#irishports - A most unusual caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour took place recently with the arrival of a tanker marking a rare event that has not occurred in three decades, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Early on Sunday afternoon the 4,107 gross tonnage tanker Thun Gemini had arrived into the south Dublin Bay harbour.
According to Afloat sources the 2003 built ship is in port for maintenance reasons. Otherwise the 114m Dutch flagged tanker is a regular on the short sea route between Milford Haven, south Wales and the Irish capital.
It was soon after the arrival of Afloat to the port yesterday that came an unexpected surprise as the ship's stern free-fall lifeboat was launched. This led to the splash generated as the lifeboat made contact with the water close to the Carlisle Pier head.
The exersise to launch the enclosed orange lifeboat rekindled personal memories on the occasion of the previous tanker that visited the harbour. This took place in April 1989. More shall be revealed on Afloat next week on the 30th anniverary of that unique event which is among numerous chapter's that have enriched the harbour's maritime heritage.
Thun Gemini today remains berthed in port having sailed at the weekend the short distance from one of the four berths at the oil jetty terminal in neighbouring Dublin Port. The terminal has a 330,000 tonne facility handling oil products, bitumen, chemicals and liqued petroleum gases that are linked to a common user pipe line system.
The tanker is operated by Thun Tankers, part of Erik Thun AB as previously reported on Afloat.ie. The family owned shipping business is located in Lidköping on the southern shores of Lake Vänern, the third largest lake in Europe, which is connected to the sea by a shipping canal.