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Displaying items by tag: Isle of Man

A man has been jailed for four weeks on the Isle of Man after breaking coronavirus rules by riding a jet ski from Scotland to the island.

As Sky News reports, 28-year-old Dale McLaughlan — who had never before used a personal water craft — embarked on difficult crossing in rough conditions last Friday (11 December) to visit his partner, whom he met on the island in the Irish Sea while working as a roofer in September.

It’s understood McLaughlan took the drastic measure after he was twice denied a visitor’s permit to the island, which has implemented strict access rules for non-residents to control the pandemic.

However, the move has cost McLaughlan dearly as local police confronted him at the weekend while he was on a night out.

“He was wholly inexperienced in operating a jet ski,” the Isle of Man’s deputy high bailiff said. “He deliberately attempted to avoid detection and circumvent the entry regulations in place to protect the Isle of Man.”

Sky News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Jetski
Tagged under

The Isle of Man Ship Registry, which is one of the world's leading flag states, is set to launch the first ever seafarer welfare app designed by a ship registry.

Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry Cameron Mitchell said the app is in the final stages of development and is set go live later this month. It will be available for free to around 11,000 seafarers sailing on more than 400 vessels under the Isle of Man flag.

Cameron, who served as a marine engineer at sea for 17 years with shipping lines including Maersk and Farstad, said the introduction of the app is being accelerated to tackle the immense challenges facing seafarers caught in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Safety is a fundamental pillar of our ethos as a high-quality flag state,” he said. “Even before Covid we recognised that something had to be done that delivered tangible results to help seafarers in the wilderness of the sea. We recognised that while there is support for seafarers in port, through the many brilliant chaplaincies and seafarer charities, the ‘weak link’ is support while at sea. I raised it at the Red Ensign Group and with the seafarer charity ISWAN and it was clear to us that the problem of seafarer mental health was becoming more acute, with seafarers spending more time alone in their cabin than ever before. The app has many functions but a key one is to provide social activities to get seafarers interacting more on-board to combat that isolation.”

Cameron said the IOM team has produced the app with maritime training organisation Tapiit, which will live stream its support and training sessions via the app.

“The app provides structured welfare support for the seafarer from nutritional advice to live interactive support sessions for mental health and fitness,” he said. “The feedback we are receiving from ship owners, both clients and non-clients, is really positive. Ship owners want to find new better ways to help and protect seafarers and want to embrace digital innovation. We hope this app will be a step forward for the industry and make a positive difference to many thousands of seafarers sailing under the Isle of Man flag.”

Cameron said he was introduced to Tapiit through Merseyside cluster organisation Mersey Maritime and said it is doing a brilliant job producing an app that gives such a breadth of support and functionality.

Richard Turner, CEO of Tapiit, which has offices in Liverpool and the Isle of Man, said the functionality of the app will be ground-breaking and range of services and support greater than any app currently available to seafarers.

“The Tapiit team is very excited to develop this crew welfare app with Cameron and his team at the Isle of Man Ship Registry,” he said. “From my time working at Shell and setting up Tapiit mental health, in particular, has always been the key problem area we have sought to tackle, so we are very much on the same wavelength as the IOM. Cameron has been very specific about what the IOM wants and when it goes live it will be the most comprehensive crew welfare app in the world. We also have a number of large organisations partnering the app, who will be announced soon, and as a result will be able to offer support, through the app, to crew worldwide both on-board ship and in port. The app is designed to make seafarers lives easier and happier so it is not a one-off download, it can be so useful and supportive it can become part and parcel of what seafarers do each day.”

Isle of Man Ship Registry background

Based in Douglas on the Isle of Man, the Isle of Man Ship Registry is one of the most respected registries in the world, consistently appearing at the top of the Paris MoU White List which ranks registries by performance.

The Isle of Man Registry is a quality flag of choice, a bespoke choice, that offers reliability and quality of service. The Registry is a Category One member of Red Ensign Group and an International Registry.

The Registry is run by a team of professionals dedicated to providing the very best in service. Backed by sophisticated electronic systems, it is able to register ships quickly and efficiently to suit all time zones and has on-line systems to smooth the processes for clients. An ISO 9001 and 14000 certified organisation, the Registry operates efficiently and consistently to exceed the standards expected of a modern Flag State.

With its in-house technical expertise, the Registry provides advice and regulatory oversight for the ships and yachts on the register, in a pragmatic and commercially sensitive manner. This partnership working and service-culture is what attracts clients to register more of their ships in the Isle of Man. Its portfolio of clients includes many of the world’s blue-chip ship owners and prestigious super yachts.

With 24/7 response and a growing network of surveyors in key locations, the Ship Registry provides a swift response to allow owners and managers to keep their ships operating in a competitive global industry. Backed by a Government which strongly supports the maritime sector, the Registry is operated on a cost-neutral platform, allowing its fee structure to be extremely competitive.

The Isle of Man Ship Registry offers high quality and superb service at a low cost. The Registry combines all fees into one annual fee payment whereas some open registries charge for almost all additional services. At the Isle of Man Ship Registry there is no annual tonnage tax based on size of ship, no inspection fee, no consular fee, no casualty investigation fees and it offers a discount for multi ship fleets as well as fee incentives for environmentally friendly ships.

This combination of quality service and a competitive fee structure ensures clients receive great value.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ferry sailings to and from the Isle of Man have been updated as the Manx government announced it's easing travel restrictions.

As Manx Radio reported, Chief Minister Howard Quayle announced yesterday the Isle of Man is moving from stage five to four on its borders framework.

From Monday, 20 July, Manx residents can travel to the UK and beyond, as long as they self isolate for two weeks once they return.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet has therefore revised its schedule, running two daily sailings between Douglas and Heysham on the Ben-my-Chree on most dates from Friday, 24 July.

It will also provide a daily fast craft service to Liverpool on the Manannan from Fridays to Mondays, also starting from the 24 July.

Published in Ferry

RNLI fishing safety manager Frankie Horne has urged the fishing community to avail of safety training that is on offer for their crews and to ensure that their safety equipment is up to date.

It comes after the skipper of a fishing vessel that sank late last year off the Isle of Man has attributed their rescue to the safety training the crew had undertaken previously and to their lifejackets, which were fitted with personal locator beacons (PLBs).

On the evening of 23 November last year, the fishing vessel Polaris suffered a catastrophic hull failure in the Irish Sea off the west coast of the Isle of Man.

The vessel sank so rapidly that the skipper only had time to send out a Mayday to the coastguard and other surrounding fishing boats before the vessel became submerged.

The coastguard immediately launched two RNLI lifeboats, from Port St Mary and Port Erin, and a rescue helicopter. However, it was a local fishing vessel, Lynn Marie, which arrived first on scene.

The skipper and a crew member from Polaris had been in the water for at least 15-20 minutes before help arrived.

The skipper of the Lynn Marie feared the worst on arriving at the scene as the Polaris had already gone below the water. The skipper stopped his engine to listen for the crew of the Polaris, which proved a wise decision as he heard two men in the water shouting. The Lynn Marie crew located them with a search light and recovered them from the water.

‘I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives’

Commenting on the rescue, Horne said: “After speaking with Gordon Mills, the skipper of the Polaris, and the crew of Lynn Marie on their arrival at Peel, it was quite clear that this could have been a very different story had the crew of both vessels not acted so professionally.

“The crew had attended safety training and wore lifejackets fitted with personal locator beacons which had increased their chances of survival.”

Gordon Mills, skipper of Polaris, added: “At no time did I feel our lives were in danger due to our training and equipment.

“We had a policy of wearing lifejackets on the working deck since attending refresher training, where I was shown a film involving fishermen wearing their normal working clothes, being put through their paces in the RNLI Survival Centre Environmental Pool, both with and without lifejackets in cold water with wave movement whilst attempting to recover themselves.”

Mills added: “To see fishermen struggling in a controlled environment and only lasting a few minutes or in some cases a few seconds without the lifejacket makes you think about your own safety.

“I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives. We wouldn’t have even been afloat for the crew of fishing vessel Lynn Marie to recover us from the water had we not been wearing them.

“I would encourage all fishermen to start wearing their lifejackets while on deck — you just never know when you might need it.”

Published in Fishing

Manx government funding has been approved for a £38m passenger ferry terminal in Liverpool despite costs spiralling by more than a fifth.

The project according to BBC News, which received planning permission in April, will cost £6.5m more than originally estimated.

The need for "additional structural and construction work" on the site and the quay walls have been blamed for putting up costs.

Tynwald members approved the investment despite a bid to adjourn the debate.

Kate Beecroft MHK had called for "more time" to consider detailed information about the development, which had been given to politicians.

But Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said a delay in granting funding could leave the island's ferries unable to sail to Liverpool during the 2021 season.

For more on this Merseyside port related development click here. 

Published in Ferry

Around 300 passengers enjoyed spectacular views of the Isle of Man’s coastline on this year’s Ben-my-Chree round-the-island cruise which was held last Saturday following Midsummer's day. 

The ropax which the IOM Steam-Packet operates on the route to Heysham, England, departed Douglas at 19:00hrs on the special cruise which first went across the bay towards Onchan Head, swinging back around and continuing south. From there the cruise which included a meal as part of the fare offered further stunning views of Port Erin Bay followed by Peel and its castle. 

The fine evening meant that the crew were able to open up Deck 5 to allow passengers to get a great look at the coastline from the vehicle deck. There was also a refurbished motorised horse tram on the deck which made a great vantage point and photo opportunity.

It was an enjoyable evening for all with stunning coastal views, delicious food and musical entertainment from Douglas Town Band’s oompah act, Baron Otto's Blaskapelle, who performed several sets in the ship’s bar throughout the cruise.

Published in Ferry

Departing Dublin Port last night was a small cruiseship when compared to the giants of the industry yet this caller is one of the most prolific visitors and on the Irish Sea this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The diminutive Corinthian of just 4,077 gross tonnage and a capacity of 110 guests had arrived from Douglas, Isle of Man from where the Maltese flagged vessel last month was among a quartet that formed a 'Week of Maidens' calls throughout Manx waters.

Prior to the Isle of Man, Corinthian called to Belfast Harbour as a regular and likewise in Dublin the Valletta registered ship has berthed on several occasions this season in the 'Docklands' quarter. This waterfront area once dominated by warehouses and cranes is now occupied by finance houses and appartments lining the Liffey quays between the city-centre and the Tom Clarke (East-Link) bridge.

With an overall draft of just 4m and 88m in length Corinthian easily made a transit of the bascule bridge and took a specific berth upriver along Sir John Rogersons Quay. Along this stretch is a legacy of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority which designated a south quay berth to encourage shipping activity to the quarter.

Instead of routine tea-time departures as typical of the majority of callers, Corinthian had spent a lenghtly stay. The Italian built ship launched for Renaissance Cruises and operated by subsequent owners until acquired by GCL in 2014 departed Dublin Port last night at 23.00hrs and made an overnight passage to Fishguard, Wales.

The port in Pembrokeshire operated by Stena Line Ports this year is scheduled for 33 callers, the majority of those will be carried out by Corinthian totalling 11 visits this season. Among these cruiseships so far to visit this scenic setting on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was Variety Voyager a vessel more akin to a private superyacht. 

Corinthian is scheduled to return to Dublin next week on Tuesday, July 2nd.

Published in Cruise Liners

A trio of cruiseships recently visited the Isle of Man and notably all of the vessels were making an inaugural call to the Irish Sea island. 

According to CruiseEurope the visiting cruise callers were welcomed by Cruise Isle of Man in what they are calling a Week of Maidens, which began on May 22.

Rob Callister MHK, political member with responsibility for Visit Isle of Man and motorsport, commented: “Receiving three inaugural calls [Hapag-Lloyd’s Hanseatic Nature (see also Dublin) Overseas Adventure Travel’s Corinthian and Vantage Cruises’ Variety Voyager] in one week is extremely rare and a fantastic result for our cruise consultants, Neptumar. It is wonderful to see a range of regular and new cruiselines visiting the island and taking advantage of all we have to offer.

“The work the team has been doing in promoting not only the Isle of Man but also our Manx produce is extremely beneficial to the Island’s economy as we continue to increase the value of cruise visitors. The recent Cruise Welcome Scheme has been well received with fifteen businesses on board in just three weeks, promoting incentives and offers to cruise passengers.

‘We are delighted to see cruiseships visiting the ports of Douglas, Peel and Port Erin in 2019 and welcome the benefits this brings to all areas of the Island as we look to diversify the number of sites visited by cruise passengers and crew.”

Vantage Cruises first contacted the Isle of Man cruise team in 2018 and have booked 10 calls for Variety Voyager during 2019 and have already booked their new ship, Ocean Explorer, for three calls in 2021.

Passengers will enjoy guided tours, bespoke and artisan activities, heritage sites and world-renowned vintage transport, with the Corinthian using Isle of Man Railways’ Dining Car on all 10 of her visits this year.

Published in Cruise Liners

#ferries - Fast craft sailings of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's catamaran resumed daily sailings (yesterday) to Liverpool for the summer.

As BBC News writes the catamaran Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.

"We are excited to welcome passengers on board, both island residents heading off on holiday and visitors coming to explore our island," said the company's chief executive Mark Woodward.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Ferry fares at cheaper rates could, reports BBC News, be introduced if a new sea services agreement is approved, the Manx government said.

A new 25-year deal between the government and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) would replace the current user agreement.

The terms of the deal would see foot passenger fares frozen until 2021, more special offer fares introduced, and higher winter weekend fares scrapped.

Children under 16 and full-time students would travel for half-price.

A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) said the changes to fares would include "foot passenger fares being frozen until a new vessel replaces the Ben-my-Chree, and 450,000 special offer fares being made available each year, compared to 275,000 under the current deal".

"In addition, children under 16 and students in full-time education will be able to travel at half-price adult fare, while higher weekend prices will not apply between 1 October and 31 March, saving up to £50 on a car-plus-two booking," he added.

For more on ferry developments, click the story here. Afloat adds is it almost a year ago when the Manx Government acquired the ferry operator in May 2018.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 6

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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