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Irish Sea Ferries From Stena Receive Prestigious Safety Award

25th August 2018
Captain Steve Millar and crew members of Stena Lagan when berthed in Belfast Harbour. Afloat adds in the centre background is Harland & Wolff and a tug underway from SMS Towage in addition on right a Stena ro-ro freightferry. Captain Steve Millar and crew members of Stena Lagan when berthed in Belfast Harbour. Afloat adds in the centre background is Harland & Wolff and a tug underway from SMS Towage in addition on right a Stena ro-ro freightferry. Photo: Stena Line

#FerryNews - Eight ferries operating for Stena Line on the Irish Sea have received the prestigious Jones F. Devlin Award from the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), acknowledging the skills and dedication of the men and women responsible for safe vessel operations.

According to the CSA, the Jones F. Devlin Awards publicly recognise ‘outstanding achievement’, exemplifying ‘devotion to duty and to the principles of maritime safety, which is worthy of the highest commendation.”

This year, eight Stena Line ferries on the Irish Sea, along with a ninth ship operating on the Gdynia to Karlskrona route have been recognised for operating between two and five consecutive years without a lost-time accident.

The awarded ferries are:

· Stena Adventurer on the Dublin to Holyhead route

· Stena Horizon on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route

· Stena Superfast VIII on the Belfast to Cairnryan route

· Stena Mersey, Stena Lagan and freightferry Stena Precision on the Belfast to Liverpool route. Afloat adds the Irish Sea route is also to be joined by Stena Forerunner which too was given the award. The '4Runner class freightferry is currently on the English Channel as it makes a repositioning voyage to Belfast from Rotterdam.

· Stena Baltica on the Gdynia to Karlskrona route

Bjarne Koitrand, Technical Operations Director at Stena Line said: “Safety for our passengers and employees always comes first at Stena Line, and forms a very important part of the Stena Line Group’s strategy for a sustainable future. This achievement reaffirms the positive trend we have seen in the Lost-Time-Injury-Frequency during the last years.”

Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea South) Ian Davies also commented on his pride at a ‘remarkable’ achievement.

“For a ship to operate for three consecutive years without a single lost time accident is a fantastic achievement – for eight of our Irish Sea fleet to pick up this award is truly remarkable,” said Mr Davies. “We really couldn’t be more proud of all our colleagues on the Irish Sea.”

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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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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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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