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Displaying items by tag: Isle of Skye

An exclusion zone was set up around a cargo ship out of Drogheda that ran aground in Scotland’s Hebrides earlier this week, as it was battered by persisting storm conditions.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, eight crew were airlifted from the MV Kaami on Monday (23 March) after it grounded on a reef known locally as Eugenie Rock, some six nautical miles off the Isle of Skye.

The MV Kaami had left Drogheda Port less than two days previously, en route for Slite in Sweden, with a cargo of refuse-derives fuel (RDF) in pellet form.

The Press and Journal reports that a salvage team arrived on Tuesday (24 March) to inspect the abandoned vessel, while the tug Ievoli Black remained at the scene on guard.

Published in Scottish Waters

Eight crew were rescued from a cargo ship out of Drogheda that ran aground off the Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides early yesterday morning (Monday 23 March).

The MV Kaami had left Drogheda Port on the evening of Saturday 21 March and was due to arrive in Slite, Sweden this weekend.

But the 90m cargo vessel ran aground in The Minch at what’s known locally as Eugenie Rock, about six nautical miles north-west of Duntulm on Skye.

Portree RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 2.24am yesterday morning in response to a MayDay call from the MV Kaami, as did the Emergency Towing Vessel Ievoli Black and the Pharos, a Northern Lighthouse Board buoy-laying vessel.

The duty Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived on scene, where weather conditions has a Force 8 southerly wind with a rough sea state, and began to airlift eight of the Russian crew to Stornoway. No injuries were reported.

Published in Scottish Waters
An Irish cargo-vessel, Red Duchess got into difficulties when the ship broke down off the Isle of Rhum on Tuesday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1,285grt coaster owned by Coast Lines, was bound for Stornoway with a cargo of coal when the incident occurred. Onboard the vessel was 27 cubic metres of diesel oil and 400 litres of lube oil.

Despite the lack of engine-power, the vessel maintained electricity capacity but was unable to use anchor while drifting in 20m waters and over a rocky seabed. The vessel continued to drift in Force 7-8 conditions, close to the islands in Harris Bay. Fortunately the Mallaig lifeboat was able to get a line onboard the 1969 built Red Duchess to halt further drifting closer to the shore.

This brought some extra time for the stricken vessel until the UK Maritime & Coastguard Safety Agency (MCA) deployed their ETV (Emergency Towing Vessel) Anglian Prince (1980/1,641grt) to the scene.

In the interim period a coastguard rescue helicopter moved to Rhum to be on standby in the event of having to evacuate the crew. This was not required as the Anglian Prince managed to secure a line and safely tow the Red Duchess to Stornoway.

The Red Duchess is a veteren vessel in the coastal trade, regularly trading throughout Irish Sea ports and in particular for many years has been engaged in the carriage of timber logs between Scotland and Youghal, Co. Waterford.

As for the ETV Anglian Princess, she was involved only a fortnight ago in the high-profile rescue of the Royal Navy's HMS Astute, described as the newest, largest and stealthiest attack class submarine. The £1.2 billion submarine was believed to be undergoing sea trials when it went aground off the Isle of Skye. Anglian Princess successfully pulled free the submarine from a shingle bank.

Ironically hours before the the submarine's grounding, the Anglian Princess and three other ETV vessels were announced by the British Government to be withdrawn funding from the nation's (ETV) Emergency Towing Vessel service. The charter of the fleet of four ETV's from owners Klyne Tugs (Lowestoft) Ltd to the UK's Maritime & Coastguard Safety Agency (MCA) was expected to last with the current contract expiring in September 2011.

Since 2001, KTL's fleet of powerful tugs are on charter to the (MCA) for use in pollution control incidents and for towing vessels which are in difficulty in coastal waters.

The fleet are based in strategic locations around the UK, with two covering in Scottish waters, at Stornoway, the Western Isles and Lerwick in the Northern Isles (Shetland and Orkney). The other pair of ETV's cover the south of England at Falmouth in Cornwall and Dover in Kent. The Dover station is funded jointly with French maritime authorities.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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