#DOCKING SURVEY– The Commissioners of Irish Lights aids to navigation tender ILV Granuaile (2000/2,625grt) is currently at Cork Dockyard Ltd undergoing her scheduled docking survey, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The tender built in Romania over a decade ago and fitted out in the Netherlands by the Damen Shipyard Group, is required under regulation to drydock twice in five-yearly cycles. Her last docking was in 2009 and the the bouy-laying vessel is due her next scheduled docking in 2014.
Such docking is required by Classification Societies to inspect the underwater areas including hull, propellers, rudders, engine cooling systems, anchors, cables and anti corrosion systems.
At the same time the opportunity is taken to remove marine growth and to apply antifouling paint coatings to the underwater areas and to prepare and paint the ships hull. The principle dimensions of the hull are 79m long on a beam of 15m and with a shallow draft of 4.4m.
She has accommodation for an extra 10 persons or can accept modular housing on the after-deck where navigational aids (bouys) are stowed in cradles. Heavy lifting equipment including a 20 tonne crane with an outreach of 20m is used to position the bouys at pinpoint accuracy using satellite technology. There are 150 offshore buoys which warn mariners of the location of sand banks, reefs, and other offshore hazards near shipping routes.
A helicopter landing deck over the bow is used to transfer maintenance personnel and equipment to certain lighthouses.
ILV Granuaile's homeport is Dun Loaghaire Harbour, where she is seen frequently loading and unloading buoys alongside the various piers. On occasions she enters through the marina to berth alongside the Commissioners headquarters which includes a marine workshop depot facility, though this can only be done on certain tides and for a short duration.
Asides her primary duties serving the lighthouse authority, the vessel is capable of carrying out chain work, search and rescue, salvage and recovery, oil pollution control, towing, hydrographic applications, and ROV work.