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NEWS BULLETIN - November 2009

November 29

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Andrew Moore, John Grimshaw, Michael Pryce, Rosslare Yahoo Group and "others"



Gordon Hislip has updated his Irish Sea Maritime photography web site this weekend:


It appears that the former Liverpool based Fred. Olsen ship BLACK PRINCE - now  OLA ESMERALDA has not been given permission to be operated by her new owners out of La Guaira, Venezuela on environmental ground.  The local Government is reported to have ordered a environmental impact study, which could be time consuming.


Wexford based Celtic Link Ferries have suspended the short-lived Portsmouth - Cherbourg service. Bookings have been cancelled and fares refunded. It appears that NORMAN VOYAGER could move full time to the Rosslare service. It is rumoured that DIPLOMAT could be sold.

The Rosslare Harbour Newsgroup reported on Saturday November 28 DIPLOMAT and NORMAN VOYAGER were reported loading at Cherbourg which what is believed to be the largest livestock consignment ever shipped out of Rosslare Harbour which comprises around 40 articulated transports between the two vessels.



A report in the Daily Telegraph suggests that the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 may be sold as a consequence of the financial turmoil which has rocked Dubai this week, Nakheel is a subsidiary of the troubled state owned company Dubai World. At present it is intended that the ship will visit South Africa in conjunction with the 2010 World Cup.


Press reports suggest that Dubai World's financial difficulties should not have an effect on the operations of P&O Ferries which has owned by Dubai World's port operating subsidiary DP World. Interferry News quotes a source at P&O Ferries stating that the news had broken without warning, and that employees only know what they have read in the media about the development. However, he pointed out that the operation [P&O FERRIES] is autonomous and self-financing, so there is no automatic reason to fear that it will be directly hit.


Part two of the Duke of Lancaster story has been published on the Duke of Lancaster Appreciation Society web site. This second update provides something of the background to the idea behind berthing a ship for use as a trading facility to overcome the then existing 1950 Shops Act.

There gallery pages have been considerably expanded with many more views of the interior and exterior of the ship, its arrival at Llanerch-y-Mor near Mostyn, and periods of trading as "The Fun Ship"



The former ro/ro ferry sold out of steam packet service following the arrival of the BEN-MY-CHREE was reported broken up in India earlier this year. Her scrap value being quoted as 260 US $ per ton.


Mersey Ferries is hosting a memorial event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Ellan Vannin. The event will take place on the 10:00 river cruise from Pier Head, Liverpool, Thursday December 03, 2009. During the cruise the ferry will stop for a short service by the Mersey Chaplain.
Tickets can be purchased on the day from the Pier Head Ferry Terminal. Adults £6.30, concessions £4.85 and children £3.95.
The SS ELLAN VANNIN, en route from Ramsey, Isle of Man, to Liverpool, was overwhelmed by a freak wave on December 3, 1909, with the loss of all on board.
The recent poor weather conditions led to the cancellation of both of the BEN-MY-CHREE round trips at 08:45 and 19:45 from Douglas to Heysham on Tuesday November 24. The Ben remaining in port all day. However, she did sail on Tuesday November 25 in lively conditions which have been recorded on the IoM Online Web Site. [CLICK HERE]
Photographs of the former SUPERSEACAT TWO / VIKING being prepared for service at Piraeus have appeared on the Faktaomfartyg  web site. She is still wearing Isle of Man Steam Packet livery.


The sinking of the Cunard Liner LACONIA of 1921 will be the subject of a two part TV movie to be screened on BBC 2 in the new year. Filming is currently underway. The screen play is being written by the well known Alan Bleasdale.

The RMS LACONIA was sunk by U-156 at 22:00 on September 12, 1942 and is remembered for the U-boat's commander Werner Hartenstein undertaking a daring rescue of the passengers and Italian Prisoners of War which the liner was carrying.

The film stars Ken Duken as Lt Commander Hartenstein.


A report in the local press this week reveals that in the last two years passenger figures have increased by 30% to over 700,000. The QUEEN MARY 2 visit in October is reported to have seen 7,200 passengers travel on the ferries in just one day. The highest number for some time. U534 now on display beside the Birkenhead terminal is reported to have exceeded its projected visitor numbers

Manchester Ship Canal Cruises have operated with a 92% passenger loading for the six hour trip. In four years the number of passengers carried on these cruises have increased from 10,000 to 20,000.

Leisure travel now accounts for 65% of the ferries business.


John Grimshaw forwarded information this week concerning an interesting web find - that of the steamer RH CARR.

Back in May 2009 Irish Sea Shipping reported that an article had appeared in the Wrexham Evening Leader concerning the ship, one of the last steamships built on the River Dee at Saltney by J. Crichton and Company.

Local Klaus Armstrong Braun has been campaigning to raise awareness and interest in the vessel with a view to returning it to Deeside, from British Guyana, for restoration at Connah's Quay.

Photographs of the RH CARR reveal it to be in a very poor state with only skeletal remains above the hull. However, the photographs and YouTube video are well worth a look. [CLICK HERE]



Despite rumours suggesting that HSS STENA EXPLORER may follow DISCOVERY across the Atlantic to Venezuela it appears that neither VOYAGER or EXPLORER are sold yet but Stena ro/ro are believed to be looking for buyers.


The following local press report was published this week hinting at massive regeneration works for the port.

Proposals for potentially massive and exciting regeneration works in Holyhead have been put forward.

The scoping report, which was discussed by the Holyhead Town Council Committee on Monday, includes proposals for a mixed use development, submitted as part of a joint venture between The Conygar Investment Company and Stena Line.

The application could include the construction of 400 residential units, a hotel, leisure facilities, retail units, a new sailing club building, boat storage and maintenance facilities.

Also, an enlarged Maritime Museum, a railway line to the end of breakwater, provision of a dinghy sailing facility for local youngsters, car parking, as well as a pontoon system of floating boardwalks, protected by a new breakwater, with the capacity for more than 500 boats.

A spokesman for Conygar Stena Line said: "This is very early days on what could be a very substantial project. We have submitted a scoping report to the council to get their views on a number of proposals. We can then benefit from their advice on planning issues and use that to submit a planning application in the future. This is an exciting project but at an early stage."

It is hoped an application will be put forward by the joint venture company in the first half of 2010.

The scheme, if given the go-ahead, is expected to take around seven years to complete, generating both long and short-term employment opportunities.

The purpose of this scoping request is to determine what the council would like to see from a planning perspective before a full detailed application is submitted for consideration.

These developments would all be located along the lower level of the waterfront at Holyhead, which is owned by the company and would be carefully and sensitively designed in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the views from the upper green areas.

Following on from the council meeting the joint venture company hope to continue working closely with the Isle of Anglesey County Council, Holyhead Town Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Holyhead Forward Board to produce an exciting development proposal which should bring significant benefits to the town, the area and the region as a whole.

Economic development and tourism portfolio holder, Cllr Bryan Owen, welcomed news of the proposed development.

He said: "This is exactly the type of development proposal that Holyhead and Anglesey needs in terms of positive economic impact; potential job creation and new investment for the area. The exact details of this particular proposal are, of course, yet to be considered and will form part of the planning process."

A Town Council meeting was held last night (Tuesday) where the company put forward a brief of the report. Holyhead Town Council clerk Cliff Everett said the Council welcomed the plans, which would bring in much needed jobs to the area, and were keen to have them linked to the regeneration of the town.

"However, similar projects have already been successfully developed in other coastal parts of the UK with huge economic benefits. At this present time of economic hardship, this could be exactly the type of development that Holyhead and Anglesey needs to take advantage of the growth in this tourism and leisure sector.

"These proposals, should they come to fruition, could also provide a real magnet to attract more visitors to the Holyhead Waterfront and help to regenerate the town, which is absolutely essential."



Dates have been announced for the spring Western Isles Cruises. These will be held over the late May Bank Holliday weekend. Details on the scrolling news section at:

November 22

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Ian Collard and "others"



The first part of the Duke of Lancaster Story has at last appeared on the Duke of Lancaster Appreciation Society Web site. providing biographical details of the ship's owners in their pre Duke of Lancaster Days.


The 2010 timetables can now be downloaded from the company's web site [CLICK HERE].

There are no big surprises for 2010 with schedules broadly similar to those offered in 2009 with both SNAEFELL and MANANNAN in operation. It appears MANANNAN will operate sailings to / from Larne during TT 2010.

Once again there is a disappointing lack of time ashore day-trips to Douglas for passengers travelling from Liverpool.

BEN-MY-CHREE - all sailings were cancelled on Thursday November 19 due to adverse conditions and delays were noted on the Sunday Birkenhead sailing.


It appears that Gladstone Lock, Liverpool developed a technical problem on Friday November 20. With Langton Lock closed for maintenance work this led to a back log of traffic and the unusual sight of both NORBAY and NORBANK in Liverpool at the same time.

Seatruck are currently operating from Gladstone #1 Dock due to the closure of Langton Lock which is situated opposite their Brocklebank Dock Terminal.

The photograph from Ian Collard shows NORBAY and NORBANK in Liverpool on the morning of Saturday November 21. Also visible is CLIPPER PACE using the Gladstone #1 dock.


The Isles of Scilly link / Penzance Harbour saga continues. The following appearing in the Western Morning News this week:

PROTESTERS fighting plans to develop Penzance harbour have cried foul over a decision to put a crucial planning bid into the hands of a committee with few local members.

Cornwall Council has announced that the application for works to build a new passenger and freight terminal at Penzance will be deliberated by a strategic planning committee. It had previously been thought that the controversial mainland enhancement to the Isles of Scilly sea link would be decided by the local west area planning committee.

The authority has robustly defended the decision, saying there was a bigger picture at stake, as such a large development has implications for the whole county.

Moreover, it said Penzance councillors had the right to attend and speak at any planning committee meeting.

John Maggs, of the campaign group Friends of Penzance Harbour, said Cornwall Council's decision was unprecedented and called for a rethink.

"The effect of the move is to disenfranchise the council members representing those most directly affected by the scheme, and sidestep massive public opposition to the plans," he said.

Mr Maggs said planning applications were normally referred to the strategic committee by area planning groups. Members local to the Penzance area make up half the 12 members on the west area planning committee. However, only two Penzance area councillors are on the 21-member strategic planning committee.

Friends of Penzance Harbour believe that, if it gets the green light, the current planning application will destroy the historic Battery Rocks area. The group is promoting an alternative which would see disused buildings near the current berth for the Isles of Scilly ferry converted into a passenger terminal. Freight would be handled at an out-of-town depot.

There are also fears that Government funding for the scheme will dry up if it does not move forward. The planning application for improved facilities at the other end of the link on the Scilly Isles has already been approved.

The planning application at the Penzance end will be heard by Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee, in line with the constitution. Phil Mason, head of planning and regeneration at the authority, said the decision to refer the case to this committee was taken because the development had implications for a huge area. He said the work at Penzance harbour was irrevocably linked to a bigger overall scheme, which would also include the new facilities at Scilly.

"The impact on the overall scheme and the consequential impact upon Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly must be taken into account," he said.
Factors which influenced the decision included that fact that the boat link was an economic and cultural lifeline to Scillonians.

It was also a strategic transport connection in relation to the trunk road and main rail line network of Cornwall, he said, which meant it was important to the whole of the South West region.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said the authority's constitution recognised the need for local member input into decisions made at a strategic level and that all members had the right to speak at any planning committee meeting.


Three members of the Wexford Inshore Lifeboat were found safe and well after their "D" Class rigid inflateable capsized during a training exercise off Raven Point on Sunday November 22.

A rescue helicopter was scrambled just after mid day when the alarm was raised.

November 15

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Chris Allman, Andrew King, Adrian Sweeney, Michael Hughes, John Williamson, David Fairclough and "others"





Total harbour traffic (including Steam Packet passengers and vehicles, cruise vessels, etc):

 SeptemberYear to Date

Route Performance:

Route %Change20082009
DublinAll plusNil510

Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

“September passenger figures this year are inflated by the later Manx Grand Prix. Comparing August and September passenger traffic together produces practically identical figures for 2008 and 2009 with 14 extra passengers this year. Allowing for the current economic situation in the UK and Ireland the figures are exceptionally good and show Sea Passenger Traffic is still holding its own. The introduction of the larger fast craft Manannan and the range of special offer fares available have I believe contributed positively in helping the sea services respond to the market situation.”


Total harbour traffic (including Steam Packet passengers and vehicles, cruise vessels, etc):

 OctoberYear to Date

Route Performance:

Route %Change20082009

Director of Harbours, Captain Michael Brew comments:

“Excellent October passenger figures bring the year to date figure very close to the 2008 figure highlighting how well the sea passenger market has performed despite the economic situation in the UK. If the same level of monthly increase at 3.6% can be maintained for the next two months the 2008 passenger total will be matched. Services for the remained of the year are being provided by BEN-MY-CHREE to Heysham and on Saturday and Sunday during the day to Liverpool (Birkenhead). ”


Adverse weather conditions have led to the cancellation of the ISLE OF INISHMORE sailings at 21:00 on Friday November 13 and 02:45 on Saturday November 14.

JONATHAN SWIFT sailings from Holyhead and Dublin were also cancelled on Saturday November 14.

Irish Ferries apologise for any inconvenience caused by these cancellations.


Irish Continental Group plc (ICG) issues its second Interim Management Statement for 2009 which covers the period from 1 July 2009.

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


Group revenue for the nine months to 30th September 2009 was €197.8 million (2008: €265.5 million).  EBITDA for the nine months was €41.7 million (2008: €55.9 million), while operating profit for the nine months was €24.1 million compared with €37.5 million in the same period in 2008.  As at 30 June 2009, we had reported operating profit for the six months of €7.1 million versus €17.3 million in the same period in 2008. The comparative results in 2008 include €3.8 million profit in respect of the sale of the MV Normandy. 


Net debt at 30 September 2009, was €30.0 million, down from €48.5 million at 30 June 2009.  This is the lowest level of net debt since 1993, reflecting the Group’s very strong cash flow characteristics.


In the period from 1 July 2009 to 31 October 2009, passenger numbers are up 1% at 643,000, cars carried are up 2% at 171,000, RoRo freight volumes are down 16% at 66,000 units.  Container freight volumes for the same period are down 19% at 143,000 teu, while units lifted at our ports are down 18% at 59,000.

In the year to date (to 31 October 2009), passengers carried are down 4% at 1,264,000, while car numbers are down 2% at 330,000.  RoRo freight volumes in the same period are down 20% on last year at 165,000 units partly reflecting additional competitive freight capacity.  Container freight volumes are 27% lower than the previous year at 330,000 teu, while units handled at our port terminals are down by 25% at 137,000.

The economic environment remains challenging and the weakness of sterling against the euro remains an issue for the Group.  Freight volumes continue to reflect subdued trading activity while passenger and car volumes have remained more resilient and have responded favourably to our marketing initiatives.


ELLAN VANNIN To mark the centenary of the loss of the of the Isle of Man Steam Packet steamer, a memorial service will take place on board a Mersey Ferries vessel on December 3rd, 2009.

Officials from the Isle Of Man Government, Manx Heritage Foundation and the Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company will perform a wreath laying ceremony in the river estuary.

Further information is available at: and

This event will take place on dedicated ferry departing Liverpool at 1000 hours.

Tickets, available on the day are £6.30, £4.85 (concessions) and £3.95 (children). The trip will last about one hour.


According to reports discussions concerning the sale have still not been concluded by owner AP Moller Maersk.

In April, Maersk announced it was willing to listen to offers for Norfolkline. P&O and DFDS emerged as the frontrunners to buy the ferry operator.

At the time, a P&O spokeswoman told IFW it had "registered its interest" with Maersk, but declined to comment further, while DFDS issued a statement saying it was holding discussions with the Danish shipping giant.

Maersk also gave a trading update for Norfolkline. It said: “Norfolkline was also negatively affected by the economic crisis and declining activity level in the first nine months of 2009. A number of initiatives have been launched to optimise capacity and reduce costs.”


New Brighton RNLI takes delivery of new Atlantic 85 lifeboat

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s newest Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat went into service on Friday November 13, 2009 at New Brighton, Merseyside.

The £160,000 RNLI lifeboat, called CHARLES DIBDIN, has been funded by The Communications and Public Servant Lifeboat Fund and replaces New Brighton’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat, ROCK LIGHT, which has been stationed on Merseyside since 1996.

New Brighton’s Atlantic 85 is the 51st RNLI lifeboat to be provided by The Lifeboat Fund, an official charity of the Civil Service, Royal Mail and BT.

Sir Kevin Tebbitt, Chairman of The Lifeboat Fund, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to continue our long tradition of funding lifeboats throughout the UK for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The new Atlantic 85 lifeboat is named after the founder of The Lifeboat Fund, Charles Dibdin, who started the fund in 1866 with an appeal to colleagues to raise £300 for a new lifeboat.

‘He would be very proud that The Lifeboat Fund is still continuing its support for the charity and it is only fitting that New Brighton’s new RNLI lifeboat should bear his name.’

The New Brighton crew are training on their new vessel this week, familiarising themselves with the new equipment on board. The Atlantic 85 is the first RNLI inshore lifeboat to have radar, which means it can operate more effectively in reduced visibility. It is also faster and bigger than its predecessor, with room for a fourth crew member as well as more space for casualties.

The Atlantic 85 was developed in close consultation with volunteer crews and a prototype was trialled at lifeboat stations around the coast before the final design went into production.

The Atlantic 85 is a rigid inflatable lifeboat, introduced in the latter half of 2005 as the latest development of the B class. It has a manually operated self-righting mechanism and is capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. The Atlantic 85 is fitted with radar and VHF direction finding equipment and can be operated safely in daylight in a force 6/7 and at night in a force 5/6.

New Brighton RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Cliff Downing, said: ‘We are thrilled to take delivery of the CHARLES DIBDIN. With its increased speed and size and technological advancements like radar, the Atlantic 85 will enable our volunteer lifeboat crew to carry out their life saving work more safely and effectively than ever before.’

The lifeboat station’s previous Atlantic 75 lifeboat, ROCK LIGHT, has come to the end of her operational life, having carried out 510 launches and rescued 486 people. CHARLES DIBDIN will operate at New Brighton alongside the RNLI’s rescue hovercraft, HURLEY SPIRIT.


HMS TRAFALGAR decommissioned on November 11 at Devonport when she returned for the last time. The submarine has been in service for 26 years having been commissioned in May 1983.


STENA ADVENTURER is off service over the weekend of November 14 / 15 for bow thruster repairs at Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Her sailings being taken by STENA NORDICA whose own sailings have been cancelled.

HSS STENA EXPLORER cancelled her Saturday sailing to Dún Laoghaire due to adverse weather condtions.

STENA EUROPE 21:15 and 02:45 sailings were cancelled on Friday November 13 and Saturday November 14 respectively.

STENA NAVIGATOR there appears to have been a slight delay with the ship entering service. She commenced service with her scheduled afternoon sailing ex Belfast on November 12.


A new north west shipping Yahoo Group has been set up by John Eyres. The aim is to provide information on shipping movements on the Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal. You can find the site at:

November 08

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Ian Collard, John Williamson, David Fairclough and "others"



BLACK PRINCE is reported to have finally departed from Southampton on November 06 as "PRINCE" .


The Swansea Dry Docks last operated by Uglands International is to reopen. Refurbishment of the dock is underway by Barry based Harris-Pye who have secured a £20m contract from Saga Cruises to refit the ASTORIA which is to become SAGA PEARL II.


BEN-MY-CHREE - the late autumn and winter weekend Douglas to Birkenhead service commenced on November 07 with the BEN operating the 08:00 Douglas to Birkenhead.

MANANNAN - arrived at Alexandra Dock, Liverpool on November 06, 2009 for winter lay-up.


RFA GREY ROVER - Leavesley International have updated their web site to record the ship's arrival for recycling. The update which includes a potted history of the ship can be accessed by [clicking here]

RFA SIR PERCIVALE - it is believed that pending a suitable weather window the ship is now due to depart Southampton (Marchwood) for Liverpool under tow of tug BRAVEHEART on around November 10. However, gales now appear likely towards the end of the week.


The controversy over the redevelopment of Penzance Harbour to provide an upgraded mainland terminal for an improved Isles of Scilly shipping link have remained in the new this week.

On Monday November 02, 2009 the following appeared in the Western Morning News:


A Cornish MP has been "snubbed" by a minister he sought a meeting with over plans for a harbour development which has split a community, it has been claimed.

Andrew George wrote to shipping minister Paul Clark in late September urging him to set aside a date this month for talks over the scheme to build a new ferry terminal in Penzance, writes the WMN's Lyn Barton. But the minister, who had written to Mr George warning that timing was tight and funding not available indefinitely, has rebuffed him saying there is no point.

Mr George denied it was a snub and said ministerial level talks had taken place as recently as Friday. He said it had been agreed that the situation would be monitored and a meeting may still take place. But Cornwall Council's planning and transport supremo Coun Graeme Hicks, who had dubbed the St Ives MP as "dithering" over the scheme, said he was in no doubt.

"I think it is a snub. The minister is saying 'Get on with it, let's get this project through'. I think Andrew George has got himself in a right pickle about this."

The idea behind the meeting was to bring local representatives to the ministerial table to seek reassurance over plans to enhance to sea link between the Scillies and mainland. On the Isles of Scilly, an application to improve passenger and freight facilities has been approved, while in Penzance, fears over the environment have stalled the bid.

In a move which may have scuppered the Westminster summit from the onset, Coun Hicks had already made his views about the importance of simply cracking on with the job.

He said: "I would have gone out of courtesy, but I always felt it was a pointless exercise. We had already been told very firmly by the Department for Transport that it was the case that we just had to get on with it." Meanwhile, the other major stakeholder in the £44 million scheme, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, had also poured cold water on the meeting. As an indicator of an increasingly fraught relationship with its MP, the council wrote to the minister last month to tell him that Mr George did not represent its views.

A Department of Transport spokesman told the Western Morning News that Mr Clark had no plans for a meeting.

"Paul Clark has already written to Andrew George to explain the current situation in full, including details of funding streams, restrictions and the ongoing work on this scheme.

"However, given there is no additional information at this point, it was felt a meeting was not necessary at the current time. Department officials continue to liaise closely with Cornwall Council towards the submission of a full approval business case for this major scheme".

Mr George said he agreed with the shipping minister and had already held talks with regional minister Jim Knight.

"It would be better not to meet in the present climate. However, I have spoken again to the regional minister and he agrees that we should continue to monitor progress. Both ministers are well aware that I remain determined that the Penzance to Scillies ferry link is secured and public funding is not lost."

[WESTERN MORNING NEWS - Novermber 02, 2009]


The increasingly fractious battle to build a new ferry terminal in West Cornwall has taken a further twist with campaigners lodging a formal complaint against Cornwall Council, writes the WMN's Lyn Barton. The Friends of Penzance Harbour, protesting against plans for an all-in-one freight and passenger facility for the Isles of Scilly ferry in the town, said the authority was "misleading" residents.

John Maggs, spokesman for the group, accused Cornwall Council of trying to get around planning guidelines to push through the development.

"Throughout this process, Cornwall Council have failed to respect the rights and views of the residents of Penzance," he said.
"They are still now engaged in an organised attempt to circumvent normal processes of democratic planning control.

"The residents of Penzance do not want this development on their historic seafront and Cornwall Council should listen to them and get on with working up alternatives." Mr Maggs warned the protests would continue and if the complaint was not handled to their satisfaction, it would be passed on to the Local Government Ombudsman.

"In the meantime, we will use every avenue open to us to challenge and stop this illegitimate scheme," he said.

Cornwall Council last month submitted a plan for a single freight and passenger handling facility, known as Option A, near to the current base for the ferry.

However, the FoPH believe this would ruin an area of historic coastline and destroy a small but cherished beach.

It is promoting an alternative, known as Option C, which would create a passenger terminal in the converted shell of the former Trinity House Museum.

Freight would be handled at an out-of-town base at Long Rock and shuttled in daily to meet the boat.

Cornwall Council has committed to working up an application for Option C – although an independent report earlier this year warned it could drive up prices on the Scillies by a quarter.

The plans for a new passenger and freight handling facility on the isle of St Mary's have already been approved.

To undertake the works at Penzance, a Harbour Revision Order has already been granted by the Department for Transport.
Mr Maggs said Penzance residents had expected the entire proposal would be subject to normal planning processes, but now the council was relying on using the Harbour Revision Order.

Graeme Hicks, Cornwall Council cabinet member for highways, transport and planning, said the application for the order, allowing changes to the harbour, was made four years ago and subject to full public consultation.

"I think there has been some confusion," he said.

"The fact is that this whole process has gone through the correct procedures and if it had not, at the end of the day, the Department for Transport would not have allowed it.

"The Harbour Revision Order process was started four years ago, before Friends of Penzance Harbour had even been formed."
He emphasised his confidence Cornwall Council had followed the correct guidelines since that time. "The council has gone overboard making sure it has done the right thing," he said.

[WESTERN MORNING NEWS - November 03, 2009]


INGEBORG PILOT made her debut at Ramsey on Wednesday November 04, 2009.

The vessel is understood to be on a three month charter with an option to extend this to 12 months.

The photographs by David Fairclough show her at Mezeron Line's UK terminal at Glasson Dock, near Lancaster on Saturday  November 07, 2009.


RFA FORT VICTORIA has returned to Canada Dock after sea trials


MOONDANCE - departed on the morning of Sunday November 08, showing Gibraltar as an ETA on November 12.


Concerns about the capability of the Fast Cat vessels to cope with the Ilfracombe to Swansea ferry crossing have been addressed by Severn Link chairman Chris Marrow.

The Journal's story on the announcement of the ferry link last week, prompted a barrage of concerns voiced on this website.

The Fast Cats which will run across the Bristol Channel have been purchased from the Isle of Wight service, but Derek Gawn, from Ireland said he had lived on the Isle of Wight for some time and his experience was that anything more than "a slight blow" would mean the ferry was suspended to avoid the bad weather, or replaced by a car ferry.

In his website comment he said: "I lived for 48 years on the Isle of Wight. I have been in the Merchant Navy. I have worked on passenger ships. I know the sea. I know all about the Solent, where these vessels have been running. I have travelled on these two vessels.

"When they operated between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth their reliability was almost laughable - and that was a 4.5 mile trip in semi-sheltered waters. What on earth will a 20-plus mile trip across a very exposed stretch of water be like?

"It will be great on the best days of the summer, but the chance of running on bad days or in the winter will be pretty slim. Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea - but the wrong vessels."

Chris Marrow, chairman of Severn Link, said: "Yes, there will be times when it is too bumpy for a crossing, but you're going to get that whatever the vessel. The alternative is simple - no ferry.

"We are all professional sea-farers and we are consulting with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

"The Fast Cats do have good sea-keeping qualities, but none-the-less these are 40m vessels and we are aware of the fact that they will sometimes be weather limited.

"But we are still discussing the limitations with the MCA. The vessels can cope up to a certain level, but after that they won't sail, but that's true of any ferry.

"The problems these vessels had at the Isle of Wight weren't to do with conditions out at sea, but primarily with what they were like at Ryde Pier, where they were often unable to land."

He added: "Our main concern is that we won't strand anyone. Day-trippers will be refunded and anyone who is planning a holiday will be offered an alternative journey by coach - it won't be what they hoped for, but at least they won't be stranded."

Mr Marrow said sea trials in the Bristol Channel would be carried out in the coming weeks, with the MCA.

The first ferry is due to make the crossing around Easter-time next year.



STENA NAVIGATOR - Stena Line have set up a couple of special offers for shipping enthusiasts to sample the new ship on her first or second day in service:

Both cost £10 and can be booked via 08705 204 204 with no service fee.

The first product is a non-lander with reference A597. This sails ex-Belfast at 07:30 on the November 11 or 1330 on the November 12. There is also a sailing ex Stranraer at 09:30 on November 12.

The second product is a day trip to Stranraer reference A598 and can be mixed with a trip on the STENA CALEDONIA or HSS STENA VOYAGER.

Sailings are: November 11 ex Belfast on the 07:30 STENA NAVIGATOR SAILING with return from Stranraer on 14:20 HSS STENA VOYAGER,  17:30 STENA CALEDONIA or 1955 HSS STENA VOYAGER sailings.

November 11:  ex Stranraer on the 09:30 STENA CALEDONIA, 12: 00 STENA NAVIGATOR or 14:20 HSS STENA VOYAGER with return from Belfast  on the 19:20 STENA NAVIGATOR 22:30 STENA CALEDONIA.

November 12:  ex Belfast on the 07:30 STENA CALEDONIA, 11:45 HSS STENA VOYAGER or 13:30 STENA NAVIGATOR with return from Stranraer on 17:30 STENA NAVIGATOR or 19:55 HSS STENA VOYAGER.

 November 12: ex Stranraer on 09:30 STENA NAVIGATOR, 12:00 STENA CALEDONIA or the 14:20 HSS STENA VOYAGER with return from Belfast on the 17:00 HSS STENA VOYAGER, 19:30 STENA CALEDONIA or the 22:30 STENA NAVIGATOR sailings.


According to Northern Ireland Travel News there are no plans at present to axe the Stena HSS high-speed ferry on the  north Irish Sea corridor.

Despite speculation in the local daily Press recently, Stena have confirmed  that there are "no plans at present" to remove the twin hulled HSS STENA VOYAGER from  the Belfast - Stranraer route.

Instead, company strategy is to use the HSS - expensive to run because of  high oil prices - to meet key demand times.

Paul Grant, Stena's Belfast to Stranraer Route Manager said: "The addition  of our new conventional ferry, the STENA NAVIGATOR, means we will now be using the  HSS STENA VOYAGER at key demand times rather than at times that are not as cost-effective.

"It has been well documented that the HSS STENA VOYAGER is expensive to run, so it makes sound economic sense, especially with oil prices continuing to rise, that we operate it at times when the capacity is high."

Referring to the introduction of the new vessel he added: "We are increasing  our frequency and we are giving more customers more choice. They now have a  choice of travelling on the HSS STENA VOYAGER fast craft, the STENA NAVIGATOR or STENA CALEDONIA."

The introduction of the new ship, which will cater for both passenger and  freight traffic, will enable the company to offer up to 14 crossings on the  route each day.

"The additional capacity will enable us to expand in time for what we hope  will be a more buoyant 2010," added Paul Grant.

Meanwhile, planning permission (a Harbour Empowerment Order) has been  granted to enable Stena to built its proposed new port terminal at Old House  point, a mile north of the P&O Irish Sea terminal at Cairnryan.

"Once the formal tendering has been received from contractors for its  construction the Stena Line executive board in Sweden will then make a  decision on how the project will progress," he said.

The Stena chief conceded that trading conditions remained challenging but  insisted that the company is confident about the future.

"We are putting the necessary investment in place to ensure we can leverage  a competitive advantage when the economic upturn arrives. Over the last 10  years Stena Line has invested over £100m in the Stranraer-Belfast route,  including the new £37m terminal at Belfast which opened in June 2008.

"The credit crunch has resulted in more people thinking about holidaying  within the British Isles which is good news for the ferry industry. When new  customers travel with us we show them how much ferry travel has developed  and how pleasurable an experience it is compared to flying."

Of course the above report does nothing to scotch the rumour that HSS STENA EXPLORER will be the next vessel to cross the Atlantic to Venezuela to be replaced at Holyhead by the smaller HSS STENA CARISMA.

November 01

Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews,  Ian Collard, Kevin Bennett, Tony Brennan, Michael Hughes, Barry Rodgers, Adrian Sweeney  and "others"


A bid to tempt the Isles of Scilly ferry to shift from Penzance to Falmouth  has been stepped up with the intervention of a major docks company.

A&P in Falmouth has offered to match-fund a £3,500 analysis of the move - a  study which the Western Morning News revealed last week had been ordered by the Council for the Isles of Scilly.

Peter Child, managing director of A&P, confirmed the offer but denied that the firm was trying to snatch the money-spinning link away from Penzance,  where plans for a new ferry terminal are mired in controversy.

"We have offered £3,500," said Mr Child. "The Council of the Isles of Scilly wanted to do a feasibility study to look  at another operation and we believe Falmouth is very feasible.

"Obviously, Penzance is the first choice, but if it does fall through, we  will have to do the study anyway, so we might as well do it now."

The news was dismissed as a bid to twist the arm of protesters in Penzance  into accepting unpopular proposals to build a new passenger and freight  terminal on the historic Battery Rocks area of town.

But Mr Child insisted that Falmouth was a workable - and in many ways desirable - destination for the Isles of Scilly ferry.

He said A&P could offer good-quality harbour facilities and confirmed  revelations already published in the WMN that it could reduce the bill for  the overall scheme by £10 million.

And he said that Falmouth had a bigger tourist catchment than Penzance - and it offered the possibility of boosting the number of visitors travelling to the islands.

"At the moment, everything is set up for Penzance, but if that fails, the Isles of Scilly needs a link and we are quite happy to be plan B." John Maggs, of Friends of Penzance Harbour (FoPH), said it was a thinly  veiled attempt to "intimidate" protesters.

The planning application for the Penzance facility was submitted last week  and puts forward two alternatives, Option A, which is for a single passenger and freight near the current ferry dock and, confusingly, Option C. This  would involve an out-of-town freight handling facility and a passenger  terminal in the now-redundant Trinity House Museum near the docks. FoPH has consistently fought Option A on the grounds it would ruin a  historic headland and the large-scale development would mean locals enduring two years of "hell" in terms of construction traffic.

Mr Maggs said the case for switching the ferry to Falmouth did not add up  and, importantly, the funding for the scheme was available only for  Penzance.

He added that the running costs for a much longer journey would discourage passengers and mean millions extra spent on fuel every year. "The whole thing does not bear up to even 30 seconds of scrutiny," he said.



PONT-AVEN a passenger who had taken ill was evacuated by a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose on Sunday October 25 and flown to the Royal Cornwall Hospital from the ship which was on a Plymouth to Roscoff sailing.

Ken Bazeley, from Falmouth Coastguard, said the mission faced a hurdle because the helicopter could not use the landing pad on the vessel. It can only take five tonnes while the rescue aircraft is 10 tonnes so the crew had to hover while the casualty was lifted, he added. [BBC NEWS]


Brittany Ferries have reported that in the past year freight is down 17% and passengers 5% (to 2,570,000).

The firm is happy with the passenger result as it is better than many of their competitors - summer traffic having been good, meeting predictions and beating and industry passenger decline of 8.4%. 85% of their passengers are British and hence the poor Euro/GBP exchange rate hit passenger numbers.

The Irish route was quite a poor performer due to the poor state of the Irish economy and increased competition - it recorded a fall of 18.7%

The decline in freight is in line with industry trends but the company's Spanish services are performing well.

There are no plans to order new tonnage for now as conditions are not appropriate.

Finally, the company says that they are still interested in SeaFrance but nothing will happen until the company's staffing issues are resolved.


LÉ NIAMH - Up to €50m worth of cigarettes were seized in Greenore port in Co Louth from a cargo ship that originated in the Philippines.

Nine men, including two of the ship's crew, have been arrested for questioning. The suspects include seven Irish men aged between 19 and mid 40s, one Lithuanian in his 50s and one Ukrainian in his 40s.

They were detained in various garda stations in Co Louth and Co Monaghan.

Revenue officials seized cargo from the vessel MV ANNE SCAN during an operation known as 'Samhna'.

The Irish Naval Service kept the vessel under surveillance, as they suspected that a large consignment of contraband cigarettes was concealed within the cargo.

The ship arrived on October 27 with a cargo said to be animal feed.

When the cargo was discharged, gardaí and customs officials seized the cigarettes and searched the ship.

Revenue officials believe the haul contains more than 120m cigarettes with a retail value of about €50m.

Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy said: 'This is a significant strike against organised crime. The success of the operation illustrates the results and benefits that flow from close interagency cooperation.'

More than 150 officers from agencies from the UK and the Irish Republic participated in the operation.

Using AIS (Automatic Identification System), the operation centre was able to track the vessel from the Mediterranean to the Irish Sea.

Once the vessel was in the Irish Sea, the LÉ NIAMH tracked it using onboard sensors while at the same time keeping out of visual range.

On Wednesday October 28 Revenue officials and gardaí in Dublin unloaded the cargo of 120m cigarettes discovered on the ANNE SCAN.

A search operation at a warehouse near Dundalk linked to the smuggling attempt continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Nine men were remanded in custody.

The MV ANNE SCAN left Greenore Port and headed into the Irish Sea shortly after 21:00 on Tuesday evening, accompanied by vessels from the Irish Navy and Revenue service.

The ship with nearly 1,500 one tonne bags arrived off Dublin Port early on Wednesday October 28 to discharge the cargo.

It is estimated that each of the bags contains around 8,000 cigarettes of various brands hidden under animal feed.

That makes a total cargo of around 120m cigarettes, the largest ever find of its type in Europe.

The cigarettes, which were loaded in the Philippines, were destined for markets in the Republic, Northern Ireland and the UK and could have resulted in a loss of revenue to the governments of at least €40m.

Seven men were arrested - two from Northern Ireland and the rest from the Republic of Ireland.

The captain and first officer of the ship have also been questioned.

It was later announced on Wednesday October 28 that all nine men arrested in connection with the seizure of 120m cigarettes in Greenore Port in Co Louth yesterday have been released.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions on the five Irish men, a Lithuanian and a Ukrainian.

The Revenue Commissioners estimates that the value of the cargo, which came from the Philippines, is around €50m, and would have represented a €40m revenue loss to the State.

The cigarettes were hidden in the bags, which it was claimed contained animal feed.

Although there may be links between some of those arrested and dissident republicans, it seems the main focus of the investigation so far is on a large scale, well-funded cross-border criminal gang.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, John O'Connor, Ex-Commander of the Flying Squad at Scotland Yard, said Ireland is an attractive staging post for this type of crime.

A representative of the British Revenue and Customs (HMRC) John Whiting has said the colossal size of the shipment indicates that some of the cigarettes were destined to be sold in the UK.

Mr Whiting described it as a 'great success' for the law enforcement organisations north and south of the border.

[RTÉ] [Photos: Tony Brennan]


Douglas based Laxey Towing Company operators of the passenger vessel KARINA and Hebridean Island Cruises, the well known operator of the HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS cruise ship have been the victims of an internet scam.

The statement from the Isle of Man Government FSC explains the scam:

MV Karina Cruise Ltd

MV Karina Island Cruises

Mr. Kelly White

Mr George G Rayburn

Chan Law Advocates


The Commission has recently become aware of correspondence received by members of the public purporting to have been sent by a Mr Kelly White (HR Manager) and a Mr George G. Rayburn (Secretary General) of the purported entities MV Karina Cruise Ltd and MV Karina Island Tours.

Within the correspondence it is claimed that the above named entities have addresses of Clovenstones Cottage, Baldrine, Isle of Man and 30, North Quay, Douglas, Isle of Man. We can confirm that these are real addresses in the Isle of Man, however, enquiries undertaken by the Commission have identified categorically that the stated entities are not located at these addresses, and that no entities or individuals genuinely located at these addresses are in any way connected with, associated with or aware of the stated entities or either of the named individuals.

The addresses are genuinely associated with a vessel named the MV KARINA by way of the genuine entities located there.

The correspondence sent to members of the public is in regard to a purported job offer from the purported entities MV Karina Island Cruises and MV Karina Cruise Ltd and asks them to report to the Isle of Man on a specific date.

The correspondence makes reference to a website Enquiries undertaken by the Commission have identified that this website is not in any way associated with the aforementioned addresses (which are also referred to on the website) and that it is not genuinely associated with the vessel MV Karina or anyone genuinely associated with that vessel. Examination of this website has identified that it appears to have been copied, with minor modifications, from the genuine website

The correspondence seen by the Commission contains references to a purported entity called Chan Law Advocates of Bridge House, Bridge Street, Castletown, Isle of Man who it claims should be contacted to secure the recipient’s “police clearance from the Isle of Man Constabulary”.

Bridge House, Bridge Street, Castletown, Isle of Man is a genuine Isle of Man address, however, enquiries undertaken by the Commission have established that there is no such entity as Chan Law Advocates at or associated with that address. There is a genuine entity by the name of Chan Law LLC at that address. The genuine Chan Law LLC is a firm of English Solicitors whose members are registered as Legal Practitioners on the Isle of Man. The genuine Chan Law LLC is not in any way connected with, associated with or aware of any such entity as Chan Law Advocates. The genuine Chan Law LLC are not able to secure any kind of purported “police clearance from the Isle of Man Constabulary” in the context that it is mentioned within the correspondence.

Some of those in receipt of the aforementioned correspondence have been sent a purported “Isle of Man Constabulary, Police Constabulary Clearance Application Form”. The purported form has not genuinely been issued by the Isle of Man Constabulary. The Commission has been unable to identify any genuine document known as an “Isle of Man police clearance document”.

The Commission wishes to draw attention to the following observations:

None of the entities listed at the top of this Notice is a company incorporated within the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man. None is registered as a foreign company having established a place of business on the Isle of Man. None is registered as a business name on the Isle of Man. The Commission has established no association between the listed entities and any genuine Isle of Man companies or individuals.

The Commission has established no genuine links between the listed entities and the Isle of Man. The telephone numbers quoted in the correspondence are not genuine Isle of Man telephone numbers.

Under the circumstances the Financial Supervision Commission feels that this correspondence is being issued to tempt the recipient into becoming the victim of an Advance Fee Fraud – see explanatory notice issued by the Commission at:


Is an attempt at gaining personal data from the recipient in order to steal their identity – see explanatory notice issued by the Commission at:

Also see information issued by the Isle of Man Office of the Data Protection Supervisor at:

Under the circumstances the Commission would encourage people receiving correspondence matching the above description to refrain from responding to it in any way.

Any persons who are already involved in any dealings resulting from the above correspondence and have concerns should contact the Enforcement Division on +44 1624 689313 or by email to

Any persons who have paid out funds in relation to the above correspondence or who have provided personal financial details in relation to the above correspondence should consider contacting their local police fraud unit without delay.


OSCAR WILDE - the Irish Coastguard helicopter was used to evacuate a passenger who had taken ill on board the ship which was bound for France on October 25. The helicopter picked the passenger up around 30 miles south of Kilmore Quay.


The Normandie Wine Warehouse in Cherbourg is hosting a Wine Fair on board the Irish Ferries cruise ferry OSCAR WILDE during its sailing from Rosslare to the French port departing Friday, November 27 next and returning two
days later on Sunday, 29.

Present on board will be growers and winemakers from up to 20 quality French estates who will give talks and tastings of wines from Alsace, Beaujolais, Champagne, Burgundy, Rhône Valley, Bordeaux and Languedoc, including an exclusive range of Vin de Pays wines starting at just EUR2.95 a bottle.

Seen as a means of stocking the Christmas cellar at bargain French prices, passengers taking part in the trip will have a chance to win one of six magnums of Champagne being offered in a prize draw.

In Cherbourg, shoppers will have up to 5 hours to purchase the wines sampled at discount prices with the Normandie Wine store Avenue Carnot outlet remaining open until the vessel departs again for Rosslare.

Fare for the trip is EUR99 per person, including a bed in a 2-bed ensuite cabin, plus EUR89 for a car when two or more adults travel together.

Reservations and further information can now be had on-line at <> or by calling Irish Ferries at 0818 300 400.


SCILLONIAN III - a crewman who was airlifted from aboard the Isles of Scilly ferry to hospital after collapsing mid-voyage on Monday October 26 has died.

Alan Nicholas, who was a seasonal worker on the passenger ship, was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, Truro, by a helicopter crew from RNAS Culdrose.

Mr Nicholas, an able bodied seaman who was born in Liverpool and lived in Penzance, had worked for the company since 2002.

The 60-year-old was single, but had close family who lived in Australia, a country he spent long periods visiting during the winter.

A spokesman for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said Mr Nicholas was well thought of by his colleagues and would be deeply mourned. "He was well thought of by his colleagues on the ship and will be greatly missed," the spokesman said.




The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) have announced that four foreign flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during September 2009 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection.

Latest monthly figures show that there were four new detentions of foreign flagged ships in UK ports during September 2009. The overall rate of detentions compared with inspections carried out over the last twelve months was 3.05% this is slightly down from Augusts 12 month rate.

During the month of September, 179 Port State Control inspections were carried out in the UK. A total of 39 vessels had no deficiencies raised against them, 104 had between one and five deficiencies, 29 had between six and 10 deficiencies, seven had between 11 and 20 deficiencies. There were no vessels inspected that had more than 20 deficiencies.

Of the detained vessels, three were registered with flag states listed on the Paris MOU white list, and one was registered with flag state on the black list.

Vessels detained in September included:

A 23,536 Gt. Bulk Carrier was detained in Southampton as the MF/HF radio installation was inoperative; the abandon ship drill was slow and uncoordinated, also the Safety Management System on board had not been applied satisfactorily, with respect to the maintenance; training and inspections.


Date & Place of detention: 02/09/2009 – Leith

Vessel Name: MURMANSK (Bulk Carrier)
GT: 18,964
IMO No: 8118140
Flag: Malta
Company: Koma Shipping Services
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: three deficiencies, one ground for detention

The vessel was detained in Leith for three days because the forward end of the port lifeboat had heavy wastage in the keel plates. Other deficiencies identified were two bunker air pipe covers were holed and the port lifeboat grab lines were badly perished.
The vessel was released on 04/09/2009.

Date & Place of detention 21/09/2009 –- Southampton

Vessel Name: BULK PACIFIC (Bulk Carrier)
GT: 23,536
IMO No:8009519
Flag: Malta
Company: Portunato C & Srl
Classification Society: Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
Recognised Organisation: Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
Summary: 19 deficiencies, eight grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Southampton for four days because the MF/HF radio was not transmitting or receiving DSC or voice signals; port and starboard embarkation ladders were severely corroded and wasted and the lowest step of the port embarkation ladder was chained and padlocked to the ships railing; in addition the abandon ship drill was very slow and uncoordinated and the officer in charge was unable to assert his command and take control. Other deficiencies identified were; several lifejackets were found with improperly attached lights; the propeller shaft of the starboard lifeboat was bent; two floor plates were missing in the starboard forward engine room and most fire hoses were found to be incorrectly connected to the couplings using jubilee clips A major non conformity was identified in respect of the maintenance of ship and equipment, which was not according to SMS.
The vessel was released from detention on 24/09/2009.

Date & Place of detention: 23/09/2009 – Bristol (Avonmouth)

Vessel Name: EMS (General Cargo)
GT: 3,766
IMO No: 9373199
Flag: Antigua & Barbuda
Company: Werse Bereederungs Gmbh & Co Kg
Classification Society: Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Recognised Organisation: Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
Summary: 9 deficiencies 2 grounds for detention

The vessel was detained in Avonmouth for eight days because various items of the ships equipment had been out of order for a substantial period of time and there had been no action taken to resolve these problems. Reports to the company regarding the malfunctioning of the equipment had not been dealt with or the problems resolved. A major non conformity was identified in respect of the maintenance of the ship and equipment and with regard to the resources and personnel which was not according to SMS. Other deficiencies identified included: the fuel tank of the rescue boat was found to be empty; there was accumulated oil and water mixture on the engine room tank top and the fire alarm was inoperative.
The vessel was released on 30/09/2009

Date & Place of detention: 24/09/2009 – Hull

Vessel Name: CHEMSTAR KING (Chemical Tanker)
GT: 11,951
IMO No: 9161871
Flag: Panama
Company: Dongkuk Marine Co Ltd.
Classification Society: Class NK (NKK)
Recognised Organisation: Class NK (NKK)
Recognised Organisation for ISM: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Summary: 16 deficiencies 1 ground for detention

The vessel was detained in Hull for three days because the crew were found to be insufficiently trained and unfamiliar with the free fall lifeboat and davit, therefore they were unable to conduct safely, a simulated launch, abandon ship and lifeboat recovery drills. Other deficiencies identified included: the fire doors in the galley, the officers mess, and the crew laundry were held open with hooks compromising the use of the self closing devices. The embarkation ladder for the port side lifeboat had rotten seizings and there was no evidence regarding the identifying of hazards in respect of the launching and recovery of the freefall lifeboat. In addition the bilge pump had a broken handle and the gangway had a damaged stanchion socket – all safety stanchions could not be rigged.

The vessel was released from detention on 26/09/2009.



At ten minutes past seven on October 25, Swansea Coastguard received a call from a man out walking on the coast with his dog. The man informed the Coastguard that he could see a yacht drifting out to sea, with torn sails flapping in the wind.

Swansea Coastguard made a broadcast on VHF radio to try and gain communication with the yacht and also ascertain whether there were any vessels near that could go to the yacht and assess what the situation was with anyone on board.

Swansea Coastguard called out the Watchet Coastguard rescue team who went to a location where they could keep a visual watch on the yacht.

After receiving no response from any vessels in the vicinity, and with growing concern from the Coastguard rescue team watching the yacht, it was decided to launch a lifeboat. Swansea Coastguard requested the launch of the Burnham RNLI lifeboat. Upon arriving they found a lone sailor who was struggling with his vessel and the weather.

The lifeboat took the yacht under tow after placing two lifeboat crew on the stricken vessel. The yacht was then towed to Burnham Yacht club.

The weather was reported as Westerly Force 3, good visibility, with slight swell at Burnham.

Steve Jones, Watch Manager, Swansea Coastguard said:

Upon arrival, it was ascertained by the Watchet Coastguard team that the man had been sailing from Falmouth to Penarth. He had lost all power to his yacht, no engine power and no VHF radio and he had not slept for three days. The man had experienced difficulties off Hartland Point in the fog, and then between Ilfracombe and Burnham where he had lost power and radio and his sails ripped.

We would always recommend that sailors let the Coastguard have a passage plan and register their craft and shore contact on the Coastguard CG66 scheme.

If you find yourself in trouble and have lost use of your radio, call for help using other alerting means such as distress flares.

If you see anyone in trouble at sea or on the coast dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


Falmouth Coastguard coordinated a long range medical evacuation of an injured crewman from the Hong Kong registered bulk carrier DOMINA on October 30.

Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a request for medical assistance from the ship at 15.50, which was 370 nautical miles South West of the Isles of Scilly bound for the USA. A 45 year old crewman had fallen 10 metres into the hold and had sustained serious injuries. Following a connect call to Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, the duty doctor recommended evacuation.

At this time the ship was beyond the range of Search and Rescue helicopters. In conjunction with ARCC Kinloss it was decided that an RAF rescue helicopter would leave RMB Chivenor to refuel in Cork, Ireland and then fly 200 nautical miles to the South West of Ireland to rendezvous with the ship, which had been instructed to alter course to reduce the distance. The rendezvous is scheduled to take place at 003:0 Saturday morning, October 31. Due to the distance involved a Nimrod Maritime patrol aircraft has also been sent to provide top cover.

The casualty was flown to Ireland and transferred to Cork hospital.


For the second year running Norfolkline have won the Guardian, Observer and travel award for "Best ferry company".

The awards, now in their 23rd year, asked the UK public to decide who they believed to be the best ferry company in the travel industry, and as in 2008 the UK public chose Norfolkline as the "Best ferry company".

The number of readers taking part in the Travel Awards survey seems to show no loss of appetite for holidays despite the economic downsturn, with 19,248 participants giving their views this year, up from 17,000 last year.

Norfolkline operates passenger ferries on the Irish Sea (between Livepool and Belfast/Dublin), the North Sea (between Rosyth and Zeebrugge) and on the English Channel (between Dover and Dunkirk), and the "Best ferry company" award is in recognition of the service across all of Norfolkline's routes, with Norfolkline beating off stiff competition to take this year's award.

Kell Robdrup (Managing Director, Norfolkline Ferry Division) commented:  "As Managing Director of the Ferry Division, I am very pleased to see that the hard work of the whole Ferry Division is being rewarded and recognized by our customers and readers.

This year has proven to be a challenging one for our industry and an award like this only shows the great determination of our employees and organization during very difficult times."



The Port of Liverpool which ranks among Britain's and Northern Europe's major container ports handling nearly 700,000 teus (20ft container units) a year is set to create a paradigm shift in the UK – India trade pattern by starting a direct shipping service to Mumbai. Plans have been drawn up to launch the service shortly which is expected to redirect the container trade between various English ports from India to Liverpool.


Ravindra J. Gandhi, Director of Hans Maritime Services Pvt Ltd and the agent for Peel Ports Group, Britain's second largest group of ports offering five major gateways including Liverpool port, did not want to divulge the name of the shipping lines which would be undertaking the dedicated service between Mumbai and Liverpool. However he stated,

“There will be six container vessels sailing between the two ports. Initially, we will offer a weekly sailing schedule and depending on the demand the frequency could be increased.”


Explaining the advantages to the trade, Ken Hayes, UK Development Manger of Peel Ports informed, “All cargo originating from India gets shipped to Felixstowe, Southampton, Leeds, Bradford, Belfast, Dublin, etc., and this in turn gets redirected to its final destination. 60% of this trade is within 150 miles of Liverpool which can accommodate Post Panamax container vessels and offers higher efficiency. If the cargo is brought directly to Liverpool it will bring about a saving of 300 pounds per container by way of handling, advantage of higher port efficiency, onward transport cost, etc. We have been having frequent demands from the trade for starting this direct sailing to Liverpool from India and following a study we have decided to launch this service.”


As to the feasibility of the service, Stephen Carr, Head of Business Development of Peel Ports stated that the service would be heavily dependant on imports from India. Cargo such as scrap metal, chemicals, plastic scraps, etc from UK are in demand in India. They would however form only one third of the cargo shipped to India.


According to an importer in UK, 80% of the trade emanates within 20 to 30 miles of Manchester mainly from textile mills and engineering side of business. Most British freight forwarders find Liverpool an ideal port for Indian goods to concentrate on the business. According to Chris Kelsall, Sales Director, Weir & Carmichael agrees that a direct service between India and Liverpool would benefit. “There are similar services to Felixstowe and Southampton. Once the direct service commences to Liverpool we will be able to extend first class service to our customers because the delivery time from Liverpool will be much quicker and cost effective.”




It is rumoured that the vessel which will operate the Peter Döhle - Mezeron IoM container service will be:

Name: Ingeborg Pilot
MMSI: 259784000 [NO]
IMO: 8010415
Callsign: LACA5
Details: General Cargo Ship
Size: 63m x 11m x 3.5m


The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the TITANIC wants to make another expedition to the world's most famous shipwreck in 2010.

The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the TITANIC wants to make another expedition to the world's most famous shipwreck in 2010. RMS TITANIC Inc.'s expedition would be the first by the salvor since 2004, though two other expeditions have been to the site since then, including one by "TITANIC" director James Cameron.

The company went before a judge on Monday to seek a salvage award for its past expeditions, and to inform the court of its plans.

"Obviously we have an interest in going back to shipwreck for a number of reasons but we want to do it with the blessing of the court," Christopher Davino, president and CEO of RMS TITANIC, told The Associated Press after the first of four days of hearings in federal court. "It's very early in our thinking regarding a strategy for future expeditions," he said, declining to discuss a future expedition before informing the judge.

In court filings, the company has said it is making plans to return to the wreck site next year. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an "international treasure," is presiding over the hearings. They are not only intended to determine a salvage award, but to establish legal guarantees that thousands of TITANIC artifacts remain intact as a collection and forever accessible to the public.

Some pieces have ended up inLondon auction houses. The 5,900 pieces of china, ship fittings and personal belongings are valued at more than $110 million and are displayed around the world by Premier Exhibitions Inc., an Atlanta company. RMS TITANIC is a subsidiary of Premier.

The first two witnesses Monday testified about management changes at Premier and the perils and costs associated with salvage expeditions to the TITANIC. Smith has previously expressed concerns about Premier's management. The company underwent a board change in 2009 and received a $12 million cash infusion from investors. Davino took charge five months ago. Jack H. Jacobs, one of the new directors, said Premier had been "an extremely poorly run company," but has turned around. He said the mismanagement did not extend to the conservancy of the TITANIC artifacts.

Asked by RMS TITANIC attorney Robert W. McFarland if Premier was committed to properly maintaining the artifacts, Jacobs replied: "Yes, absolutely committed. Unequivocally committed." Deep-dive explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet, who has led five expeditions to the TITANIC wreck, testified about the extraordinary expense and risks of deep-sea exploration. They include 150-foot-high icebergs that can threaten ships and the harrowing, claustrophobic voyages 12,000-feet down to the wreck through 33-degree Atlantic waters. The TITANIC sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, and has been subject to competing legal claims since an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard found it in 1985. Since then, RMS TITANIC has retrieved artifacts during six dives.

Courts have declared RMS TITANIC salvor-in-possession - meaning it has exclusive rights to salvage the TITANIC - but have explicitly stated it does not own the 5,900 artifacts or the wreck itself. At the hearings this week in Norfolk, lawyers for RMS TITANIC will seek title to the artifacts and a monetary award for its salvage costs. Smith, the judge, has drawn upon the government to help craft covenants to preserve the artifacts as a collection, available to the public.

She is mindful of the TITANIC's place in history and the 1,522 people who died when it went down after it struck ice nearly a century ago, based on her previous statements from the bench. If the court agrees to RMS TITANIC's request, the company could sell the entire collection to a museum with court approval. The company has said it has no plans to do so. The judge will also consider a competing claim. Douglas Faulkner Woolley, a British citizen, challenges RMS TITANIC's legal claim to the wreck site and plans his own salvage operation.

Lawyers for RMS TITANIC declined to discuss the competing challenge. International protections have been sought for the TITANIC almost since the wreck was discovered. [MARITIME CLIPPINGS]


RFA FORT VICTORIA which has been on Merseyside since November 02, 2008 undergoing refit by Cammell Laird in dry dock #5 and at Canada #1 Dock put to sea on Saturday October 31, 2009.


HMS PRINCE OF WALES, one of the two new aircraft carriers being constructed for the Royal Navy will operate as an amphibious landing ship to replace HMS OCEAN which is due to decomission in 2018.

This is a cost cutting exercise aimed at reducing the number of USA built Joint Strike Fighter aircraft required. The reduction in aircraft requirements is expected to save £7.6bn.

Using one of the carriers as a replacement of HMS OCEAN will save her replacement costs of around £600m


It's a world away from the stately old paddle steamers that transported tourists across the Bristol Channel in the middle of the last century.

But this high-speed ferry is revealed today as the 21st century successor to the pleasure cruisers that linked South Wales to the south-west of England for decades.

The new daily service between Swansea and Ilfracombe will begin early next year, cutting the journey time between South Wales and Devon to just 30 minutes.

The Severn Link service will be the first time a modern fast-ferry route has joined the two shores of the Bristol Channel, and is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs and millions of pounds of spending to South Wales.

Those behind the scheme say the Bristol Channel is the only waterway of its type in the world not to be traversed by a regular ferry service.

Plans are in place to extend the service – which is scheduled to run at least two return trips a day – to a number of other ports in South Wales, and in Devon and Somerset.

The 350-capacity ships, which have a top speed of 39mph, will initially carry only passengers, but bosses behind the link have indicated they are exploring the potential to transport cars across the channel. The cost of a one-way trip will be £22.

Tourist attractions on both sides of the Severn are expected to get millions of pounds of new spending if the scheme is successful.

A total of 50 full-time jobs are being created initially by Severn Link, which expects to have a turnover of £8m in five years.

If the Swansea-Ilfracombe service is a success as anticipated, more South Wales-West Country fast ferries will be introduced from Penarth to Minehead and there could also be a Porthcawl to Ilfracombe service.

Severn Link’s maritime business expert, chairman Chris Marrow, a West Country resident who has established ferry links throughout Africa, thought up the idea.

He said: “This is a bold new step to reconnect the communities, heritage and history of two areas which, despite lying within sight of each other, have never before had the opportunity within modern times to take advantage of their neighbouring status – whether practically, economically or socially.”

Marrow has taken on as his managing director Geoff Metcalf, the Llantrisant born accountant who once advised the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohomad bin Rashid al Maktoum, on where to spend his money as he commissioned the world’s biggest dry dock in the oil rich state.

And Brian Morgan, professor of entrepreneurship at Uwic’s Business School in Cardiff – who founded the Welsh Whisky Company – is non-executive director of the new business.

Speaking of the reasons behind setting up Severn Link yesterday, Mr Marrow added: “To my knowledge, there is no other comparable stretch of water in the world, linking similarly populated areas, which doesn’t have a heavily utilised ferry service.

“And market research has shown there is a huge demand for this ferry route within South Wales.

“Not only will tourism and lifestyle businesses in Swansea and the surrounding area be able to directly appeal to the million plus visitors to the north Devon coast each year for shopping trips and excursions, the ferry will also provide easy access for residents of south-west England to the fantastic Welsh cultural and sporting facilities and onward transport links.”

He added: “The ferry link will create a much-needed feeder service for tourists from, and travelling through, south-west England who are holidaying in Ireland – offering hugely improved access to Irish ferries via the new Fastnet Line service from Swansea to Cork.” “Additionally, the improved access across the Bristol Channel means that it will be easier than ever before for residents in South Wales and South West England to take affordable short breaks or day trips in their neighbouring region across the water, opening up the domestic holiday market and keeping transport costs to a minimum.

“In addition, I hope that Severn Link will become instrumental in helping to sustain the historic and longstanding connections between the Celtic nations of Wales and Cornwall.”

Swansea Council leader Chris Holley said: “This is terrific news that comes in the wake of the announcement that the Swansea to Cork ferry is being reinstated from St David’s Day next year.

“A fast cat service from Swansea to Ilfracombe would be a boost for the city’s tourism economy and would allow Swansea people easier access to Devon and the south west of England.

“The service would also introduce many visitors from the Devon area to Swansea Bay for the very first time, where I’m sure attractions such as Gower would make a hugely positive impression and would encourage people to return.”


Severn Link has launched its new web site at featuring English, Welsh and Cornish Languages.


Albamar are believed to have an option to buy HSS STENA VOYAGER for a La Guaira - El Guamache route.

This would seem to add some weight to recent rumours of the STENA EXPLORER moving to the Belfast - Stranraer route and the STENA CARISMA moving to Holyhead - Dun Laoghaire.

STENA NAVIGATOR [ex SEAFRANCE MANET] was reported to have been out on trials on Thursday October 29, 2009. This included a visit to Stranraer.


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