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#FarewellEMERAs previously reported, L.E. Emer (P21) of the Irish Naval Service which spent a career spanning more than 35 years, was decommissioned at a ceremony held in Cork City Quays today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The oldest vessel in the service, the 1978 built LE Emer was the first of a trio launched from Verolme Cork Dockyard (V.C.D) from where she was commissioned on 16 January of that same year.

Notable highlights of her career include the following:

• First Naval Service vessel to carry out UNIFIL re-supply mission in 1979 to South Lebanon.
• Participated in the search and rescue (SAR) operation during the Fastnet Race disaster off the West Cork coast in 1979.
• She played a key role in the seizure of the gun-running fishing vessel "Marita Anne" in 1984.

The 'Emer' CPV class vessel (later reclassified in recent years as an OPV) was designed as an improved version of the CPV L.E. Deirdre(P20).

L.E. Deirdre played a significant historic milestone in that she represented the state's first custom-built naval vessel and which too was launched in 1972 by V.C.D. at the Rushbrooke shipyard near Cobh. She was decommissioned in 2001 and sold for €190,000 and converted into a luxury yacht.

On her final return to Cork Harbour yesterday, L.E. Emer had completed on what would be her last patrol when she berthed along the quay at the foot the Naval Service Base control tower on Haulbowline Island.

L.E. Emer was under the command of captain Lieutenant Commander Alan O'Regan, a Cork native who became the last of 23 captains that have taken charge of the vessel spanning more than three decades.

This afternoon L.E. Emer made the short passage from Haulbowline to Cork City at Customs House Quay North, which en-route involved the 1,019.5 displacement tonnes vessel navigating through Lough Mahon.

Next month she will be put up for sale at a public auction.

Tonight's edition of 'Seacapes' has an interview with Commodore Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding of the Naval Service which includes reviewing the overall fleet. Alternatively you can hear the interview now as a podcast version in advance of the programme to be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 starting at 22.30hrs.

 

Published in Navy

#FarewellEMER – Irish Naval Service vessel LE Emer (P21) is being decommissioned from the service today after almost 36 years in use.

The oldest vessel in the service, LE Emer was built in Verolme Cork Dockyard and was commissioned on January 16th, 1978. The vessel has had 23 captains and the service estimated it has sailed 518,000 nautical miles during its career.

The final serving captain is Lt Cmdr Alan O'Regan, a Cork native. For more on this story,The Irish Times reports.

Afloat.ie adds that the L.E. Emer completed her last stretch of her final patrol duties that saw her depart Dublin Port on Monday of this week. The OPV is currently moored alongside the outer quay of the Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island.

As previously reported, an interview with Commodore Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding of the Naval Service. To hear the interview click this link to the podcast version in advance of tonight's RTE Radio 1's 'Seascapes' programme starting at 22.30hrs.

 

Published in Navy

#NavyInterview – Commodore Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding of the Naval Service will give an interview to be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1's 'Seascapes' this Friday 20 September (22.30hrs).

Seascapes the maritime programme presented by Marcus Connaughton, is to focus on Mellet in a wide-ranging interview covering the history of the naval base on Haulbowline Island, the role of the Naval Service, new technologies, IMERC and the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMMI).

Also to be discussed will be the overall fleet. Afloat.ie adds that the broadcast coincides with L.E. Emer's last ever patrol which is scheduled to be completed that same day when she arrives to the naval base in lower Cork Harbour.

The Verolme Cork Dockyard built (P21) OPV is then to decommission following a career spanning 35 years.

An extended version of the interview with Mellett can also be heard on Podcast also on Friday afternoon in advance of the radio programme.

 

Published in Seascapes

#FarewellEMER - Today the sell-listed L.E. Emer (P21) departed Dublin Port for the final time and it was also the Naval Service OPV's last patrol, writes Jehan Ashmore.

She headed out of Dublin Bay under the command of Lt .Cdr. Alan O'Regan and where she set a southerly course to pass the Muglins off Dalkey Island.

At the same time of her late morning exodus of the bay, a former World War II serving Catalina flying-boat soared above. The distinctive aircraft was heading eastwards over the Irish Sea, having taken part in yesterday's Flight Fest hosted in the capital.

L.E.Emer is scheduled to complete her patrol duties next Friday at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork Harbour.

She will be decommissioned and next month put up for public auction unless previously sold.  A pair of replacement OPV newbuilds are under contruction in the UK with the first of the improved 'Roisin' class due for delivery next year.

Published in Navy

#FarewellEMER – This Sunday's spectacular Flight Fest Flyover above Dublin Port and city-centre quays is from where the event is to be officially launched by the LE. Emer (P21), writes Jehan Ashmore.

The return to Dublin Port of the sell-listed Naval Service offshore patrol vessel follows a recent call to the capital only last week. On that occasion she made a special farewell cruise in Dublin Bay for former sailors.

So it transpires that this visit to Dublin Port is in fact likely to be her 'final' call to the capital while also performing her last patrol duties.

The 1978 built veteran is to decommission on 20 September and if not previously sold the 65.5m long vessel is to go for public auction next month.

 

Published in Navy
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#NavalService - More than 60 years of overseas service by the Defence Forces are to be honoured in a set of stamps launched today. The four-stamp set depicts the four branches of the forces – the Army, Naval Service, Air Corps and Reserve Defence Force.

Speaking at the stamps launch, Lieut Gen Conor O'Boyle, chief of staff of the Defence Forces, said: "I am very appreciative to An Post for their work in issuing this special commemorative set of stamps as a salute to the modern Irish Defence Forces. For more on the launch, The Irish Times reports.

Afloat.ie adds that among the quartet of stamps appropriately sold at 60 cents each, is the Naval Service represented by the OPV L.E. Niamh (P52). Astern of the 'Roisin' class vessel is the former Royal Navy Peacock class CPV HMS Swift now L.E. Orla (P41).

As previously reported, the sell-listed L.E. Emer made an historic first as she became the first ever Naval Service vessel to re-supply troops serving with the UN in The Lebanon during 1979, the year in which she was commissioned.

Published in Navy

#NavalServiceToday's Irish Times reports that the Government remains committed to supporting the Naval Service. Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe pledged to ensure Ireland's sovereignty is maintained over the State's maritime jurisdiction.

Mr. Kehoe said the success of the Naval Service in the areas of fishery protection, search and rescue and in providing aid to the civil power was evident to all and had helped convey the importance of the Naval Service to the wider community.

"Our ships signal to everybody that we are committed to good governance in our oceans and they serve as a warning to those who think about flouting the norms and principles of the Irish State and the wider international community," Mr Kehoe said.

Mr Kehoe was speaking at the Naval Service commissioning ceremony where six former cadets received their scrolls of commission before a large gathering of dignitaries, as well as family and friends, at the Naval Service headquarters at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.

 

Published in Navy

#FarewellEMER – Dublin Port is to bid farewell to L.E. Emer (P21) on her final visit to the capital today.  Under command of Lt. Cdr. Alan O'Regan she is to resume her last patrol prior to de-commissioning on 20 September, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sell-listed offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of 1,019 displacement tonnes has served the Naval Service dutifully for nearly 35 years.

Since her launch from the V.C.D. shipyard in 1977, the vessel which entered service two years later, has carried out numerous patrols. Not  just fishery monitoring patrols but varied tasks among them the interdiction of illegal drugs and contraband to search and rescue (SAR).

Naval Service vessels are not restricted to domestic waters but also re-supply missions to Irish Army troops serving the United Nations (UN) overseas.

A notable historic first role was undertaken by L.É. Emer, as she became the first ever Naval Service vessel to re-supply troops serving with the UN in The Lebanon during 1979, the year in which she was commissioned.

The 65m vessel is fitted with the following weaponary where the main armament consists of a Bofors 40mm L70 Canon, secondary armament is 2 X 20mm Rheinmetall RH202 Canon. In addition to small various arms ranging from 9mm Pistol to 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns mounted amidships.

Another significant operation by the L.E. Emer was the apprehension of the trawler, Marita Ann in 1984, which was stopped after warning shots were fired, having found to be carrying a significant quantity of arms and ammunition.

 

Published in Navy

#FarewellEMER – L.E. Emer (P21) has completed a four-hour farewell patrol 'cruise' in Dublin Bay today for former crew members of the 1978 built vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Naval Service offshore patrol vessel (OPV) had on board both members of the The Naval Association and Merchant Navy and where no doubt numerous naval career stories were recalled down through the years.

She slipped her moorings this morning and departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour and made a clockwise circuit of Dublin Bay, passing the Baily Lighthouse, rounding the North Burford bouy and then proceeded south before reaching off Killiney Bay.

In calm sunlight seas she stayed in these waters before slipping through Dalkey Sound to Scotsman's Bay and off Sanycove Point, she also momentarily took some time there before she headed to dock in Dublin Port just after lunchtime.

At the next berth is the French Navy's mine-warfare vessel Croix du Sud which arrived this morning.

Yesterday, L.E. Emer made the short passage from an anchorage call off Skerries to Dun Laoghaire Harbour where tours of the vessel were made to the public while berthed at Carlisle Pier.

As previously reported, L.E. Emer is to be de-commissioned on 20 September and in the following month a pubic auction is to take place to sell the 35 year veteran unless previously sold.

 

Published in Navy

#FarewellEMER – L.E. Emer (P21) the oldest member of the eight-strong Naval Service fleet is to make her final scheduled visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported, L.E. Emer is making her final patrol before she de-commissioning on 20 September. The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) will go for sell unless previously sold at a public auction to be held on 23 October. A sister, L.E. Aoife (P22) will likewise be disposed a year later.

Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon L.E. Emer will be open to public tours while she is berthed alongside the Carlisle Pier. As previously reported the five-masted cruiseship Wind Surf is today docked at this same pier having sailed from Portrush via the Isle of Man.

Potential interest for the naval vessels could include the conversion of the ships for the superyacht market or use for the offshore energy supply sector or a research vessel.

They are to be replaced by a pair of larger 'Roisin' class OPV's currently under construction by Babcock Marine in Appledore, north Devon.

L.E. Emer was completed in 1978 followed by L.E. Aoife in 1980 at the Verolme Cork Dockyard (V.C.D.). Also launched from the shipyard in Rushbrooke near Cobh, the youngest sister L.E. Aisling (P23) which will remain in service.

As leadship of a trio of 'Emer' class Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV) the series however in more recent years were re-classified as Offshore Patrol Vessels.

They are an improved version of L.E. Deirdre (P20) which was the first custom-built vessel for the Naval Service when launched from V.C.D. in 1972. She was de-commissioned in 2001 and sold for €190,000 and converted into a luxury yacht.

 

Published in Navy
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