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Displaying items by tag: irish sea

An ultra-high-resolution geophysical survey will be carried out in the Oriel Wind Farm array area in the Irish Sea off Co Louth to provide bathymetric and subsurface information to facilitate the development of the offshore wind farm.

The survey work was anticipated to start Friday 18 November 2022 and to be completed by mid-December 2022, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Works will be confined to the Oriel Wind Farm array area, which is located between Dunany Point and the Cooley Peninsula.

The survey will be conducted by the Fastnet Pelican (callsign 2FNX7), which is a shallow draft survey vessel. The vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre due to the deployment of towed survey equipment up to 100 metres astern.

All other vessels operating within this area are requested to leave a wide berth.

The work vessel will display appropriate lights and signals and operations will be conducted during daylight hours. Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the area.

Coordinates and a map of the survey area as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 78 of 2022, attached below.

Published in Powerboat Racing

An Atlantic bluefin tuna hooked off the Pembrokeshire coast recently is believed to be the biggest fish ever caught in Welsh waters.

As Wales Online reports, the 900lb (408kg) monster catch was made by Simon Batey and Jason Nott while returning from an angling trip in the Irish Sea.

Keeping the tuna in the water, they recorded a measurement of 111 inches (2.82 metres) from nose to tail before releasing it back into the sea.

The anglers were on a boat from White Water Charters which is licensed to catch, tag and release Atlantic bluefin tuna as part of a Welsh government programme similar to the Tuna CHART scheme in Ireland.

Wales Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Operator Stena Line is set to create a pet-friendly area on its Belfast to Cairnryan route - but the animals must be in carrier cases onboard.

The company announced last month that pets were to be banned from passenger areas on their Irish Sea route (see rivals, P&O pets plan).

Its policy had allowed companion animals on board in secured pet carriers but after October 31, no dogs would have been allowed on deck or in any passenger areas between Belfast and Cairnryan.

However, a spokesperson for Stena Line said there has been a “considerable amount of feedback from customers on the impact of this decision to their current and future travel plans”.

“Stena Line has listened carefully to input from its passengers and the concerns that people have raised, both in support and in opposition to the proposal,” said the company.

More from Belfast Telegraph  on the reversal. 

Published in Stena Line

The ship which sent an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic, before the ocean liner sank, has been identified lying in the Irish Sea by researchers from Bangor University in Wales.

In 1912 the merchant steamship SS Mesaba was crossing the Atlantic and sent a warning radio message to the RMS Titanic. The message was received, but never reached the bridge.

Later that night, the supposedly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage, taking 1,500 lives and becoming the world’s most infamous shipwreck. 

The SS Mesaba continued as a merchant ship over the next six years before being torpedoed while in convoy in 1918.

Using state-of-the art multibeam sonar mounted on Bangor University’s research vessel Prince Madog, researchers have finally been able to positively identify the wreck and have revealed her position for the first time.

The merchant ship SS Mesaba which radioed an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic | Credit: State Library of QueenslandThe merchant ship SS Mesaba which radioed an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic | Credit: State Library of Queensland



“For the marine archaeologist, multibeam sonar has the potential to be as impactful as the use of aerial photography was for landscape archaeology,” the university says.

Multibeam sonar enables seabed mapping of such detail that superstructure details can be revealed on the sonar images, it adds.



The SS Mesaba was one among 273 shipwrecks lying in 7,500 square miles of Irish Sea which were scanned and cross-referenced against the UK Hydrographic Office’s database of wrecks and other sources.


It was thought that 101 wrecks were unidentified, but the number of newly identified wrecks was far higher, as many — the SS Mesaba included — had been wrongly identified in the past.



Details of all the wrecks have been published in a new book, Echoes from the Deep by Dr Innes McCartney of Bangor University, conducted under a Leverhulme Fellowship while at Bournemouth University.

Dr McCartney said: “The results of the work described in the book has validated the multidisciplinary technique employed and it is a ‘game-changer’ for marine archaeology. 

Bangor University’s purpose-built research vessel Prince MadogBangor University’s purpose-built research vessel Prince Madog

“Previously we would be able to dive to a few sites a year to visually identify wrecks. The Prince Madog’s unique sonar capabilities has enabled us to develop a relatively low-cost means of examining the wrecks. We can connect this back to the historical information without costly physical interaction with each site.


“It should be of key interest to marine scientists, environmental agencies, hydrographers, heritage managers, maritime archaeologists and historians.” 



Dr Michael Roberts, who led the sonar surveys at the university’s School of Ocean Sciences, said: “The expertise and unique resources we have at Bangor University, such as the Prince Madog enable us to deliver high-quality scientific research in an extremely cost-effective manner.

“Identifying shipwrecks such as those documented in the publication for historical research and environmental impact studies is just one example of this.

“We have also been examining these wreck sites to better understand how objects on the seabed interact with physical and biological processes, which in turn can help scientists support the development and growth of the marine energy sector.”


Published in Titanic

Ferry company Stena Line celebrates its 60th anniversary today having established itself as a trusted link between people, places and societies.

Sten A. Olsson, the founder of Stena Line, began operating a shipping service from his hometown Gothenburg in Sweden to Skagen in Denmark in 1962 where he was a scrap merchant for 20 years. Where others saw waste, he saw business opportunities, as he needed a means to transport scrap metal, helping to lay the foundations for what would become one of the most iconic brands in Sweden.

In 1967, after establishing routes to Skagen and later Fredrikshavn, Stena Line opened a direct route from west Sweden with its route to Kiel, Germany. Through strategic purchases and acquisitions, Stena Line in the 80s and 90s, now under the management of Sten’s son, Dan Sten Olsson, established its first routes from the Netherlands to the UK and from the UK to Ireland where is still dominates in the Irish Sea ferry market.

Following the fall of the iron curtain, Stena Line introduced the new Karlskrona – Gdynia route in 1995 which laid the foundations for what is now one Stena Line’s busiest regions.

Stena Line transports 6 million passengers and several million tonnes of freight units per year on 38 ships, operating 18 routes across a European wide network spanning from the west of Ireland to Latvia. Three principles have always determined the course of the company: the ambition to grow, the ability to adapt, and a never-ending curiosity that inspires new innovations.

“At Stena Line, we never forget our heritage. Sten A Olsson was a real entrepreneur, and it was his ambition, flexibility and everlasting curiosity that shaped our DNA. Over the six decades that have passed since he opened his first shipping service, we have continued to challenge existing ideas and models within our business. This is what has enabled us to develop into a leading ferry operator. And we are now eagerly looking forward to taking the next steps in our future, with further expansion and sustainable innovations“, said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

The company is characterised by its efficient, regular passenger and freight services and is constantly reviewing its business to offer its customers the best experience on the Irish Sea.

Today, Stena Line is an efficient, high-frequency, freight-heavy and guest-friendly ferry transport service. Constant innovation and transition saw the original “floating grocery store” to Denmark first turn into a leisure, cruise like business driven by tax-free shopping in the 80´s and 90´s, and then into today’s resourceful, flexible and network-driven company.

The next big challenge for the operator and the entire transport sector is the green transition. Projects like the methanol ferry on Kiel-Göteborg, the state-of-art E-Flexer ferries, and ambitious electrification projects will put the Stena Line motto into reality: Connecting Europe for a Sustainable Future.

Published in Stena Line

An intrepid duo intend to cross the Irish Sea from Wales to Wicklow this weekend in an unusual fashion — paddling on their bellies.

Damien Wildes and Charlie Fleetwood will assume the prone position on their stand-up paddleboards from Holyhead in the early hours of this Saturday 9 July for the crossing to Greystones, which they expect to take somewhere between 14 and 20 hours.

Each will be assisted by their own volunteer-operated support boat for the endurance feat in which they hope to raise at least €15,000 for three local charities: Purple House Cancer Support, Wicklow SPCA and Wicklow RNLI.

“Completing the prone crossing will be a world’s first,” Damien told Greystones Guide, “and I know not many people have actually made it across by SUP, so Charlie will make it onto a very short and very illustrious list.”

The pair’s iDonate page has more on their plans HERE.

Published in Offshore

Portaferry and Peel RNLI came to the aid of a kayaker who got into difficulty in the Irish Sea earlier this week.

The man, who had been kayaking from the Isle of Man to Northern Ireland from early morning on Wednesday (8 June) became fatigued and, when he couldn’t see land, raised the alarm for help.

Both the inshore lifeboat from Portaferry RNLI and the all-weather lifeboat from Peel RNLI on Mann were requested to launch.

The pagers at Portaferry RNLI sounded shortly after 5pm as the station’s operational and fundraising volunteers were enjoying a visit by the RNLI’s chief executive Mark Dowie.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Chris Adair and with three crew onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene some 14 miles out from the Strangford Narrows. The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were drizzly but there was good visibility. The sea was calm and there was a Force 3 easterly wind blowing. Once on scene at 5.58pm, the crew faced a Force 4 wind, fair visibility and a rough sea state.

The volunteer crew assessed the situation before helping the casualty out of his kayak and bringing him onboard the lifeboat.

He was then transferred to Peel RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat where he was brought inside the wheelhouse to be warmed up.

Both Portaferry and Peel lifeboat crews made their way to Portaferry with the casualty, who was checked over to ensure he was safe and well before he got warmed up with pizza and tea at the station.

Speaking following the callout, Philip Johnston, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager said: “The casualty was wearing the appropriate gear for kayaking and made the right decision to call the coastguard for help once he found the conditions too much.

“We would like to wish him well and thank our fellow volunteers from Peel and our colleagues in the coastguard who were also on scene.

“The pagers went off as our volunteers were having a meeting with Mark Dowie, our chief executive who was visiting from England. We were delighted to update him on our lifesaving work at Portaferry RNLI and were equally delighted to be brought up to speed from him on the various work that is happening across our charity that we are all so passionate about.

“As the pagers went off, Mark commented that out of the 124 stations that he has visited so far, we were the fourth station to have a call out during his visit.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A further two ships of the P&O Ferries fleet are being inspected as the company attempts to resume normal operations after sacking nearly 800 workers.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it began assessing European Highlander on Thursday and Norbay yesterday.

P&O Ferries suspended most of its sailings after replacing 786 seafarers with cheaper agency staff on March 17.

European Highlander normally operates between Larne in Northern Ireland and Cairnryan in Scotland, while Norbay serves the Dublin-Liverpool route.

A total of eight P&O Ferries vessels will be examined by the MCA through the Port State Control regime.

RTE News has more on the Irish Sea route ferries in addition to the rest of the fleet, some still detained from UK-mainland Europe services.

As Afloat reported earlier, the North Channel route's second ship, European Causeway following an MCA inspection resumed service last week. 

Published in Ferry

The Talsma Shipyard and sustainable shipping company EcoClipper B.V. this week announced in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, in finalising a partnership to complete work on retrofitting sailing vessel De Tukker which is to trade in the North Sea, the Irish Sea and in the Baltic.

The Talsma Shipyard, based in Franeker is highly experienced in shipbuilding and retrofitting vessels. They will be responsible for the large-scale steel work construction on EcoClipper’s first cargo vessel, De Tukker as Afloat reported in January.

EcoClipper will use their own crew to work on maintenance, rigging and fitting out.

When Jelle Talsma, CEO of the Talsma Shipyard, joined on the first inspection of the ship he commented: "This ship is beautifully lined and well built. It is obvious that the former owners loved the ship and left us with many fine details. Yes, we will be happy to help EcoClipper to get this vessel trading again."

Last week De Tukker was moved into the shipyard's construction hall in Franeker.

The retrofit of the ship will include returning the day cabin and galley to their former use as cargo hold. A small deck house with a mess room will be positioned on deck, in front of the mizzen mast. All spars, standing and running rigging will be serviced and re-rigged.

When work is completed the De Tukker will be registered as a Sailing General Cargo Vessel.

Jorne Langelaan commented: “We are excited to partner with Talsma Shipyard for the retrofit of De Tukker. Not only is Jelle Talsma an expert in the field, but he is an avid sailor of traditional sailing vessels and shares many of the ideals and values that we have at EcoClipper.”

EcoClipper has launched a financing campaign for investors for the EcoClipper Coöperatie U.A. Investors are able to become part owners of the future fleet of sailing ships, including De Tukker.

Published in Shipyards

The Irish Government has contacted P&O Ferries seeking details of the impact on its Irish Sea operations of the decision by the UK-based company to suddenly suspend all services and sack its 800 seafaring crew.

P&O currently operates two routes from Ireland, including a Dublin Port-Liverpool route comprising mostly freight traffic along with passengers in cars, and Larne in Antrim to Cairnryan in Scotland, which carries passengers and freight. Both services are suspended after P&O said it was ceasing operating temporarily.

It is understood that P&O accounts for close to 10 per cent of all unitised freight movements through Dublin Port. Sources at the port suggested it was unaware of what is happening.

The Department of Transport said had contacted the company but it had not yet received any details about the Irish impact. It suggested that if services on the Irish routes are affected, other shipping companies will step in to replace it.

Earlier on Thursday P&O Ferries suspended all services and ordered its ships back to port as it announced it was making 800 staff redundant. Unions said the company had sacked all its UK sailors.

The Irish Times has more on the operator's Irish Sea ferry services and those serving UK-mainland Europe routes. 

Published in Ferry
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