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Displaying items by tag: Stena

Irish Ferries and Stena Line, the two key players in Ireland’s ferry industry, are today calling for the reopening of the Common Travel Area (CTA) at the earliest opportunity. They also welcome comments made last week by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, when he talked about the possibility of restoring the Common Travel Area (CTA) between Ireland and Britain as an “initial first step” for the travel and tourism sectors.

With virus levels now low in Ireland and the UK, and vaccination programmes progressing in both countries, Irish Ferries and Stena Line are calling on Ministers and industry stakeholders to urgently look at restoring the long-standing CTA agreement for Irish and UK citizens, and permit unrestricted travel between Britain and the island of Ireland.

Paul Grant, Trade Director for the Irish Sea, at Stena Line said: “COVID-19 infections are now at low levels and vaccination levels are increasing significantly in both countries. In the UK for example 66% of adults have now received their first dose and 30% have had both, so there is now a real need to focus on solving some of the economic impacts of the pandemic, and an obvious starting point are the hard-hit tourist, hospitality and travel sectors. With the restoring of travel between the islands of Ireland and Britain, we can start to rebuild these sectors locally in advance of the full resumption of international travel, which may take more time to agree and deliver.”

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director for Irish Ferries commented: “The ferry industry has played a key role in helping to keep vital food and medical supply lines open during the height of the pandemic. With the current UK infection rate of 48 cases per 100,000 population comparable to the lowest in Europe, we need to acknowledge the shared land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and eliminate the discrepancies and loopholes on travel restrictions on the island. Irish Ferries and Stena Line welcome the Tánaiste’s recent comments on the possibility of restoring the CTA in advance of the full resumption of international travel and would urge the Irish Government to prioritise its implementation.”

The issue with the CTA has arisen due to differing approaches by the Irish and UK governments. The Irish Government requires passengers from Britain to have a negative PCR test and they must also quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The UK Government has never imposed requirements for testing or quarantine for people travelling from anywhere on the island of Ireland to Britain. The Northern Ireland Assembly also has never imposed testing or quarantine on anyone travelling from Britain.

Both companies are also stressing that they need time to prepare for the resumption of travel. Urgent clarity is needed regarding dates so that the ferry companies can ensure they are ready from an operational perspective.

Published in Ferry
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Swedish ferry company Stena Line’s revenue from its onboard shops for the first quarter of the year has shown a large increase on its routes between the UK and the EU compared to the same period last year. The growth is due to 'Duty-Free' sales, which exceeded the company's expectations. It shows the huge potential the onboard retail sector has to provide a much-needed boost to the travel industry after lockdown.

Following Brexit, 'Duty-Free' sales are permitted onboard ferry routes between the UK and the EU. Passengers can make 'huge' savings, sometimes of up to 60%, compared to high street prices on alcohol, cigarettes and cosmetics, which can all be purchased tax-free.

Sales figures from the first three months of 2021 are far outstripping 2020, despite having only half the passengers travelling onboard the company’s ferries. Overall sales on UK – EU routes were 34% higher in Q1 2021, than they were in Q1 2020. These figures were even higher on the Irish Sea where they were up 53%, while they were 14.6% higher on the North Sea. Duty tends to be higher in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, than on the Continent, so there is more incentive to buy tax-free.

Stena Britannica

However, it is the amount that each passenger is spending that is showing the largest increases. On average the amount spent in Stena Line’s onboard shops per person has risen an impressive 80%, as people snap up bargains on the likes of Jameson Whisky, Absolut Vodka and Amber Leaf tobacco.

Stephen Bryden, Stena Line’s Head of Onboard Sales and Services, said: “‘we have invested heavily in revamping and, in some cases, extending our onboard shops so the response is very positive and has outstripped our expectations. Following the large demand that we are experiencing from people eager to enjoy the savings they can make onboard, the company will now be extending our sales offering even further. The ferry sector has suffered worse than many other sectors as we have remained fully operational 24/7 during pandemic, despite having lower passenger and freight levels, so the boost from 'Duty Free' is a welcome side-effect of Brexit not only for us but for all our passengers too.”

Sales of alcoholic drinks highest with popular brands leading the way. For instance on the Irish Sea sales of Jameson Whiskey for the first quarter of this year have outstripped sales for the whole of 2020, despite the much lower passenger levels.Figures are gathered from sales data on Stena Lines four UK routes where 'Duty Free' is currently permitted, these include routes from Wales to the Republic of England and the four routes between England and The Netherlands (see full list below).

Stena Line’s routes where 'Duty Free' is permitted

  • Holyhead – Dublin
  • Fishguard – Rosslare
  • Killingholme – Hook of Holland
  • Killingholme – Rotterdam Europoort
  • Harwich – Hook of Holland
  • Harwich – Rotterdam Europoort
Published in Stena Line
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A Dublin Bay sea mist that lay in the middle of the bay most of the morning had enveloped most of the south shore by lunchtime, reducing visibility down to 50 metres or less at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The morning had seen a large number of different types of pleasure craft enjoying the bright sunshine and calm conditions. 

Met Eireann had forecast Northeast or variable force 3 winds with some patches of mist or fog.

There were groups of different dinghy classes, sailing cruisers as well as fishing boats, jet skis and motor cruisers all enjoying one of the first weekends of 2021 afloat. 

The Stena Ferry disappears in the mist Photo: Barry O'NeillThe Stena Ferry disappears in the mist Photo: Barry O'Neill

Canoeists and paddleboarders and rowing boats hugged the shore at Scotsman's Bay as the mist grew thicker.

There were plenty of swimmers and day-trippers sampling the admittedly very cold February waters of just 7 degrees.

The extent of the mist meant that by 2.30 pm there most boating activities were kerbed with the fog lifting just after 4 pm.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Ferry company Stena Line plans to start operating two fossil-free battery-powered vessels on the route between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn in Denmark no later than 2030. This was announced by Stena Lines CEO Niclas Mårtensson during a press conference about the industry collaboration project Tranzero Initiative, in Gothenburg on Thursday 4 February.

In an effort to speed up the transition to fossil-free fuels in the transport sector, Stena Line together with Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg have joined forces in the Tranzero Initiative collaboration project to bring about a significant reduction in carbon emissions linked to the largest port in the Scandinavia. The aim is to cut emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 in the Port of Gothenburg.

During a press conference about the Tranzero Initiative on Thursday, 4 February, Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson announced the company´s plans to launch two fossil-free vessels on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route before 2030.

“We now move from vision to vessel with the battery-powered vessel Stena Elektra. Within a year we will present the outline specifications and at the latest by 2025, we plan to order the first vessel. This will be a huge step towards fossil-free shipping”, said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line Group and member of the Swedish Government Electrification Commission.

Stena Elektra will be the world’s first fossil-free RoPax vessel of its size and will measure approximately 200 metres and combine a passenger capacity of 1000 with 3000 lane metres freight capacity. The vessel will be built in high tensile steel to lower the weight and increase efficiency and it is estimated the vessel will run on battery power for approximately 50 nautical miles, the distance between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn. The battery capacity will need to be approximately 60-70 MWh and the vessel will be charged in port. Stena Line also looking into combining the electrification with other alternative fossil free fuels such as fuel cells, hydrogen and bio methanol for longer reach of the vessels.

”The electrification of shipping has only just begun. We see a great potential for both battery hybrids and battery-powered vessels on several of our short-sea shipping routes in the future. But, it takes more than the electrical ships, we also need to develop the infrastructure and charging possibilities in the ports and terminals in the same pace and that is a reason why collaborations projects like this are so important, said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

Battery hybrid already operating

Since 2018 Stena Line is operating the battery hybrid vessel Stena Jutlandica on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route, using battery power for manoeuvring and powering the bow thrusters when the ship is in port. The batteries are charged with green shore power in port of Gothenburg as well as during operation and in total the CO2 emissions are lowered by 1,500 tonnes per year, equal to the emissions from 600 cars per year.

Published in Stena Line
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Bangor Coastguard has issued a warning after a surfer was spotted close to an inbound Stena ferry in Belfast Lough on Monday (25 January) as Afloat reported earlier here.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, a team from Bangor Coastguard kept an eye on the surfer as he paddled off Holywood in Co Down and made it back to shore.

“After speaking with the casualty it was confirmed he was intending to surf the wash from the superfast inbound to Belfast,” Bangor Coastguard said — adding that the surfer was reminded of “the dangers of being close to such large vessels”.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Belfast Coastguard Rescue team was contacted this week by the Stena Superfast ferry inbound to Belfast in the shipping channel near Holywood.

On Monday, January 25th the ferry had encountered a lone paddleboarder dangerously close to the vessel. Holywood is on the south shore of Belfast Lough about four miles east of the city of Belfast. The Coastguard also had multiple reports from concerned citizens.

The ship used its horn to warn the person about being too close and contacted the Coastguard. Once on scene the team located the paddleboarder and kept eyes on. He managed to paddle his way back to shore. Bangor Lifeboat was also tasked to the incident and was stood down on route.

After speaking to the paddleboarder, it was confirmed he was intending to surf the wash from the ferry. The team warned of the dangers of being too close to such large vessels and about the dangers of being in the shipping lane.

Published in Stena Line
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Stena Line’s newest addition to its fleet, the brand-new Stena Embla ferry will make its Irish Sea debut on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. Originally scheduled for service on the Belfast-Liverpool route, due to the current Brexit related shift for direct routes and increasing customer demand, Stena Line has decided to temporarily deploy the Stena Embla on Rosslare-Cherbourg. The first sailing will be the 20.25 hrs departure from Rosslare on Thursday 14th January 2021.

Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 3,100 freight lane meters, will increase freight capacity by 20% on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route and provide 60% more cabins for freight drivers. Stena Embla is the third E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line’s Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, three of the most modern ferries in the world as part of a €400m investment.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “Given the short-term market distortion, we have decided to temporarily deploy our new Stena Embla vessel on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route. Clearly, Brexit has created an increase in the demand for direct freight routes, and in particular, driver accompanied freight, so the addition of Stena Embla, whilst temporary, plus the recently introduced Stena Foreteller to the route will provide a welcome addition for our customers at this time.”

“Stena Line has always prided itself on being flexible when it comes to the efficient deployment of its fleet. Having very experienced onshore and onboard teams means that we are able to respond to market and customer demands rapidly. At present we are currently reviewing our Rosslare-Cherbourg operations and will keep engaging with our customers to identify the most appropriate Stena Line operation for the route.”

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said: “We warmly welcome Stena Embla to Rosslare for its maiden in-service voyage. We have been working closely with Stena Line to facilitate the unprecedented demand for capacity directly to and from the Continent, and the boost in capacity Stena Embla delivers has been mobilised swiftly through our close cooperation. On behalf of Irish industry and all of our customers and stakeholders, we thank Stena Line for their ongoing commitment to Rosslare Europort.”

Stena Embla will make three weekly return trips between Rosslare and Cherbourg, which alongside the Stena Foreteller will see Stena Line operate 12 crossing per week between Ireland and the Continent. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Ireland and Britain.

Published in Stena Line
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The Stena Foreteller is to be redeployed on the direct route to the Continent following border closures between the UK and France.

As Afloat reported earlier, in light of recent international border closures which have seriously impacted freight flows, Stena Line has confirmed that it will bring forward the introduction of its Stena Foreteller ferry on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service to Tuesday 22nd December, ahead of its original date of 4th Jan.

The freight-only Stena Foreteller will join the Stena Horizon which already operates on the route, doubling the freight capacity as well as the frequency of sailings between Ireland and the Continent.

Stena Foreteller will provide an additional 3, 000 lane metres of freight capacity per trip and can accommodate a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied traffic with onboard facilities for up to 12 freight drivers.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line said: “The developments of the last few days in terms of border closures have put enormous strains on the logistics industry. Our Rosslare-Cherbourg service is the shortest direct crossing between Ireland and France, and I’m delighted to see that our operational team on the Irish Sea have been able to ‘fast-track’ the introduction of the Stena Foreteller, providing vital additional capacity in the run up to Christmas.”

“We have developed a reputation for keeping vital supply lines open for food and medical supplies throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and once more we have shown our flexibility and expertise in being able to react swiftly to market demands. We are currently experiencing huge demand for our direct services to the Continent with our North Sea vessels (ex Killingholme and Harwich) being oversubscribed by a multiple of three.”

“From tomorrow (18:00 hrs ex Rosslare) we will provide 12 weekly crossings connecting Rosslare and Cherbourg and up to 240 sailings per week throughout the Irish Sea region, offering transport organisations and their customers the flexibility, availability and reliability they require at this time.”Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said: “This is obviously a critical time for Irish industry, and as Port Authority, we are determined, working in partnership with Stena Line, to offer alternatives to those whose supply chains are impacted by the newly introduced restrictions to the landbridge. We welcome Stena Line’s response in quickly arranging additional capacity on the Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg route, and we will continue our efforts to respond effectively as COVID-19 measures impact Irish business.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan, Heysham and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and the direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Published in Stena Line
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Stena Line has today announced that it will add an additional freight-only vessel to its Rosslare to Cherbourg route from 4th January 2021. The Stena Foreteller will join the Stena Horizon which already operates on the route, doubling the freight capacity as well as the frequency of sailings between Ireland and the Continent.

The Rosslare to Cherbourg service is an increasingly important freight link between Ireland and the Continent. Stena Foreteller will provide an additional 3,000 lane metres of freight capacity per trip and can accommodate a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied traffic with onboard facilities for up to 12 freight drivers.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line said: “We have been listening carefully to feedback from our customers and it has become clear that there is demand for increased frequency on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service, the shortest direct crossing between Ireland and France.”

“One of Stena Line’s key strengths is our ability to utilise our fleet and be flexible and responsive to market opportunities and changes. On the Irish Sea, we are very well positioned to cover the requirements of the freight and logistics sector with a choice of six routes serving Britain and Europe via landbridge or our direct crossings to France.”

“Now with 12 weekly crossings connecting Rosslare and Cherbourg and up to 240 sailings per week throughout the Irish Sea region, we offer transport organisations and their customers the flexibility, availability and reliability required to get their goods to market in the most convenient way.”

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said “we warmly welcome Stena Line’s decision to double Rosslare to Cherbourg services from the beginning of 2021. It reflects the strength of the partnership between Rosslare Europort and Stena Line in providing shipping solutions to Irish industry, and the commitment of Stena Line reinforces our ambitious commitments to continue the development of port facilities, infrastructure and technology under the Strategic Plan and Masterplan for the port. Rosslare Europort is now firmly Ireland’s Gateway to Europe and a central strategic link connecting the country and the European continent.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan, Heysham and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and the direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Published in Stena Line
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Stena Line says while today’s news on the Withdrawal Agreement is positive, the ferry company hopes it helps ease the way to agreeing on a Trade Deal. Clarity on Northern Ireland is only one part of Brexit and there remain many unanswered questions.

Ian Hampton, Executive Director and Stena's Brexit Spokesperson says the systems and infrastructure required for customs checks in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will also not be finalised in time for 1st January 2021. With many companies in the supply chain still not ready we believe a further ‘implementation phase’ is required by both the UK and the EU.

Stena Line says it understands that the UK Government will undertake a flexible and pragmatic approach to customs requirements after the end of transition period. The Government has chosen to delay, by six months, the imposition of full controls on most imports to Great Britain. This is an approach that the company welcomes, as it will ensure there are no delays in UK ports.

Ian Hampton, Executive Director and Brexit Spokesperson, Stena LineIan Hampton, Executive Director and Brexit Spokesperson, Stena Line

Stena Line would like to encourage the EU to take the same approach as the UK. It is in the interests of the both the UK and EU to prioritise trade flows over customs and agri-food checks at the border. The goods being transported will change little in the short-term, and with the UK adopting all EU rules, there will be little risk after the 1st January, 2020. We would like to encourage both parties to continue to work together as they have done up until now, until systems are ready.

It is vital the UK’s role as a land bridge (the route that connects the Republic of Ireland to the rest of the EU via Great Britain and vice versa) continues. Freight logistics networks are geared around processing and distribution centres in the UK’s central corridor, that feed the supply of goods across Britain, Ireland and the Continent. These centres process goods for distribution for sectors such as retail and pharmaceuticals. They have been set up as part of the land bridge network and can’t simply be by-passed by a direct route, as you then miss out a key part of the network. The land bridge remains the shortest route for Irish goods to enter the EU market, and vice versa, so it is particularly vital for Ireland that the EU plays their part to keep freight moving through Britain and on to the Continent.

Published in Stena Line
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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