#FarewellEMER – L.E. Emer (P21) the oldest member of the eight-strong Naval Service fleet is to make her final scheduled visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported, L.E. Emer is making her final patrol before she de-commissioning on 20 September. The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) will go for sell unless previously sold at a public auction to be held on 23 October. A sister, L.E. Aoife (P22) will likewise be disposed a year later.
Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon L.E. Emer will be open to public tours while she is berthed alongside the Carlisle Pier. As previously reported the five-masted cruiseship Wind Surf is today docked at this same pier having sailed from Portrush via the Isle of Man.
Potential interest for the naval vessels could include the conversion of the ships for the superyacht market or use for the offshore energy supply sector or a research vessel.
They are to be replaced by a pair of larger 'Roisin' class OPV's currently under construction by Babcock Marine in Appledore, north Devon.
L.E. Emer was completed in 1978 followed by L.E. Aoife in 1980 at the Verolme Cork Dockyard (V.C.D.). Also launched from the shipyard in Rushbrooke near Cobh, the youngest sister L.E. Aisling (P23) which will remain in service.
As leadship of a trio of 'Emer' class Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV) the series however in more recent years were re-classified as Offshore Patrol Vessels.
They are an improved version of L.E. Deirdre (P20) which was the first custom-built vessel for the Naval Service when launched from V.C.D. in 1972. She was de-commissioned in 2001 and sold for €190,000 and converted into a luxury yacht.