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RV Tom Crean Makes Maiden Call to Dublin Port this Evening

19th October 2022
Subject to weather, the Marine Institute's newbuild RV Tom Crean is scheduled to make its maiden port of call to Dublin Port this evening at around 19.30hrs (19 October). The first arrival of the €25m newbuild to the capitol at a berth on Sir John Rogerson's Quay. The new ship in July made its maiden delivery voyage from Spain and is seen above in the far calmer seas of Galway Bay.
Subject to weather, the Marine Institute's newbuild RV Tom Crean is scheduled to make its maiden port of call to Dublin Port this evening at around 19.30hrs (19 October). The first arrival of the €25m newbuild to the capitol at a berth on Sir John Rogerson's Quay. The new ship in July made its maiden delivery voyage from Spain and is seen above in the far calmer seas of Galway Bay. Credit: Marine Institute-twitter

Following a commissioning and naming ceremony of RV Tom Crean in Dingle Harbour, Co. Kerry, Ireland's newest research vessel made its maiden port of call to Dublin Port this evening, writes Jehan Ashmore

The Marine Institute's state-of-the-art multi-purpose €25m newbuild RV Tom Crean was tracked by Afloat.ie today at 1400hrs when offshore of Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow having sailed along Arklow Bank and beforehand in waters south of the Wexford coast.

About an hour earlier today (at lunchhour) it is believed a lighting strike took place at an offshore wind turbine on Arklow Bank as Afloat reported with smoke billowing from the 3.6MW turbine of the renewable energy facility.

The Arklow Bank Wind Farm completed in 2004 consists of seven turbines generating 25.2MW and the facility remains the first and only offshore wind farm in Ireland.

The turbine incident comes when Met Éireann issued early in the afternoon a Status Orange 'thunderstorm' warning for counties Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow, with warning of "intense" lightning strikes which was in effect up to 1700hrs this afternoon.

Afloat has since caught up with the Spanish built RV Tom Crean as this evening the vessel approached Dublin Bay where coastal weather conditions in this part of the Irish Sea to Hook Head, is for east to southeasterly force 6 or 7 and occasionally reaching gale force 8 and with isolated thunderstorms.

The 55.8m ship is designed to operate in harsh conditions and was originally scheduled to be in Dublin Bay at 19.30hrs but was delayed by about two hours.

It was around 20.30hrs when off the Dublin Bay bouy the pilot cutter DPC Dodder (introduced in March) came alongside the newbuild to transfer a pilot on board. By that stage the wind had reduced compared to the afternoon. 

At approximately 20.55hrs RV Tom Crean passed between the lighthhouses of Dublin Port which marked a significant moment for the Irish flagged newbuild's debut to the capital.

A berth at Sir John Rogerson's Quay has been allocated within the old 'Docklands' quarter close to the city-centre with the RV Tom Crean to head up this stretch of the river Liffey. This can only be reached through the relative confines of the Tom Clarke (East-Link) toll lift-bridge which the newbuild achieved by 21.20hrs.

Following this the RV Tom Crean swung around completely on the Liffey so to come alongside the south quay and berth at around 21.30hrs. 

With the RV Tom Crean in service the Marine Institute can undertake cutting edge scientific surveys that deepen an understanding of the ocean and place Ireland as a leader in marine science.

The design for the new research vessel named after the Kerry born Antartic polar explorer was tasked to Norwegian ship design consultants Skipsteknisk AS of Ålesund. As for a shipbuilding order the contract went to the Spanish shipyard of Astilleros Armon Vigo S.A.

In July the RV Tom Crean made a maiden delivery voyage to the newbuild's homeport of Galway from where it will be based to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping surveys.

Other roles include maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and the deployment of (ROV) Remotely Operated Vehicles.

As for the duration of the maiden call to Dublin Port, the visit will be short as the ship is scheduled to remain in port for 24 hours or possibly less given this evening's late arrival. 

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.

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

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