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Waterford: Where Tallships and Science Meet

1st July 2011
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Waterford: Where Tallships and Science Meet
Amongst the festival tallships lining Waterford quays, the RV Keary, a marine research survey vessel that mapped the estuary in advance of the tall ships arrival, will too be open to the public, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Work to map the navigational channel of Waterford Harbour's estuary was completed last month by the catamaran hulled craft that belongs to the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). Her smaller fleetmate the 7.5m RIB RV Geo carried-out work in the shallower areas along the river banks. For images of the seabed survey click HERE. The survey which had started in April was a joint research programme between (GSI) and the Marine Institute (MI).

This was the RV Keary's first INFOMAR survey leg of 2011 and it was also the first time that both vessels have worked in tandem. The mapping of the estuary was from an area just west of the city's Rice Bridge to the open sea at the mouth of Waterford Harbour.

The estuary was mapped before in 2007 using the Marine Institutes larger vessel the RV Celtic Voyager, which covered the harbour approaches from the 10m contour to greater depth offshore. Both RV Keary and RV Geo overlapped their coverage with this previous data, producing a comprehensive and seamless seabed map of the area.

RV Keary is constructed of marine grade aluminium and was custom built in 2008 for the (GSI) by Veecraft Marine of Capetown, South Africa.
The 15m craft with a draft of just 2m is equipped with an extensive range of highly sophisticated technology. She has an open working area at the aft-deck to conduct operations and is licensed to carry up to 12 personnel. For further vessel characteristics click HERE.

The 34-tonne craft made her 7,000 mile delivery voyage from the African continent to Europe. She was firstly transported on the deck of a cargoship to Rotterdam. After unloading at the Dutch port the 22-knot capable craft set off with several calls along the UK south coast to include loading bunkers before finally reaching Dun Laoghaire, from where she entered service in April 2009.

Published in Marine Science
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

At A Glance – Figaro Race

  • It starts in June or July from a French port.
  • The race is split into four stages varying from year to year, from the length of the French coast and making up a total of around 1,500 to 2,000 nautical miles (1,700 to 2,300 mi; 2,800 to 3,700 km) on average.
  • Over the years the race has lasted between 10 and 13 days at sea.
  • The competitor is alone in the boat, participation is mixed.
  • Since 1990, all boats are of one design.

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