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Displaying items by tag: Wales

#fishing - The largest fishing port in Wales, at Milford Marina has welcomed the FPV Rhodri Morgan, one of five new fisheries patrol vessels taking to the waters in 2019.

The vessel was built by local company Mainstay Marine Solutions, and was named in Cardiff Bay in December, memorialising the former First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

At 26 metres long, weighing 75 tons, the vessel carries 11,000 litres of fuel. It also has room for a 6.5 metre sea-boat. It was built, along with four other vessels, to replace the previous fleet. This fleet will patrol Welsh waters looking for illegal fishing activity.

Melanie Durney, Docks and Marina Manager, Milford Marina, commented: “As Wales’ largest fishing port, we are honoured to have the FPV Rhodri Morgan here in the marina. It is an impressive vessel, and we are pleased to see that it will be part of the fleet patrolling the Welsh fishing grounds.”

The marina which is on the Milford Haven estuary is where the Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s top energy port and Wales’ busiest port handling around 20% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas.  It is widely recognised in the industry as the energy capital of the UK in addition to a ferryport in Pembroke where Irish Ferries operate to Rosslare Harbour. 

Published in Fishing
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#Ferry - The body of a woman was recovered from the water in South Wales yesterday (Friday 2 December) after a major search operation for a person missing from a Pembroke-to-Rosslare ferry, as the Western Telegraph reports.

Irish Ferries’ Isle of Inishmore contacted the UK Coastguard from Rosslare shortly after 8am when the passenger was noted as missing and feared to have gone overboard, according to Sky News, prompting a major air and sea search of the Irish Sea and the Pembroke Channel at Milford Haven.

Dyfed Powys Police later confirmed the discovery of a body in the Lawrenny area east of Pembroke Dock in the upper reaches of the Western Cleddau, though it has not formally been identified.

Published in News Update

#Missing - BBC News reports that the search has resumed for two teenagers missing in the Irish Sea off north-west Wales since yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 August).

The two boys, ages 14 and 15, had got into difficulty while swimming at Barmouth Beach in Cardigan Bay and were separated from their group, comprising members of the Somali and Yemeni communities in Birmingham.

It's understood one member of the group attempted a rescue but was unsuccessful.

In a separate incident, HM Coastguard and RNLI lifeboats from Cardigan and New Quay launched to reports that a man had been swept off rocks at Mwnt on the southern side of Cardigan Bay.

It was reported that two men had been walking when they were cut off by the tide and one of them fell into the sea from rocks.

Published in News Update

#MarineWildlife - A seal pup was lunch for a killer whale that's been attracting onlookers to Wales' Irish Sea coast in recent days.

As the Carmarthen Journal reports, the orca was first sighted of Mwnt, north of Cardigan, over the summer, but has since been spotted further down the coast near Fishguard - believed to be attracted by a boom in the local seal population.

It marks a rare appearance for the species in the Irish Sea, as they're more commonly spotted in Scottish waters and off Ireland's North Coast.

And it comes not long after another rare sight in the form of a pod of Risso's dolphins sighted near Anglesey in north Wales earlier this month - with experts telling BBC News that it may be one of the largest such pods ever recorded in Welsh waters.

In other marine mammal news, The Irish Times has video of a seal who appears to have taken a liking to Dublin city centre, swimming many kilometres up the Liffey from the usual Dublin Bay haunts.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#pwllheli – Wales' biggest boat show moves to Pwllheli in 2015 - Wales' deputy tourism minister welcomes news of show's return

A boating and watersports show will return to North Wales next year thanks to growing interest in the event, it was announced today.

The All Wales Boat Show 2015 will take place in Pwllheli as one of the first events at Plas Heli, the new Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre.

It follows two highly successful years in Conwy where it gained considerable interest from the marine and tourism sectors and attracted thousands of visitors over several days.

Organisers believe the All Wales Boat Show plugs a hole in the market and helps highlight the huge potential in Wales, where the marine leisure industry still only accounts for 2.4% of the UK as a whole, according to the British Marine Federation (BMF).

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism welcomed the news. He said: "Building on the previous successes of this event, I am delighted that Pwllheli will be hosting the 2015 All Wales Boat Show. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Plas Heli, the town's £8.3m sailing academy and events centre.

"The marine leisure industry in Wales is a major player in terms of economic development and the Welsh Government is determined to see the marine leisure industry grow and endeavour to ensure that coastal communities will benefit from this expanding market."

The 2015 All Wales Boat Show will take place from Friday May 8th to Sunday 10th May.

Davina Carey-Evans, Managing Director of Wales Watersports International which operates the All Wales Boat Show, said opportunities were now open for sponsors, exhibitors and supporters.

Those already onboard include marine specialists GJW Insurance, Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Wales/Cymru, and marine law experts Hill Dickinson.

Davina said the show was indebted to Conwy and Deganwy Quay marinas for establishing the spectacle as an annual event.

"We have enjoyed two great years in Conwy but such was the success of this year's event we simply need more space for 2015," she said.

"Pwllheli offers this but keeps the event in Wales, close to some of this country's best coastline and inland waters, and to local economies which this sector supports.

2015 will be a big year for Pwllheli and the Llyn Peninsula with the opening of Plas Heli, the new Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre, which has received an £8.3 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council.

Davina added: "Wales has a spectacular, scenic coastline of natural beauty with many safe anchorages, harbours and marinas. The capacity for growth is recognised and if nurtured sensitively will provide excellent potential to stimulate the economies of coastal communities.

"We believe the show can be a big success, and put down a real marker for the huge potential of the marine sector in Wales and the positive impact it can have on our economy as a whole."

The All Wales Boat Show is designed to appeal to local, regional and international visitors.

In 2014 thousands flocked to the three-day event at Conwy Quay marina, which featured luxury yachts through to power boats, coracles and even bath tubs.

Boats were on show from Fairline Wales, Hanse, Jeanneau, Beneteaeu, Robalo, Chapparal, Quicksilver, Sunseeker and Bayliner, plus over 100 used vessels. The first boat was sold within minutes of the event opening its doors to the public.

According to the BMF, the marine leisure sector supported 7,600 full time-equivalent jobs in Wales in 2013.

With events such as the All Wales Boat Show, developments such as Plas Heli and marina expansions, these numbers are set to increase.

In addition to the All Wales Boat Show website at www.allwalesboatshow.com a new site, www.waleswatersports.com has been launched by the show organisers to act as a major portal for the marine and watersports sector in Wales.

Published in News Update
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#IRC – A brand new Welsh IRC championships dubbed the 'Celtic Regatta' is to be staged at the Welsh National Sailing Academy in Pwllheli. It will be promoted in Dun Laoghaire this weekend by Stephen Tudor, an Irish Sea ISORA Champion and the Commodore of Pwllhelli Sailing Club.

The event flyer (downloadable below as a jpeg file) carries the logos of the National Yacht Club and ISORA.

Tudor says there has been a very strong and positive response to proposals for the 2014 IRC Welsh National Championships following the previous announcement regarding the date for the event - 1st to 3rd August 2014. (4th is a bank holiday in Ireland).

Tudor comes to Dun Laoghaire this weekend for the ISORA agm and black tie prizegiving at the National Yacht Club tomorrow and aims to recruit as much interest from this side of the Irish Sea as possible.

The event aims to build on the long established links between Ireland and Wales and in particular between the Clubs on each side if the Irish Sea.

So far Tudor has produced an initial promotional flyer for the three day event and a copy is attached below as a jpg document for download.

The IRC National Championship is an open event and will use the facilities of the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre and will draw on the skill and experience of the Academy's event team who regularly run World and European Championships.

Work on the £8.3M Academy facilities starts in the new year.

This work says Tudor will enhance and extend the events capacity in Pwllheli and will improve access to the world renowned sailing waters of Cardigan Bay with the provision of new dedicated visitor and events berths with cranes located adjacent to the Marina.

The substantial dredging work is expected to be completed before the start of the sailing season. The iconic and new state of the art Academy building will be ready for the 2015 season and will incorporate a café/restaurant and club house all of which will have views of the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia and mid Wales will provide a spectacular backdrop.

Published in ICRA
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#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race will come to the Irish Sea for its 13th edition as Cardiff has been announced as a host port for the 2017-18 race.

It will be the first time the UK has hosted the round-the-world yachting challenge since the 2005-06 edition, and the first time ever that Wales has welcomed the race.

"Cardiff made a particularly impressive bid to win one of the coveted European slots and with such outstanding facilities and great enthusiasm I'm convinced that we will have a stopover to remember," said VOR COO Tom Touber at the announcement in Cardiff Bay.

"The fact that we are making this announcement five years in advance is a very strong signal about the future of the race and the commitment to it from the Volvo companies."

Cardiff Council Leader Cllr Heather Joyce said the event "will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city, and be hugely beneficial to the local economy."

She added: “Being awarded the successful bid for one of the most important sailing events in the world once again demonstrates Cardiff’s ability to deliver major international sporting events on the world stage.

"It proves our reputation as an event city as well as providing an opportunity for many non sailors to try the sport through a co-ordinated programme of sailing activities before, during and following the event.”

The good news for Cardiff comes just says after Lisbon was announced as the latest host port for the 2014-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Ireland will sadly have no host port in the next running of the VOR despite the success of Galway's race finale last summer.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Large numbers of dolphins have been filmed in the Irish Sea off the Welsh coast by wildlife volunteers, as WalesOnline reports.

The conservationists with the Sea Trust charity, based in Pembrokeshire, recorded the "dolphin-fest" from the deck of the Stena Europe ferry en route from Fishguard to Rosslare.

Sea Trust director Cliff Benson confirmed the sighting of "a pod of eight Risso's dolphins, 40-plus common dolphins [and] four porpoises" among others as soon as the ferry headed west of Tusker Rock.

Altogether in the three-hour passage across the Irish Sea, the volunteer surveyors recorded a total of 99 common dolphins, 10 Risso's dolphins and 26 harbour porpoises. "That's not bad for a winter trip," said Benson.

He added that while there are threats to the Irish Sea's cetaceans from scallop dredging and the like, "to date our surveys show this area is teeming with life.

“This is Wales and Ireland we are talking about not Bermuda so get this amount of dolphin and porpoise activity with whales thrown in as well is incredible."

Stena has welcomed Sea Trust volunteers on board its vessels since 2004 to check on cetaceans and other marine wildlife in the waters between Ireland and the UK on a monthly basis.

And as reported previously on Afloat.ie, Seatruck Ferries has also been providing free passage to UK marine wildlife researchers to discover how many dolphins and seabirds make their home in the Irish Sea.

Meanwhile, BBC News reports that a pod of more than 100 bottlenose dolphins was recently spotted off the Isle of Man.

The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch said it received a number of sightings from the east and west coasts of the island in the northern half of the Irish Sea, reporting a hive of activity.

"The group sizes tend to be relatively ginormous," said Tom Felce of the group. "So if they are here you can't miss them."

Published in Marine Wildlife

#LIFEBOATS - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Trearddur Bay in Anglesey, north Wales have received a kind donation and a thank-you card from the owner of Daisy, a cow recently rescued after falling from a cliff into the Irish Sea.

Danielle Bosustow, aged eight, was so touched that the crew had rescued her pet she put pen to paper to thank them. Her thank you card reads: "Thank you so much for your help rescuing my cow Daisy. I am so happy to see her again."

Along with the thank you card was a kind donation from Danielle’s grandfather, a local farmer who visited the station to show his gratitude to the RNLI.

The volunteer crew sprung into action on 22 October last, following reports that a cow had fallen from a cliff at Porthdafarch.

The lifeboat launched and with the help of the local farmer, Daisy was located and towed to safety using a bridle. She was taken to a bay close by where she could safely reach dry land.

Alf Pritchard, press officer for Trearddur Bay RNLI said: "We were shown some photographs which were taken after Daisy’s ordeal and it was good to see she is none the worse for her experience.

"It’s so nice when people come back to let you know that what you have done is appreciated. As a charity, the RNLI also very much appreciates the donation."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Cardiff in Wales is submitting a bid to host the 2017-2018 edition of Volvo Ocean Race, as yourCardiff reports.

The city's council has signed off on £3 million (€3.7 million) plans to host a stopover on the race route, bidding alongside a shortlist of 30 other cities ahead of an official decision by the race authorities in December.

Cardiff's bid is subject to confirmation of support from the Welsh government and the Cardiff Harbour Authority to cover the costs of the race village, entertainment and media facilities, and management of the race itself over a proposed two-week stopover.

It's estimated that the VOR could bring in millions to the city's economy and "expand Cardiff's reputation as an event city by hosting one of the most important sailing events in the world", according to a report submitted to the council.

The news comes days after organisers of this summer's Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway postponed their decision on making a third bid to host the race, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Let's Do It Global said the move was to enable the group to concentrate on paying off its outstanding debts of €400,000 which it says were incurred in the wake of "adverse weather" and increased security costs due to the "outstanding success of the event".

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
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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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