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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Isle of Man

#FerryNews - Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastferry Manannan has been forced to turn around midway into a sailing to Liverpool (yesterday) morning.

A passenger reports Manx Radio took ill on board around half an hour into the crossing, requiring urgent medical attention.

The ferry returned to Douglas shortly before 9.30am, and set out to Liverpool again after the passenger was removed.

Day trip passengers and those who have had travel plans disrupted were offered the chance to disembark.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Passenger ferry numbers reports Manx Radio for Irish routes to and from the Isle of Man don't justify the cost of laying the services on.

That's the conclusion of the outgoing chair of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Robert Quayle made the comments while discussing the future of Manx ferry services in the wake of government's purchase of the company.

Speaking on yesterday's Sunday Opinion, Mr Quayle rebutted the accusation that the Steam Packet had abandoned Ireland.

To listen to his comments, click here to an audio link. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Passengers totalling 34,000 according to Isle of Man.com travelled by sea over the TT fortnight.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company says final figures for this year are 'on a par' with 2017.

13,236 motorbikes were also transported between May 23rd and June 8th.

The Ben-my-Chree and Manannan worked around the clock to transport passengers whilst MV Arrow covered freight services.

The Steam Packet says more than 11,000 passengers travelled from Heysham with over 12,500 travelling from Liverpool.

For more on this and bookings for 2019's TT Races click here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - What about taking a novel excursion this summer as the Isle of Man Steam Packet offer the popular annual 'Round the Island' cruise this month, bringing an opportunity to take in the spectacular Manx coastline.

The Steam-Packet which makes the Isle of Man easily accessible with routes from Dublin, Belfast, Heysham and Liverpool, will operate Ben-My-Chree on the evening cruise this month on Saturday, 23 June.

The cruise taking around 4 hours to circumnavigate the largest island in the heart of the Irish Sea, departs the Manx capital, Douglas (at 7pm). 

Among the cruise's coastal attractions is the Calf of Man, a 250 hectare island separated from the mainland by the narrow waters of Calf Sound. At Peel is the Viking constructed 11th century Peel Castle perched on St. Patrick's Isle that is connected to the harbour town by a causeway.

In addition the many offshore views of rural landscapes and on stretches rising steeply to mountainous terrain leading to the interior. The island's highest peak, Snaefell is 2,037 feet (620.9 m) above sea level from where the island's only other commercial port is Ramsey.

So come on board the recently overhauled, Ben-My-Chree, from where you can soak up the stunning rugged coastline while enjoying a meal which is included in the fare, costing just £28.00 for adults. Fares for children are £15, again inclusive of a main meal, drink (non-alcoholic) and ice cream.

During the cruise, the bar will not be open during the sailing as the vessel is not licensed to sell alcohol while cruising within Manx waters. If you would like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your meal the operator says that you can bring your own (BYO) only for this sailing.

To make a booking please call the operator's Reservations Team on 661661 (IOM), 08722 992 992* (UK) or 0044 8722 992 992* (ROI & Outside UK).

Telephone Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 0830-1800
Saturday and Sunday 0900-1800

In addition bookings can be made at the Ferry Travel Shop, Sea Terminal, Douglas.

Published in Ferry

#RNLI - Ramsey RNLI on the Isle of Man launched its all-weather lifeboat Ann & James Ritchie yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 23 May) to render assistance to a day angling vessel with three people on board.

The 21ft vessel had broken down seven miles south-west of Burrow Head in the Irish Sea. In fair weather conditions and a slight sea, the Ramsey lifeboat with acting coxswain Ali Clague at the helm located the stricken vessel at 1.20pm, 70 minutes after launch.

A tow was safely established, and it was advised by Belfast Coastguard that the lifeboat should bring the vessel towards Donaghadee on the Ards Peninsula.

Donaghadee’s all-weather lifeboat Saxon was tasked to rendezvous with the Ramsey crew and the two lifeboats met approximately one mile to the west of Mull of Galloway lighthouse at 3.25pm where the tow was passed.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#FerryNews - This morning the first Dublin-Isle of Man sailing for season 2018 began with fastferry Manannan departing on time at 10.45 in advance of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The fast ferry service taking 2hrs 55mins is operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Manannan made an arrival to the Irish capital having departed on the outward leg from Douglas at 07.00.

In recent days Manannan also resumed daily operated Isle of Man sailings to Liverpool and yesterday began serving through Belfast. These sailings compared to the Dublin route are marginally shorter taking 2hrs 45mins on the Ulster link.

On occasions when conventional ropax Ben-My-Chree provides these services, the sailing times are longer on both the Irish routes. 

The Steam-Packet has more than 900,000 offer seats available during the season. Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘The return of our fast craft Manannan is always an exciting and busy time for us, and we are looking forward to welcoming our passengers on board. It is always great to see a combination of Island residents heading off on their travels, along with curious visitors on their way to discover our special island!’

Manannan can take 200 vehicles and 850 passenger and crew. There are a variety of seating areas, including two cinema lounges, a large bar area at the stern and the Coast-to-Coast cafe that offers a wide selection of food options.

On the upper deck is the enlarged skylounge providing accommodation for the Niarbyl Reserved Lounge, the Manannan Premium Lounge and the Manannan Executive Club. 

Published in Ferry

#IsleOfMan - A new deepwater berth for visiting cruise liners is on the cards for the Isle of Man, following the green light for an £80 million (€91.1 million) project to develop the Irish Sea island’s ports.

IBI Plus reports that the Tynwald parliament has approved the expenditure over the next three years in order to ensure that “island facilities are robust, modern and practical for both industry and leisure,” according to a government spokesperson.

The focus of investment will be at Victoria Pier in Douglas, where £11 million (€12.5 million) will be spent on upgrading facilities to allow cruise liners of up to 240 metres in length to berth in the port instead of anchoring in Douglas Bay — and potentially boosting visitor numbers into the tens of thousands.

Elsewhere, existing marinas in Douglas and Peel are inline for significant investment. IBI Plus has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - An “extremely rare” pod of minke whales has been sighted in the Irish Sea off the Isle of Man this week.

According to BBC News, the pod comprising as many as 20 minke whales was engaged in a “feeding frenzy” as seen by members of Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch on Wednesday (13 September)

The marine wildlife species is a regular visitor to the waters around the Isle of Man, but sightings are usually of solitary adults or small pods.

It’s believed that spawning herring have attracted them in much greater numbers. BBC News has more on the story HERE.

In other marine wildlife news, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s AGM takes place on Sunday 8 October at the Middle Country Café in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. Details are available from the IWDG website.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Liverpool - Essential works to be carried out at the Liverpool landing stage costing £540,000 has been agreed by the Isle fo Man Steam Packet Company so to safeguard services to the city for three more seasons.

The major investment is necessary to ensure that fast craft services can continue to operate between Douglas and the heart of Liverpool until the end of 2019, when a new berth will be required.

The contract to use the landing stage at Princes Parade was originally due to expire on 31st December 2016 and owner Peel Ports had indicated Steam Packet Company operations would need to relocate elsewhere. The landing stage was described as ‘time expired’ and too old to maintain but, following a request from the Steam Packet Company, Peel Ports reviewed the condition of the landing stage and identified its lifespan could be extended by three years if extensive essential works are carried out later this year.

As part of the three-year contract extension the Steam Packet Company has agreed to reimburse Peel Ports for the works, which will cost £540,000, securing the popular city centre berth until the end of Manannan’s 2019 season.

There will be no request for the Isle of Man Government to contribute and passenger fares will not be increased to pay for the investment. Scheduled services will not be disrupted when the required remedial works are carried out.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘The future of the existing landing stage has been in doubt for some time, so we are pleased to be able to give our passengers certainty, at least in the short term.

‘As a business with its sole focus on providing services for the Isle of Man, we know that maintaining a Liverpool route is vitally important to many people in the Island as well as to developing the visitor market. We have now secured an immediate solution, but new facilities will be required longer term.

‘While we may have preferred to remain at Princes Parade, as it is a central location which is convenient for passengers, that is not viable longer term as Liverpool City Council wants to create a dedicated cruise terminal in this area, preventing our services berthing there.

‘Birkenhead 12 Quays, used by Ben-my-Chree during the winter, is not suitable for fast craft, there are currently no other Merseyside berths available and using the Liverpool Dock system would add about 45 minutes to journey time, negating the benefits of a fast craft service.’

He continued: ‘In 2016 Tynwald agreed the Department of Infrastructure could purchase land at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock with a view to creating a berth there. That facility will take time to complete, but our significant investment to retain the current landing stage for a further three years gives Isle of Man Government the time necessary for a long-term solution to be delivered.’

Published in Ferry

#RNLI - Two British naval war ships, three helicopters and a fishing vessel joined Peel RNLI in the dramatic rescue of a trawler between Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man in the early hours of Wednesday morning (21 September).

The 20m converted fishing vessel from Kilkeel in Co Down was on passage in the Irish Sea from Glasgow to Conwy in Wales when it started taking water through the stern tube and was in danger of sinking some 11 miles west of the Isle of Man.

Peel's all-weather lifeboat Ruby Clery, under the command of coxswain Paul Cain, launched shortly after the volunteer crew were alerted at 1.30am.

Northern Irish fishing vessel Stephanie M gave shelter to the casualty until the lifeboat crew were able to put a pump on board to evacuate the water.

The vessel, with three adults and one child on board, was soon stabilised and helicopters and other vessels stood down. The trawler was then taken in tow by the lifeboat bound for Peel.

During this time, a young woman and the child were taken ill, so the tow was dropped about 15 minutes from Peel and the two taken to a waiting ambulance where they were treated and then removed to Nobles Hospital.

Meanwhile, the lifeboat returned to the stricken vessel, which was now under its own power, and escorted it into Peel Harbour at about 5am.

"We advise people to always check their equipment before leaving port," said Cain after the callout.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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