#FarewellEMER – Dublin Port is to bid farewell to L.E. Emer (P21) on her final visit to the capital today. Under command of Lt. Cdr. Alan O'Regan she is to resume her last patrol prior to de-commissioning on 20 September, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The sell-listed offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of 1,019 displacement tonnes has served the Naval Service dutifully for nearly 35 years.
Since her launch from the V.C.D. shipyard in 1977, the vessel which entered service two years later, has carried out numerous patrols. Not just fishery monitoring patrols but varied tasks among them the interdiction of illegal drugs and contraband to search and rescue (SAR).
Naval Service vessels are not restricted to domestic waters but also re-supply missions to Irish Army troops serving the United Nations (UN) overseas.
A notable historic first role was undertaken by L.É. Emer, as she became the first ever Naval Service vessel to re-supply troops serving with the UN in The Lebanon during 1979, the year in which she was commissioned.
The 65m vessel is fitted with the following weaponary where the main armament consists of a Bofors 40mm L70 Canon, secondary armament is 2 X 20mm Rheinmetall RH202 Canon. In addition to small various arms ranging from 9mm Pistol to 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns mounted amidships.
Another significant operation by the L.E. Emer was the apprehension of the trawler, Marita Ann in 1984, which was stopped after warning shots were fired, having found to be carrying a significant quantity of arms and ammunition.