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#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advises mariners that ENI Ireland BV is scheduled to conduct a 2D seismic survey in the Atlantic waters of the Irish Designated Continental Shelf.

The planned start of the survey is mid-April 2013 and, weather permitting, will continue until mid-October 2013.

The proposed survey consists of 18,000km of a full-fold 2D seismic survey in offshore waters beyond the 12-nautical-mile limit, and extends into international (high seas) waters.

The seismic acquisition will be carried out by the seismic vessel M/V BGP Explorer (Call sign HP4919), which will be accompanied at all times by guard vessel M/V Alk Explorer (Call sign HO2639). In addition, M/V De Vrouw Marie (Call sign HP9974) will act as a supply vessel for the re-supply of materials.

M/V BGP Explorer will tow a single solid 10km streamer. The vessel will travel at 4–5 knots and the streamer will be located approximately 10 metres below the surface. All vessels will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

The notice requests all vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, to give the M/V BGP Explorer, the M/V Alk Explorer and the supply vessel a wide berth, and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Details of co-ordinates for the seismic survey are included in Marine Notice No 13 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Notice of this latest seismic survey comes after the news that the European Commission has sought an explanation from the Government over why it has not conducted environmental impact assessments for such operations in Irish waters, which are a designated whale and dolphin sanctuary.

Meanwhile, another recent Marine Notice advises passenger ship operators of the requirements for vessels engaged in the tendering of passengers between ship and shore.

Full details on the relevant provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts are included in Marine Notice No 12 of 2013 available HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#MarineNotice - A recent Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) raises importance of maintenance as highlighted in the MCIB report into the scuttling of fishing vessel Jeanette Roberta in Glandore Harbour in late 2011.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the prawn boat was returning to port on 11 December 2011 when the skipper had difficulty switching the helm from auto-pilot to manual due to a known issue with "sticky solenoids". The boat subsequently veered off course without warning and was holed on rocks on Adam's Island.

The official report into the incident castigated the owner/skipper for continuing to sail the vessel with persistent navigation issues - and Marine Notice No 04 of 2013 reminds all fishing vessel operators to ensure that deficiencies with their vessels are rectified without delay.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that a vessel is maintained and operated at all times in accordance with the requirements of the agreed Code of Practice. Owners of all vessels also have a legal obligation to operate their vessels in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the latest Marine Notice is directed at passenger vessel owners and operators - encouraging them to continue voluntary efforts to improve accessibility on their vessels.

A new questionnaire has been made available to inform the DTTAS about the extent of accessibility improvements introduced to maritime passenger transport services in the State.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 05 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) draws attention to EU regulations pertaining to the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents.

The new EU Regulation 392/2009 came into force last week on 31 December 2012, incorporating provisions of the 2002 protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea, which introduced compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships such as passenger ferries, and covers the liability of the carrier in respect of passengers, their luggage and vehicles.

Full details of the new regulations are available in Marine Notice No 2 of 2013 via the department website HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) highlights the rights of ferry and boat passengers within the European Union under new legislation set to apply from 18 December 2012.

The European Union (Rights of Passengers when Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterway) Regulations 2012 give full effect to Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010, which has the objective of ensuring "a high level of protection for passengers using waterborne transport anywhere in the European Union by establishing certain rights and a minimum quality of service across the EU.

"It provides ship passengers with enhanced rights and includes provisions on non-discrimination and assistance for persons with disabilities and reduced mobility, rights relating to the provision of information to all passengers before and during a journey, assistance to passengers in the event of delays and, in certain circumstances, compensation for delays and cancellation of journeys."

The main elements of the new regulations are summarised in Marine Notice No 63 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Meanwhile, the DTTAS is also reminding shipowners, masters and officers of their obligations as regards keeping a continuous navigational watch while at anchor.

Full details of obligations under the STCW Convention are included in Marine Notice No 62 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Ferry

#TITANIC - Irreverent tech website Gizmodo has marked the 100th annversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a list of the 13 deadliest shipwrecks in history.

The list runs the gamut from well over a century ago, in the early days of passenger shipping - see the SS Sultana, a tragedy overshadowed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the American Civl War - to more recent events.

Included are such as sad tales as that of the Empress of Ireland, the worst disaster in Canadian maritime history in which more than 1,000 died, and much closer to home the Lusitania, which went down off Kinsale in May 1915 after a torpedo attack.

But the worst was arguably suffered by the passengers of the steamship SS Kiangya - which blew up 50 miles north of Shanghai in December 1948, taking as many as 3,920 lives - and the horror that befell the MV Doña Paz in the Philippines in December 1987, where estimates put the death toll at an unbelievable 4,000.

Gizmodo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB

#CRUISE LINERS - Cruise ship passengers will be given a safety briefing before leaving port under new industry rules drawn up in the wake of the Costa Concordia incident, The Guardian reports.

Three organisations representing international cruise lines have agreed that the 'muster drill' - which is currently conducted within 24 hours of setting sail as per maritime law - must now be held before departure from any port.

The move comes after reports that hundreds of passengers who had boarded the stricken vessel hours before it ran aground off the western Italian coast had not yet had any kind of safety instruction.

Muster drills, whereby passengers are shown how to put on lifejackets and directed to exits, are already common practice in the industry.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an Irish couple were among thousands rescued from the Costa Concordia after the incident on Friday 13 January. At least 32 people are believed to have died in the disaster, with 15 recorded passengers still missing.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NEWS UPDATE - The Irish couple rescued from the stricken cruise liner off the Italian coast have spoken of their joy to be back home safe and sound.

Séamus Moore (52) and his wife Carol (50) from Clonmel were greeted by their three children at Dublin Airport yesterday, just two days after the Costa Concordia struck a sandbank and capsized off Tuscany.

“It was a difficult experience but at the end of the day it worked out very well for most people," Carol told The Irish Times. "It’s really, really a relief to be home.”

Commenting on the events of Friday night, Séamus likened their experiences on the sinking cruise ship to the film Titanic.

“When we were sitting on the side of the ship I said to her ‘now we know what Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett felt like’ and she said ‘well at least Kate lived’."

As the boat listed, it also struck Séamus that while "everything was crashing one way, then the next, the one thing I did notice is that the piano player kept playing."

The couple were removed from the ship by lifeboat in the early hours of Saturday and looked after by the staff at the Irish Embassy in Rome before their return.

They were among some 4,000 passengers on the cruise ship, most of whom were rescued within hours of the incident. Six people are confirmed dead following the disaster, with more than 60 injured and 16 people still missing.

The captain of the 114,500-tonne vessel was arrested on Saturday accused of manslaughter and of abandoning ship before all passengers and crew had been evaculated.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#NEWS UPDATE - An Irish couple were among those rescued from the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday night, the Irish Examiner reports.

Three people are believed to have died, while 14 others were injured, after the Costa Concordia struck a sandbank and capsized off the Tuscan coastline in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The vessel was carrying more than 4,000 passengers at the time, many of whom jumped into the water as panic set in after the ship hit a rock that tore a 150ft gash in the hull.

As of Saturday three bodies had been recovered from the sea, with at least three more feared drowned.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that an Irish couple on board are safe and well, and are receiving consular assistance. Many survivors are taking refuge on the small island of Giglio close to the incident.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS includes important information for recreational craft expected to attend the Tall Ships Races in Waterford from 30 June to 3 July.
www.dttas.ie
Race organisers and the Waterford harbour master have issued an approved water safety plan for the marshalling of spectator boats for the time the tall ships are in port and for the start of the race off Hook Head.
Skippers and crew must comply with all instructions and be aware of their obligations under existing maritime legislation (regarding avoidance of collisions, preventing reckless behaviour and ensuring correct safety equipment is on board).
Boat owners intending to visit should contact the harbour master for details on restricted areas and berthing spots via the Port of Waterford website or directly at 051 974 907.
Restrictions are also in place for passenger boats and ships. Only fully licenced vessels with plying limits listing Waterford as a point of departure are allowed to operate during the event. Temporary changes in plying limits can be made via the Marine Survey Office before 15 June.
Further details are available on Marine Notice No 28 of 2011, available to read or download HERE.

The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS includes important information for recreational craft expected to attend the Tall Ships Races in Waterford from 30 June to 3 July.

Race organisers and the Waterford harbour master have issued an approved water safety plan for the marshalling of spectator boats for the time the tall ships are in port and for the start of the race off Hook Head.

Skippers and crew must comply with all instructions and be aware of their obligations under existing maritime legislation (regarding avoidance of collisions, preventing reckless behaviour and ensuring correct safety equipment is on board).

Boat owners intending to visit should contact the harbour master for details on restricted areas and berthing spots via the Port of Waterford website or directly at 051 974 907.

Restrictions are also in place for passenger boats and ships. Only fully licenced vessels with plying limits listing Waterford as a point of departure are allowed to operate during the event. Temporary changes in plying limits can be made via the Marine Survey Office before 15 June.

Further details are available on Marine Notice No 28 of 2011 which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
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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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