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The Department of Transport has been advised that geotechnical and geophysical surveys are being undertaken in the Irish Sea on behalf of McMahon Design and Management.

The survey work, which was scheduled to start on 1 June, will be completed by 1 September, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The geotechnical and geophysical surveys will involve the deployment of towed equipment from a survey vessel. The surveys will follow three cable routes — two roughly from Dublin to North Wales, and one from Wexford to South Wales — with start and end point locations detailed in Marine Notice No 33 of 2024, attached below.

Works will be conducted by the vessel Glomar Vantage (callsign HO3057) which will display the relevant lights and shapes.

As the survey vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre when surveying, all other vessels are kindly requested to keep a wide berth and navigate the area with caution. Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the area.

See the Marine Notice attached for contact information, a map of the survey area and all relevant coordinates.

Published in News Update

The UK’s second-largest port owner, Peel Ports Group, and renewable energy and maritime specialists, NatPower Marine, have announced plans to establish the first “green shipping corridors” between Britain and Ireland.

The ground-breaking collaboration could provide a blueprint to drastically cut global shipping emissions, as the proposed project would see NatPower Marine develop the UK’s first commercial electric ship (e-ship) charging network to support electric propulsion.

In addition to ‘cold ironing’ (the process of accessing clean power while docked to avoid significant engine pollution while at the port), as part of a global network.

The network – which would require an estimated £100m investment from NatPower Marine – would see this dedicated e-ship charging infrastructure delivered across all eight UK and Irish ports operated by Peel Ports Group (which Afloat adds includes MTL Terminals in Dublin Port). The master plan would also include electric car, van and HGV chargers installed for commercial electric vehicles passing through the ports.

Over 3,000 vessels cross the Irish Sea every year, emitting 230,000 tonnes of CO2, 20,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide (NOx), and 18,000 of sulphur oxide (SOx). Connecting these to onshore electric charging when in port could dramatically reduce these emissions, support climate goals, and improve local air quality.

The first Irish Sea routes identified in the proposals include Belfast-Heysham and Dublin-Birkenhead. This would support Peel Port Group’s ambitions for Heysham Port in Lancashire to become the UK’s first ‘net zero port’ as Afloat reported. The north-west England port has already slashed the emissions of its landside plant, equipment, and vehicles by up to 90%.

The plans mark the first step in a new £3 billion global charging network, planned by NatPower Marine for 120 port locations worldwide by 2030. NatPower Marine will develop the sites, in partnership with port operators, and act as the long-term operator of the global charging network.

Stefano Sommadossi, CEO at NatPower Marine, said: “NatPower Marine is investing to deploy the largest global network of charging points to help solve the ‘chicken and egg conundrum’ facing this industry: shipping lines cannot electrify their vessels if port charging infrastructure is not available, and ports are unable to raise capital for charging infrastructure without certainty of demand from shipping lines.

“With marine trade set to triple by 2050, we urgently need to build the global network of clean energy charging infrastructure the industry desperately needs. Our partnership with Peel Ports Group is the first step in this strategic approach to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in shipping and help cargo owners reach net-zero.”

Claudio Veritiero, CEO at Peel Ports Group, said: “The proposals presented as part of this partnership are potentially game-changing, and fully support our ambitions to become a net-zero port operator by 2040.

“We look forward to working closely with NatPower Marine to explore the possibilities for establishing the first green shipping corridor between the UK and Ireland and further enabling support for our customers, shipping lines, and hauliers as they transition to a greener future.”

More from MultiModal on the story.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Stena Line, the Swedish-owned operator, has announced a strategic review of its Irish Sea management team, which will see the region divided into two and the introduction of trade area directors.

The new management structure is aimed at further enhancing its position as a market leader between Ireland and the UK.

The changes are effective June 1, which will see Stena Line revert to a two-region structure on the Irish Sea to reflect its growing business needs. This will involve the Irish Sea region becoming two distinct areas, with Trade Directors responsible for the Irish Sea North and Irish Sea South, respectively.

The move is designed to drive continued growth in the region, where they operate 7 routes, served by 13 ferries among them freight-only vessels, providing 240 sailings each week. This has seen, over recent years, the Irish Sea becoming an increasingly vital component of Stena Line's business, resulting in significant expansion and consolidating its marketshare.

In mid-February, Stena launched the Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) freight route (following P&O’s exit of the central Irish Sea corridor route late last year), which further underscored the company's commitment to providing services across the Irish Sea. It was almost a month ago when the route’s first dedicated ro-ro vessel entered service.

As part of its ongoing development, Stena Line will be reinforcing regional management to effectively address the new opportunities and demands that lie ahead.

Since 2020, Paul Grant and his dedicated regional management team have demonstrated successfully navigating through both Brexit and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under their guidance, Stena Line has achieved significant growth, with car volumes increasing by almost 20% and freight volumes by 4%, setting new records for business levels in the region.

The new management structure will see Paul Grant, who has played a pivotal role in the success of the Irish Sea operations, assume responsibility for the newly established Irish Sea North region, overseeing operations from Belfast Harbour. In addition, Paul will join the main board of Stena Line (UK) Ltd. and serve as Stena Line’s representative on the UK Chamber of Shipping Ferry & Cruise.

"The Irish Sea has long been a key market for Stena Line, and I am pleased to continue leading our efforts and growth in our Belfast hub," says Paul Grant, incoming Trade Director for Irish Sea North. "I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and confident that, with our reinforced management team, we will strengthen Stena Line's position as the foremost ferry operator on the Irish Sea."

Johan Edelman will take up the role of Trade Director for the Irish Sea South region, overseeing operations from Dublin Port and Rosslare Europort. With a focus on development and growth, Johan will work to further enhance Stena Line's presence in the region, building upon the strong foundation laid by his predecessors. Johan is currently the Trade Director for Baltic Sea North, covering the routes between Nynäshamn (Sweden) and Ventspils (Latvia), as well as between Liepāja and Travemünde (Germany).

Commenting on the new role, he said, "I am thrilled to join the team on the Irish Sea and look forward to driving growth and innovation in the Irish Sea South region. Together with Paul and the entire Stena Line team, I am committed to delivering exceptional service and value to our customers while further expanding our market presence."

Published in Stena Line

The Department of Transport has been advised that a geophysical survey, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) diving and an offshore survey of gas pipeline landfalls in Scotland’s Brighouse Bay and Ross Bay, Kirkcudbright and Ireland (Loughshinny and Gormanston) will take place between Tuesday 14 November and the end of December, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Survey works on the Irish Sea gas interconnector will begin in Scottish waters on 14 November before moving into Irish waters on Sunday 19 November.

The survey vessels will conduct a geophysical, ROV and offshore survey of the pipeline landfalls. These shallow water surveys will extend to a depth of approximately 10m below the lowest astronomical tide (LAT) at each location.

The surveys will be conducted by the vessels AMS Panther (callsign 2EHC2) and 4Winds (callsign PCPE) which will work on a 24-hour basis, the former near-shore to some 10m below chart datum and the latter outside that.

During the surveys and ROV diving operations, the vessels will be displaying the relevant day shapes and night lights and will be monitoring VHF Channels 12 and 16.

Due to ROV operations being operated from the vessel, all other passing vessels are requested to leave a wide berth during the operations and operate at minimum speed to reduce vessel wash.

Coordinates and a map of the survey areas as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 75 of 2023, attached below.

Published in News Update

The Department of Transport has been advised that a geophysical and geotechnical surveys is being undertaken by Green Rebel Marine in the Irish Sea to assess cable burial on behalf of MDM.

The survey work was anticipated to start on Monday 19 June and will be completed by the end of September, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Surveys will be conducted by two vessels: the semi-SWATH catamaran Roman Rebel (callsign 2ICA5) which will conduct 24-hr operations, and the Lady Kathleen (callsign EIXT2), a catamaran which will conduct 12-hr operations. Both vessels will display appropriate lights and signals.

As the survey vessels will be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre when surveying, due to the deployment of the towed survey equipment from the vessel for the duration of the survey activities, other vessels are kindly requested to keep a wide berth.

Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the area.

Coordinates and a map of the survey areas as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 40 of 2023, attached below.

Published in News Update

Research survey TC22017 will be carried out in the Irish Sea in the vicinity of the Kish Bank Lighthouse by the University of Limerick (UL) in collaboration with the Marine Institute from this Sunday 11 to Friday 16 December, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The aim of this survey the testing and development of UL’s underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) system and automation platforms.

Ship-time will be focused on trialling comprehensive multi-disciplinary control and inspection methods, utilising new technologies to enable automated offshore asset inspection.

The primary outcome of the trials is to work towards the development of a framework and technique for the inspection of offshore assets remotely.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Tom Crean (callsign EIYX3) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The operations will take place between 7am and 7pm daily. The vessel will mainly run in DP mode while the ROV operates close to Kish Bank Lighthouse.

A map and coordinates of the survey area as well as contact details and a list of equipment used can be found in Marine Notice No 84 of 2022, attached below.

Published in Marine Science

An ultra-high-resolution geophysical survey will be carried out in the Oriel Wind Farm array area in the Irish Sea off Co Louth to provide bathymetric and subsurface information to facilitate the development of the offshore wind farm.

The survey work was anticipated to start Friday 18 November 2022 and to be completed by mid-December 2022, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Works will be confined to the Oriel Wind Farm array area, which is located between Dunany Point and the Cooley Peninsula.

The survey will be conducted by the Fastnet Pelican (callsign 2FNX7), which is a shallow draft survey vessel. The vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre due to the deployment of towed survey equipment up to 100 metres astern.

All other vessels operating within this area are requested to leave a wide berth.

The work vessel will display appropriate lights and signals and operations will be conducted during daylight hours. Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the area.

Coordinates and a map of the survey area as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 78 of 2022, attached below.

Published in Powerboat Racing

An Atlantic bluefin tuna hooked off the Pembrokeshire coast recently is believed to be the biggest fish ever caught in Welsh waters.

As Wales Online reports, the 900lb (408kg) monster catch was made by Simon Batey and Jason Nott while returning from an angling trip in the Irish Sea.

Keeping the tuna in the water, they recorded a measurement of 111 inches (2.82 metres) from nose to tail before releasing it back into the sea.

The anglers were on a boat from White Water Charters which is licensed to catch, tag and release Atlantic bluefin tuna as part of a Welsh government programme similar to the Tuna CHART scheme in Ireland.

Wales Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Operator Stena Line is set to create a pet-friendly area on its Belfast to Cairnryan route - but the animals must be in carrier cases onboard.

The company announced last month that pets were to be banned from passenger areas on their Irish Sea route (see rivals, P&O pets plan).

Its policy had allowed companion animals on board in secured pet carriers but after October 31, no dogs would have been allowed on deck or in any passenger areas between Belfast and Cairnryan.

However, a spokesperson for Stena Line said there has been a “considerable amount of feedback from customers on the impact of this decision to their current and future travel plans”.

“Stena Line has listened carefully to input from its passengers and the concerns that people have raised, both in support and in opposition to the proposal,” said the company.

More from Belfast Telegraph  on the reversal. 

Published in Stena Line

The ship which sent an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic, before the ocean liner sank, has been identified lying in the Irish Sea by researchers from Bangor University in Wales.

In 1912 the merchant steamship SS Mesaba was crossing the Atlantic and sent a warning radio message to the RMS Titanic. The message was received, but never reached the bridge.

Later that night, the supposedly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage, taking 1,500 lives and becoming the world’s most infamous shipwreck. 

The SS Mesaba continued as a merchant ship over the next six years before being torpedoed while in convoy in 1918.

Using state-of-the art multibeam sonar mounted on Bangor University’s research vessel Prince Madog, researchers have finally been able to positively identify the wreck and have revealed her position for the first time.

The merchant ship SS Mesaba which radioed an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic | Credit: State Library of QueenslandThe merchant ship SS Mesaba which radioed an iceberg warning to the RMS Titanic | Credit: State Library of Queensland



“For the marine archaeologist, multibeam sonar has the potential to be as impactful as the use of aerial photography was for landscape archaeology,” the university says.

Multibeam sonar enables seabed mapping of such detail that superstructure details can be revealed on the sonar images, it adds.



The SS Mesaba was one among 273 shipwrecks lying in 7,500 square miles of Irish Sea which were scanned and cross-referenced against the UK Hydrographic Office’s database of wrecks and other sources.


It was thought that 101 wrecks were unidentified, but the number of newly identified wrecks was far higher, as many — the SS Mesaba included — had been wrongly identified in the past.



Details of all the wrecks have been published in a new book, Echoes from the Deep by Dr Innes McCartney of Bangor University, conducted under a Leverhulme Fellowship while at Bournemouth University.

Dr McCartney said: “The results of the work described in the book has validated the multidisciplinary technique employed and it is a ‘game-changer’ for marine archaeology. 

Bangor University’s purpose-built research vessel Prince MadogBangor University’s purpose-built research vessel Prince Madog

“Previously we would be able to dive to a few sites a year to visually identify wrecks. The Prince Madog’s unique sonar capabilities has enabled us to develop a relatively low-cost means of examining the wrecks. We can connect this back to the historical information without costly physical interaction with each site.


“It should be of key interest to marine scientists, environmental agencies, hydrographers, heritage managers, maritime archaeologists and historians.” 



Dr Michael Roberts, who led the sonar surveys at the university’s School of Ocean Sciences, said: “The expertise and unique resources we have at Bangor University, such as the Prince Madog enable us to deliver high-quality scientific research in an extremely cost-effective manner.

“Identifying shipwrecks such as those documented in the publication for historical research and environmental impact studies is just one example of this.

“We have also been examining these wreck sites to better understand how objects on the seabed interact with physical and biological processes, which in turn can help scientists support the development and growth of the marine energy sector.”


Published in Titanic
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About the J24 keelboat

American Rod Johnstone designed the J/24, a one-design boat, in the mid-1970s.

Since 1977, it has been manufactured and at present, at least 5,500 hulls have been constructed throughout the globe.

The J/24 has significantly contributed to the popularity of competitive sailing, and numerous internationally recognised racing personalities have won international J/24 championships.

This class still thrives and remains a favourite among owners and crews of all levels.