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P&O Maritime Logistics to Manage RV Tom Crean on Behalf of the Marine Institute

27th July 2022
A first for the Marine Institute fleet, as Ireland’s latest research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, is berthed also with the RV CelticExplorer at their homeport of Galway. The RV Celtic Explorer has just returned from conducting research at sea, while this week, the RV Tom Crean has embarked on its first-ever research expedition
A first for the Marine Institute fleet, as Ireland’s latest research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, is berthed also with the RV CelticExplorer at their homeport of Galway. The RV Celtic Explorer has just returned from conducting research at sea, while this week, the RV Tom Crean has embarked on its first-ever research expedition Credit: MI/Facebook

P&O Maritime Logistics which is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will through its Irish office in Galway, provide full-service management of the Marine Institute’s new state-of-the-art research vessel, RV Tom Crean, on behalf of client the Marine Institute with the ship having entered service this week.

The newbuild's recent maiden voyage to Galway, the ship's homeport and base, was named after Tom Crean the Irish Antarctic explorer and seafarer. The new vessel will undertake important multidisciplinary research as well as maintenance of weather buoys and other critical ocean infrastructure on behalf of the Marine Institute – the government agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland.

The Marine Institute sits under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and plays a key role in providing scientific and technical advice to the Irish government on issues relating to Ireland’s marine resources. The vessel will play a key role in informing marine policy in island nation, and its state-of-the-art equipment will provide researchers with the high calibre tools that are necessary for such a critical job.

With the P&O Maritime Logistics’ tenured experience with research vessels and experience with leading technology systems, P&O Maritime Logistics personnel have been on site at the shipyard preparing for delivery and operation of the vessel including supporting the integration and testing of scientific equipment.

Tom Crean will replace the Marine Institute’s current research vessel, the 25-year-old Celtic Voyager, and along with the Celtic Explorer will provide a significant and enhanced capability for Irish Marine research. The vessel will be an important tool in gathering data and information to support the development and sustainable management of Ireland’s marine resources.

Director of Ocean Climate and Information Services at the Marine Institute, Michael Gillooly said: “The Celtic Voyager, operated by P&O Maritime Logistics greatly contributed to the expansion of marine Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) activity and with the arrival of the Celtic Voyagers replacement, the Tom Crean; this increase in activity will continue and make an important national and international contribution to the understanding and sustainable management of our oceans.”

On Tom Crean, P&O Maritime Logistics will provide a wide range of services, including operational, technical, instrumentation and IT support, workshops and crewing.

CEO of P&O Maritime Logistics, Martin Helweg said: “Researching the health of our oceans is incredibly important. As a maritime business we fully support the work of the Marine Institute and are honoured by the responsibility awarded to P&O Maritime Logistics to operate the Tom Crean.

“As a data-led business that leverages next-generation technology across our fleet and operations, and with our wide ranging and deep-rooted experience managing research vessels, P&O Maritime Logistics is well placed to operate the Tom Crean on behalf of the Marine Institute as it becomes operational.”

P&O Maritime Logistics has over a quarter century of experience managing research vessels, having operated ships on behalf of government agencies in France, Australia and the UK.

Published in RV Tom Crean
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

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 Institute Research Vessel Tom Crean

Ireland’s new marine research vessel will be named the RV Tom Crean after the renowned County Kerry seaman and explorer who undertook three major groundbreaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century which sought to increase scientific knowledge and to explore unreached areas of the world, at that time.

Irish Marine Research activities

Due to be completed in summer 2022, the new state-of-the-art multi-purpose marine research vessel will carry out a wide range of marine research activities, including vital fisheries, climate change-related research, seabed mapping and oceanography.

The new 52.8-metre modern research vessel, which will replace the 31-metre RV Celtic Voyager, has been commissioned with funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved by the Government of Ireland.

According to Aodhán FitzGerald, Research Vessel Manager of the MI, the RV Tom Crean will feature an articulated boom crane aft ([email protected] 10m, [email protected] 15m), located on the aft-gantry. This will be largely used for loading science equipment and net and equipment handling offshore.

Mounted at the stern is a 10T A-frame aft which can articulate through 170 degrees which are for deploying and recovering large science equipment such as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV’s), towed sleds and for fishing operations.

In addition the fitting of an 8 Ton starboard side T Frame for deploying grabs and corers to 4000m which is the same depth applicable to when the vessel is heaving but is compensated by a CTD system consisting of a winch and frame during such operations.

The vessel will have the regulation MOB boat on a dedicated davit and the facility to carry a 6.5m Rigid Inflatable tender on the port side.

Also at the aft deck is where the 'Holland 1' Work class ROV and the University of Limericks 'Etain' sub-Atlantic ROV will be positioned. In addition up to 3 x 20’ (TEU) containers can be carried.

The newbuild has been engineered to endure increasing harsher conditions and the punishing weather systems encountered in the North-East Atlantic where deployments of RV Tom Crean on surveys spent up to 21 days duration.

In addition, RV Tom Crean will be able to operate in an ultra silent-mode, which is crucial to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research purposes.

The classification of the newbuild as been appointed to Lloyds and below is a list of the main capabilities and duties to be tasked by RV Tom Crean:

  • Oceanographic surveys, incl. CTD water sampling
  • Fishery research operations
  • Acoustic research operations
  • Environmental research and sampling operation incl. coring
  • ROV and AUV/ASV Surveys
  • Buoy/Mooring operations

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