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From Last Lightship to Last Lanby

9th August 2010
From Last Lightship to Last Lanby

The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) withdrew the Codling Bank Lanby off Arklow on 24 July. This was the last Lanby to serve in Irish waters. The Lanby (Large Automated Navigation Buoy) is essentially a floating circular platform with a tower positioned centrally and fitted with a light to ward off potential dangers to shipping, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Lanby was replaced with a Type 1 buoy which has a focal in excess of 5 metres and is fitted with a racon and Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Irish Lights aids to navigation tender, ILV Granuaile towed the former Codling Lanby to Dublin. The Lanby was hoisted out of the water and remains high and dry on the quayside awaiting demolition by the Hammond Lane Company. This final Lanby completes the withdrawal of Major Floating Aids to Navigation (MFAs) throughout Irish waters.

Lanbys were first introduced in the 1960s as replacements for lightships on certain stations. The ALF Gannet, the last Irish lightship, which was converted in the mid-1980's into an Automatic Light-Float (ALF) was withdrawn from the South Rock station off Portavogie in February 2009. The ALF Gannet was towed to Dun Laoghaire and laid-up at Carlisle Pier. Earlier this year ALF Gannet was sold and towed to new owners in the UK.

With modern navigating systems coupled with the amount of traffic and the degree of risk, CIL made the decision to withdraw the MFAs and replace them with Type 1 buoys.

The work of maintaining navigational aids is conducted at CIL's joint marine depot and head-quarters at Dun Laoghaire, which was built in 2008. A marine-depot facility did exist previously at the same site while administrative offices were located in Pembroke Street, Dublin.

In June, CIL celebrated its 200th year since establishment in 1810. The authority is entrusted to maintain, service and update all aids to navigation around the entire coastline of Ireland, providing a vital and invaluable service to mariners.

Assides the use of the tender, ILV Granuaile, Irish Lights also operate the tug-buoy tender, Puffin, also based at Dun Laoghaire.

Codling

The Codling LANBY at  Irish Lights headquarters, Dun Laoghaire in 2009 with tender ILV Granuaile. Photo: Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

Published in Lighthouses
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Irish Lighthouses

Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland 365 days. Its focus is reliable and cost-effective services which protect people, property and the marine environment, and support marine industry and coastal communities.

Irish Lights is responsible for providing marine aids to navigation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. This remit includes: providing and maintaining over 300 general aids to navigation, managing about 4,000 local aids to navigation and marking or removing dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland. Irish Lights also provides contract commercial services for ship charter, buoy and marine data services and supports tourism and heritage activities.

Emergency Response: If you notice any aid to navigation is not functioning correctly please contact our 24-hour emergency number 01 280 1996

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