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Cargoship to Attempt Second Ferry-Lift

13th April 2011
Cargoship to Attempt Second Ferry-Lift
The heavy lift cargoship Thor Gitta is due to make a second attempt to load two former Aran Islands fast ferries in Galway Docks tomorrow morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
It is envisaged that the operation to hoist the sisters, Clann Eagle I and Clann na nOileáin which each weigh 170 tonnes will be completed by tomorrow evening. The Danish flagged heavy liftship is expected to remain in port until Friday so as to make further preparations in advance of the long delivery voyage to the ferries new owners in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

In the first attempt to load the ferries last week, the Clann na nOileáin fell into the Dun Aengus Dock when the sling rope broke causing the French built 234-passenger craft to fall some 12m /40ft. Onboard the ferry were three people who were taken to hospital but were later released.

Thor Gitta is fitted with two deck-mounted cranes and this feature is also similarly found on the Patanal, which grounded in Casla Bay at the entrance to Rossaveal, nearly a fortnight ago. The German owned 7,002grt was the first vessel chartered to bring the fast-ferries from Rossaveal, but the ferries were subsequently sailed to Galway after the ship was refloated.

The 120m Patanal has undergone "underwater and internal inspections and repairs," according to Capt. Brian Sheridan, harbourmaster of Galway Port Company though he added "that the vessel would remain subject to an inspection by the Marine Survey Office before she can be released".

According to a statement released by the Patanal's owners, Harren & Partner, the vessel is then to be taken to dry dock in Bremerhaven for further repairs.

Since the incident the vessel has been at anchorage off Black Point on the Co. Clare side of Galway Bay where she was monitored initially for pollution and the tug Celtic Isle in attendance. The tug is operated by Celtic Tugs and is normally based in Foynes, Co. Limerick.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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