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Displaying items by tag: Isle of Man

A former US Navy vessel USS Joint Venture (HSV-XI) is set to return for a second season operating Douglas-Dublin Port sailings this Friday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The first sailing of the year from the Isle of Man sees the use of the fast-ferry catamaran craft now renamed Manannan running on the 2-hour 55 minute crossing to the capital.

Manannan's chequered career included a five year charter initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces between 2001-2006. The 5,029grt craft (see photo) was used for various trials and demonstrations and in which saw service in the Persian Gulf in support of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' and in 2003 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in the Horn of Africa.

An engine plant of 4 x Caterpillars diesel generates a speed of over 40 knots / 46 mph which provided logistical solutions by the High-Speed Vessel (HSV) to transport troops and supplies covering long distances in support of the Combined Joint Task Force.

Other tasks required by the force included the roles of operating as a mobile command centre which entailed working closely inshore and operating as a helicopter carrier. Helicopters landed at the craft's stern positioned helicopter landing deck.

The military role of the craft is in stark contrast compared to when the 96m ferry was launched in 1998 for civilian purposes as the Incat 050, the number representing the number of pioneering wave-piercing craft built by InCat in Hobart, Tasmania.

Asides her military days the 800-passenger / 200 vehicle fast-ferry has served the Hobart-Melbourne route, between New Zealand's north and south island and in European waters in the Mediterrean and to the Canary Islands.

Manannan (see photo) entered service last May after the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPco) purchased the vessel which was laid-up in Hobart. She made the long delivery to the northern hemisphere and was re-converted for ferry usesage during a refit in Portsmouth.

The 181 year-old company is the only sea-based passenger operator to the island on services linking Dublin, Belfast, Heysham, Liverpool and (Birkenhead) in the winter months.

There are rival companies such as the Ramsey Steamship Company but they are freight-only operators mostly running to Belfast and Liverpool using short-sea coastal traders and to other small Irish Sea ports.

An annual round island cruise is held and like last year the Manannan will be serving the cruise on Sunday 1 May departing Douglas at 11am for a journey of around 2 hours. The route closely circumnavigates the spectacular Manx coastline. For information on the island cruise and fares click here.

Published in Ferry
Two crew members have been rescued by lifeboat from a 20-foot fishing boat after they issued a mayday stating that they were sinking a mile south of Black Head on the Isle of Man.

Liverpool Coastguard received the mayday from the 'Aurora' at 16.47, and requested the launch of the Port St. Mary RNLI Inshore and All Weather Lifeboats, along with tasking the Port Erin Coastguard Rescue Team.  Another fishing vessel, 'Two Girls' overheard the mayday and proceeded to the vessel, taking the two crew members on board.  Although crew members from the lifeboats attempted to pump the water from the vessel, the ingress was too much and at 17.07 the vessel sank.  The crew members from the Aurora were taken back to Port St. Mary, where they were met by the Coastguard Rescue Team.

Liverpool Coastguard Watch Manager Su Daintith said:

"We would like to thank the crew of the vessel 'Two Girls' whose swift response to the Aurora's mayday this afternoon ultimately saved both of the crew members' lives."

Published in Coastguard
Two lifeboats were sent to a sinking fishing vessel after it collided with a coaster five and a half miles south of the Isle of Man this morning.

At 0600 this morning the 17-metre fishing boat 'Lynn Marie' called Liverpool Coastguard to report a collision between their vessel and the 155 metre coaster 'MV Philip'.  Although there was minimal damage to the coaster, the fishing vessel suffered extensive damage to her port side bow and began taking on water.  Liverpool Coastguard requested the launch of the Port St Mary RNLI Lifeboat, and other vessels in the area including the HM Customs Cutter 'Sentinel'.

Crew from the Port St Mary Lifeboat boarded the fishing vessel with their pump, along with a pump from the Sentinel, to try and stop it from taking on water.  The Port Erin RNLI Lifeboat was also launched to provide an extra pump.  The Port St Mary Lifeboat then towed the fishing vessel stern first (due to the damage) into the harbour at Port St Mary.

Liverpool Coastguard Watch Manager Su Daintith said:

"The fishing vessel Lynn Marie arrived alongside at Port St Mary at 0941 with the intention to tow her into the inner harbour at high water.  The coaster MV Philip proceeded on to its original destination of Greenock.

We have informed the Marine Accident Investigation Branch of this incident."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Proposals for ten potential conservation zones in the Irish Sea are earmarked in a second report released from the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project.

The area include the inshore waters of Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria and offshore waters of the Isle of Man, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. One of the zones is a 187 square km stretch of deep water between Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

In order to gain a greater understanding of the proposed zones, the report commissioned a Regional Stakeholder Group which drew from a diverse range of interests in the Irish Sea. Among the stakeholders included were the Royal Yachting Association, the fishing community and ports authorities. The review identified the size, shape and locations of the proposed 10 ten new Marine Conservation Zones. For the first time, the zones included inshore water of the Irish Sea project area as well as offshore.

"This is a real milestone for the project, with potential Marine Conservation Zones identified in both inshore and offshore waters", said Greg Whitfield, project manager at Irish Sea Conservation Zones.

"It is now really important that people take a look at the potential zones and give us their feedback on them. The better the information we have, the better the Marine Conservation Zones that are recommended by the regional stakeholder group will be."

Each of the marine conservation zones are designed to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats and geology. In addition they are designed to have the least impact possible on people's activities, but some restrictions will apply as the zones must meet guidelines for protecting species and habitats.

Members of the public are being invited to participate and will be considered as the second project continues to refine its proposals. The report is only a snapshot of the work so far. It does not contain concrete recommendations for the locations of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in the Irish Sea, and the potential zones shown in the report are described as tentative and liable to change.

The Irish Sea Conservation Zone project will be releasing a third report before the Regional Stakeholder Group finalises its recommendations. The reports are delivered to the Science Advisory Panel. The independent body is comprised of expert scientists whose main role is to evaluate the potential of MCZs against ecological criteria.

The third progress report will be made available in February 2011. Its final recommendations will then be presented to the UK government in June. Following that a formal public consultation on the proposed MCZs are to take place in late 2011 and early 2012.

For information on the Second Progress Report including feedback forms can be downloaded from HERE or by calling 00 44 (0)1925 813 200

Published in Marine Science
Scottish fishermen have taken exception to a new ban on fishing for scallops in the Irish Sea around the Isle of Man.
Authorities on the island introduced the bylaw in reaction to what they perceive as dangerous levels of overfishing and are "keen to conserve and protect its scallop beds", according to The Guardian.
It has been claimed that so many undersized juveniles are fished by trawlers in the two-week season each November "that the population is being put at risk".
However, Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead was quoted as describing the new measure as "unnecessary and unwarranted" and a "war" against Scots.
"There's been no scientific case to back up the bylaw that's been put in place, which blatantly just excludes Scottish vessels," he said.

Scottish fishermen have taken exception to a new ban on fishing for scallops in the Irish Sea around the Isle of Man. 

Authorities on the island introduced the bylaw in reaction to what they perceive as dangerous levels of overfishing and are "keen to conserve and protect its scallop beds", according to The Guardian.

It has been claimed that so many undersized juveniles are fished by trawlers in the two-week season each November "that the population is being put at risk".

However, Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead was quoted as describing the new measure as "unnecessary and unwarranted" and a "war" against Scots.

"There's been no scientific case to back up the bylaw that's been put in place, which blatantly just excludes Scottish vessels," he said.

Published in Fishing

The Irish Sea and possibly the Irish East Coast may see more super yacht traffic thanks to an Isle of Man Government initiative aimed at registering more Super yachts on the island after the Monaco Yacht Show later this month. Four government representatives are travelling to the famous tax haven in the hope of attracting more business.

The island's super-yacht industry has grown by 20% in the past year and there are currently 95 commercial yachts registered with the Manx flag.

The Isle of Man government is confident business will increase as a result of having a presence in Monaco.

Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry Dick Welsh told the BBC: "It is difficult to quantify how much the industry is worth to the Isle of Man.

"The registration charge is £700 but then there is the technical management, crew management, chartering and insurance.

"It's a thriving industry which employs around 100 people on the Island."

More from the BBC HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 6 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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