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#Aisling2SetSail- The former LÉ Aisling which was sold at public auction last month has been renamed Avenhorn by Dutch owners, and is expected to depart Cork Harbour tomorrow for the final time, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat has noted that the departure of the sole surviving ‘Emer’ class OPV built in 1979 by Verolme Cork Dockyard, is to take place one month after the auction on 23 March. The veteran vessel went under the hammer for €110,000 is to be towed to the Netherlands. This is involve the Bere Haven based Ocean Bank operated by Atlantic Marine & Towage.

LÉ Aisling in design terms is derived from the original LÉ Deirdre. However, LÉ Aisling became the third and final sister of an improved version belonging to the 'Emer' class that included LÉ Aoife.

In a career that lasted 36 years, LÉ Aisling was engaged in numerous missions, rescues, UN supply missions to the Lebanon. In addition the OPV served routine domestic fishery protection duties and those concerning arms and drugs interdictions.

The auction conducted by Cork based auctioneer Dominic Daly led to the sale of the 65.5m OPV to Dutch shipbroker Dick van der Kamp Shipsales B.V.  They plan to refurbish the 1,025 displacement tonnes which has been re-registered in Belize before re-selling it to subsequent owners.

The disposal of LÉ Aisling paved the by way for direct successor LÉ William Butler Yeats, the third OPV90 class so far completed in the current Naval Service Vessel Replacement Programme. A fourth sister to be named LÉ George Bernard Shaw is under construction at a UK yard, Babcock Marine & Technology in Appledore, Devon. 

Published in News Update