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Displaying items by tag: COVID19

Dun Laoghaire Marina remains open and fully operational amid the ongoing Covid-19 disruption, its management have confirmed.

In a statement, the marina’s general manager Paul Janson said: “We all need a safe port in a storm and in the current worrying times, we wanted to tell you what we are doing to help reduce the stress and uncertainty that you are likely going through.

“At the marina, we are listening to and following the advice of the HSE, the Dept of Transport and DLRCoCo. We are developing our Business Continuity Plan to maintain the best possible service and security should anything change with business as usual.

“At this time, we are open and fully operational. Our teams are out checking your boat, your fenders and lines on a daily basis. It is our hope that this service will be maintained throughout, no matter how severe conditions become.

“We understand that marina operational staff have been allowed to continue this work in Spain despite that country being in lockdown and boat owners excluded, we hope that avenue will still be available to us here in Ireland.”

Janson emphasised to marina users that they “may not self-isolate onboard your boat within Dun Laoghaire Marina. If you are self-isolating and you’re concerned about your boat, please get in touch over email or phone and we will keep an extra-close eye on your boat.”

He added: “Please also consider the health of our small team of marina staff. Only visit the office if it is absolutely necessary, payments for electricity, etc must be cashless at this stage.

“When you see staff out and about on the marina, please remember to adhere to social isolation/separation guidelines and let them get on with the important work at hand. If/when staff have to self-isolate because of the virus, it will have a knock-on effect on the services we provide. We are planning for this eventuality also.

“These are hard times; social isolation, we are slowly discovering, is not some mid-term break with the kids. Government announcements, daily press conferences are draining on our mental health. We will get through this; your boat will be waiting for you and the summer will be a memorable one.

“Stay safe, stay sane and see you out on the water again.”

Tagged under

X-Yachts GB & IRL has announced that its Solent Cup event originally scheduled for this spring has been pushed back a year due to the ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19.

In a statement, the Danish boat builder said: “Taking into consideration the feedback from all of you and given the uncertainty surrounding the current situation with COVID-19, we believe it is pertinent and prudent to postpone the 2020 X-Yachts Solent Cup.

“Therefore, we are rescheduling the event for 2021. New dates 30th April to 2nd May 2021 — please pencil this into your calendars now and let’s get as many of you as possible joined up so that we make it a great event next year.”

X-Yachts also confirmed its production facility in Denmark remains operating as normal, with added hygiene measures. Outdoor viewings continue onboard new and brokerage yachts. However, new yacht deliveries will not take place on its premises for at least the rest of this year.

Hamble-based yachts can also be viewed remotely via FaceTime or Skype; email [email protected] for details.

“Our focus at this time is to try to maintain our service schedules so we are asking that all physical contact with our staff is reduced to a minimum,” the statement added. “We love catching up with our X-Yachts family but ask that you call or email with your sailing plans and news.

“If works are being carried out on your yacht, we will continue to send updates via email and are happy to discuss progress on the telephone. If you have works that are not yet scheduled and wish to talk through with an engineer, this again can be done via email or telephone conversation as normal.

“We are working hard to meet the relaunch schedules for all our service boats, but it is important to note that we are unable to bring forward any launches.”

Published in X-Yachts GB & IRL

The RNLI has closed its shops, museums and visitor centres “with immediate effect” in response to the Covid-19 situation — but vital lifeboat services remain uninterrupted.

In a statement, the lifesaving charity said: “The welfare of our volunteers, supporters and staff along with our ability to maintain our world-class lifesaving service is our priority.

“With this in mind, and given the current situation with Covid-19, we have taken the decision to close all RNLI shops, museums and visitor centres with immediate effect.

“Our lifeboat stations remain operational and we will continue to respond to those in need but will not be open to visitors.

“Our lifeboats will continue to launch to those in peril at sea.”

Due to the current situation regarding Covid-19, upcoming public events on the National Marine Planning Framework planned for Kinsale next Monday 23 March and Wexford on Tuesday 31 March have been cancelled.

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government says its Marine Planning Policy and Development team are available via [email protected] to answer any queries in relation to the draft framework.

The closing date for the receipt of submissions for the public consultation on the draft remains 3pm on the Thursday 9 April.

Published in Coastal Notes

Yachting Monthly is reporting that organisers of the OSTAR and TWOSTAR transatlantic races have postponed this year’s events until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The single-handed and two-handed fleets had been scheduled to set sail from Plymouth on Sunday 10 May in what is their 60th anniversary year, hosted by the city’s Royal Western Yacht Club.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon (16 March), the RWYC said it aims to run the events “over a similar period in 2021”.

It added: “Since this will require compliance to the latest edition of Word Sailing OSRs for Cat 1 yachts, there will be a new Notice of Race, which will be issued in due course.”

Updated Wednesday 18 March to include details of the RWYC's official statement.

 

There is further suspension of Brittany Ferries passenger services as a consequence of the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis which Afloat adds the French ferry operator has posted on its website, so click for updates. 

According to Brittany Ferries this is in response to changing government policy in France, Spain and Ireland, and to protect all passengers and crew members at this difficult time. This decision has not been taken lightly, but has been taken in the best interest of all.

Changes France-Ireland routes:

Brittany Ferries will cease its weekly rotation connecting Roscoff in France with Rosslare Europort (however Afloat adds the new seasonal service was scheduled to start next Monday, 23 March). Afloat also adds the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route was to begin tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day, however sailings have been re-scheduled to Saturday, 11 April, according to their 'Irish' website

The French operator added that the Kerry will however continue two rotations per week, carrying freight between Rosslare and Bilbao in Spain as Afloat previously reported on Saturday. (Since then Afloat adds the ropax ferry was tracked this afternoon arriving at Rosslare with the last 'passenger' service prior to becoming freight-only). 

We are systematically contacting all affected customers by telephone, email and SMS but there is enormous pressure on our contact centre staff. The speed of response may not be up to its usual standard for which Brittany Ferries apologises in advance. Passengers are being asked not to contact us by telephone but to visit website: www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/routes/sailing-updates (scroll down for Irish routes) for the latest information.

Brittany Ferries very much regrets the effect that this ongoing disruption will have on customers. Directors will continue to monitor the situation with a view to resuming normal service as soon as the situation allows.

We respectfully ask all customers who are not booked to travel within the next two weeks to delay contacting our customer call centres. In addition, normal two-way interaction via social media may not be possible due to the volume of enquiries and availability of staff. Brittany Ferries apologises in advance for delays in usual response times.

As outlined below there are other changes on Brittany Ferries network from the UK to France and Spain. 

Changes UK-France routes:

  • Cherbourg to Poole service – Barfleur (until 23 March at least)

The last sailing will leave Cherbourg tonight 16 March 2020 at 21:45 for Poole.

  • St Malo to Portsmouth service – Bretagne (until 24 March at least)
    The last sailing will leave St Malo on Tuesday 17 March at 20:30 for Portsmouth
  • Roscoff to Plymouth service – Armorique (until 26 March at least)

The last sailing will leave Roscoff on Wednesday 18 March at 15:00 destined for Plymouth

As things stand, sailings between Portsmouth and Caen on Mont St Michel and Normandie will continue as normal, for passengers and freight.

Changes UK-Spain routes:

For now ships serving routes connecting Spain with the UK will continue to sail. However, they will only carry passengers who must return home, therefore offering a lifeline-only service for British and Spanish whose travel is essential. Freight will continue to be carried as normal.

Published in Ferry

The RYA Northern Ireland says it is keeping developments regarding the COVID-19 virus in Northern Ireland “under close review”.

In a statement, the RYANI says it “will follow the guidelines set by the Northern Ireland Assembly and UK Government, and the advice provided by Public Health Agency Northern Ireland”.

“This continues to be a developing situation and RYA Northern Ireland will keep local clubs and centres fully informed of any changes.”

The RYA website is updated with its latest advice on Covid-19, which includes specific advice for affiliated clubs and Training Centres. The RYA will also update affiliated clubs via the RYA Club Room newsletter if and when this advice changes materially. Updates on the situation will also be provided via the RYA Wavelength newsletter.

As earlier reported on Afloat.ie, yesterday (Sunday 15 March) Irish Sailing called for “all organised sailing activity to cease with immediate effect” subject to review on Sunday 29 March, based on Government advice on social distancing and mass gatherings.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
Tagged under

Galway Bay FM reports that residents on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands are appealing for tourists and other visitors to stay away for the next fortnight to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo issued a statement saying residents have overwhelmingly voted in favour of limiting travel to or from Inis Mór until Sunday 29 March.

In addition, islanders are asked to avoid travel to and from the mainland for the rest of this month’s containment period.

Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has outlined a series of immediate changes to its schedules, in response to the on-going Coronavirus crisis.

On 12 March, the French government announced steps to protect its citizens.

According to the company employing all-French crew, Brittany Ferries announced that they must also respond quickly. It must prepare for the possibility that many crew may not be available to work, either through self-isolation or because they are caring for family members at home.

In addition the Spanish government has announced a state of alert, applicable from 14 March. This follows a significant increase in Coronavirus cases and advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance advising citizens to avoid travel to certain regions of Spain.

The measures are therefore designed to ensure sufficient crew are available to operate as many services as possible, while responding to the dynamic political situation in Spain.

The following changes will apply until at least 9 April 2020:

(AFLOAT adds for information from the Irish Government, click HERE and including Travel advice this LINK plus the Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs website).

Ireland-Spain 

Brittany Ferries’ Kerry service operating between Rosslare and Bilbao will take only freight. The last passenger service will leave Bilbao tomorrow at 12:00 on Sunday 15 March bound for Rosslare. This change applies until at least 9 April 2020. For sailings schedule click HERE.

Ireland-France

Following dry-docking in Poland, Pont-Aven (as Afloat reported) the flagship will not return to service on Tuesday as planned on 17 March (St. Patrick's Day) until at least 9 April 2020. Pont-Aven was scheduled to serve the following destinations: Portsmouth-Santander-Plymouth-Roscoff-Cork. For sailings click HERE.

These changes will be reviewed by directors in the days and weeks to come. All passengers with existing reservations will be offered a full refund. Where possible - and acceptable to the traveller - alternative arrangements will be made on other Brittany Ferries services.

“On behalf of everyone in the company, I would like to apologise for the significant disruption this will cause to many customers,” said Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries. “However, under the extraordinary circumstances of the current crisis, we have no option but to take decisive action now to respond to the challenges we face. We thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time.”

It is likely that customer relations teams in all markets will be extremely busy in the days to come. In addition, normal two-way interaction via social media may not be possible due to the volume of enquiries and availability of staff.

Brittany Ferries apologises in advance for delays in usual response times.

Click here for further information on changes to some of the operators other routes. 

Published in Ferry

Due to the design of Stena Line ferries as well as the length and nature of crossings, the ferry operator has issued a statement regards them always operating to a shared cabin policy for freight drivers.

Stena added, as we have always done, where a driver wishes to have their own cabin we will endeavour to meet their request when there are cabins available.

In the current circumstances with the COVID-19/Coronavirus, where a driver now requests a single occupancy cabin and there is one available, we will waiver the additional charge to the driver.

If none is available and the driver still does not wish to share then they will be offered a recliner seat in our premium 'Hygge' recliner lounge or other recliner lounge, free of any additional charge.

Drivers will still have access to the Truckers dining facilities and amenities as they currently enjoy.

As situation develops and the flag states, under which the ferries operate, give further information and guidance, we will of course review this.

As earlier reported on Afloat, Seatruck Ferries have introduced temporary restrictive measures whereas Irish Ferries freight operations continue as normal. 

The Hygge lounge is among facilities on board the newest ferry on the Irish Sea, Stena Edda which recently made its maiden voyage on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route albeit the inaugural crossing departed on Merseyside to Belfast Harbour.  

Published in Ferry
Page 13 of 15

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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