A delay in the deployment of a patrol ship for three days recently was forced upon the Naval Service because it could not find the minimum number of sailors required.
The patrol vessel LÉ Ciara, writes The Irish Times, is supposed to have 39 crew but in late December it had a crew of only 34, the minimum number of sailors required to safely operate the ship.
By the time it received orders to set sail from Haulbowline Naval Base on December 30th on a routine maritime defence and security operations patrol, two of its crew had reported in sick.
This meant LÉ Ciara was unable to sail because it did not have what is known as the “damage control and fire fighting bubble”, ie it did not have enough crew to safely deal with fires or other emergencies if they occurred.
It remained in port for three days while replacement crew were found. The ship was eventually able to depart on its mission on January 1st.
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