Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Minister McConalogue Commissions Ireland's New Marine Research Vessel the ‘RV Tom Crean’ in Dingle Harbour

6th October 2022
At the launch of the Tom Crean RV in Dingle From Left: Ministers of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, Lachlann Scharf, 13, from Donegal, and Kate Heneghan, 14, from Kerry and Minister for Education, Norma Foley T.D
At the launch of the Tom Crean RV in Dingle From Left: Ministers of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, Lachlann Scharf, 13, from Donegal, and Kate Heneghan, 14, from Kerry and Minister for Education, Norma Foley T.D

Mr Charlie McConalogue T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today formally commissioned Ireland’s new marine research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, at an event in Dingle.

Minister Mc Conalogue said: “Ireland's ocean is vital to our economy, our environment, and many aspects of our daily lives. There has never been a time when we needed to improve our understanding of the Ocean more than now. We face the great interlinked global challenges of climate change, biodiversity and food security. Understanding the Ocean and the changes occurring within it is vital to all of our futures, at sea and on land.”

The new replacement vessel will ensure that Ireland continues to provide the best scientific advice underpinning key decisions on fisheries and marine/ocean policy issues to ensure the sustainable development of Ireland’s extensive marine resource. The RV Tom Crean will also enable Ireland to secure vital EU research funding for marine research while maintaining strong international maritime research partnerships.

The vessel will immediately undertake essential scientific work, which will support many of the projects outlined in the Programme for Government; including fisheries assessments, offshore renewable energy, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas and addressing the challenges of climate change.

Speaking at the commissioning Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to be here in Dingle today to formally commission the RV Tom Crean into service. This state-of-the-art vessel will enable Ireland to be at the forefront of critical ocean research work. I am proud to be able to say that the ship was delivered on budget and on time. As an Island nation, we are on the frontier of the Atlantic, an ocean which drives our climate. This new research vessel will immediately undertake essential scientific work, which will support many of the projects that this Government has prioritised and is urgently progressing, including fisheries assessments, offshore renewable energy, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas and addressing the challenges of climate change. The RV Tom Crean will provide us with a platform to gather the best scientific evidence to inform important decisions on fisheries and ocean policy and the key environmental and economic challenges facing us today.

Named the RV Tom Crean, after the Irish Explorer from Kerry who undertook three ground-breaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century the new vessel will enable Ireland to undertake cutting edge scientific surveys that deepen our understanding of the ocean and place the Marine Institute as a leader in marine scienceNamed the RV Tom Crean, after the Irish Explorer from Kerry who undertook three ground-breaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century the new vessel will enable Ireland to undertake cutting edge scientific surveys that deepen our understanding of the ocean and place the Marine Institute as a leader in marine science

The Minister continued “The vessel is named after the legendary Tom Crean who encapsulated our proud history of engagement in global exploration. I am delighted that we are joined today by his family descendants. Naming this vessel for him celebrates Tom Crean’s life and achievements who I would like to think would himself approve of his illustrious name being associated with this vessel and more importantly, with the work it is embarking upon. The RV Tom Crean will provide cutting-edge technology for scientists to study and support the sustainable development of Ireland’s valuable marine resource. It will play an important, exciting, and valuable role for future generations as we seek to improve our scientific understanding of our oceans”.

This new marine research vessel replaces the RV Celtic Voyager, launched in 1987 as Ireland’s first purpose-built research vessel, which has now been decommissioned from service. The RV Tom Crean build and commissioning cost was €25 million. It is a silent vessel, capable of operating throughout the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It will be at sea for 300 operational days each year and the range of surveys will total 3000 scientists’ days a year. Each survey will last up to 21 days and the vessel is designed to operate in the harsh sea conditions of the Atlantic.

The ship design incorporates the latest proven technologies to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible, with reduced fuel consumption and operating procedures that minimise the vessel’s environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Dr Connolly of the Marine Institute said:  “The ocean is essential to life on earth. It produces half the oxygen we breath and is a major driver of our weather. We need the best quality data, science and advice to inform decisions on the big challenges facing society – mitigating the impacts of climate change, protecting and restoring ocean biodiversity, and realizing the full potential of our ocean economy. The new vessel will be used by the Marine Institute, other state agencies and universities to gather essential data that will be used to deliver the scientific advice for fisheries assessment, offshore renewable energy, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas and addressing the challenges of climate change.”

The vessel design incorporates the latest proven technologies to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible, with reduced fuel consumption and minimising the vessel’s environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Published in RV Tom Crean
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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.

Ireland's new multi-purpose marine research vessel RV Tom Crean, was delivered in July 2022 and will be used by the Marine Institute and other State agencies and universities to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping surveys; as well as maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and Remotely Operated Vehicles.

The RV Tom Crean will also enable the Marine Institute to continue to lead and support high-quality scientific surveys that contribute to Ireland's position as a leader in marine science. The research vessel is a modern, multipurpose, silent vessel (designed to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research), capable of operating in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Tom Crean is able to go to sea for at least 21 days at a time and is designed to operate in harsh sea conditions.

RV Tom Crean Specification Overview

  • Length Overall: 52.8 m
  • Beam 14m
  • Draft 5.2M 

Power

  • Main Propulsion Motor 2000 kw
  • Bow Thruster 780 kw
  • Tunnel thruster 400 kw

Other

  • Endurance  21 Days
  • Range of 8,000 nautical miles
  • DP1 Dynamic Positioning
  • Capacity for 3 x 20ft Containers

Irish Marine Research activities

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating