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One of the Largest Irish Flagged Ships Makes Maiden Calls to Dublin And Cork

1st November 2017

#LargestIrish - One of two of the largest Irish flagged cargoships, Arklow Spirit of 33,905 deadweight tons (dwt) made a maiden call to Dublin Port over the October bank holiday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Arklow Spirit's arrival took place on Monday which saw the 182m long bulk-carrier which otherwise normally trades on global deep sea routes make a rare appearance in Irish waters.

Such a call will to some generations recall the era of when the Irish state had operated a deep sea-fleet. That was Irish Shipping Ltd (ISL) however they were liquidated more than three decades ago amid much controversary in the handling of their operations. 

The five-cargo hold bulker is registered in Arklow where the Co. Wicklow port is also headquarters of Arklow Shipping Ltd. Last year, ASL marked 50 years in service and the shipowners are easily the largest indigenous fleet on the Irish Shipping Register.

As the distinctive company's green-hulled Arklow Spirit edged cautiously along Dublin Port's channel fairway with tugs in assistance, it was a proud sight to have observed.

In addition the bulk-carrier's deck-mounted quartet of red cranes are only equipped on this ship along with sister, Arklow Spray dating to 2014. The 'S' sisters were built in the South Korean yard of Daesun Shipbuilding & Engineering.

Arklow Spirit docked in Alexandra Basin to discharge the final installment of a part-cargo of animal-feed as previously such cargo was unloaded in Cork (Ringaskiddy see related report) according to the ship's agent, Doyle Shipping Group, DSG. The call to Cork was also a first port of call, though it remains to be confirmed it the ship has been in Irish waters beforehand.

The bulk-carrier had originally departed the Brazilian port of Porte Vila do Conde near Belem. It was during the voyage across the Altantic off Ponta Delgada, Azores is where Afloat had tracked the Arklow Spirit bound for Ireland.

ASL also operate a further six bulk-carriers, albeit the 'M' class sisters are smaller at 14,990dwt each. The four-cargo hold bulkers do not feature self-cargo handling gear. One of these sisters, Arklow Marsh was also tracked by Afloat in the English Channel. This saw the 136m bulker then heading for Ireland having too loaded animal feed in Imjuiden, Netherlands.

It was on Saturday that Arklow Spirit had joined Arklow Marsh already anchored in Dublin Bay. This occurance presented a rare sight and given the two different bulker class series.

First to enter Dublin Port was Arklow Marsh which discharged at the same berth in Alexandra Basin to where Arklow Spirit currently occupies.

Afloat has identified that there are 34 ASL cargsoships that fly the Irish tricolor, that include all 8 bulk-carriers witin the overall fleet of 53. The balance of this total been 19 cargoships that are Dutch flagged and based through the company's Rotterdam division, Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V.

Asides the bulk-carriers, the combined mixed flag short-sea cargoships range from 4,933dwt to the newbuilds such as the Arklow Venus of 5,150dwt which was launched on Monday. This 'V' class cargoship which is officially classed as an Eco-Trader 5,150dwt, as it is from the design of Dutch shipbuilder, Royal Bodewes.

Arklow Spirit will remain docked in Dublin until tomorrow night, whereas Arklow Marsh currently remains in the Port of Cork though is due to depart today.

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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