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Displaying items by tag: Northern Lighthouse Board

#PoleStar – Northern Lighthouse Board's aids to navigation tender NLB Pole Star which normally serves in Scottish waters and also has responsibility for the Isle of Man, made a brief call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The presence of Pole Star in Irish waters is not unusual as on occasions, operations require the deployment of these specialist ships between the three General Lighthouse Authority (GLA).

The GLA are the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Northern Lighthouse Board and Trinity House which works in English and Walsh waters and those of the Channel Islands.

During Pole Star's overnight Friday-Saturday call to Dun Laoghaire, the harbour is where CIL are headquartered and is also the homeport of ILV Granuaile, which is understood to be at Cork Dockyard.

As Afloat.ie previously reported, she underwent last year a '15 year Special Survey Dry-docking' awarded to the Rushbrooke based facility that beat off stiff competition from other European yards.

At this stage, it is uncertain if the call to Cork (or for layover period?) was directly to do with the deployment of Pole Star. The vessel  departed the Dublin Bay harbour yesterday for Belfast Lough and today headed up the Firth of Clyde bound for Greenock.

Pole Star (2000/1,174grt) the smaller of the two NLB vessels, is otherwise an Oban based buoy-laying vessel which can also carry out hydrographic surveys.

Combined, the GLA's have a fleet of six ships in which CIL's ILV Granuaile built also in 2000, was the first in terms of ship design of the lighthouse umbrella organisation to have her working deck positioned aft. i.e. at the back of the ship where buoys are stowed to and from deployment.

At the time of Granuaile's introduction, this far improved design was followed suit by her GLA counterparts. However, Trinity House's THV Patricia, dating from 1982, remains as the sole survivor of the traditional forward located working deck arrangement between the superstructure and bow.

Notably, she is the only tender to accommodate paying-passengers (numbering 12) who can join the vessel as she carries out her routine duties.

Published in Lighthouses

Sailing was not the only activity that took place in Dublin Bay last Saturday as the Northern Lighthouse Board's (NLB) multi-function tender NLV Pharos was busy at work, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The NLB is the Scottish equivalent of the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) and it is not unusual for such vessels to share work duties beyond their respective jurisdictions. The 84m NLV Pharos is equipped with dynamic positioning and a 30-tonne main crane on her 300m2 aft-deck.

Overall she is similar in appearance to Irish lights ILV Granuaile which is based out of Dun Laoghaire. The Irish Lights tender built in Romania in 2000 tends to operate more often off the west coast during the summer months due to the more favourable weather conditions.

The 1,300 (dwt) deadweight tonnes NLV Pharos yesterday returned to her base in Oban from her Irish duties. The west coast base was established in 1904 and is also homeport to the service's smaller NLV Pole Star which is equipped with an 18-tonne crane on her 90m2 aft deck.

The facility in 2000 underwent a £4.2 million redevelopment to turn a buoy yard into a multi functional support base which is computer-linked to the NLB headquarters in Edinburgh.

In addition Trinity House which maintains the service for England and Wales operate the tenders THV Galtea,THV Patricia and the fast-response craft THV Alert from their base in Harwich.

Trinity House forms the trio of the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) alongside NLB and CIL. Each member of the GLA co-operate in the allocation of vessel-tender deployment.

Asides the varied and critical role of the tasks performed by the GLA's tenders, they are also available for charter to third parties. Between them the tenders can conduct buoy and chain work, search and rescue, lighthouse re-fuelling, salvage and recovery, towing, hydrographic applications and ROV work.

Published in Lighthouses
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