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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#CO2reduced - Strategic efforts to reduce its environmental footprint at Stena Line is well on course according to a recent company report. Last year the ferry operator cut emissions of sulphur by 53%.

Stena AB’s Sustainability Report for 2015, which was recently published, shows reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions for the shipping companies within the shipping group.  Stena Line has exceeded its targets for reduction of emissions of both sulphur and CO2.

One of the largest changes to affect the shipping industry was introduced in 2015 with tough new regulations on sulphur emissions being laid down for ferry operators in Northern Europe. This regulation means that the permitted emission levels of sulphur from vessels has been reduced from a maximum 1 per cent to 0.1 per cent within the SECA area from January 1st 2015.

For Stena’s shipping companies, with 93 vessels operating all over the world, the new rules have resulted in a reduction of over 4,000 tonnes of sulphur from 2014 to 2015, which represents an impressive 15 per cent reduction. For Stena Line’s 34 vessels operating in Europe, 24 of which operate within the SECA area, the total emission of sulphur has been reduced by 53 per cent.

Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO at Stena Line, said: “Focusing on sustainability is not only a priority for Stena Line, but for the entire industry which needs long term sustainable fuel options to maintain its competiveness. We are currently conducting several initiatives looking at alternative fuels within Stena. Our Methanol Project on Stena Germanica is one example. We are also looking at battery powered vessels, which is now starting to become an interesting option for shipping.

“Since 2015 Stena’s shipping companies have been delivering a dedicated program called the Energy Saving Programme (ESP), to reduce fuel consumption. The target is a reduction of 2.5 per cent annually and the result for 2015 was a reduction of 2.8 per cent. For Stena Line the efforts led to a reduction of fuel consumption of 4 per cent per nautical mile and a reduction of CO2 emissions of 2.5 per cent per nautical mile,” concluded Carl-Johan.

Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability, Stena Line, said: “We have a broad scope and are currently driving several different initiatives in a bid to reduce our fuel consumption within ESP. It covers everything from changing bulbs and propellers to enabling our ferries to sail with reduced water resistance. Other initiatives include using digital solutions such as our Fuel Management System, where we collect a huge amount of data from the systems onboard our 34 ferries which is them analysed and used to optimise our day to day operations. We have set an ambitious target of trying to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% per nautical mile by 2030.”

Published in Ferry

#BREXITholyhead? - The United Kingdom's referendum on membership of the European Union is rapidly approaching, writes BBC News, but what does it mean for those places that find themselves at the centre of the debate - whether they want to be or not?

George Herd has been in the port town of Holyhead on Anglesey - and across the Irish Sea to the Republic of Ireland's capital, Dublin.

It is pub quiz question time: What links a truckers' rest and odds of 4/11 that the UK will vote to stay in the EU come the vote on June 23? That was the price on offer at the weekend from a well-known High Street bookies chain you can find in Holyhead on Anglesey.

The link? The founder and owner of the bookmakers also happens to be the co-owner of the Road King truck stop and cafe on the edge of the town. There, staff have just thrown a party to celebrate the venue's first birthday, and the £7m gamble to build it in the first place.

It was a gamble based on the simple premise: location, location, location. For much more on the BREXIT debate, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#FerrytoUSnavy - Irish Continental Group (ICG) which acquired a fastferry for $13.25 million last month has taken delivery this week of the HSC (high-speed craft) Westpac Express from BALI Westpac 2006, LLC, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The HSC has been onward delivered by ICG to Sealift LLC who has in turn chartered the fastferry to the U.S Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC), a government organisation that controls the replenishment and military transport ships of the navy.

The charter is subject to usual US government procurement regulations and is fixed for a firm 4 month period to 30 September, with charterer's options to extend the charter period to a maximum of 59 months in total. 

The vessel was built in 2001 by Austal Ships, Australia. It has a gross tonnage of 8,403 tonne, passenger capacity of 900 and a car carrying capacity of 182 units. Afloat adds that Irish Sea operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastferry Manannan built by a rival of Austal, InCAT based in Hobart, Tasmania, had also served a career with the US Navy's MSC. 

Westpac Express is not the only ICG vessel on charter as the former Irish Sea ropax Isle of Innisfree currently the Kaitaki is bareboat chartered ( i.e. without crew) to a third party in New Zealand.

The custom-built 22,365 tonnes cruiseferry 'Innisfree' which became ICG's first newbuild since acquiring the ailing state-owned B&I Line, began operating for Irish Ferries until replaced by larger tonnage.

For almost the last decade Kaitaki has operated Interislander's Wellington-Picton route having entered service in August 2006. The 1,650 passenger/ 600 car/ 108 truck cruiseferry serves the Cook Strait service linking the north and south islands.

Published in Ferry

#NewFerry- Irish Continental Group (ICG) has entered into an agreement, with German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG (FSG) to build a cruise ferry for ICG at a contract price of €144 million.

Afloat adds that the proposed design of the newbuild strongly resembles that of current flagship Ulysses. 

The new cruise ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and with capacity for 2,800 lane metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) plus an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars.

The Agreement between ICG and FSG provides that the cruise ferry is scheduled for delivery in May 2018. 20% of the contract price will be paid in instalments during the construction period. The balance of 80% will be paid on delivery. ICG intend to utilise a combination of existing cash resources and loan facilities to finance the cruise ferry. The pre-delivery instalment payments to FSG will be protected by means of bank guarantees.

This cruise ferry will be designed and built to the highest standards of cruise shipping, and equipped with efficiency and comfort in mind. Emissions scrubber technology (not included in the above price) and ballast water systems will meet current and known future environmental regulations and will deliver optimal fuel consumption while minimising related costs. The cruise ferry will be powered by four main engines delivering 33,600KW of power which will ensure a high degree of service reliability similar to that already achieved by the existing owned fleet of modern cruise ferries.

The cruise ferry will be designed to best meet the operational seasonality of our business. This flexibility in design includes the ability to service all of Irish Ferries existing routes, and will provide even greater route management options. The cruise ferry will also adhere to Ice Class specification which will allow for a wide geographic area of operation.

Passenger facilities will be spread over 4 decks and will offer a choice of 435 cabins to include suites with their own private external balconies, along with deluxe and standard class accommodation. In addition to a superb choice of bars, restaurants (to include both á la carte and self-service options), special provision has been made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private access direct from the vehicle decks. A choice of state of the art entertainment options and cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as retail outlets and onboard facilities for pets, will ensure that all our passengers will be comfortable and engaged throughout their journey.

It is likely that this new cruise ferry will be introduced on routes served by the chartered ship MV Epsilon, (currently year round services Dublin - Holyhead midweek, and Ireland - France on weekends). The cruise ferry will provide additional freight and tourism capacity on both routes and will deliver a much enhanced onboard experience for all customers. In addition to increased capacity, the cruise ferry will deliver significant cost savings to the group and improved route and fleet management efficiencies.

Referring to the announcement Eamonn Rothwell, Chief Executive Officer, commented that; "This investment underpins the confidence the Group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France. The construction of a cruise ferry of this size will offer a premium experience for all our customers, in line with our commitment to deliver the best in service, in reliability and flexibility across all our routes. We also expect to be well positioned to accommodate the changing expectations of our customers, and to benefit from significant operational and financial benefits following the delivery in 2018."

Published in Ferry

#FerryInvestment -The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has set out its vision for the future of services that includes investment of £170m in new vessels, port facilities and increased year-round passenger capacity.

Also as part of plans to improve ferry services are fare reductions, more special offers and a new frequent traveller scheme.

The Steam Packet will invest in two new vessels and will commit to retaining Ben-my-Chree to provide comprehensive passenger and freight back-up to the fleet.

Late last year Isle of Man Government announced it was considering the future of strategic sea services for the Island. The current User Agreement is due to end in 2026 and the Steam Packet Company has now outlined its vision for continuing to provide services beyond that date.

The details were presented to members of Tynwald on Tuesday and released to the public the same day. They are currently available to view online at http://goo.gl/SwDjOw and the Steam Packet Company is arranging for a printed version to be delivered to homes and businesses Island-wide with the Isle of Man Courier in June. Copies will also be available from the Ferry Travel Shop at the Sea Terminal in Douglas.

It is hoped the offer can be taken to July Tynwald for debate as, the earlier a decision is made, the sooner investment can begin and residents, visitors and businesses start to benefit.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We are not just a company which serves the Isle of Man; we are part of the Manx community. Our management team lives and works here, we employ more than 300 Isle of Man residents and we spend significant sums in the local economy. As part of the Isle of Man, our interests are fully vested in what is best for our Island.

‘Since the start of the User Agreement there has been major private investment in vessels, much lower fares (halved in real terms) with improved offers and availability, and significant marketing each year to promote the Isle of Man.

‘We want to consolidate these benefits and provide a platform for further investment and improvements in service delivery for another generation. If a new Strategic Sea Services Agreement, to guarantee services beyond 2026, can be reached this year we will bring forward our planned investment.’

If an agreement is made this year, the Company is committed to delivering a replacement for Ben-my-Chree by 2019/21 and Manannan by 2022/23. MV Arrow would be retained as freight back-up until Ben-my-Chree is replaced, after which time the Ben would become the Company’s permanent third vessel. This gives the fleet comprehensive passenger and freight back-up, as well as additional capacity and self-sufficiency during the TT and Festival of Motorcycling.

The Company would increase passenger and freight capacity year-round to meet the needs of a growing population and would also guarantee that more special offer seats are available each year. A new frequent traveller scheme would be introduced and is expected to benefit 10 times more passengers than the previous scheme which was discontinued some years ago.

There would also be an agreement for the Company to share extra revenue growth, above an agreed threshold, to fund additional low fare and marketing initiatives. This would mean that a proportion of profits would be ring-fenced and used to target specific potential growth areas of the visitor economy or other initiatives aimed at growing passenger numbers.

The offer also includes the retention of the Manx RPI cap on standard fare increases, a commitment to formal service reviews every three years and a promise to publish Irish Sea fare comparisons every year.

Mr Woodward added: ‘Unlike some ferry firms servicing island communities, the Steam Packet Company does not and will not require any government subsidy. We meet the costs of delivering our services ourselves. We will do this while providing guaranteed standards and levels of service and it is we, not the Government or Manx public, that take all the commercial downside risk of doing this.

‘We look forward to further discussions with the Isle of Man Government and the Manx public about the future of Island sea services.’

To read the proposal visit http://goo.gl/SwDjOw

Published in Ferry

#ValueContested - Stena Line is contesting the £1.25m rateable value set on its ferry port in Cairnryan, claiming it could compromise future site investment.

BBC News writes that an appeal against the Assessor for Dumfries and Galloway will go to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland in July.

The company claimed the new rate was "effectively double" what it paid at its old site in Stranraer.

Assessor Keith Mossop described the hearing as "really just a procedural matter."

Stena Line moved its operations to the site in 2011 after it left its facilities in nearby Stranraer.

It said it had been in "protracted negotiations" in relation to the rates assessment at the new port.

"Stena Line made a significant investment (in excess of £80m) when it opened its new state-of-the art ferry port and terminal at Cairnryan in 2011 to replace its former Stranraer facility," said a statement.

"Despite this investment, designed to provide south west Scotland with a modern freight and tourism gateway, the council has assessed Stena Line for its non-domestic rates for the new port at a rate effectively double that of its former facility.

"Stena Line is concerned that this significant additional running cost may impact upon future investment at Loch Ryan Port."

For more on the south-west Scottish ferryport, click here

Published in Ferry

#ContingencyPort - The Isle of Man Steam Packet reports IOMToday is to consider using Holyhead in Anglesey as a ‘contingency’ destination.

This afternoon (yesterday) it was announced by the operator to conduct a berthing trial at the Welsh port to assess its suitability as a back-up alternative to Heysham and Birkenhead.

Tomorrow night (today) the ropax Ben-my-Chree will sail to the harbour for the trial.

Passengers are not affected as the vessel is not scheduled to operate any services during the period.

Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This is necessary to ensure maximum flexibility for our services, and robust contingency measures for secure lifeline sea services for the Isle of Man.

To find out more what the chief executive had to say on considering the Angelsey port, click here.

Published in Ferry

#FurtherCancellations – In addition to Brittany Ferries cancelled sailings this weekend on the Cork-Roscoff route, further disruption to passengers heading to and from France has arised as Irish Ferries Dublin-Cherbourg sailings are also not in service.

Technical problems of Brittany Ferries flagship, Pont-Aven as previously reported on Afloat.ie had forced the cancellation of last night’s inward bound sailing to Cork and also today’s outbound crossing returning to Roscoff.

On one of Irish Ferries French routes, the ropax Epsilon is also subject to technical reasons and this has led to the cancellation of this weekend's Dublin-Cherbourg round trip sailings. The disruption follows cancellations by Epsilon that also serves on the Dublin-Holyhead route. Passengers having been transferred onto alternative vessels serving on the Welsh link.

For latest sailing updates for Brittany Ferries click HERE and for those with Irish Ferries click HERE.

Alternative sailings on Ireland-France routes are Irish Ferries other continental services, Rosslare-Cherbourg and Rosslare-Roscoff that began operating this season a fortnight ago in early May.

Also running a continental service and out of the Wexford port is Stena Line’s Rosslare-Cherbourg service, for details click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#TenderAward - One of Europe's leading transport operators, CalMac has welcomed Transport Scotland's decision to award it the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract for up to eight years. This sees the services remain in public hands through CalMac's ferry network operations. 

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac said: "We are proud to be given the opportunity to transform ferry passengers' experience across the west coast of Scotland and to work closely with our partners to connect towns, cities and communities like never before.

"Our successful bid demonstrates our ability to provide innovative service improvements and value for money for customers. Drawing on our experience in the UK ferry market where we have won a number of awards, our bid delivers industry-leading customer care and high standards of reliability.

"The detail of our bid is confidential until the formal procurement process is concluded, however among the things that people can look forward to seeing are more opportunities for local employment; a refreshed on-board retail offering; investment in on-board facilities; closer, more responsive working with communities and an innovative approach to vessel maintenance to minimise disruption to services especially during the winter refit period.

"Our commitment to safety, support for local economies and businesses and protecting the very special environment in which we operate will not change."

He added: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many people across our network and further afield for their support during this testing time for everyone associated with CalMac and especially our staff ashore and at sea, whose efforts over the last nine years have been acknowledged and rewarded with this contract.

"Now the hard work begins in delivering this contract during challenging economic times."

David McGibbon, Chairman of CalMac, said: "This is great news for the staff, the company and the communities we support up and down the west coast of Scotland.

"A huge amount of time and effort has gone into understanding the aspirations of these communities for these vital services and preparing a bid which reflect these and our own ambitions.

"I am delighted to see this hard work has been rewarded with this prestigious contract."

Published in Ferry

#SGTpepperCalls – Sgt. Pepper was among several workboats that called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour last week to begin short to long term projects. Notably one project involves dismantling and removing the former Stena HSS berth, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Multicat, Sgt. Pepper, a name synonymously associated with the ‘Beatles’ eight-studio album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was released in the summer of 1967. Only two years previously the first custom built car-ferry was launched onto a summer-only service on the route to Holyhead.

Sgt. Pepper had arrived into Dun Laoghaire last Thursday. The workboat operated by McMullan Marine Services, had sailed from Arklow via Dalkey Sound (see: ‘Maritime’ Dalkey of the Dalkey Community Council newsletter, May 2015) To read more and of the 'Maritime' series dating to July, 2011 click HERE from the downloadable back issues. 

On arrival at the harbour, Sgt. Pepper begin working inspection of the RNLI moorings opposite the lifeboat stationhouse and souvenir shop located between the Royal St. George and the National Yacht Clubs.

The lifeboat station has two craft. They are the RNLB Anna Livia at moorings and the inshore craft RNLB Realt Na Mara that is housed in the old lifeboat station located at the foot of the East Pier.

Two days later, Sgt. Pepper was joined by a barge, SB-5016 that was towed by tug MTS Valour from Stranraer, Scotland (also a former Stena HSS ferryport) down the Irish Sea to Dun Laoghaire. The 10-week long project at this harbour is to remove the HSS ferry berth and related structures at St. Michaels Pier terminal. The works are expected to be completed in August.

Not surprisingly the coverage of the decommissioned Boeing 767 that was towed by barge from the Shannon Estuary to the Sligo coastal town of Enniscrone, centred on the aircraft. Afloat.ie however researched as to the identity of the barge and the tug involved.

It transpires the tug, MTS Statum belongs to the same company, Marine & Towage Service that operates the MTS Valour used for the Stena HSS related project in Dun Laoghaire. As for the barge used during the western seaboard passage that was the Wilcarry 1500 operated by Williams Shipping.

Returning to the eastern seaboard harbour, is where plans to restore the seasonal-only Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead closed by Stena Line in 2014 cannot proceed until the HSS berth is removed.

Operators were sought by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company through an E-tender process that in early 2015 which drew seven potential operators.

As the ferry berth removal project is underway and throughout this summer, this has delayed in restoring a seasonal –service that was originally envisaged to begin at the earliest this year. If a successful operator is secured such a service will not be available until 2017. For more on this story click here.

Also at the harbour berthed next to the Danish barge SB-5016 at St. Michaels Pier terminal was Dublin Bay Cruise excursion boat St. Bridget.

Offshore of the ferry terminal was the largest vessel within the harbour, ILV Granuaile. The lighthouse and aids to navigation tender that is based in the harbour is also where the Commissioners of Irish Lights HQ and adjoining marine depot is located beside the marina.

Page 9 of 69

General Information on using Waterways Ireland inland navigations

Safety on the Water

All users of the navigations are strongly recommended to make themselves aware of safety on the water for whatever activity they are involved in and to read the advice offered by the various governing bodies and by:

The Dept. of Transport, Ireland: www.gov.ie/transport and The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, UK, The RNLI – Water Safety Ireland for information in terms of drowning prevention and water safety.

Registration of Vessels

All vessels using the Shannon Navigation, which includes the Shannon-Erne Waterways and the Erne System must be registered with Waterways Ireland. Only open undecked boats with an engine of 15 horsepower or less on the Shannon Navigation, and vessels of 10 horsepower or less on the Erne System, are exempt. Registration is free of charge.

Craft registration should be completed online at: https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/craft-registration

Permits for use of the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation

All vessels using the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation must display appropriate valid Permit(s) i.e A Combined Mooring and Passage Permit (€126) and if not intending to move every five days, an Extended Mooring Permit (€152).

Permit applications should be completed online at: https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/canal-permits

Passage on the Royal and Grand Canals – Dublin Area

For boat passage through the locks east of Lock 12 into / out of Dublin on either the Royal or Grand Canals, Masters are requested to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (M-F 9.30am-4.30pm) on tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or email [email protected] prior to making passage in order to plan the necessary lock-keeping assistance arrangements.

On the Grand Canal a minimum of two days notice prior to the planned passage should be given, masters should note that with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of 2 boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either east or west.

Movements in or out of the city will be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day. Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

Newcomen Lifting Bridge

On the Royal Canal two weeks’ notice of bridge passage (Newcomen Lifting Bridge) is required for the pre-set lift date, and lock assistance will then also be arranged. A minimum of 2 boats is required for a bridge lift to go ahead.

Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (Tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or [email protected] ) is the point of contact for the bridge lift.

A maximum number of boats passing will be implemented to keep to the times given above for the planned lifts (16 for the Sat / Sun lifts & 8 for the weekday lifts). Priority will be given on a first come first served basis.

On day of lift, boaters and passengers must follow guidance from Waterways Ireland staff about sequence of passage under bridge & through Lock 1, and must remain within signed and designated areas.

Events Held on the Waterways

All organised events taking place on the waterways must have the prior approval of Waterways Ireland. This is a twelve week process and application forms must be accompanied with the appropriate insurance, signed indemnity and risk assessment. The application should be completed on the Waterways Ireland events page at :

https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/event-approval

Time Limits on Mooring in Public Harbours

On the Shannon Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway craft may berth in public harbours for five consecutive days or a total of seven days in any one month.

On the Erne System, revised Bye Laws state that: No master or owner shall permit a vessel, boat or any floating or sunken object to remain moored at or in the vicinity of any public mooring, including mooring at any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location, for more than 3 consecutive days and shall not moor at that same mooring or any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location within the following 3 consecutive days without prior permission by an authorised official.

Winter Mooring on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway

Winter mooring may be availed of by owners during the period 1 Nov to 31 Mar by prior arrangement and payment of a charge of €63.50 per craft. Craft not availing of Winter Mooring must continue to comply with the “5 Day Rule”. Winter Mooring applications should be completed online at : https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/winter-moorings-booking

Owners should be aware that electricity supply and water supply to public moorings is disconnected for the winter months. This is to protect against frost damage, to reduce running costs and to minimise maintenance requirements during the winter months.

Vessel owners are advised that advance purchasing of electricity on the power bollards leading up to the disconnection date should be minimal. Electricity credit existing on the bollards will not be recoverable after the winter decommissioning date. Both services will be reinstated prior to the commencement of the next boating season.

Smart Cards

Waterways Ireland smart cards are used to operate locks on the Shannon Erne Waterway, to access the service blocks, to use the pump-outs along the navigations, to avail of electrical power at Waterways Ireland jetties.

Berthing in Public Harbours

Masters are reminded of the following:

  • Equip their vessel with mooring lines of appropriate length and strength and only secure their craft to mooring bollards and cleats provided for this purpose.
  • Ensure the available berth is suitable to the length of your vessel, do not overhang the mooring especially on finger moorings on floating pontoon moorings.
  • Ensure mooring lines, electric cables and fresh water hoses do not create a trip hazard on public jetties for others users.
  • Carry sufficient fenders to prevent damage to your own vessel, other vessels and WI property.
  • Allow sufficient space between your vessel and the vessel ahead /astern (c.1m) for fire safety purposes and /or to recover somebody from the water.
  • Do not berth more than two vessels side by side and ensure there is safe access/egress at all times between vessels and onto the harbour itself.
  • Do not berth in such a way to prevent use of harbour safety ladders, slipways or pump-outs.
  • Do not allow the bow of your vessel to overhang the walkway of a floating mooring thus creating a hazard for others with an overhanging anchor or bow fendering.
  • Animals are not allowed to be loose or stray at any time.
  • Harbour and jetty infrastructure such as railings, power pedestals, fresh water taps, electric light poles, safety bollards, ladders etc are not designed for the purpose of mooring craft , they will not bear the strain of a vessel and will be damaged.
  • At Carrybridge on the Erne System, Masters of vessels are not permitted to use stern on mooring. Masters of vessels must use the mooring fingers for mooring of vessels and for embarkation / disembarkation from vessels.

Passenger Vessel Berths

Masters of vessels should not berth on passenger vessel berths where it is indicated that an arrival is imminent. Passenger vessels plying the navigations generally only occupy the berths to embark and disembark passengers and rarely remain on the berths for extended periods or overnight.

Lock Lead-in Jetties

Lead-in jetties adjacent to the upstream and downstream gates at lock chambers are solely for the purpose of craft waiting to use the lock and should not be used for long term berthing.

Vessel Wake

Vessel wake, that is, the wave generated by the passage of the boat through the water, can sometimes be large, powerful and destructive depending on the hull shape and engine power of the vessel. This wake can be detrimental to other users of the navigation when it strikes their craft or inundates the shoreline or riverbank. Masters are requested to frequently look behind and check the effect of their wake / wash particularly when passing moored vessels, on entering harbours and approaching jetties and to be aware of people pursuing other activities such as fishing on the riverbank.

Speed Restriction

A vessel or boat shall not be navigated on the Shannon Navigation at a speed in excess of 5 kph when within 200 metres of a bridge, quay, jetty or wharf, when in a harbour or canal or when passing within 100 metres of a moored vessel or boat.

Vessels navigating the Shannon-Erne Waterway should observe the general 5 kph speed limit which applies along the waterway. This is necessary in order to prevent damage to the banks caused by excessive wash from vessels.

Vessels navigating the Erne System should observe the statutory 5kt / 6mph / 10kph speed limit areas.

A craft on the Royal and Grand canals shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 6km per hour.

A craft on the Barrow Navigation shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 11km per hour except as necessary for safe navigation in conditions of fast flow.

Bank Erosion

Narrow sections of all the navigations are particularly prone to bank erosion due to the large wash generated by some craft. Masters are requested to be vigilant and to slow down to a speed sufficient to maintain steerage when they observe the wash of their craft inundating the river banks.

Unusual Waterborne Activity

Unusual waterborne vessels may be encountered from time to time, such as, hovercraft or amphibious aircraft / seaplanes. Masters of such craft are reminded to apply the normal “Rule of the Road” when they meet conventional craft on the water and to allow extra room to manoeuvre in the interest of safety.

Sailing Activity

Mariners will encounter large numbers of sailing dinghies from late June to August in the vicinity of Lough Derg, Lough Ree and Lower Lough Erne. Sailing courses are marked by yellow buoys to suit weather conditions on the day. Vessels should proceed at slow speed and with due caution and observe the rules of navigation when passing these fleets, as many of the participants are junior sailors under training.

Rowing

Mariners should expect to meet canoes and vessels under oars on any part of the navigations, but more so in the vicinity of Athlone, Carrick-on-Shannon, Coleraine, Enniskillen and Limerick. Masters are reminded to proceed at slow speed and especially to reduce their wash to a minimum when passing these craft as they can be easily upset and swamped due to their very low freeboard and always be prepared to give way in any given traffic situation.

Canoeing

Canoeing is an adventure sport and participants are strongly recommended to seek the advice of the sport’s governing bodies i.e Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland, before venturing onto the navigations.

Persons in charge of canoes are reminded of the inherent danger to these craft associated with operating close to weirs, sluice gates, locks and other infrastructure particularly when rivers are in flood and large volumes of water are moving through the navigations due to general flood conditions or very heavy localised precipitation e.g. turbulent and broken water, stopper waves. Shooting weirs is prohibited without prior permission of Waterways Ireland.

Canoeists should check with lockkeepers prior entering a lock to ensure passage is done in a safe manner. Portage is required at all unmanned locks.

Canoe Trail Network – "Blueways"

Masters of powered craft are reminded that a canoe trail network is being developed across all navigations and to expect more organised canoeing along these trails necessitating slow speed and minimum wash when encountering canoeists, rowing boats etc

Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals – Lough Key

It is expected that work on Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals on Lough Key will be completed in 2021. Access to these canals will be for non-powered craft only, eg canoes, kayaks, rowing boats.

Fast Powerboats and Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis)

Masters of Fast Powerboats (speed greater than 17kts) and Personal Watercraft (i.e.Jet Skis) are reminded of the inherent dangers associated with high speed on the water and especially in the confines of small bays and narrow sections of the navigations. Keeping a proper look-out, making early alterations to course and /or reducing speed will avoid conflict with slower vessels using the navigation. Personal Watercraft are not permitted to be used on the canals.

Towing Waterskiers, Wakeboarders, Doughnuts etc

Masters of vessels engaged in any of these activities are reminded of the manoeuvring constraints imposed upon their vessel by the tow and of the added responsibilities that they have to the person(s) being towed. These activities should be conducted in areas which are clear of conflicting traffic. It is highly recommended that a person additional to the master be carried to act as a “look-out” to keep the tow under observation at all times.

Prohibition on Swimming

Swimming in the navigable channel, particularly at bridges, is dangerous and is prohibited due to the risk of being run over by a vessel underway in the navigation.

Age Restrictions on operating of powered craft

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the minimum age for operating of powered craft. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a personal watercraft or a fast power craft shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years does not operate or control the craft

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft powered by an engine with a rating of more than 5 horse power or 3.7 kilowatts shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 12 years does not operate or control the craft.

Lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Lifejackets and PFD’s are the single most important items of personal protective equipment to be used on a vessel and should be worn especially when the vessel is being manoeuvred such as entering / departing a lock, anchoring, coming alongside or departing a jetty or quayside.

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the wearing of Personal Flotation Devices. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall ensure, that there are, at all times on board the craft, sufficient suitable personal flotation devices for each person on board.

- A person on a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) of less than 7 metres length overall shall wear a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of decked craft, other than when the craft is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years complies with paragraph above.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft), shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years wears a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of a decked craft other than when it is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person wears a suitable personal flotation device, at all times while – (a) being towed by the craft, (b) on board a vessel or object of any kind which is being towed by the craft.

Further information is available at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2005/si/921/made/en/print

Firing Range Danger Area – Lough Ree

The attention of mariners is drawn to the Irish Defence Forces Firing Range situated in the vicinity of buoys No’s 2 and 3, on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation. This range is used regularly for live firing exercises, throughout the year, all boats and vessels should stay clear of the area marked with yellow buoys showing a yellow "X" topmark and displaying the word "Danger".

Shannon Navigation, Portumna Swing Bridge Tolls

No attempt should be made by Masters’ of vessels to pay the bridge toll while making way through the bridge opening. Payment will only be taken by the Collector from Masters when they are secured alongside the jetties north and south of the bridge.

Navigating from Killaloe to Limerick on the Shannon Navigation

The navigation from Killaloe to Limerick involves passage through Ardnacrusha locks, the associated headrace and tailrace and the Abbey River into Limerick City. Careful passage planning is required to undertake this voyage. Considerations include: lock passage at Ardnacrusha, water flow in the navigation, airdraft under bridges on Abbey River in Limerick, state of tide in Limerick

Users are advised to contact the ESB Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power station (00353 (0)87 9970131) 48 hours in advance of commencing their journey to book passage through the locks at Ardnacrusha. It is NOT advised to undertake a voyage if more than one turbine is operating (20MW), due to the increased velocity of flow in the navigation channel, which can be dangerous. To ascertain automatically in real time how many turbines are running, users can phone +353 (0)87 6477229.

For safety reasons the ESB has advised that only powered craft with a capacity in excess of 5 knots are allowed to enter Ardnacrusha Headrace and Tailrace Canals.

Passage through Sarsfield Lock should be booked on +353-87-7972998, on the day prior to travel and it should be noted also that transit is not possible two hours either side of low water.

A Hydrographic survey in 2020 of the navigation channel revealed that the approach from Shannon Bridge to Sarsfield Lock and the Dock area has silted up. Masters of vessels and water users are advised to navigate to the Lock from Shannon bridge on a rising tide one or two hours before High Tide.

Lower Bann Navigation

The attention of all users is drawn to the “Users Code for the Lower Bann”, in particular to that section covering “Flow in the River” outlining the dangers for users both on the banks and in the navigation, associated with high flow rates when the river is in spate. Canoeists should consult and carry a copy of the “Lower Bann Canoe Trail” guide issued by the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland. Users should also contact the DfI Rivers Coleraine, who is responsible for regulating the flow rates on the river, for advisory information on the flow rates to be expected on any given day.

DfI Rivers Coleraine. Tel: 0044 28 7034 2357 Email: [email protected]

Lower Bann Navigation – Newferry – No wake zone

A No Wake Zone exists on the Lower Bann Navigation at Newferry. Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at a slow speed and create no wake while passing the jetties and slipways at Newferry.

Overhead Power Lines (OHPL) and Air draft

All Masters must be aware of the dangers associated with overhead power lines, in particular sailing vessels and workboats with cranes or large air drafts. Voyage planning is a necessity in order to identify the location of overhead lines crossing the navigation.

Overhead power line heights on the River Shannon are maintained at 12.6metres (40 feet) from Normal Summer level for that section of navigation, masters of vessels with a large air draft should proceed with caution and make additional allowances when water levels are high.

If a vessel or its equipment comes into contact with an OHPL the operator should NOT attempt to move the vessel or equipment. The conductor may still be alive or re-energise automatically. Maintain a safe distance and prevent third parties from approaching due to risk of arcing. Contact the emergency services for assistance.

Anglers are also reminded that a minimum ground distance of 30 metres should be maintained from overhead power lines when using a rod and line.

Submarine Cables and Pipes

Masters of vessels are reminded not to anchor their vessels in the vicinity of submarine cables or pipes in case they foul their anchor or damage the cables or pipes. Look to the river banks for signage indicating their presence.

Water Levels - Precautions

Low Water Levels:

When water levels fall below normal summer levels masters should be aware of:

Navigation

To reduce the risk of grounding masters should navigate on or near the centreline of the channel, avoid short cutting in dog-legged channels and navigating too close to navigation markers.

Proceeding at a slow speed will also reduce “squat” effect i.e. where the vessel tends to sit lower in the water as a consequence of higher speed.

Slipways

Reduced slipway length available under the water surface and the possibility of launching trailers dropping off the end of the concrete apron.

More slipway surface susceptible to weed growth requiring care while engaged in launching boats, from slipping and sliding on the slope. Note also that launching vehicles may not be able to get sufficient traction on the slipway once the craft is launched to get up the incline.

Bank Erosion

Very dry riverbanks are more susceptible to erosion from vessel wash.

Lock Share

Maximising on the number of vessels in a lock will ensure that the total volume of water moving downstream is decreased. Lock cycles should be used for vessels travelling each way.

High Water Levels:

When water levels rise above normal summer level masters should be aware of:

Navigation

Navigation marks will have reduced height above the water level or may disappear underwater altogether making the navigable channel difficult to discern.

In narrow sections of the navigations water levels will tend to rise more quickly than in main streams and air draft at bridges will likewise be reduced.

There will also be increased flow rates particularly in the vicinity of navigation infrastructure such as bridges, weirs, locks etc where extra care in manoeuvring vessels will be required.

Harbours and Jetties

Due care is required in harbours and at slipways when levels are at or near the same level as the harbour walkways' as the edge will be difficult to discern especially in reduced light conditions. It is advised that Personal Flotation Devices be worn if tending to craft in a harbour in these conditions.

Slipways

Slipways should only be used for the purpose of launching and recovering of water craft or other objects from the water. Before using a slipway it should be examined to ensure that the surface has sufficient traction/grip for the intended purpose such as launching a craft from a trailer using a vehicle, that there is sufficient depth of water on the slipway to float the craft off the trailer before the concrete apron ends and that the wheels of the trailer do not drop off the edge of the slipway. That life-saving appliances are available in the vicinity, that the vehicle is roadworthy and capable of coping with the weight of the trailer and boat on the incline. It is recommended that slipway operations are conducted by two persons.

Caution to be Used in Reliance upon Aids to Navigation

The aids to navigation depicted on the navigation guides comprise a system of fixed and floating aids to navigation. Prudent mariners will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly a floating aid to navigation. With respect to buoys, the buoy symbol is used to indicate the approximate position of the buoy body and the ground tackle which secures it to the lake or river bed. The approximate position is used because of the practical limitations in positioning and maintaining buoys in precise geographical locations. These limitations include, but are not limited to, prevailing atmospheric and lake/river conditions, the slope of and the material making up the lake/river bed, the fact that the buoys are moored to varying lengths of chain, and the fact that the buoy body and/or ground tackle positions are not under continuous surveillance. Due to the forces of nature, the position of the buoy body can be expected to shift inside and outside the charted symbol.

Buoys and perches are also moved out of position or pulled over by those mariners who use them to moor up to instead of anchoring. To this end, mariners should always monitor their passage by relating buoy/perch positions with the published navigation guide. Furthermore, a vessel attempting to pass close by always risks collision with a yawing buoy or with the obstruction that the buoy or beacon/perch marks.

Masters of Vessels are requested to use the most up to date Navigation guides when navigating on the Inland Waterways.

Information taken from Special Marine Notice No 1 of 2023