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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead

Holyhead RNLI volunteers were honoured to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales on Tuesday, during a whistle-stop tour that brought them back to the island they once called home.

The Royal couple met lifeboat crew members and shop volunteers in their first visit to Wales since becoming The Prince and Princess of Wales.

Their Royal Highnesses chatted to volunteers, including 21-year-old lifeboat helm Sion Owens, one of the station’s youngest ever helms, and 83-year-old Gill Davies, who has volunteered in the RNLI shop for over 20 years.

Tony Price, Holyhead RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘It was an absolute pleasure to welcome The Prince and Princess of Wales to Holyhead RNLI and a privilege to have met them. They both showed a genuine and passionate interest in the work of the RNLI, from our shop volunteers to the lifeboat crew.

‘They spent a long time chatting to many of us about our individual roles and the part we play in saving lives at sea. They seemed so at ease and asked many interesting questions about the RNLI, showing a particular interest in mental health.’

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales meet a youngster at Holyhead RNLITheir Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales meet a youngster at Holyhead RNLI

The station has special relevance for The Prince and Princess, as they lived on Anglesey for several years while Prince William was an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, stationed at RAF Valley, which included working with the island’s lifeboat crew on rescues during his time in the role.

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ first Royal visit after announcing their engagement was also on the island as they attended a service of dedication for RNLI lifeboat, the Hereford Endeavour, at Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station in 2013.

The Royal couple had a tour of Holyhead Lifeboat Station, including the ‘local knowledge’ room, put together by the crew for visitors to familiarise themselves with local waters. Their Royal Highnesses were also able to have a close-up view of the station’s D class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper.

Holyhead Lifeboat Operations Manager David Owens said: ‘We are extremely honoured that our station was chosen for the couple’s first visit to Wales since becoming The Prince and Princess of Wales.

‘The local people have a genuine fondness for the Royal couple, who were a part of island life while they lived locally. The fact that they have chosen to come to our station indicates how special Anglesey is to them, and how at home they feel here.

‘Our volunteers are very proud of what they do, and meeting The Prince and Princess was a real honour, and something none of them will forget.’

Prince William’s last engagement with the RNLI was at an Emergency Services Day event last year when he met 12-year-old Ravi Saini who made national headlines in 2020 when he used the RNLI’s Float to Live advice after being caught in a rip current while on holiday in Scarborough.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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In North Wales, plans for the "refurbishment and repair" of the Anglesea ferry port landmark battered by storms and damaged by vandals are set to go before planners.

Councillors in Anglesey will consider the proposals for maintenance at Holyhead's historic breakwater and port area.

A full application for the "refurbishment and repair" of the Victorian breakwater structure and the manufacture of concrete at the Salt Island (ferry terminal) site has been received. Holyhead's breakwater provides coastal protection for the port and a number of waterfront facilities in Holyhead New Harbour.

Salt Island is a natural shelter for the town's Old Harbour from the Irish Sea and part of the Port of Holyhead. The latest maintenance plans include the formation of a "temporary concrete batching plant" for the "fabrication, curing and storage of concrete armour units" at Salt Island, and has been received for consideration by Anglesey County Council.

Further coverage NorthWales reports on the port which is operated by Stena Line Ports Ltd.

Published in Ferry

Holyhead as Welsh towns go has had to reckon with more upheaval than most.

The largest town on the Isle of Anglesey is home to just over 10,000 people but is also one of the UK's largest commercial and ferry ports with millions of heavy goods vehicles, trucks, and tourists passing through every year.

The success of the port, which has existed in some form since 1821, is worth millions of pounds and supplies hundreds of jobs in a region which has seen deprivation levels rise. But one year on from Brexit traffic figures are worrying.

Stena Line has said trade is down 30% at its Welsh ports, which it owns and operates. In December 2020 traders and business figures in Holyhead spoke about the chaos as the hours ticked away until the UK officially left the EU.

Wales On Line has more on the startling impact of 'taking back control' on the port at the frontline of Brexit in Wales

One year on much seems still unclear. The UK is embroiled in fraught negotiations over post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made the impact of Brexit on Holyhead difficult to measure.

Further coverage of the story here focusing on the impact on the port town's community. 

Published in Stena Line

For more than 14 hours, two ferries have been stuck off Holyhead as Storm Barra prevented them from docking at the port, as NorthWalesLive reported last night.

The Stena Adventurer and the Ulysses, which is operated by Irish Ferries, sailed from Dublin to Holyhead but were unable to dock on Wednesday due to the weather conditions.

Passengers described the situation on board as some said they felt "scared" and seasick.

For more click here to include passengers from both of the ferries, that had during the sailings posted updates from their twitter accounts.

Published in Ferry

Plans to refurbish the Port of Holyhead's Breakwater amid concerns it could fail within the next 15 years has led to a consultation launched.

Investigations of the structure have identified a need for a large scale refurbishment of the Breakwater to ensure that it can continue to receive about 70% of all ferry vehicle movement between Ireland and Wales and the North West.

Since its completion in 1873, the Breakwater has been subject to considerable wave action, which has led to the movement and erosion (as Afloat reported) of the rubble mound, that supports the structures wall.

Over the coming years it is anticipated that the level of the mound will become so low that the footing of the vertical walls will be at risk of being undermined.

"Investigations of the structure have predicted that the Breakwater could fail within the next 15 years meaning a permanent solution must be found," a Stena Line Ports spokesperson said.

More from North Wales Pioneer here.

Published in News Update

A historic tall ship which ran aground on the Port of Holyhead's breakwater, according to NorthWalesLive, could still be saved as hopes have been raised. 

The 83-year-old tall ship Zebu got into difficulties on May 15 and the ship had to be abandoned, after she was grounded on the sea wall.

There were fears the vessel, which was left at a 45 degree angle, may have to be dismantled, with the masts removed earlier this week as bad weather approached.

But inspections by divers have now shown the vessel is not as damaged as previously feared.

A full statement has been put out by the marketing director, for the two-masted clipper, which said there is "a strong chance & hope from Team Zebu that she will be saved."

An investigation also found the cause of the incident was due to the anchor dragging.

For further coverage of the tallship that was bound for Bristol, click here. 

Published in Historic Boats

In Holyhead, a stricken tall ship which ran aground last week at the north Wales port's breakwater is set to be dismantled.

It is understood that the 83-year-old tall ship Zebu has been too badly damaged to be salvaged.

A crane company is expecting to remove the two masts today with bad weather forecast.

As NorthWalesLive reported on Tuesday, the rest of the dismantling work is expected to be completed next week.

"It's very sad," said Mark Francis, of Bob Francis Crane Hire. "She's a piece of British nautical history.

"There will never be another one like her built again because the skills and crafts needed are being lost."

He added: "We are taking all the rigging and the masts off to stabilise the hull. We may have to stop then until next week because of a freshening blow."

More from the newspaper here.

Published in Historic Boats

The ferry port of Holyhead has been confirmed by the Welsh Government for the site of a planned new Border Control Post (BCP).

Physical checks are required on certain goods entering the UK from the EU due to Brexit and the deal struck by the UK Government.

Further controls on imports are due to be introduced in phases this year by the UK Government.

Checks were due to be introduced in stages from 1 April and from 1 July, but most import checks have now been pushed back to January 1 2022.

Border Control Posts (BCPs), where the required physical inspections will take place, are being established across the UK.

At Holyhead inspections will be required on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales from the Republic of Ireland. These checks are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and will be in place in order to ensure goods entering the UK do not pose a risk to public health, or to the spread of animal or plant diseases.

Welsh Government has announced that Plot 9 at Parc Cybi has been selected as the site for the post.

A planning consultation under a Special Development Order will begin shortly.

For much more reading on this development, NorthWalesLive reports including an image of the BCP plot site. 

Published in Ferry

Cruiseships that had used the deep water jetty at the Port of Holyhead, NorthWalesLive reports, is now receiving an upgrade that will make it more attractive for passengers and prepare it for a new use.

Work has begun on the £500,000 upgrade of the Orthios jetty at Holyhead - currently being used as a base for sea trials and training by the world’s most advanced polar research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough (see pic-caption too).

The upgrade serves two purposes - including getting the jetty ready to receive plastics for recycling for Orthios' Plastics-to-Oil facilities at the former Anglesey Aluminium site.

It will also benefit Welsh tourism as Orthios said it will make the jetty "more attractive" to cruise ships when the holiday industry revives.

The improvement works are being managed for Orthios by Cadarn Consulting of Anglesey.

More on this story here and the newbuild polar research ship was off the North coast of Ireland recently.

Published in Cruise Liners

Ferry operator Stena Line has placed a quarter if its dock workers at Holyhead on furlough as Covid and Brexit hit demand for services.

The ferry giant, reports NorthWalesLive, has seen a slump in trade since January 1 due to several factors.

This includes the continued impact of the pandemic on passenger numbers, trade disruption due to Brexit and stockpiling in December.

It has seen some weekend services cancelled and next week Stena Estrid (see related story) will be replaced by the smaller Stena Horizon on the route.

This has sparked fears over the long term impact on Holyhead port with a surge in trade on direct Ireland/EU mainland services and a switch by some operators to direct Belfast routes for goods to and from Northern Ireland.

Port officials remain calm about the situation with confidence that these are short term impacts exacerbated by the pandemic.

But they have taken the decision to temporarily reduce staff numbers dockside with a 25% cut in port services operators.

These workers - who help to dock vessels and the ferries to load and unload - have been placed on the UK Government's Job Retention Scheme.

Further reading here on the reality of such developments. 

Published in Stena Line
Page 1 of 7

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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