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Displaying items by tag: swansea

2nd February 2012

Fastnet Line Closes For Good

#FERRY NEWS - The Fastnet Line ferry service between Cork and Swansea is to close with the loss of 78 jobs.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operator had been in examinership since last November, and a restructured business plan had been submitted with a view to resuming high-season service in April.

However, in a statement the owners of the Fastnet Line said they had been unable to raise the €1m-plus investment required and that the examinership had "failed".

All 78 jobs will be lost as the company is set to be placed in receivership or liquidation later today.

The Fastnet Line - which was worth around €30 million to Cork in tourist spending - made its maiden voyage from Swansea to Cork in 2010, and was the only direct passenger and freight link between Wales and the south coast of Ireland.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry
The Cork-Swansea route service has smashed 2010 targets with over 80,000 passengers using the service, which reopened in March according to a report on NewsWales.co.uk.

The passenger figure represents four-times the capacity of the Liberty Stadium, Swansea which is to host the rugby Heineken Cup clash between Swansea Neath Ospreys and Munster on Saturday 18 December.

The 10-hour ferry service operated by Fastnet Line also carried 31,000 vehicles and statistics suggest a significant boost for the Swansea Bay economy with about 40% of all passengers so far travelling from Cork to the south Wales region. The route is served by the MV Julia which had been sailing in the Baltic. The 1982 built vessel is capable of carrying more than 1,800 passengers and 400 cars.

Fastnet Line will run all-year-round in 2011 and has set a revised target of 120,000 passengers.

On a seasonal note, Christmas gift vouchers are available from Fastnet Line, for more information logon HERE

Published in Ports & Shipping
11th September 2010

Welsh Coastguard Evacuate Walkers

At twenty minutes past one this afternoon, Swansea Coastguard received a call from ambulance control requesting assistance to the aid of an injured walker.

The lady had called 999 and requested the Welsh ambulance service, after they had taken the call they assessed that they would need Coastguard assistance to extract the lady from where she was. She had fallen in woods near to the Irish Sea coast and had sustained a broken ankle.

The Llantwit Major Coastguard rescue team was called out. They located the lady and placed her in their rescue stretcher and carried her out to the waiting air ambulance who then evacuated her to hospital.

Earlier in the day Swansea Coastguard received a call for assistance from the Welsh ambulance service, when a 51 year old male, part of a group of 800 coastal walkers on a fundraising walk for charity, fell and dislocated his elbow.

Rhossili Coastguard rescue team was called out and located the man. Due to the extreme pain this man was experiencing, a doctor who was attending requested that the best way to evacuate was by helicopter. A rescue helicopter was requested. The Rhosilli http://www.afloat.ie/resources/organisations/irish-coast-guard/ team cleared an area for the helicopter to work safely in the evacuation of this man.

Dai Jones, Watch Manager at Swansea said:

Our Coastguard rescue teams train for this type of recovery and we were pleased that we could assist in the rescue of these two walkers.

Coastal cliff paths are often uneven and can present a problem when walking them.

Always ensure that you are equipped for the activity you are undertaking and ensure that you are wearing adequate footwear.

Published in Coastguard

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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