#boatyards – A Donegal boatbuilder, repairer and refurbishment company, Mooney Boats of Killybegs Harbour has completed works on a tug whose operator has offices based on both sides of Lough Foyle, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The tug Tregeagle operated by Foyle & Marine Dredging has its main office in Claudy, Derry and also in Moville and Letterkenny across the border in Donegal. Among the works carried out on the 15 bollard tons tug were repairs to a single shaft propeller blades, new anodes fitted and stainless steel vents on deck for diesel tanks.
In order to carry out such works, a 600 syncrolift facility which is adjacent to the Killybegs yard at Castle Point is where vessels mostly from the fishing industry are lifted out of the water for the purpose of dry-docking.
The 131 gross tonnage tug has accommodation on the main deck for the master, as for the engineer there is a single cabin and a pair of double berth cabins for the crew located elsewhere. In addition to toilets and a shower along with a galley and mess room.
On completion of the drydocking, Tregeagle departed Donegal to UK waters and is currently off the Kyle of Lochalsh, in west Scotland. The tug has also in recent years been trading in the Shetland Islands, where a recent BBC crime detective drama 'Shetland' was set in the archipelago.
Tregeagle has been in Lough Foyle since 2013 when Fowey Harbour Commissioners sold the tug to Foyle & Marine Dredging, formerly known as McCormick Transport. The fleet of this company consist of six vessels, varying from dredging craft to tugs, among them Ada Dorothy that is employed at Dublin Port.
Afloat has monitored in recent months this 8 ton bollard pull tug working in Alexandra Basin where a major redevelopment of this part of the docks is underway as part of the port’s masterplan.
Returning to Tregeagle, the veteran tug dating to 1964 was completed as Flying Demon at J. Lewis and Sons, Aberdeen as Yard No. 344 for clients Clyde Shipping Co Ltd at Glasgow. In 1978 they were restyled to Clyde Shipping Tugs Ltd.
In December 1965, as part of the Clyde Shipping towage fleet, Flying Demon assisted Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth. The Cunarder was then the world’s largest liner which was on the Clyde for refitting at the dry dock at Inchgreen.
During the decades of the tug's career, there have been several change of ownerships and consequently renamings. This led to operating in the North Sea out of Grangemouth and also on the English Channel from Fowey.
Tregeagle’s longest career spell has been in the Cornish port, where the tug spent over 20 years working for Fowey Harbour Commissioners. This involved assisting cargoships, cruiseships and naval vessels trhoughout the various berths along the Fowey estuary.
The veteran Tregeagle given its vintage, has a resemblance to a former Dublin Port & Docks Board (now Dublin Port Co) tug, the Coliemore (see posting) which took its name from the coastal harbour and road in Dalkey, a suburb of the capital along Dublin Bay.
Launched just two years previously to Flying Demon in 1962 was the Appelsider at Richard Dunston (Hessle) Ltd in Yorkshire, however a decade later as Coliemore the tug joined the DP&DB fleet of work vessels.
The 162 gross tonnage tug loyaly served the port until disposal in 1998, however despite been sold, the tug remained lanquished in Cork Dockyard, Rushbrooke near Cobh. The tug having remained there for over a decade was eventually scrapped at the facility in 2011.