Beal.


NORBAY took up service on the Larne - Cairnryan route with the 20:00 sailing from Larne on Tuesday May 26 releasing EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER for dry docking at Harland & Wolff. NORBAY is being covered by EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR [ex MIDNIGHT MERCHANT] on sailings out of Liverpool.


RETURNING one of the last steamships built in Saltney to the area would require a huge community effort, say council chiefs.

Saltney councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun is behind a long-running campaign to bring home the RH CARR, which is languishing in British Guyana in South America.

It is thought to be one of, if not the last, vessel built by J. Crichton and Co at its Saltney yard in the 1920s.

Cllr Armstrong-Braun said: "It is a living part of Saltney's historical legacy and it would be great to have the old steam ship back.

"It could be docked at Connah's Quay docks and could become a major tourist attraction."

Cllr Armstrong-Braun has struggled to get backing, and has now written to Colin Everett, chief executive of Flintshire Council, asking for support.

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: "Cllr Armstrong-Braun's suggestion to investigate the possibility of returning the ship to this area would require the co-operation and focus of many other groups and organisations.

"We have written to the councillor informing him that unfortunately we are not in a position to lead on such a project at this time, however should we be approached by a local interest group in the Saltney Ferry area interested in taking the idea forward we could help such a group to investigate the feasibility of his suggestion."


May 24

Acknowledgements:  Gary Andrews, John &  Jenny Williamson, Sara Cass, Ian Collard  and "others"


MANANNAN was opened for inspection by members of the Manannan Executive Club on Wednesday evening.

MANANNAN undertook her maiden service run to Liverpool operating the morning round trip on Friday May 22. [Click Here] for photographs. The ship was officially named during the same evening at a ceremony conducted by Mrs. Mary Cringle, the wife of the President of Tynwald.


EXPRESS - a passenger fell over board from the vessel in the vacinity of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde when the incident occurred.

Fortunately due to the prompt action of Captain and crew the passenger was recovered and landed at Troon where he was taken to hospital. It was reported he had no serious injuries.

May 17

Acknowledgements:  Gary Andrews, Kevin Bennett, Jenny Williamson, Rob Philips, Ian Collard, Tony Brennan and "others"


It would appear that the Russian owned OMG KOLPINO which has resided at Avonmouth Docks for the past two months with twelve seafarers on board has been detained as  its St Petersburg-based owner, Oslo Marine Group, has outstanding debts. A second OMG vessel was also being held at La Pallice in France, it has emerged.


Ian McConnell's popular Ship Ais web site is currently in the process of being revamped. To access the new beta web site go to The new site has extended coverage eastwards to the Netherlands and features improved maps etc.


The web site dedicated to the TSS DUKE OF LANCASTER has been relaunched this week. It was announced on May 14 that after many years of silence the owners of the ship have agreed to work with the Duke of Lancaster web site to set the record straight over the history of the ship and the issues encountered along the way. There have been many myths and rumours spread about the former British Railways Turbine Steamer which still languishes on a mud berth beside the River Dee in Wales over the years. It will be very interesting to ascertain the facts. Book mark the DUKE OF LANCASTER web site at and check back regularly for updates.


MANANNAN - arrived at Douglas on the morning of May 11, 2009 having departed Southampton on the Sunday afternoon. She undertook a MES Drill on Tuesday May 12 in Douglas harbour. A trial run to Liverpool followed on Wednesday May 13 where she undertook berthing trials at Prince's Landing Stage. On Thursday MANANNAN undertook a trial run to Belfast and returned to Liverpool on the morning of Friday Mary 15, before heading off for berthing trials at Heysham. On Saturday, May 16 she had been due to undertake a trial run to Dublin. However, this was postponed until Sunday May 17 due to forecast adverse conditions. On Sunday MANANNAN arrived on berth 49 around 12:30 before moving to berth 51a. She departed around 14:30.



Later this month, on May 22, Irish Ferries will celebrate the 30th  anniversary of its link with the Welsh port of Pembroke Dock The anniversary is one that underlines the important place which Pembroke  holds within the overall Irish Ferries route network. Host port to two daily  return sailings from Rosslare, operated by the company's modern cruise ferry  vessel ISLE OF INSIHMORE, Pembroke has formed part of the Irish Ferries  route network since the 22nd May 1979 when the service between Pembroke and  Rosslare was inaugurated by the then B&I Line company.


Purpose built at a cost equivalent at the time to EUR8 million, the  impressive new Pembroke Dock terminal was brought into operation in 1978  with a sailing of the mv CONNACHT, a vessel built in the Verolme Cork Dockyard at a cost of EUR18 million.

Owned and operated by B&I Line, the CONNACHT was the most expensive vessel in the company's fleet and was considered to be the most luxurious vessel on the Irish Sea at that time.

Before transferring operations to Pembroke, B&I Line had operated services between Swansea and Cork. Factors that influenced their move to Pembroke included passenger demand for a shorter sea crossing - circa 4 hours between Pembroke Dock and Rosslare compared with a sailing time of circa 10 hours between Swansea and Cork.


Since 1979, Irish Ferries have operated a variety of ships on its Pembroke service. A major expansion took place in 1997 with the arrival of the ISLE OF INNISFREE .  This was followed in 2001 by the introduction of the present

vessel ISLE OF INISHMORE, the largest ship ever to use the Pembroke Dock terminal. Since then, the vessel has developed an excellent reputation for its high quality on-board services and reliability in all weathers - an important factor for the intensive Southern Corridor freight market.

The arrival of these new, larger ferries necessitated significant additional investment at Pembroke Dock where over EUR14 million was spent on port infrastructure and dredging, investment jointly funded by Irish Ferries and the Milford Haven Port Authority.

Referring to the very positive relationship which has existed between the company and Pembroke over the past three decades, Irish Ferries Marketing Director, Tony Kelly said 'it would have been our hope that this proud achievement could have been celebrated at a time of rising freight and passenger traffic volumes. However, Irish Ferries is coping well in the face of the current economic downturn and has managed to stay ahead of the market with its excellent product in terms of the vessel employed on the route and the advantages which Pembroke offers to passengers and freight users alike

'.Expressing their appreciation for the support and service received from the officials and staff at Pembroke, Mr. Kelly said that, since the mid 1990's, the company has been encouraged to invest in the Pembroke/Rosslare route and enterprises throughout the South of Ireland have benefited hugely as a result.

'The predictability of Irish Ferries' Pembroke / Rosslare service, along with the quality of service and a reputation for good value, has provided an excellent gateway for tourism and freight interests right across from the South East of England to the South West of Ireland' Mr. Kelly said.


Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) has, this week, issued an Interim Management Statement in accordance with the reporting requirements of the Transparency Regulations 2007. The statement covers the period from 1 January 2009 to date.

It should be noted that ICG’s business is significantly weighted towards the second half of the year when normally a higher proportion of the Group’s operating profit is generated than in the first six months.

Current Trading Financial

In the first four months of the year Group revenue was €76.2 million, a 25% decrease compared with the same period last year. This has been partially offset by a 24% decrease in operating costs, before depreciation, to €68.2 million due to lower payroll, fuel, vessel time charter costs and volume related port charges resulting in earnings before interest tax and depreciation (EBITDA) of €8.0 million compared with underlying EBITDA of €12.2 million in the same period in 2008

Ferries Division


In the period up to 9 May 2009, we carried 98,000 cars, a 5% reduction on the same period last year. Our total passenger numbers, including lower yielding foot and coach passengers were 391,000 down 10% on the same period in 2008. In the important Easter period however our car carryings were up 28% compared with the previous Easter reflecting extremely competitive fare offerings which we have introduced to the marketplace. The travel consumer is becoming more and more price conscious and there is also a continuing trend towards later booking.


In the Roll on Roll off market, Irish Ferries carried 71,000 units compared with 92,800 in the same period in 2008 a reduction of 23%. This has been adversely influenced by additional capacity from competitors on both the Dublin to Holyhead and Dublin to Liverpool routes in a period when freight market demand is down because of the broader economic environment.


Two vessels within the Group remained on charter to P&O Ferries during the period.

Container & Terminal

Overall container volumes shipped fell by 29% to 133,000 teu (twenty foot equivalent units) in the period to 9 May 2009 compared with the same period last year. Given our flexible fleet of time chartered vessels we have been successful in managing down our capacity and have reduced our operational costs by 32%. Units handled at our terminals in Dublin and Belfast decreased by 28% over the same period.

Share Redemption

The Board has decided to redeem one Redeemable Share per ICG Unit for a cash consideration of 100 cent per Redeemable Share. Payment will be made on 29 May 2009 to Shareholders on the register at the close of business on 15 May 2009.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of shareholders is scheduled to take place on June 24th 2009. The Notice of Meeting will be sent to shareholders in due course.


Current net debt, prior to the redemption of redeemable shares, referred to above, is approximately €38 million, down from €48.7 million at 31 December 2008. Liquidity remains strong with gross cash balances of €28 million.


Notwithstanding the major restructuring of our cost base which we implemented well in advance of the current downturn, we are continuing to actively manage our cost base, with significant payroll cost reductions (including a pay freeze) to leave us in a strong position to benefit when the markets in which we operate recover.


The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced on May 13 that 4 foreign flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during April 2009 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were 2 new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during April 2009 and 2 vessels under detention from previous months. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last twelve months was 3.6% this is slightly down from March's twelve month rate.

During the month of April, 89 Port State Control inspections were carried out in the UK. A total of 36 vessels had no deficiencies raised against them, 33 had between one and five deficiencies, 10 had between six and ten deficiencies, 9 had between eleven and twenty deficiencies and there was one vessel inspected that had more than twenty deficiencies.

Out of the detained vessels, 2 were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU white list, none were registered with flag states on the grey list, 1 was registered with a flag state on the black list and one was from an unlisted flag state.

Vessels detained in April included:

A16,565 GT. Bulk Carrier was detained in
Hull because the starboard lifeboat bilge pump was defective and the fire main on deck was corroded and holed. A major non conformity was raised in respect of the large number of deficiencies identified indicating that the vessel was not being maintained in accordance with the ships SMS.

A 2,113GT General Cargo vessel was detained in Southampton because the vessel did not meet the requirements of the safe manning document on several occasions between February and March 2009, when an additional Watch Keeping Officer was required but not provided.


Date & Place of detention: 04/04/2009 - Southampton
Vessel Name: INDEPENDENT (General Cargo)
GT: 2,113
IMO No: 8843874
Flag: Barbados
Company: Torbulk Ltd
Classification Society: Lloyds Register (LR)
Recognised Organisation: Lloyds Register (LR)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: Lloyds Register (LR)
Summary: 21 deficiencies 5 grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Southampton for 3 days because the upper funnel deck engine room casing was heavily corroded and holed. Also the vessel was not manned in accordance with the requirements of the safe manning document; there was a false entry on one day during March in the records of rest for the Master, in addition the Master and Chief Officer did not have their statutory rest on some days during March 2009.

Over half of the crew and officers did not have a sufficient command of the English language and the ships current/valid version of the SMS only existed in the English Language.

Other deficiencies identified included; the VHF receiver handle at steering position was connected with a make shift wire arrangement; the gyro repeater at steering position was 2.5 degrees out; and the hand held GMDSS VHF radios were inoperative. In addition the safety construction certificate was incorrectly filled and the common language on board was not recorded in the log book.

The vessel was released from detention on

Date & Place of detention: 23/04/2009 - Hull
Vessel Name: GRIGORIY ALEKSANDROV (Bulk Carrier)
GT: 16,565
IMO No: 8610215
Flag: Russia
Company: Far-Eastern Shipping Company.
Classification Society: Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)
Recognised Organisation: Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) Recognised Organisation for ISM: Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)

Summary: 15 deficiencies 3 grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Hull for 6 days because the starboard lifeboat was not ready for immediate use as the bilge pump was defective – seized and the watertight integrity impaired forward; and the windows in the conning position were defective. In addition the fire main on the deck was corroded through and holed. Other deficiencies identified included the emergency fire pump was inoperative; rubber mats were missing in various locations in the engine room and steering gear flat; lifeboats were not ready for immediate use, the tricing pennants were not connected and the bottom boards in the port lifeboat were damaged .
The deficiencies identified indicated an apparent failure of the ISM, SMS on board especially with regard to section ISM section 10 The vessel was released from detention on 28/04/2009


Date & Place of detention: 20/09/2007 - Lowestoft
Vessel Name: ST PIRAN (Other Cargo)
GT: 306
IMO No: 5085407
Flag: Sierra Leone
Company: Charter Shipping Inc
Classification Society: Phoenix Register of Shipping (PRS)
Summary: 18 deficiencies 6 grounds for detention.

The vessel was detained with a significant amount of oil leaking from the silencer drain soaking the exhaust manifold lagging of the main engine, causing an imminent fire hazard. There was no effective fire pump available due to the breakdown of the main engine, and the alternative submersible electric pump was not effective. Also the Aldis signalling lamp was out of order, the VHF radio installation had an incorrect
MMSI number and the radio battery charger arrangement and power distribution were incorrect. Other deficiencies included: some inoperative navigation lights as well as improperly maintained emergency batteries and portable fire extinguishers. The ship was still detained at 30/04/2009

Date & Place of Detention: 02/03/2009 (Hull)
Vessel Name: ASPET (General Cargo)
GT: 2,976
IMO No: 8881682
Flag: Georgia
Company: BAF Shipping & Trading Ltd
Classification Society: Inclamar
Recognised Organisation: Inclamar
Recognised Organisation for ISM: Inclamar
Summary: 26 deficiencies (3) Grounds for detention

This vessel was detained in Hull because the vessel sailed through sea area A3 when it was only equipped for areas A1 and A2, in addition the oily water separator was defective and the number and nature of the deficiencies indicated that the company safety management system (SMS) was not functioning on board. Other deficiencies identified included; the load lines and ships name were not clearly painted; the port hole starboard side aft glass was cracked and securing dogs seized; the engine room fire door was seized and the wheelhouse top vent cover was corroded and the there was a hole in the funnel door.
The vessel was still detained at



It has emerged that a sale of Norfolkline is only one possibility being explored by the A.P. Moller-Maersk group as reported by Maritime Danmark:

An extensive fusion of several Danish cargo shipping companies might be on its way. Moller-Maersk, DFDS, Clipper and perhaps foreign shipping companies are currently negotiating on the creation of a large North European ro-ro company. But it will take some time before a final agreement can be reached.

The information comes from seven different people, who the daily Borsen has spoken to, and who all in different waysare involved in the ambitions of creating the large Danish owned ro-ro company, sailing on short distances with the containers remaining on the trucks during service.

A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed last week that a sales process is taking place with regard to the Group's ferry companyNorfolkline. Short after, DFDS announced a message to Fondsborsen stating that the Danish shipping company was interested in buying.

A.P. Moller Maersk has hired the investment bank JP Morgan to find buyers for Norfolkline. Supposedly, several foreign shipping companies and Danish Clipper have been asked if they were interested in a large merger.

"It makes good sense to create a large common shipping company", says a centrally placed source to Borsen.



HMS DARING is due to arrive on her maiden call at Liverpool on Friday May 22. She is expected to be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday May 23 & 24.


HSS STENA DISCOVERY departed Harland & Wolff dry dock, Belfast on Monday May 11 and ran trials. The ship has been laid up at Belfast since the closure of the Harwich - Hoek HSS service.

Photograph © Rob Philips shows HSS STENA DISCOVERY bereft of Stena & HSS Logos

May 10

Acknowledgements:  Gary Andrews, Jenny Williamson, Neil Marsden, Gary Davies - Maritime Photographic, Graham Johnston and "others"


The consortium have announced that the recommencement of the Cork - Swansea service will take place in Spring 2010. The group has been working to secure the former Color Line ship JULIA for operation on the route.


The Ferry Magazine FERRYCompass based in Germany and launched in 2002 has ceased publication following the publication of the April edition.

This bright and interesting publication which has only recently increased its publication frequency blames the decline in advertising revenue from European ferry operators caused by the current economic downturn for the decision to cease publication.

It will be sadly missed.


BLACK PRINCE - It appears that the Liverpool to North Cape Cruise at the end of June has had its itinerary reversed. This means that on July 01, BLACK PRINCE will rendezvous with fleet mates BALMORAL and BRAEMAR. All ships being scheduled to depart at 18:00.

On May 06, 2009 it was announced by the company that an agreement has been made to sell BLACK PRINCE which is due to be withdrawn from service this autumn. The 451 passenger vessel is being sold to Servicios Acuaticos de Venezuela CA (SAVECA) through U S Shipbrokers of Florida, USA.

Completion of the sale and the delivery of BLACK PRINCE to SAVECA will take place shortly after its last cruise finishes in Southampton on October 16, 2009. It is understood that the vessel will be used as a cruise ship operating in Venezuelan waters.

With the sale of the Black Prince after October, the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet will consist of four vessels: BLACK WATCH, BOUDICCA, BRAEMAR and BALMORAL.

BLACK PRINCE entered service for Fred. Olsen Lines in October 1966, initially as a joint cruise ship and vehicle ferry between the UK and the Canary Islands, and the UK and Norway, and in recent years as a full time cruise ship from various regional UK ports to destinations in Europe, the Arctic, Africa, and the Caribbean.


Following the collapse of the Moonduster bid for Irish Continental Group slumped leaving many investors nursing large losses as reported by the Irish Independent on May 04.

THE collapse of the Moonduster bid for ICG raises serious questions for several of the ferry company's major shareholders. With the share price now having more than halved over the past two years they are all nursing serious losses.

Am I alone in wishing that ICG would just go away and leave the rest of us alone? Ever since CEO Eamonn Rothwell unveiled his €18.50 a share bid for the company in March 2007 the seemingly interminable takeover battle for the ferry operator has ground on and on and on.

During the mad summer of 2007, at the very fag end of the Celtic Tiger, Rothwell's takeover bid was gatecrashed by not one but two rivals. The Moonduster Consortium -- consisting of Philip Lynch's One51 and the Doyle Shipping Group -- amassed a 21 per cent stake, while property developer Liam Carroll accumulated a 29 per cent shareholding.

With neither of these two able to do a deal with one another or with Rothwell, who had increased his original 8 per cent shareholding to 16 per cent, the result was deadlocked. In November 2007 the Irish Takeover Panel called time on the proceedings for 12 months.

When the proceedings resumed last autumn there were high hopes that matters would be finally sorted. No such luck. This week Moonduster was forced to admit that it couldn't raise the money needed to mount an ICG bid from its bankers.

This caused a collapse in the ICG share price which ended the week at just €11.60. At that price Moonduster is looking at losses of at least €55m while Rothwell is down a minimum of €21m. However, the biggest loser of all is Carroll who is sitting on losses of in excess of €80m minimum. [Irish Independent]

On Friday May 08, shares were trading at €12.00


A photographic history of Irish Shipping Ltd. 1941-1984 will be displayed at a maritime exhibition during the Annual Rosslare Harbour Summer Festival throughout the first weekend of July (3rd, 4th & 5th). The exhibition will be held in the St. Helens Hotel (formerly the Great Southern) which overlooks the port.


MANANNAN - had been due to depart Portsmouth where she has been refitted by Burgess Marine on Friday May 08 with an arrival scheduled at Douglas for Saturday May 09. However, with adverse conditions forecast for the western approaches her departure was put back to Sunday May 10 with an arrival at Douglas now scheduled for Monday May 11.

LATEST: MANANNAN departed Portsmouth at 15:00. By 16:20 AIS revealed that she is in the English Channel late Sunday afternoon travelling at speed and showing Douglas ETA 12:00 - Monday.

Photograph © Gary Davies - Maritime Photographic shows MANANNAN departing Portsmouth on May 10 bound for Douglas.

SNAEFELL - the 15:00 Douglas to Liverpool and the 19:00 Liverpool to Douglas sailings on Thursday May 07 and the 07:30 Douglas to Liverpool and 11:30 Liverpool to Douglas sailings on Friday 08 May, 2009 were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.


"Pirates of The Irish Sea" Exhibition

Until 23rd August 2009 The House of Manannan, an interpretive centre run by Manx National Heritage in Peel on the Isle of Man, will house a fascinating temporary exhibition, ‘Pirates of the Irish Sea.’ The exhibition celebrates the phenomenon of Radio Caroline North, a pirate radio station which broadcast from the MV Caroline just off the coast of the Island between 1964 and 1968. The exhibition is believed to be the first of its kind in the British Isles exploring the ‘60s pirate radio phenomenon. This exciting period in post-war history has also inspired the recent Richard Curtis feature film, The Boat That Rocked.

Matthew Richardson, Curator: Social History for Manx National Heritage commented:

“Radio Caroline North could be heard across much of northern England, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland. The station had tremendous impact on the young people of the day who felt that they were not being catered for by the then monopoly of the BBC. It provoked a constitutional crisis which helped to define the relationship between the Isle of Man and the UK, led to the creation of Radio 1, and set the pattern for commercial radio in Britain up to the present day.”

Many people from across the world have visited the exhibition since its opening, and in September 2008 it provided the backdrop for a special anniversary conference and reunion of DJs, other vessel personnel and fans. The ultimate seal of approval came when the founder of Radio Caroline, Ronan O’Rahilly visited the exhibition and expressed his satisfaction. He commented:

“This is the best exhibition I’ve ever seen about Radio Caroline, it could be in Los Angeles or London. It’s good enough to be anywhere in the world.”

The exhibition also formed the basis for a series of primary educational workshops in March 2009 in conjunction with ‘The Manx Telecomputer Bus’, which is fitted out with 23 of the latest Apple iMac computers, plus advanced educational software. Children participated in a range of podcasting and graphic design workshops inspired by the exhibition. Activities included creating their own album covers and pod casts for their ‘60s bands, dressing in 1960s clothes to recreate and photograph ‘band poses’ to be used on their record sleeves and pod casts, and interviewing one another adding jingles and information obtained from the Radio Caroline exhibition to recreate that groovy 60s radio sound!

The ‘Pirates of the Irish Sea’ exhibition is open until 23rd August 2009 at the House of Manannan in Peel on the Isle of Man. Admission to the exhibition is completely free of charge.



The company have confirmed this week that discussions with a number of parties are taking place  regarding a possible transaction involving Norfolkline. There is no  certainty as to whether these discussions will result in a transaction taking place according to a press release.

Gossip amongst maritime discussion groups on the internet has included DFDS - a company which was tipped last year to be interesting in acquiring Norfolk Line, Stena and Clipper Group (Seatruck) amongst others.

MAERSK IMPORTER - is believed to be taking up service on the Heysham - Belfast service from May 15.


HMS DARING - the new type 45 destroyer which is due to visit Liverpool on May 22 for five days will be open to the public on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 from 13:00.


The south west was left reeling on May 06 with the announcement that Devonport Naval base was to loose not only its frigates which to Portsmouth, but also its submarine fleet which is to be moved to Faslane, Scotland.

The following report is from the Western Morning News:

As widely speculated, the Navy’s new frigates will be based at Portsmouth, which is to become the fleet’s main operating base, while the submarine fleet is moved to Faslane, Scotland.

Devonport’s Type 22 frigates will remain until the end of their service lives while a decision on its Type 23 frigates will be made in the next five years. The announcement, which could cost the South West economy millions in lost jobs and services, was confirmed this afternoon when the minister visited the Plymouth-based naval base.

Mr Ainsworth said that, subject to Ministry of Defence investment decisions, Portsmouth will be home to the new class of frigates, known as the Future Surface Combatant. They will be berthed alongside the new Type 45 destroyers currently being introduced to service as well as the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers currently on order.

Mr Ainsworth said that Faslane Naval Base will become the dedicated base for the Royal Navy’s fleet of submarines.
This will include the Future Deterrent with the last of the attack submarines leaving Devonport in 2016.

Mr Ainsworth said Devonport will remain the dedicated home for the amphibious fleet and survey vessels along with a force of Royal Marines’ landing craft and personnel.

And Devonport will be the main centre for surface ship refits with some work being carried out in Portsmouth, he added.

The changes have been announced following a major review of the role of the UK’s three naval bases.

Mr Ainsworth said: “We undertook this extensive review to ensure that we match the infrastructure in place at the naval bases to the needs of the Royal Navy of the future.

“The changes we have announced will enable us to provide that support more efficiently by reducing overheads and excess infrastructure.

“By locating our aircraft carriers, Type 45 Destroyers and the first and most complex war fighting variant of the planned next generation of frigates here in Portsmouth, the naval base will build on its strengths and the duplication of facilities elsewhere will be reduced.

“The strategic decisions we have taken pave the way for Portsmouth to become, in the longer term, the main operating base for these complex warships”

Captain Paul Lemkes, captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, said: “Portsmouth’s historic naval base has played a central role in support of the navy for over 800 years and today’s announcements demonstrate commitment to its future as it becomes a centre of excellence for the support of surface warships.

“I’m pleased to be able to provide certainty today for our people, the navy, BVT, our industrial partners, and importantly for the community for whom the naval base in Portsmouth is at the heart.”

Mr Ainsworth added that no decision would be made on the location of submarine dismantling work until after a Strategic Environmental Assessment and public consultation had been completed later this year. [WESTERN MORNING NEWS]


STENA LEADER put into Liverpool on May 08, 2009 and berthed at Gladstone Dock with what are believed to have been technical problems in the steering department. She remained in Liverpool on May 09. She is expected back in Larne on Sunday evening.

STENA DISCOVERY - it has been reported that the "S" logo has been removed from the ship which is currently in dry dock at Harland & Wolff, Belfast.

STENA CALEDONIA - the programme of pleasure cruises on Belfast Lough has been expanding with the announcement that Children's Fun Cruises will operate on Wednesdays during July & August.


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