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Displaying items by tag: P&O Ferries

Operator P&O Ferries which closed the Dublin-Liverpool route last month, has announced a new ro-ro freight route in the North Sea, between London (Tilbury 2) and the Dutch port of Rotterdam (Europoort) which is to start in March.

The UK-Netherlands route will complement P&O Ferries’ existing route to Belgium, the London-Zeebrugge route which together strengthens its rail-connected hub in Rotterdam.

Peter Hebblethwaite, P&O Ferries’ CEO, said: “The opening of our new route between London and Rotterdam gives P&O Ferries a unique network in the North Sea. We now have five hubs: Hull, Teesport, Tilbury, Zeebrugge and Europoort, connecting the north-east and south- east of England with the continent".

“We will offer our freight customers the earliest arrival on the Thames from Rotterdam, along with swift access to the M25 and terminal rail connections.

“The opening of the London - Rotterdam route will mark another significant step in our business transformation and further contribute to the end-to-end logistics service offered by our parent company, DP World.”

The new route will be served by the 125 freight-unit capacity Norbank, which in a ropax role recently ran on the Irish Sea route which closed with a final sailing from the Irish capital on 20 December.

The 17,464 gross tonnage vessel, Afloat.ie tracked the final departure from Merseyside on 26 December with the vessel arriving at the Dutch port two days later from where it will sail on a daily schedule with customer-focused sailing times including an early arrival in London, enabling on-time local delivery.

P&O Ferries operates services in the North Sea from three east coast UK ports – Hull, London and Teesport – and two ports in northern Europe at Zeebrugge,Belgium and Rotterdam.

Norbank, Afloat also adds is currently providing dry-dock relief cover on vessels that routinely serve the Hull-Rotterdam route.

Published in Ferry

A P&O Ferries ropax, the Norbay which operated their Dublin-Liverpool route which is set to close before the end of the year, has been time-chartered to ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat.ie contacted P&O Ferries which confirmed with a statement: We are delighted to confirm a time charter agreement with Irish Ferries for our vessel Norbay is for up to 6 months - with the potential for longer-term charter options and that the crew of Norbay will continue to be employed on the vessel during the charter.

Owen Barry, Director of Maritime Operations, P&O said: “Norbay is a great asset to retain within the business with many options for the longer term. Following her upcoming time charter we can either renew, redeploy her in our own fleet to give us great flexibility on other routes, or consider other charter options given the high market demand for this type of vessel. This provides not only ongoing employment for the vessel’s crew but strong options for additional revenue within the business.”

Until now, Norbay has been one of two ships operating on P&O Ferries’ Dublin-Liverpool route. P&O Ferries is now operating one ship on this route, (Afloat adds the Norbank) which is proposed to be closed towards the end of the year due to a lack of berth availability at the port of Liverpool from 2024.

Afloat has consulted the Irish Ferries website and Norbay is first to be deployed to the Dublin-Holyhead route next week, on 7 November. The chartered-in 17,464 gross tonnage Norbay has a 125 freight trailer unit capacity and for 125 passengers, however it appears the ropax will be operating in a freight-only mode.

Noting it is understood that the charter term of the Ireland-Wales route's existing ropax the Epsilon is to expire. Afloat awaits a confirmation from ICG on the freight-orientated vessel which also operates to France, having entered service for Irish Ferries a decade ago this month.

As for a full passenger and freight service on the Dublin-Holyhead route, Irish Ferries continue to maintain with Ulysses on the central Irish Sea corridor route which until recently was also served by the high speed craft, Dublin Swift. 

Last month, P&O had withdrawn the Norbay from the Dublin-Liverpool route with a final sailing on 16 October, this involved the overnight 8 hour crossing to Merseyside. This left twin ropax, Norbank as alluded, currently operating as a single-ship service in competition with Seatruck/CLdN, which in response increased capacity on the Irish Sea central corridor route to Dublin where they also have routes to mainland Europe.

It was on Wednesday when Afloat tracked Norbay in the Irish Sea having departed Liverpool, however the ropax headed to Holyhead to conduct berthing trials. The Norbay continued to Dublin with the ropax arriving in th evening notably at Irish Ferries Terminal 1 (berth 51a) and then shifted to berth (49) to facilitate the arrival of ropax Epsilon from Holyhead.

Berth 49 is also where Irish Ferries operate to Cherbourg, noting yesterday’s 1600 hrs sailing from the capital by W.B. Yeats was cancelled due to the adverse weather impacts of Storm Ciaran affecting in particular, north-west France. 

To recap, in August P&O announced it was to close the historic Ireland-England route, having cited that the port owners of Liverpool, Peel Ports Group, had a lack of berth availability in 2024, at the Gladstone Dock facility. No sooner had P&O decided to end the Irish Sea route, led Stena Line to express an interest in establishing the Liverpool (Birkenhead)-Dublin route as the ferry operator already has a route from Wirral Peninsula at the Twelve Quays terminal at Birkenhead connecting Belfast.

Originally Norbay which was built in 1992 to serve the P&O owned North Sea Ferries Hull-Rotteram (Europoort) route, together with younger twin, Norbank dating to 1993. In January, 2002 both ropax’s were transferred to the Dublin-Liverpool route and have served the link for almost twenty two years.  

Published in Ferry

The welfare of thousands of seafarers will be guaranteed fair wages, proper rest periods and suitable training thanks to a new Seafarers’ Charter launched by the UK Government today.

Building on government action already taken, the charter – backed by DFDS Ferries, Condor Ferries, Brittany Ferries (see related story) and Stena – is part of the Government’s wider nine-point plan to protect seafarers and boost employment protections, ensuring they’re paid and treated fairly – irrespective of flag or nationality.

This is at the heart of the UK’s response to P&O Ferries’ appalling decision to fire nearly 800 of its staff without consultation or notice last year.

  • Wages and working conditions for thousands of seafarers will be bolstered by launch of historic Charter.
  • UK and French Governments agree to join forces to improve conditions for Seafarers and help grow the economy.
  • Part of UK’s nine-point plan to support seafarers following P&O Ferries’ disgraceful sackings of nearly 800 staff.

The UK Government’s charter will be launched alongside a similar initiative by the French Government during a visit by Maritime Minister Baroness Vere to Paris today to meet her counterpart Minister Berville.

Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said: “Fair pay and protection against unlawful discrimination are the basic rights of any employee. Our seafarers deserve nothing less.

“I therefore expect companies across the maritime sector to sign up to this Charter, letting their staff know they’re serious about protecting their rights and welfare.

“Today, in Paris, alongside Minister Berville, we strengthen our commitment to protect those working in the Channel and we’ll continue collaborating with our international partners on this vital issue.”

During the UK-France summit in Paris earlier this year, Transport Secretary Mark Harper met his French counterpart Clément Beaune, with both nations agreeing to continue working together to improve conditions for those working in the Channel.

The Government has already delivered the Seafarers’ Wages Act, a key safeguard to protecting domestic seafarers in the UK. The law will make it illegal to not pay the thousands of seafarers regularly entering the UK at least the equivalent of the UK National Minimum Wage.

The Seafarers’ Charter requires employers to:

  • pay seafarers for overtime at a rate of a least 1.25 times the basic hourly rate
  • ensure adequate training and development is provided
  • provide employees with a full, indefinite contract
  • allow seafarers to receive social security benefits, including sickness benefits, family benefits, and medical care
  • adopt roster patterns considering fatigue, mental health and safety
  • provide adequate rest periods between shifts and rosters
  • carry out regular drug and alcohol testing

As well as the Seafarers’ Wages Act and the Charter, strong action has been taken against rogue employers using controversial practices which was revealed in the plans to create a statutory code of practice.

The Code will make it explicitly clear to employers that they must not use threats of dismissal to pressurise employees into accepting new terms, and they should have honest and open discussions with their employees and representatives.

John Napton, CEO, Condor Ferries, said: “Condor Ferries is a proud and responsible employer, dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace for all staff and crew across our network. We therefore fully support the Seafarers’ Charter being launched by the UK government today.”

Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO, said: “When it comes to seafarers’ wages and working conditions, we believe that all ferry companies should aim for the highest bar and not participate in a race to the bottom. (For comments from Christophe Mathieu on today’s event, urging passengers and freight customers to choose companies that are committed to their seafarers, see attachment).

“That’s why this charter is such an important step forward for us. We never forget the importance of seafarers and are proud to be part of the fight to protect their rights, on both sides of the Channel. We also intend to shout about this from the rooftops, urging freight and passenger customers to make the right decision when choosing a carrier.”

Gemma Griffin MBE, Vice President & Head of Global Crewing, DFDS, said: “DFDS welcomes the Seafarers Charter and any related legislation that protects the employment rights of seafarers and ensures that there is a level playing field for all operators. We have been cooperating with the French & UK authorities on the practical application of the charter and the new laws, and are very pleased to see the actions taken by both authorities, so far.”

Published in Ferry

More ferry crossings from Northern Ireland to Scotland are to be added by Stena Line to mitigate the harm caused by P&O Ferries suspending its services after laying off 800 staff.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the extra sailings will take place from Tuesday, March 22 (yesterday) and will help retailers transport goods.

He described Stena Line as having "stepped up" in the wake of the P&O surprise cancellation of routes last week.

"Reprehensible", "disgraceful" and "callous" - these are some of the terms used by government ministers to describe P&O since the scandal hit headlines last week.

The way the workers, including fifty from Northern Ireland were laid off, has caused outrage across all parties in Stormont uniting political adversaries in their condemnation of P&O.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said that neither he nor anyone in his department were given any warning about P&O's sudden sacking of employees, including on its Larne to Cairnryan route.

To read comments made by the minister, ITV News covers more of the political response.

Across the Irish Sea, Afloat adds on Monday at the House of Commons, the Labour Party's emergency vote on workers' rights resulted in a victory for seafarers as MPs voted to condemn P&O Ferries.

The vote was passed by 211 votes to none, with the UK government abstaining. For more about the Commons vote can be read from the union, Nautilius International's website here.

While the response by the Irish Government, reports The Irish Times, is that they admit it has ‘limited’ options under Irish law in dealing with the ferry company.

The company caused outrage when it dismissed the 800 workers by Zoom call on St Patrick’s Day and told them that their employment was being terminated immediately.

At least 60 of the employees sacked by P&O Ferries on Thursday are from Ireland, their trade union Nautilus Maritime has stated.

More from the newspaper here including the role of the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) over the ferry dispute. 

Published in Ferry

P&O Ferries has confirmed that 800 employees were issued “immediate severance notices” with its sudden cancellation of services today (Thursday 17 March).

As reported earlier on Afloat.ie, the ferry company — which operates Dublin-Liverpool and Larne-Cairnryan services — said it was not going into liquidation but that all of its ferries have been instructed to stay in port.

In a statement flagging a £100 million loss year on year, the company said it “is not a viable business”, according to TheJournal.ie.

The statement added: “Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.”

Unions have instructed their members currently on board P&O vessels not to leave, as agency workers have reportedly been bussed into replace them at various ports.

RTÉ News adds that six people who work for the company at Dublin Port have been assured that their jobs remain secure.

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

#FerryNews - A North Sea ferry docking in Hull, England was delayed for an hour and a half after a man had to be airlifted to hospital.

The Pride of York, operated by P&O ferries, reports HullLive was returning to the UK port on Sunday July 29 having sailed overnight from Zeebrugge, Belgium, when an air ambulance was called after a man became unwell on board.

Passengers on board the ship filmed as staff on board the helicopter landed on the ship.

P&O ferries confirmed the medical evacuation took place and the man was assisted by doctors on board the ferry. A spokesman for P&O said: "There was an evacuation by helicopter last night.

For further reading including footage of the helicopter rescue, click here.

Published in Ferry

Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition

Where is the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition being held? Sailing at Paris 2024 will take place in Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea between 28 July and 8 August, and will feature Kiteboarding for the first time, following a successful Olympic debut in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The sailing event is over 700 km from the main Olympic Games venue in Paris.

What are the events? The Olympic Sailing Competition at Paris 2024 will feature ten Events:

  • Women’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Men’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Mixed: Dinghy, Multihull

How do you qualify for Paris 2024?  The first opportunity for athletes to qualify for Paris 2024 will be the Sailing World Championships, The Hague 2023, followed by the Men’s and Women’s Dinghy 2024 World Championships and then a qualifier on each of World Sailing’s six continents in each of the ten Events. The final opportunity is a last chance regatta to be held in 2024, just a few months before the Games begin.

50-50 split between male and female athletes: The Paris 2024 Games is set to be the first to achieve a 50-50 split between male and female athletes, building on the progress made at both Rio 2016 (47.5%) and Tokyo 2020 (48.8%). It will also be the first Olympic Games where two of the three Chief roles in the sailing event will be held by female officials,