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Displaying items by tag: Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Ship Registry, which is one of the world's leading flag states, is set to launch the first ever seafarer welfare app designed by a ship registry.

Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry Cameron Mitchell said the app is in the final stages of development and is set go live later this month. It will be available for free to around 11,000 seafarers sailing on more than 400 vessels under the Isle of Man flag.

Cameron, who served as a marine engineer at sea for 17 years with shipping lines including Maersk and Farstad, said the introduction of the app is being accelerated to tackle the immense challenges facing seafarers caught in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Safety is a fundamental pillar of our ethos as a high-quality flag state,” he said. “Even before Covid we recognised that something had to be done that delivered tangible results to help seafarers in the wilderness of the sea. We recognised that while there is support for seafarers in port, through the many brilliant chaplaincies and seafarer charities, the ‘weak link’ is support while at sea. I raised it at the Red Ensign Group and with the seafarer charity ISWAN and it was clear to us that the problem of seafarer mental health was becoming more acute, with seafarers spending more time alone in their cabin than ever before. The app has many functions but a key one is to provide social activities to get seafarers interacting more on-board to combat that isolation.”

Cameron said the IOM team has produced the app with maritime training organisation Tapiit, which will live stream its support and training sessions via the app.

“The app provides structured welfare support for the seafarer from nutritional advice to live interactive support sessions for mental health and fitness,” he said. “The feedback we are receiving from ship owners, both clients and non-clients, is really positive. Ship owners want to find new better ways to help and protect seafarers and want to embrace digital innovation. We hope this app will be a step forward for the industry and make a positive difference to many thousands of seafarers sailing under the Isle of Man flag.”

Cameron said he was introduced to Tapiit through Merseyside cluster organisation Mersey Maritime and said it is doing a brilliant job producing an app that gives such a breadth of support and functionality.

Richard Turner, CEO of Tapiit, which has offices in Liverpool and the Isle of Man, said the functionality of the app will be ground-breaking and range of services and support greater than any app currently available to seafarers.

“The Tapiit team is very excited to develop this crew welfare app with Cameron and his team at the Isle of Man Ship Registry,” he said. “From my time working at Shell and setting up Tapiit mental health, in particular, has always been the key problem area we have sought to tackle, so we are very much on the same wavelength as the IOM. Cameron has been very specific about what the IOM wants and when it goes live it will be the most comprehensive crew welfare app in the world. We also have a number of large organisations partnering the app, who will be announced soon, and as a result will be able to offer support, through the app, to crew worldwide both on-board ship and in port. The app is designed to make seafarers lives easier and happier so it is not a one-off download, it can be so useful and supportive it can become part and parcel of what seafarers do each day.”

Isle of Man Ship Registry background

Based in Douglas on the Isle of Man, the Isle of Man Ship Registry is one of the most respected registries in the world, consistently appearing at the top of the Paris MoU White List which ranks registries by performance.

The Isle of Man Registry is a quality flag of choice, a bespoke choice, that offers reliability and quality of service. The Registry is a Category One member of Red Ensign Group and an International Registry.

The Registry is run by a team of professionals dedicated to providing the very best in service. Backed by sophisticated electronic systems, it is able to register ships quickly and efficiently to suit all time zones and has on-line systems to smooth the processes for clients. An ISO 9001 and 14000 certified organisation, the Registry operates efficiently and consistently to exceed the standards expected of a modern Flag State.

With its in-house technical expertise, the Registry provides advice and regulatory oversight for the ships and yachts on the register, in a pragmatic and commercially sensitive manner. This partnership working and service-culture is what attracts clients to register more of their ships in the Isle of Man. Its portfolio of clients includes many of the world’s blue-chip ship owners and prestigious super yachts.

With 24/7 response and a growing network of surveyors in key locations, the Ship Registry provides a swift response to allow owners and managers to keep their ships operating in a competitive global industry. Backed by a Government which strongly supports the maritime sector, the Registry is operated on a cost-neutral platform, allowing its fee structure to be extremely competitive.

The Isle of Man Ship Registry offers high quality and superb service at a low cost. The Registry combines all fees into one annual fee payment whereas some open registries charge for almost all additional services. At the Isle of Man Ship Registry there is no annual tonnage tax based on size of ship, no inspection fee, no consular fee, no casualty investigation fees and it offers a discount for multi ship fleets as well as fee incentives for environmentally friendly ships.

This combination of quality service and a competitive fee structure ensures clients receive great value.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ferry sailings to and from the Isle of Man have been updated as the Manx government announced it's easing travel restrictions.

As Manx Radio reported, Chief Minister Howard Quayle announced yesterday the Isle of Man is moving from stage five to four on its borders framework.

From Monday, 20 July, Manx residents can travel to the UK and beyond, as long as they self isolate for two weeks once they return.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet has therefore revised its schedule, running two daily sailings between Douglas and Heysham on the Ben-my-Chree on most dates from Friday, 24 July.

It will also provide a daily fast craft service to Liverpool on the Manannan from Fridays to Mondays, also starting from the 24 July.

Published in Ferry

RNLI fishing safety manager Frankie Horne has urged the fishing community to avail of safety training that is on offer for their crews and to ensure that their safety equipment is up to date.

It comes after the skipper of a fishing vessel that sank late last year off the Isle of Man has attributed their rescue to the safety training the crew had undertaken previously and to their lifejackets, which were fitted with personal locator beacons (PLBs).

On the evening of 23 November last year, the fishing vessel Polaris suffered a catastrophic hull failure in the Irish Sea off the west coast of the Isle of Man.

The vessel sank so rapidly that the skipper only had time to send out a Mayday to the coastguard and other surrounding fishing boats before the vessel became submerged.

The coastguard immediately launched two RNLI lifeboats, from Port St Mary and Port Erin, and a rescue helicopter. However, it was a local fishing vessel, Lynn Marie, which arrived first on scene.

The skipper and a crew member from Polaris had been in the water for at least 15-20 minutes before help arrived.

The skipper of the Lynn Marie feared the worst on arriving at the scene as the Polaris had already gone below the water. The skipper stopped his engine to listen for the crew of the Polaris, which proved a wise decision as he heard two men in the water shouting. The Lynn Marie crew located them with a search light and recovered them from the water.

‘I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives’

Commenting on the rescue, Horne said: “After speaking with Gordon Mills, the skipper of the Polaris, and the crew of Lynn Marie on their arrival at Peel, it was quite clear that this could have been a very different story had the crew of both vessels not acted so professionally.

“The crew had attended safety training and wore lifejackets fitted with personal locator beacons which had increased their chances of survival.”

Gordon Mills, skipper of Polaris, added: “At no time did I feel our lives were in danger due to our training and equipment.

“We had a policy of wearing lifejackets on the working deck since attending refresher training, where I was shown a film involving fishermen wearing their normal working clothes, being put through their paces in the RNLI Survival Centre Environmental Pool, both with and without lifejackets in cold water with wave movement whilst attempting to recover themselves.”

Mills added: “To see fishermen struggling in a controlled environment and only lasting a few minutes or in some cases a few seconds without the lifejacket makes you think about your own safety.

“I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives. We wouldn’t have even been afloat for the crew of fishing vessel Lynn Marie to recover us from the water had we not been wearing them.

“I would encourage all fishermen to start wearing their lifejackets while on deck — you just never know when you might need it.”

Published in Water Safety

Manx government funding has been approved for a £38m passenger ferry terminal in Liverpool despite costs spiralling by more than a fifth.

The project according to BBC News, which received planning permission in April, will cost £6.5m more than originally estimated.

The need for "additional structural and construction work" on the site and the quay walls have been blamed for putting up costs.

Tynwald members approved the investment despite a bid to adjourn the debate.

Kate Beecroft MHK had called for "more time" to consider detailed information about the development, which had been given to politicians.

But Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said a delay in granting funding could leave the island's ferries unable to sail to Liverpool during the 2021 season.

For more on this Merseyside port related development click here. 

Published in Ferry

Around 300 passengers enjoyed spectacular views of the Isle of Man’s coastline on this year’s Ben-my-Chree round-the-island cruise which was held last Saturday following Midsummer's day. 

The ropax which the IOM Steam-Packet operates on the route to Heysham, England, departed Douglas at 19:00hrs on the special cruise which first went across the bay towards Onchan Head, swinging back around and continuing south. From there the cruise which included a meal as part of the fare offered further stunning views of Port Erin Bay followed by Peel and its castle. 

The fine evening meant that the crew were able to open up Deck 5 to allow passengers to get a great look at the coastline from the vehicle deck. There was also a refurbished motorised horse tram on the deck which made a great vantage point and photo opportunity.

It was an enjoyable evening for all with stunning coastal views, delicious food and musical entertainment from Douglas Town Band’s oompah act, Baron Otto's Blaskapelle, who performed several sets in the ship’s bar throughout the cruise.

Published in Ferry

Departing Dublin Port last night was a small cruiseship when compared to the giants of the industry yet this caller is one of the most prolific visitors and on the Irish Sea this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The diminutive Corinthian of just 4,077 gross tonnage and a capacity of 110 guests had arrived from Douglas, Isle of Man from where the Maltese flagged vessel last month was among a quartet that formed a 'Week of Maidens' calls throughout Manx waters.

Prior to the Isle of Man, Corinthian called to Belfast Harbour as a regular and likewise in Dublin the Valletta registered ship has berthed on several occasions this season in the 'Docklands' quarter. This waterfront area once dominated by warehouses and cranes is now occupied by finance houses and appartments lining the Liffey quays between the city-centre and the Tom Clarke (East-Link) bridge.

With an overall draft of just 4m and 88m in length Corinthian easily made a transit of the bascule bridge and took a specific berth upriver along Sir John Rogersons Quay. Along this stretch is a legacy of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority which designated a south quay berth to encourage shipping activity to the quarter.

Instead of routine tea-time departures as typical of the majority of callers, Corinthian had spent a lenghtly stay. The Italian built ship launched for Renaissance Cruises and operated by subsequent owners until acquired by GCL in 2014 departed Dublin Port last night at 23.00hrs and made an overnight passage to Fishguard, Wales.

The port in Pembrokeshire operated by Stena Line Ports this year is scheduled for 33 callers, the majority of those will be carried out by Corinthian totalling 11 visits this season. Among these cruiseships so far to visit this scenic setting on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was Variety Voyager a vessel more akin to a private superyacht. 

Corinthian is scheduled to return to Dublin next week on Tuesday, July 2nd.

Published in Cruise Liners

A trio of cruiseships recently visited the Isle of Man and notably all of the vessels were making an inaugural call to the Irish Sea island. 

According to CruiseEurope the visiting cruise callers were welcomed by Cruise Isle of Man in what they are calling a Week of Maidens, which began on May 22.

Rob Callister MHK, political member with responsibility for Visit Isle of Man and motorsport, commented: “Receiving three inaugural calls [Hapag-Lloyd’s Hanseatic Nature (see also Dublin) Overseas Adventure Travel’s Corinthian and Vantage Cruises’ Variety Voyager] in one week is extremely rare and a fantastic result for our cruise consultants, Neptumar. It is wonderful to see a range of regular and new cruiselines visiting the island and taking advantage of all we have to offer.

“The work the team has been doing in promoting not only the Isle of Man but also our Manx produce is extremely beneficial to the Island’s economy as we continue to increase the value of cruise visitors. The recent Cruise Welcome Scheme has been well received with fifteen businesses on board in just three weeks, promoting incentives and offers to cruise passengers.

‘We are delighted to see cruiseships visiting the ports of Douglas, Peel and Port Erin in 2019 and welcome the benefits this brings to all areas of the Island as we look to diversify the number of sites visited by cruise passengers and crew.”

Vantage Cruises first contacted the Isle of Man cruise team in 2018 and have booked 10 calls for Variety Voyager during 2019 and have already booked their new ship, Ocean Explorer, for three calls in 2021.

Passengers will enjoy guided tours, bespoke and artisan activities, heritage sites and world-renowned vintage transport, with the Corinthian using Isle of Man Railways’ Dining Car on all 10 of her visits this year.

Published in Cruise Liners

#ferries - Fast craft sailings of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's catamaran resumed daily sailings (yesterday) to Liverpool for the summer.

As BBC News writes the catamaran Manannan will also begin routes to Belfast and Dublin in April.

"We are excited to welcome passengers on board, both island residents heading off on holiday and visitors coming to explore our island," said the company's chief executive Mark Woodward.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Ferry fares at cheaper rates could, reports BBC News, be introduced if a new sea services agreement is approved, the Manx government said.

A new 25-year deal between the government and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) would replace the current user agreement.

The terms of the deal would see foot passenger fares frozen until 2021, more special offer fares introduced, and higher winter weekend fares scrapped.

Children under 16 and full-time students would travel for half-price.

A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) said the changes to fares would include "foot passenger fares being frozen until a new vessel replaces the Ben-my-Chree, and 450,000 special offer fares being made available each year, compared to 275,000 under the current deal".

"In addition, children under 16 and students in full-time education will be able to travel at half-price adult fare, while higher weekend prices will not apply between 1 October and 31 March, saving up to £50 on a car-plus-two booking," he added.

For more on ferry developments, click the story here. Afloat adds is it almost a year ago when the Manx Government acquired the ferry operator in May 2018.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Isle of Man Steam Packet's fastferry Manannan has been forced to turn around midway into a sailing to Liverpool (yesterday) morning.

A passenger reports Manx Radio took ill on board around half an hour into the crossing, requiring urgent medical attention.

The ferry returned to Douglas shortly before 9.30am, and set out to Liverpool again after the passenger was removed.

Day trip passengers and those who have had travel plans disrupted were offered the chance to disembark.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 6

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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