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NEWS BULLETIN - October 2009

October 25

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Ian Collard, Kevin Bennett, David Booth, Tony Brennan, Michael Clarke, Geoff Holmes, Adrian Sweeney, Sara Cass, Patrick Healy and "others"



BLACK PRINCE - A farewell luncheon was held on board the 1966 built ship at Southampton on Friday October 16, 2009 as the ship was being destored and being prepared for her next career as the the Venezuela-based OLA ESMERALDA.

All the artwork from the Olsen family collection and service items such as crockery were removed. A "cherry picker" was reported to be in use to remove the ship's bronze figure head designed by Kjell Rassmussen.

BLACK PRINCE was due to be handed over to new owners SAVTECA on Tuesday October 20.

Departure from Southampton was reported on Maritime Clippings as being October 27, 2009.


MANANNAN - her Saturday return sailing to Douglas scheduled for 19:30 was retimed to 16:00 due to adverse weather conditions forecast for the evening.

VIKING, sold to Helenic Seaways is reported to have arrived in Greece and has been renamed HELLENIC WIND.

The former LADY OF MANN - now Saos Ferries' PANAGIA SOUMELA is reported laid up at Alexandroupolis (Northern Greece) with some other ships of the Saos Company.


SOLWAY HARVESTER - Safety work has been carried outto prevent its hull being eroded while the wreck languishes in Douglas harbour.

Eventually the boat is to be scrapped onshore, but harbours officials are awaiting confirmation as to whether the wreckage is needed for pending court action between the families of the seven crew and the vessel's former owner Richard Gidney.

The Scottish scallop dredger sank in rough seas off the coast of the Isle of Man in January 2000, claiming the lives of skipper Andrew Craig Mills, 29, David Mills, 18, Robin Mills, 33, Martin Hugh Milligan, 26, John Doyle Murphy, 22, Wesley John Jolly and David Joseph Lyons, both 17.

Shortly after the tragedy, the Manx Government decided to use £1 million of taxpayers' money to recover the boat and bodies of the men, who were all from the Isle of Whithorn, Scotland.

The inquest into the crew's deaths concluded last year and Coroner Michael Moyle released the vessel.

The ownership of the vessel was then formally transferred to the Department of Transport from Mr Gidney's operating company Jack Robinson Trawlers Ltd.



Five people were rescued from the waters just outside Belfast harbour on the afternoon of October 23 after a fishing vessel caught fire.

The vessel AMITY reported the fire on board the BELLATRIX after picking 5 people from water. The crew of the AMITY then took them to Milewater Basin for medical attention.


Augmented services were provided for the visits of QUEEN MARY 2 on October 20 and are being provided for the visit of HMS ILLUSTRIOUS between Thursday October 21 Tuesday October 27. A half hourly service rather than hourly service being operated between those dates from 11:30 to 15:30 (16:30 on Sunday.

ROYAL DAFFODIL - an investigation is reported to have begun by Peel Ports and the MCGA into a near miss involving the ROYAL DAFFODIL and the chemical / oil products tanker RAMIRA which occurred on Friday October 23.

The ROYAL DAFFODIL had just departed Birkenhead Woodside bound for Liverpool Pier Head when the incident occurred, there were about 450 passengers on board.

Visit SHIPAIS Forum for photographs and discussion on this incident:


Norfolkline has announced the enhancement of its Irish Sea ferry services by the arrival of the MAERSK IMPORTER on the Heysham - Belfast route from Monday 19th October, 2009.

This welcome news follows the successful introduction of the MAERSK EXPORTER and MAERKS ANGLIA to our Heysham routes earlier this year.

The arrival of the MAERSK IMPORTER represents a significant development and reflects Norfolkline’s commitment to the Heysham services to both Belfast and Dublin.

The Maersk Importer immediately provides:

* Additional sailings 

* Increased capacity 

* Improved scheduling and reliability 

* Top class driver onboard facilities

The arrival of the MAERSK IMPORTER has facilitated an improved schedule on the Belfast – Heysham route with the application of new additional Monday morning departures, offering increased capacity and choice for customers on the route.

Departures from Belfast
Departures from Heysham

With the introduction of the MAERSK IMPORTER, SAGA MOON is reported to be  now laid up at the lay-by berth at the former Stena Terminal, usually used by one of Stena's Fleetwood vessels at the weekend.


An application to build a new ferry terminal in Penzance has been formally submitted.

Cornwall Council yesterday confirmed it had lodged its own application to build on South Pier to create a hub connecting the town with the Isles of Scilly.

Most of the work, including the building of a passenger and freight terminal, is covered by the Harbour Revision Order that was granted last month.

There is a planning application for raising the height of the sea wall and an application for listed building consent for work on the structure of South Pier.

The application includes the construction of a new sea wall, extensions and alterations to existing structures.

This includes demolition and rebuilding of three sections of listed sea wall to provide pedestrian and vehicular access, extension to the lighthouse pier and creation of a new sea wall and retaining wall to the south pier.

The council plans to demolish the existing toilet block and build new security gates and fencing.

A Cornwall Council spokesman said: "The improvements form part of one of the two remaining options being considered for Penzance." The council is expected to make a final decision in December on which option to include.


HSS DISCOVERY - the former HSS STENA DISCOVERY was reported to be due at Barbados around 10:00 local time on October 21. It was planned to discharge the 9 tank

containers used for extra fuel storage there for shipment back to Europe.  The vessel is not required by owners to arrive at Guanta Port in Venezuela for customs clearance until Monday 26th October.

October 18

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  John Davidson, Tony Brennan, Brian Boyce and "others"



ARKLOW FORTUNE on Thursday at 12:3ran aground near the harbour of Puttershoek in the Oude Maas, Netherlands due to main engine failure. Vessel had presented port bow anchor. Vessel was towed free by two Muller tug boats at 14:00.[MARITIME CLIPPINGS]


QUEEN MARY 2 is scheduled to make her maiden Liverpool call on October 20, 2009. She is expected to arrive at 11:00 and depart at 23:00. Her call is part of a "Round the British Isles" itinerary.


DIPLOMAT became the first vessel to use the new berth #2 linkspan at Rosslare Europort.

Louis Drefus Lines NORMAN VOYAGER which is on charter to Celtic Link departed Rosslare Europort at 18:45 on October 17 sporting her new CL (Celtic Link) logo.

The paintwork had been completed whilst alongside at Rosslare during the afternoon of October 17.


European Union governments gave ship travelers the right to compensation for  journey delays, expanding a consumer-protection campaign that already covers  airlines and trains.

EU transport ministers set the compensation levels for sea and river  travellers at 25 percent or 50 percent of the ticket price, depending on the  length of the delay and the duration of the trip. Ship operators would also have to offer free "snacks, meals or refreshments" during delays of more than two hours and free accommodation on board or ashore when a delay or cancellation requires an overnight stay.

The aim "is to strengthen the rights of passengers traveling by sea and inland waterway," the ministers from the 27-nation EU said in their agreement today in Luxembourg. The draft law still needs the European Parliament's approval and any differences with national governments would have to be settled through negotiations.

The EU is bolstering passenger rights as cross-border travel grows. Over the past five years, the bloc has boosted compensation for airline travelers stranded because of overbooked or canceled flights and approved legislation requiring rail companies to pay compensation for delays on long- distance routes within a country and cross-border journeys.

A draft law still being scrutinized by EU lawmakers would expand the rights of bus travellers.


The company's new web site is now on line at . Services between Swansea and Cork are due to commence using the former Color Line ship JULIA on March 01, 2010.


Moore Stephens Nathans has been appointed auditor to the group of companies  recently set up under the name Fastnet Line to operate a new passenger and  freight ferry link between Swansea in Wales and Cork in Ireland.

Ned Murphy, a partner with Moore Stephens Nathans, South Mall, Cork, said they were delighted to be involved in the project as auditors on behalf of  the investors.

Approximately €2.5m was raised as equity from a share subscription in the
West Cork Tourism Co-op, with each member contributing €10,000.

An additional €2.5m is expected to be raised, primarily for working capital  purposes, by way of secured bonds in slots of €50,000, each returning a  coupon (interest payment) of 10% per annum, repayable after four years.

"The Fastnet Line is set to have a very positive impact on the economy of  south west Ireland when it begins operating in March next year. Provisional  projected turnover for 2010 is €8.9m, rising to €12.1m in 2013," Mr Moore  said.

Moore Stephens International recently added Nathans to its growing association of member firms.



BLACK PRINCE - completed her final cruise for Fred. Olsen on October 16 at Southampton. Her final Liverpool departure was on September 19, 2009. She is due to take up service with Ola Cruises of Venezuela as the OLA ESMERALDA  operating 3 and 4 day cruises from La Guaira to the Venezualan Islands of La Tortuga, Isle Margarita and Los Roques.

The first cruise is due to depart from La Guaira on the November 20, 2009.


GREY ROVER - departed Portsmouth bound for Liverpool under tow of tug BRAVEHEART. She was originally due to arrive at Liverpool on the morning of October 17 according to earlier reports. However, she arrived on Sunday October 18. [CLICK HERE] for a full set of photographs showing her arrival at Liverpool and berthing at Canada Graving Dock for recycling where she will follow HMS INTREPID into oblivion. She is expected to be joined by RFA SIR PERCIVALE around October 27.


CALY MANX - the launch of a £22 million bulk carrier in China has helped to raise the international profile of the Isle of Man Ship Registry and build a number of important new business relationships.

The Caly Manx was officially named at the Tsuneishi Zhoushan Shipyard near Shanghai last week before setting sail under the Manx ensign. Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK headed an Isle of Man Government delegation to China, supported by Trade and Industry Minister David Cretney MHK and Director of the Ship Registry Dick Welsh.

The naming was performed by local singer and actress Samantha Barks who rose to fame on BBC talent show ‘I’d Do Anything’. The Cabaret star sang the Manx National Anthem and cracked a bottle of champagne against the ship’s bow during the ceremony. The mission to Shanghai supported efforts to promote further awareness of the Island’s Ship Registry, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The Chief Minister said:

‘The Isle of Man is home to a dynamic and successful shipping industry that is renowned throughout the maritime world for its high standards. This visit enabled us to highlight the many advantages of the Isle of Man Ship Registry through a series of meetings in China with business leaders and shipyard owners. Sam Barks was a superb ambassador for the Island and made a great impression on everybody she met. To hear her sing the National Anthem in China was breathtaking and added to the sense of occasion.’

Mr Cretney commented:

‘I am sure that the Caly Manx will prove be a valuable addition to the Manx fleet which continues to grow in influence every year. It was a privilege to be part of the naming celebrations. The personal contacts made during the event helped us to cement some important relationships and promote a greater understanding of the Island’s international position.’

Construction of the 190-metre Caly Manx was commissioned by Lars Ugland, the Douglas-based chief executive officer of local shipping companies LTU Management Ltd and Seven Mile Shipping. It is the first of three new cargo ships to carry the Manx name, with Star Manx and Geraldine Manx scheduled for delivery on November 30 and January 25 respectively.

Mr Welsh said:

‘The visit to China could generate further business opportunities for the Isle of Man Ship Registry as the cost and quality benefits of sailing under the Manx ensign become clear. The head of one of Japan’s most prestigious ship building corporations has already declared his intention to register the company’s next vessel in the Isle of Man. A number of other influential contacts in the Far East and Scandinavia were very positive about what the Island has to offer. Overall this was a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Isle of Man and we are grateful to Lars Ugland for his hard work pulling everything together.’


Norfolkline is to locate its European Financial Services Centre in Belfast, and at a short reception to launch the centre attended by Arlene Foster (Enterprise Minister at the Northern Ireland Assembly) & Lars Olsen (Norfolkline Group CFO), Minister Foster also announced Invest Northern Ireland’s support for the new centre.

Thirty people are already engaged in finance based activities for Norfolkline in Belfast, with a further 360 employees working in logistics and ferry services, and by centralising European finance activities in the new centre, approximately 60 new jobs will be created over the next 12-18 months, bringing total employment at the Finance Service Centre to around 90.

Invest NI has offered £376,000 of support toward the project which will return an additional £1 million in wages and salaries annually for the locality

Minister Foster said:
"Norfolkline is a highly respected ferry operator and logistics management company which will offer local people a variety of skilled career opportunities in a key industry sector.

The new Norfolkline Financial Service Centre will see existing finance administration functions, currently located in seven European countries, centralised in Belfast. The company’s decision validates the strength of the Northern Ireland value proposition.

It is a major endorsement of the strength of our growing financial services sector, and the exceptional skills base which has developed in recent years.

This is an investment which demonstrates Invest NI’s continued success in securing new, high quality investment projects at a time of economic uncertainty, and underlines this region’s cost competitiveness and proximity to European markets."

Lars Olsen, added:  "In reviewing our total cost base, it became evident that Norfolkline had opportunities to be more cost competitive by, amongst other things, establishing a European Finance Service Centre.

Through a very thorough and comprehensive process Northern Ireland was chosen as it offered the best value composition to Norfolkline. As a result, we intend to triple the number of people employed in finance roles in Belfast over the next 18 months.

Invest NI’s support was instrumental in our decision to choose this region, and our existing presence in Belfast meant that we already had experience of the highly impressive skills base."


MEDWAY QUEEN - On the morning of Thursday October 15,  2009 the first section of the hull was laid on the blocks in the dry-dock at Abels Shipyard in Bristol. The project team witnessed the first section, which consisted of the bow of the ship, being lowered into the dock by the mamouth crane coming to rest on the pre-laid dock blocks. Now that the first section is in the dock the project, in reconstructing the hull, is expected to build pace and be complete by Autumn 2010. T

he hull, which is being funded with a £1.86 million grant from the National Lottery. The hull is being of rivetted construction compared to the conventional method of welding meaning it is the first ship, of this size, to be built in this way for over fifty years.

Over the coming year the remainder of the hull will follow the construction and subsequent laying of the first section with several more bulkheads already constructed and awaiting a lift down into the dock. Further work is still required on internal arrangements such as the engine room which are require to be reinstalled as the build progresses

A web cam has been installed at the David Abels Ship Yard in Bristol by the Medway Queen Preservation Society where visitors can watch the construction of the new riveted hull.


PSA urges consumers to take ferries following the Ryanair documentary (13 October 2009)

The Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) is urging consumers to use more  ferries following a television documentary examining Ryanair's customer and  pricing policies.

PSA director Bill Gibbons has backed the UK's ferry services, highlighting  the fact they do not charge consumers for carrying baggage, ski equipment or  checking in online.

His comments follow the screening of the BBC television programme Panorama on October 12, which provoked a row between the airline and the BBC.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary had accused the BBC of preparing a "hatchet job" after a disagreement over conditions under which he would be interviewed.

Gibbons said: "Panorama shows that airline passengers are increasingly being treated with no respect, with no stone left unturned as airlines scour for opportunities to load on supplementary charges at every available opportunity.

"Now is the time for passengers to give Mr O'Leary and those like him some of their own medicine, by travelling instead on Britain's best-kept secret transport - the ferries."

More than 40 million consumers used the UK's ferries last year, and prices lead in at £29 for a family car and four passengers taking the Dover-Calais route.


MOONDANCE - an as yet unconfirmed report suggests that the ship has been sold for scrap.


Seatruck Ferries, Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year, is delighted to announce the addition of a third vessel to the Warrenpoint - Heysham service.

The Seatruck owned Arrow will join the service with the first sailing due to depart at 01:00 hrs on Tuesday 20 October. The 65 unit vessel will increase midweek capacity offering 3 additional sailings per week in each direction on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.

◦From Heysham the vessel will depart at 01:00, Tue Wed and Thu, arriving Warrenpoint at 10:00.

◦ From Warrenpoint the vessel will depart at 13:00, Tue Wed and Thu, arriving Heysham at 22:00.

All other sailings will continue as normal increasing the weekly number of sailings to 28 on this route.

The vessel will improve the current schedule offering customers an extra option during the busy midweek period. A copy of the new schedule is available on the Seatruck website

The new sailing has been specifically designed to target new flows of business that have not previously been able to benefit from the Seatruck service.

Managing Director Alistair Eagles comments;

"The addition of a third vessel will allow customers new and old to ship more traffic on this route. Rather than sitting back in these challenging economic times Seatruck is taking a proactive decision to provide more capacity which will allow additional traffic to take advantage of the freight only unaccompanied model. We have been in discussion with a number of key operators and by offering 3 sailings per day during the midweek period we will see more new flows of traffic moving through Warrenpoint. The ARROW is a well proven modern vessel and will be a great asset to the route."


STENA NAVIGATOR - the refit is said to be progressing well. It seems Stena Plus will have its own private area on the aft open deck. The STENA VOYAGER will become Belfast based from November 07 and will drop  from four to two roundtrips per day.

The crew displaced will then move to the STENA NAVIGATOR to do familiarisaion and MCA drills etc before taking up the run on November 11.

Between November 07 and 11 the STENA SEAFARER will provide cover.

The STENA EXPLORER will move back to 0855 departure ex Holyhead whilst the STENA NORDICA is at refit, though there will be no other replacement vessel.

STENA NORDICA's passenger capacity will be increased by around 150 through cabins being removed and other facilities being moved around.

The STENA SEAFARER will cover for the STENA EUROPE at Fishguard in January.


WESTERN BELLE - the former Millbrook Steamboat Company vessel arrived on Merseyside recently after being laid up for a while at Maryport. She is will be taken out of the water for a rebuild up to main deck level before being delivered to Ullswater next year.

October 11

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Harry Cragall, John Williams and "others"



A web cam has been installed at the David Abels Ship Yard in Bristol by the Medway Queen Preservation Society where visitors will be able to watch the construction of the new riveted hull. Access is via the Medway Queen web site:


P&O EXPRESS completed her 2009 Larne - Troon/Cairnryan sailings on October 05, 2009 and will lay-up in Belfast for the winter.



Seatruck Ferries, Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year, is delighted to announce the arrival of the CLIPPER PENNANT on the Dublin – Liverpool service. The brand new vessel will join her sister ship the CLIPPER PACE to offer an unrivaled freight service with twice the capacity of the vessel that she replaces on this key route. The first sailing will depart next week on Tuesday morning from Liverpool arriving in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon.

The vessel will improve the current schedule with a fast service speed of 22 knots permitting a reliable early am arrival Liverpool at 05:00 hrs. For morning traffic ex Liverpool the extra speed will also enable a reliable afternoon arrival in Dublin at 17:00 hrs. A copy of the new schedule is available on the Seatruck website

The much needed extra capacity is generating a great deal of interest in this route which has bucked the market conditions and already seen 15% increase in traffic this year. With many operators choosing to send more of their traffic this way the addition of the CLIPPER PENNANT will be a welcome relief. September was a record month for Seatruck on this route with volumes up some 40% compared with the same month in 2008!

The freight only unaccompanied model is clearly winning support, by using Liverpool operators can save valuable road miles when compared with the short sea option.

In addition to the speed and capacity of the new ships the large open decks with probably the best ramp interfaces and free heights on the Irish Sea are proving to be a real benefit. The continued aim of Seatruck is to have the best trailer care record on the Irish Sea.    

 For driver accompanied traffic the single cabins on all of the P series vessels are proving to be a real hit. Offering friendly service, freshly cooked meals to order and in room satellite television drivers are choosing to travel with Seatruck. The addition of the PENNANT now also brings this new level of driver accompanied service to all of the sailings on the Dublin route.   

Managing Director Alistair Eagles comments:

“It is fantastic to finally have all 4 of our new vessels in service. We now have the youngest fleet on the Irish Sea. Our volumes are growing as more Irish Sea traffic switches to our unaccompanied freight only model. By using our routes which are closer to the origin and destination of the goods operators can also save significant road miles when compared with the more traditional short sea options. The design of the P class vessels is proving to be a huge selling point as is the friendly service that our customers receive. Recently we have been capacity constrained on the Dublin route but with the addition of the CLIPPER PENNANT we expect our volumes to continue growing even though the overall market numbers are still negative, this underlines the success of the Seatruck model”   


After a bumper season which has seen over 70,000 passengers use its service,  the St Mawes Ferry Company extended its summer timetable until the end of October.

Usually running from the middle of May to the end of September the decision has been made to make the most of the high visitor numbers and good weather.

The move means that the additional three trips every day on top of the normal service will continue until the end of the October half term.

Tim Light, managing director of Cornwall Ferries, which runs the St Mawes Ferry, said: ''It has been a wonderful year for the ferries, so far we have carried over 70,000 people and saved over 3 million car miles''

"All the indications suggest that October, with the Oyster and Roseland Festivals, is going to be a busy month for St Mawes and Falmouth so we have decided to keep the St Mawes ferries running their full summer timetable until the end of October."

Gary Cairns, St Mawes Harbour Master, said: "We're really happy to see the extra ferries running until the end of October.

"It encourages people to travel to St Mawes from Falmouth, as well as giving visitors to St Mawes a chance to explore further.

"The shoulder season is really important for Cornwall and it's nice to see the St Mawes Ferry Company giving something back to both areas by extending the service."

Last year Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, launched the Ferry Company's new flagship, The DUCHESS OF CORNWALL, which was constructed out of wood using traditional methods by Penryn boat builder Dave Cockwell.




There will be a Maritime Maritime Exhibition and Lecture commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the demise of Irish Shipping Limited

Presented by The World Ship Society (Cobh Branch) Friday 30th Oct 14.00- 19.00 (Official opening 18.00) Saturday 31st Oct 10.00 – 18.00 and Sunday 1st Nov 10.00 – 16.00

Lecture by Mr Harry Spong, author of “Irish Shipping Limited” (1982) Friday 30th Oct at 19.30 at The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), Ringaskiddy, Co Cork By courtesy of Captain John Clarence, Head of College

Entry fee Adult 8 Euro – family 10 Euro - valid for duration of exhibition and lecture.  Extensive Irish Shipping artefacts, photographs, documents etc on display also a large collection of ships models & tours of the NMCI facility. Additional relevant exhibition material welcome.

Please contact Brian Boyce

Eoghan Allen (087 2834104 between 19.00 – 20.00 only)

October 07

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Jenny Williamson and "others"



A new monthly service between Dublin and Tin Can, Lagos Nigeria commenced on Monday September 28, 2009.

RMR Shipping has many years' experience in exporting used vehicles, machinery and plant equipment to West Africa. Headquartered in The Netherlands, with a vast worldwide presence, RMR works closely with local Port Authorities to provide an optimal, efficient and seamless service to its clients.

Lagos, Nigeria is the primary destination port for RMR, with additional calls in Monrovia, Liberia. Large ro/ro vessels, of some 2,500 metre lanes, are deployed on this route, providing an essential, regular, and direct service to Nigeria (with a transit of just 18 days).

Cory Brothers Line Manager for RMR, Mike Soper, officially announced the appointment of Trinity Shipping as our local agent for Ireland.

The Cobelfret Ferries URSINE is operating the new service.


JULIA - [click here] for an onboard deck plan.


BLACK PRINCE - the ship which is currently on her final cruise for Fred. Olsen Lines will enter service with her new Venezuelan owners within around a month of her withdrawal.

She will sail as OLA ESMERALDA on three and four night cruises under the Ola Cruises brand.  Details at


Speedy Exit is the name given by Irish Ferries to a new customer service being offered on their Ireland - France routes.

With the payment of an additional
10 per car per journey, motorists travelling on their cruise ferry OSCAR WILDE can avail of priority boarding and a get-underway- fast discharge.

The Speedy Exit facility, exclusive for the fact that only a limited number of car spaces can be set aside for the service, is available at each of the company’s three ports - Rosslare, Cherbourg and Roscoff where special car marshalling lanes have been assigned to the service.

Wine writer and broadcaster Martin Moran has linked up with Irish Ferries to host an October Bank Holiday weekend wine lovers mini cruise to Cherbourg.

In the course of their voyage, tastings will be held on board so that passengers can preview some of the wines that can be bought ashore in Cherbourg where one outlet, The Normandie Wine Warehouse, is offering discounts of up to 12.5% to Irish Ferries customers.

Sailing departs Rosslare on the evening of Friday, 23rd October and arrives back on Sunday, 25th October.  Fare is
99 per adult return, including berth. Car costs
89 return extra when two or more passengers travel together.


Several weeks ago Leavesley International posted two press releases.  The first concerning the completion of the HMS INTREPID recycling project at Canada Graving Dock, Liverpool.

The second announcing that Canada Graving Dock was now clear apart from the need to remove the machinery used for the project.

No press release has been issued as yet but RFA SIR PERCIVALE and RFA GREY ROVER are expected to be the next ship recycling projects to be undertaken at Canada Dock.



The latest round in the Liverpool vs. Southampton cruise terminal debate:

The boss of Southampton docks has conceded that rival port Liverpool is streets ahead as a cruise ship embarkation point.

Peter Jones, speaking about the city's world-renowned waterfront, said:" There is no other port in the country that can offer a cruise facility of anything like that quality."

Admittedly, the chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP) made his remarks when he was in a similarly lofty position at Mersey Docks.

Which may be the reason he has personally remained publicly silent on the bitter row between the two ports over Liverpool's plan to convert its landing-stage into a turnaround facility enabling passengers to join and leave cruise ships.

ABP argues this is an abuse of State Aid as European money helped create the current £19m facility. Mr Jones declined to comment on his previous remarks.

His PR department issued a terse statement: "Associated British Ports is opposed in principle to the use of public funds which distorts competition in the ports sector. ABP has responded to the Department for Transport’s consultation process on this matter"

Mr Jones spent several years heading Mersey Docks before the takeover by Peel. He was supportive of developments to attract cruise ships and before leaving his post in 2006 said: "Mooring a liner in front of the Three Graces would be a magnificent sight.

“There is no other port in the country that can offer a cruise facility of anything like that quality."

Last week Southampton won runner up in Seatrade's annual Turnaround Port awards when ABP director Doug Morrison had another dig at Liverpool, saying: “Over the past few years and without any help from the Government or European grants, ABP has invested £41m on our cruise terminals.”

ABP fears it will lose a major slice of business if Liverpool gains customs facilities at the Pier Head Cruise terminal.

The Department for Transport is currently considering whether to relax rules to allow a full "turnaround" facility to be created at the terminal.

It has written to all the major ports in the UK asking for their opinions. A spokesman said: “The responses are being considered before any decision is made”.

The thinking appears to be that if other port operators are happy to see Liverpool expand facilities the plans are more likely to get the go-ahead.

Meanwhile the Queen Mary 2’s maiden call to the city is to take place on October 20 and will be a highlight in a week-long, round UK cruise to mark the luxurious liner’s first five years in service.



Despite a last minute reprieve for the Foyle Ferry Service the route is still facing 'death by a thousand cuts' according to SDLP MLA John Dallat.

The East Derry representative has welcomed the three month contract extension given to the service, which connects north Derry and Inishowen, but called for a long-term solution which gives the service a reasonable chance of success.

The Foyle Ferry Service runs from Magilligan in north Derry to Greencastle in Inishowen.

The extension was agreed during last minute negotiations between Donegal and Limavady Councils and ferry operator Jim McClenaghan on Wednesday September 30.

Mr Dallat said "My council colleagues in Limavady have consistently advocated a long-term solution to the future of the Foyle Ferry Service while others have been going round in circles like headless chickens adding confusion to a problem when they should be banging on the door of the Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy and the Minister for Transport in the Republic, Noel Dempsey.

"This state of confusion cannot continue beyond the three months, otherwise this is ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

"The ferry service is not a light bulb, it cannot be switched on and off and serious questions need to be asked as to whether an application was made for European funds well in advance of the expiry of the present contract. My enquiries suggests that was not done and an explanation is needed as to why not," he said.

Mr Dallat added that  all parties should be working in harmony to retain for North Donegal, Limavady and the Causeway Coast a ferry service which has a long-term future, offers value for money and can be promoted in tourist literature which is prepared over a year in advance to send to different parts of the world.

"The present stop start is giving the ferry service no chance at all and someone must take responsibility for the shambles," he said.

The operator of the Lough Foyle Ferry has pledged to keep the service running until Christmas on the understanding that new funding is found.

The Magilligan to Greencastle link was due to end on Wednesday because it was making unsustainable losses.

Owner Jim McClenaghan agreed to keep the ferry running at a last-minute meeting of councillors from Limavady and Donegal.

Mr McClenaghan said the councils must now find new and permanent funding.

Limavady Borough Council has already pledged £100,000 to keep the ferry operational, but the money will not be available until April.

The Lough Foyle Ferry operates between Magilligan in County Londonderry and Greencastle in County Donegal.  It offers a one-mile crossing which takes about 15 minutes.  The ferry service had been funded by an annual government subsidy, which ran out in June. It was extended for a further three months, but ended on 30 September.



The future of a historic foot ferry in Shropshire is "in doubt" because of a  shortage of volunteers.

The Hampton Loade Ferry on the River Severn near Bridgnorth was desperate for more helpers, according to the community trust running the service.

About 10 volunteers have worked on the ferry since it started operating in April after being out of action for nearly two years following flooding.

The service dates back more than 400 years.

Thousands of people have used the ferry in recent months. But the latest weekend was the final one of the season for crossings. The non-profit-making Hampton Loade Community Trust, which was set up to run the ferry, said volunteers had put in "an incredible amount of time and effort".

Director Theresa Cole said: "This next year we do have to decide how we operate the ferry.

"We're desperate for more volunteers to help operate the ferry or to help in any way to ensure that it does continue."

She added there were five weekends this season when the ferry had to be closed because the river was too high to operate the service.

Adults paid 75p and children were charged 50p to use the service over the summer.



Time is tight, but with expectations that a ferry will be arriving in  Ilfracombe next year, the town is under starter's orders to get transport links set up in the town.

As anticipation mounts over the possibility of a ferry link with Swansea, a partnership of Ilfracombe county councillor Geoff Fowler, the Community Alliance, Ilfracombe Town Council, North Devon Council and the North Devon

Plus Joint Delivery Team has been formed with the realisation that they have to work fast to try to get crucial links in place before the first ferry docks.

Cllr Fowler said: "We are all very hopeful that the ferry will be here next year and we can't afford to leave it any longer, without investigating thoroughly the possibilities of better transport links between the harbour and car parks and the rest of the town, generally.

"There are a lot of regulations and the possible tendering processes to take into consideration, as well as public consultation, and only a few months to sort this out, so time is of the essence.

"We are pulling together this partnership to identify costs and availability and we will be looking at how to do this in the best economic way." Cllr Fowler confirmed the partnership was planning to put in a bid for funding to Leader+ as a means of support for the set up. And we would love  to think that if there was a park and ride scheme, it could wash its face, financially."

He explained: "We're very aware that park and ride schemes are subsidised quite substantially by the county council, but as this is tied into a private concern, the ferry, we may have to consider a slightly different arrangement."

But, he said: "The main thrust for us is to get people to and from the pier in adequate time and also encourage new visitors to the town to have a High Street experience and be able to visit local attractions as well as passing on to other places.

Peter Quincey, project manager with the North Devon Plus Joint Delivery Team said: "We are working with transportation colleagues at the county and district council to ensure easy access and egress from the proposed ferry."

He said the partnership was looking at existing public transport and emphasising improved links between the harbour and High Street so traders could benefit from the visitors.

"We need to see how we can get 360 people, twice a day, on and off an already congested area and make sure signage clearly directs them around Ilfracombe. We are also looking at a potential park and ride scheme."


October 04

Acknowledgements: Gordon Hislip, Gary Andrews,  Ciarán Buckley and "others"



KAITAKI - It has been announced that the former ISLE OF INNISFREE will continue it's subcharter from P&O European Ferries to the Kiwi Rail owned Interislander Line for an other three years from July 2010 to June 2013. This being the final charter option period.

The vessel has been on chartered to P&O since 2002 and subchartered to Interislander Line for operation on the Wellington to Picton route in 2005.


MANANNAN and SNAEFELL sailings on the morning and afternoon round trips to Liverpool on Saturday October 03, 2009 due to adverse weather conditions.



On 28 January 2009, an articulated road tanker crashed through a stern door of the High Speed Service vessel Stena Voyager shortly after the ferry had commenced a scheduled crossing from Stranraer, Scotland, to Belfast, Northern Ireland. The vehicle’s semi-trailer came to rest on the vessel’s port water jet units; its tractor unit remained on the vehicle deck.

The ferry was quickly stopped and her crew were able to make the vehicle secure. Stena Voyager then returned to Stranraer but her passengers had to remain on board overnight because the position of the road vehicle prevented her berthing stern to the linkspan. The passengers were disembarked by the fire service the following day using a telescopic rescue platform. The semi-trailer was removed by crane later the same evening. There were no injuries but the ferry’s stern door was lost overboard.

The driver of the road tanker had not applied the vehicle’s parking brakes and had left it out of gear. Although the vehicle had been lashed to the deck and its rear wheels chocked, the securing arrangements were not in accordance with the vessel’s securing manual, and they failed to stop the vehicle from rolling backwards when Stena Voyager became trimmed by her stern as she accelerated.

Neither the ferry’s deck securing points nor the vehicle’s ferry securing points, to which the lashings were attached, accorded with the applicable international and national codes of practice.

The lashing straps were also of insufficient strength, and tests have shown that the chocks could not have been correctly positioned.

A recommendation has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), intended to ensure that road hauliers are made aware of the need to make their vehicles safe to transport by sea. Further recommendations have been made to the MCA aimed at ensuring that the securing arrangements and practices on board all high speed craft carrying freight vehicles comply with their cargo securing manuals and the applicable codes of practice, and confirming that procedures include robust measures to ensure that the parking brakes of all vehicles have been applied. Recommendations have also been made to Stena Line and Turner (Soham) Ltd to improve the ability of these companies to meet the guidelines of the codes of practice relating to the secure stowage of freight vehicles at sea.

The full report can be downloaded from the MAIB web site [click here]


An update on the Penzance Harbour Improvement Plans from the Western Morning News - October 01, 2009

A SENIOR Cornish Councillorcillor has accused an MP of acting like a puppet for a "vociferous minority" of "small-minded" people as a row over a new ferry terminal in Penzance dramatically escalated.

The broadside was dealt to St Ives MP Andrew George by Cornwall Councillorcil's Graeme Hicks over his role in a scheme to enhance the sea link between the mainland and the Scilly Isles.

Clearly at the end of his tether, the Councillorcil's transport and planning supremo said the Liberal Democrat MP was guilty of "dithering".

The rebuke was delivered after Mr George convened a public meeting for next week – despite a warning from the Government that delays may cause vital funding to evaporate.

Firmly declining to attend the event, Councillor Hicks' dismissed it as simply "hot air".

He urged Mr George to stand up to The Friends of Penzance Harbour, the campaign group led by John Maggs which is fighting the development it fears will ruin an historic seafront.

"This public meeting is just an opportunity for Andrew George to get up and display his wishes to consult with local people," said Councillor Hicks. "But I see it as something more sinister as it is Andrew George acting like a puppet on John Maggs' string.
"It is time for Andrew George to stand up and show some community leadership and stop listening to a very small group of people, a vociferous minority of small-minded individuals in Penzance."

Councillor Hicks, cabinet member for highways, transport and planning, said Mr George's political career could even be at stake. "People don't like ditherers. They like people who will stand up for their community. This is disastrous for Andrew George. He is absolutely dithering. He is trying to keep everyone happy and you are always going to upset some people."

Mr George rejected Mr Hicks' claims insisting that he was not "dithering" and was simply doing all he could to make sure that residents in Penzance and the Isles of Scilly were "fully appraised of developments".
He pointed out that he was holding six public meetings on the islands and one at Penzance.

Mr George said: "I obviously regret the fact that Mr Hicks has decided to take this kind of tone of argument. We really need to calm things down and have a considered discussion about what we are seeking.

"I am most certainly not in the pocket of anyone – if anything I am in the pocket of all my constituents which is why I am trying to fully appraise and inform all of them.

"In recent months a number of people, including Mr Hicks, have done their best to enflame the situation instead of trying to resolve it. This latest outburst is simply in character."

Mr George added that he had been involved in the very early stages of the project and was currently setting up a meeting with the minister for shipping, Paul Clark, in November.

He said: "We have to be clear what the final impediments are to secure the project. No one has done more than me to try to bring a secure, sustainable ferry link between the Isles of Scilly and Penzance."

Mr Maggs, of Friends of Penzance Harbour, said it was laughable to suggest the MP was in their pockets.

He added many members of his group were angry with Mr George, who they felt had failed to back them. He also rejected Councillor Hicks' assertion that the group was an out-of-touch handful of people unrepresentative of their community.

"It is a shame he has to get so personal. He should look at the feedback. Time and time again the polls have shown that when people have had the opportunity to express an opinion they have said they do not want what is being offered."

The project to enhance the sea link between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly has hardly been plain sailing.
Although it has won wholehearted backing from Scillonians, the Penzance end of the link remains unresolved.

Pressure is now mounting on the Cornwall Councillorcil-led Route Partnership to complete the £44 million scheme.

Mr George has requested a meeting with ministers in the Department of Transport to discuss the matter.
However, in a recent letter to Mr George, obtained by the Western Morning News, the Parliamentary Under Secretary Paul Clark advised against delay.

He said "It would seem sensible to bring this scheme to a conclusion sooner rather than later for all concerned."

He warned that any delay from the current timetable may mean the project could miss its "funding slot" and be deferred beyond the lifetime of the current transport programme. Last month, the scheme won official backing from Cornwall Council.
Members of the cabinet approved resubmitting plans for a new passenger terminal in Penzance and a combined freight and passenger ferry. The previous scheme had been withdrawn in June over concerned it would obliterate the beach at Battery Rocks.

The new plans include a reduction in the size of the terminal by a fifth, although opponents are still unhappy over the scale of the development. The authority also agreed to look at a parallel option for a smaller ferry terminal in Penzance and an out of town freight handling facility.In preparation for a possible legal challenge, The Friends of Penzance Harbour have set-up a fighting fund in case it needs to take the matter to court.

Mr Maggs said the action would be expensive, but he believed would prompt people who cared about the area to dig deep into their pockets.


MARISA - the University of Liverpool has recently named its new research vessel MARISA at a ceremony at Liverpool's Albert Dock. The vessel was named by Lady Newby, wife of the vice-chancellor. The catamaran which carries four crew and up to twelve students cost around £500,000.


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