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RTÉ Nationwide to Feature the RV Tom Crean

7th November 2022
The RV Tom Crean features on RTÉ Nationwide this Monday, 7th November on RTÉ One at 7p
The RV Tom Crean features on RTÉ Nationwide this Monday, 7th November on RTÉ One at 7p

Ireland’s newest national marine research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, will feature on RTÉ Nationwide on Monday, 7th November, at 7 pm on RTÉ One.

Ireland’s latest marine research vessel is named the RV Tom Crean after the legendary Irish explorer from Co Kerry, who undertook three ground-breaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century. A special commissioning event for the marine research vessel was held in Dingle Harbour in early October 2022.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, spoke about his connection to the Tom Crean story on the RTÉ Nationwide programme. Dr Connolly said, “The arrival of the RV Tom Crean is a significant milestone for marine research in Ireland, and we are delighted to have the vessel featured on RTÉ Nationwide. Naming the vessel after Tom Crean gives recognition to an Irish explorer of international renown, whose life was packed with amazing feats of Antarctic bravery, determination and courage.”

The programme also includes an interview with Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services at the Marine Institute, about how the RV Tom Crean will be at sea for 300 days of the year and is designed to operate in the harsh sea conditions of the Atlantic. The RV Tom Crean, alongside the RV Celtic Explorer, will survey our fish stocks and habitats to gain the best available information on the state of fish stocks in our seas.

Dr Caroline Cusack, an Ocean Climate Scientist at the Marine Institute, also spoke about the importance of surveying our seas. The new state-of-the-art RV Tom Crean offers a complete offshore research platform that will play a vital role in ocean observation and enable Ireland to undertake critical research work.

The RV Tom Crean will carry out a wide range of marine research activities, including expanded fisheries surveys, seabed mapping, collecting data to support marine spatial planning, climate change-related research, environmental monitoring, deep water surveys, and undertaking collaborative research in the Atlantic Ocean.

The RV Tom Crean features on RTÉ Nationwide this Monday, 7th November on RTÉ One at 7 pm.

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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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