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RV Tom Crean to Be Showcased at Galway Science and Technology Festival This Weekend

8th November 2022
Two children on the shore watch the RV Tom Crean enter Galway Harbour
The RV Tom Crean will be a featured attraction during the 2022 Galway Science and Technology Festival Credit: Jason Clarke

The Marine Institute, alongside the Explorers Education Programme, will be showcasing the new RV Tom Crean and its work in marine science at the 2022 Galway Science and Technology Festival this weekend.

Families are invited to the Bailey Allen Hall at the University of Galway on Sunday 13 November to learn more about Ireland’s marine research vessels and creatures of the deep sea.

Patricia Orme, director of corporate services at the Marine Institute said, “The Galway Science and Technology Festival serves as an excellent opportunity for the Marine Institute, and our Explorers Education Programme, to nurture students’ interest in marine science. We look forward to welcoming parents and children to learn more about the importance of our ocean and the work our scientists do on our marine research vessels.”

Discover the survey work undertaken by Ireland’s newest research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, which featured on RTÉ’s Nationwide this week, as well as the RV Celtic Explorer — which are both based in the Port of Galway.

Learn more about some of the unique features of these vessels and why they are important for fisheries research, seabed mapping and climate studies.

You will have the chance to meet marine scientists and find out what it’s like to survey our seas on board. There’s also the opportunity for children to enter a competition to win a LEGO City Ocean Exploration Set and an ocean-themed book hamper for their primary school.

Join the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education team and check out ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Deep-Sea Species’ activities. Discover some of the adaptations that deep-sea species have acquired for surviving in the ocean’s most inhospitable environments.

Visitors of all ages can get a closer look at the RV Tom Crean as well as the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway this weekend | Credit: Jason ClarkeVisitors of all ages can get a closer look at the RV Tom Crean as well as the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway this weekend | Credit: Jason Clarke

Take part in the ‘Great Explorers Challenge’ to light up the angler fish circuit, and play the ‘Match the Deep-Sea Species’ game to learn how life persists where there is no light, little oxygen, and where temperatures are close to freezing. Take a close look at dogfish sharks and baby flatfish in the Explorers display tanks.

The Marine Institute will also be showcasing the work of one its research projects, EuroSea, in the Orbsen Building on Sunday. The EuroSea project brings together 53 organisations working across the European Seas and the Atlantic Ocean in order to improve the coordination of Europe’s ocean observing and deliver information and solutions to support decision-making in the areas of climate, ocean health and maritime activities.

As part of the iFADO project, the Marine Institute will be involved in a talk on Thursday 17 November about the project’s mission to release a fleet of mini-boats from each country of the European Atlantic facade.

Students involved in the programme worked together to prepare, deploy, and track their very own mini-boat, in order to collect information about ocean currents, weather, and technology. The mini-boats are directed to different communities and schools around the world, providing students with the opportunity to learn about different cultures. Book a place at

The Marine Institute’s exhibition ‘The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science’ is also open at Galway City Museum. Free to visitors, the gallery features exhibitions on climate change, surveys at sea, the SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay, as well as seabed mapping, amazing scientific discoveries and creatures of the deep. In the Remotely Operated Vehicle Simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

For more information on the 2022 Galway Science and Technology Festival programme, which runs from Sunday 13 to Friday 25 November, visit

Published in RV Tom Crean Team

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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 


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


  • 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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