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July 2004

July 18
Acknowledgements: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Alex Mc. Cormac, Tommy Dover, Edwin Wilmshurst and "others".


On July 15 the Western Morning News reported that work to enable a luxury boat building shipyard to compete with the best in the world is almost complete. The final stages of a £7 million redevelopment scheme at Pendennis Shipyard, at Falmouth Docks are due to finish later this month.

The conversion of Number One Dock into a hi-tech painting facility marks the end of the project, which also includes the construction of a new fitting out and refit hall, new joinery and finishing workshops, offices and dedicated store rooms.

The DTI and Finance Cornwall provided £2.9 million towards the scheme, secured by the Falmouth project-management consultancy, De Facto.


The sunken trawler, recovered off the Cornish coast,  was towed into the port of Brest on July 13 after crossing the channel on a heavy lift barge.

The Western Morning News  reported that families of the trawler's five lost crewmen, who launched a successful campaign for the £2.5 million salvage operation and who have vowed to trace the rogue vessel thought to have hit and sunk the trawler, were present as the BUGALED BREIZH arrived at Brest.

Two fishermen's bodies were recovered after the incident 30 miles off the Lizard six months ago, and a third was discovered inside the wreck on Saturday. Two men remain missing.

The nature of the damage to the 24-metre boat, in which there are two identical huge dents in either side, below the water line, appeared to mystify French experts and Gendarmes who have launched an investigation into manslaughter and failing to assist persons in danger.

The second dent was not visible when video pictures were recorded by a submarine in January as the vessel was lying on her side.

The dents, identical in shape and about nine metres in length, appear to rule out the possibility that the trawler was the victim of a high seas hit-and-run by a large container vessel off The Lizard last January, according to early comments by experts.

If the trawler had been hit by a surface vessel there would have been huge damage to only one of its sides and the damage would have been almost certainly above the waterline, one expert asserted yesterday.

The fact that the huge dents are below the waterline appeared to deepen suspicion last night amongst grieving families and fishermen in Brittany that the vessel was struck from below, probably by a submarine.

But in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien, French submarine expert Francis-Pierre Drouet said: "A submarine which would have hit the trawler and caused such damage would itself have suffered serious problems."

French Navy spokesmen have already denied that the Dutch submarine Dolfjin, which was taking part in an international NATO exercise on the day the BUGALED BREIZH was sunk and was seen in the area after the BUGALED BREIZH radioed for help, was involved in the accident.

And rumours in January at Plymouth that a submarine sailed into port with damage to her bows a few hours after the five fishermen died were quickly scotched by the Royal Navy at the time. French reports yesterday referred to the "astonishment" of marine accident experts that the BUGALED BREIZH suffered almost identical damage to her port and starboard bows.

The hypothesis that the trawler was struck simultaneously by two vessels was dismissed as "fantasy" .

In the Le Parisien interview maritime consultant at the French Appeal Court Philippe Clouet suggested that the second dent could have been caused by the vessel striking the sea bed.

But Loic Le Moel, a Poitiers-based consultant, dismissed that theory stating that "a trawler of this kind does not sink like a stone".

One theory which consultants appointed by the two investigating judges based in Quimper are said to be considering is that the dents were caused by pressure during the six months spent on the sea bed.

Experts appointed by the investigating judges based in Quimper are also understood to be looking at the possibility that the sinking was caused by a mechanical leak perhaps due to an accident or a collision.

As the BUGALED BREIZH was towed into the port of Brest yesterday journalists' boats were prevented from approaching.

But newspaper and TV long lens cameras relayed pictures clearly showing that the mystery identical dents on the bows of the trawler.

The case of the BUGALED BREIZH has attracted national coverage and has been the subject of numerous investigative articles in France.

The trawler is now considered a vital piece of evidence in the six-month old investigation and will be subject to strict French laws on "judicial secrets" which prevent judges and witnesses evidence being published.

The BUGALED BREIZH will now be placed in dry dock at the military port of Brest, where first detailed examinations are likely to begin tomorrow.


RMS CARPATHIA - An expedition has been mounted by Deep Blue Diving Centre of Plymouth to the wreck of the former Cunard liner RMS CARPATHIA.

The wreck of the CARPATHIA lies 300 miles west of Plymouth at a depth of 500ft. The ship, which rescued survivors from the White Star Liner TITANIC in 1912, was herself sunk in July 1918 by a German U-boat .


A public enquiry was held at LACE centre Liverpool on July 13 concerning developments at the Liverpool Sea Terminal.

The enquiry heard that the proposed extension to Liverpool Landing Stage to accommodate visiting cruise ships was "extremely unlikely" to proceed if permission was not given for a new car marshalling yard to accommodate vehicles travelling to Dublin and Douglas with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

The enquiry was called as Mersey Docks and Harbour Company is seeking permission to "stop-up" parts of the highway at St Nicholas Place between the Liver Building and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

This would facilitate the construction of a new car marshalling facility for on the site of the current pay and display car park and the floating roadway cut. 

This would also mean that the right of way across the footbridge over the cut would be closed. The company wants to construct a new bridge to the Landing Stage which would also be large enough to carry coaches down onto the Landing Stage. 

The proposals are opposed by the various objectors including the Merseyside Civic Society which object to the Pier Head area being developed as they claim an Act of Parliament dating back to the 19th Century dedicates the area as a public open space.

Objectors, including the Merseyside Civic Society, believe an Act of Parliament in 1871 designates the Pier Head as public open space.

July 11
Acknowledgements: Ian Collard, Gary Andrews, Philip Parker, Tommy Dover, Martin Edmondson, Geoff Hamer and "others"



Please note that your web master will be away from July 22 to 28 inclusive. Therefore there may be some delay in replying to emails during this period.

With regard to submissions, BT have recently upgraded email storage space to 2GB therefore there should not be a need for submissions to the site to be held back until I return. 

Can I remind contributors that submissions should be sent to

If you have an urgent need to get in touch please use the mobile contact number for text or voice calls. Do not call the landline as relayed messages can often loose their meaning.


There are a number of Ebay Auctions in progress as a clear out is in progress again. Most Items are of a nautical nature though one or two are of a more general interest. 


SUPERSEACAT TWO - on Tuesday July 06 the ship took a private charter cruise from Liverpool to the North Hoyle Wind farm. She departed Liverpool at 20:00, arriving at North Hoyle at 21:00. Departing an hour later SSC2 was back at the Landing Stage at 23:00.

This is certainly a new venture and utilises SSC2 on an evening when she is not scheduled to operate to Douglas. One wonders if future charters, or perhaps even public evening cruises could be operated occasionally during the Summer months? SEACAT ISLE OF MAN operates such cruises on an occasional basis from Douglas, and therefore given the greater catchment area on Merseyside perhaps there could be scope for further development?


MERSEY MAMMOTH sailed up the little used Rock Channel to recover the wreckage of a Piper Cherokee light aircraft on Tuesday July 06.

The aircraft had crashed into the sea on Sunday afternoon, the two people on board being killed. The ditching saw a major Coastguard and Lifeboat rescue operation being launched.

Local press reports are now speculating that the crash may not have been accidental as the pilot was under investigation by the police.


EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY arrived at A&P Birkenhead just after 18:00 on Saturday July 10 entering #5 dry dock.


Ambitious plans have been revealed to the public this week to create a new port on the site of the coastal quarry at Penlee between Mousehole and Newlyn in Cornwall.

The Penlee Quarry which has been abandoned for some years will become a harbour with Marina facilities flanked by residential, leisure and light commercial development.

To enable this to take place a route to the sea will have to be created by excavating through the ridge of land separating the quarry basin from Mounts Bay. 

Published plans reveal that the entrance to the new harbour will be protected by two breakwaters. The existing Mousehole - Newlyn road will be carried over the harbour entrance channel by a high level bridge which would offer clearance for sailing vessels.

The quarry terraces will be redeveloped for residential, leisure and light commercial use.

In an age when many waterside developments provoke controversy as they detract from areas which they are supposed to "improve"! The Fourth [dis] Grace plans for Liverpool and plans for the redevelopment of Carlisle Pier, Dún Laoghaire, come to mind in this context! The Port Penlee plans present as a truly visionary project which should see a derelict brownfield site redeveloped for maritime use and the creation of a pleasant environment. [ ]


STENA PIONEER has arrived at A&P Birkenhead for refit. A modified timetable is now operating on the Larne - Fleetwood route between July 09 and August 02

During this period the following sailings will not operate :

FLEETWOOD to LARNE 03:00 - cancelled (last service on July 09 departs 01:00)

LARNE to FLEETWOOD 16: 00hrs - cancelled (due to ship disposition the last sailing will leave at 11:00 July 09)

During the refit period the following schedule will operate:

From Fleetwood:

Departure 10:00 arrival 18:00

Departure 22:00 arrival 06:00

From Larne:

Departure 10:00 arrival 18:00

Departure 22:00 arrival 06:00


BLARNA - the former liner tender, [Sister ship to CILL AIRNE [1962] which remains in Cork City as a nautical training ship.] is being offered for sale by American ship brokers Brown Marine Sales and appears on their web site.

Built in 1961 by Liffey Dockyard the design of the BLARNA was based on that of the Birkenhead and Wallasey ferries. It is understood that the same marine architects were employed. 

Geoff Hamer writes that BLARNA  "left Cork in the mid- 1960s to be a tender in Bermuda and was renamed CANIMA in 1966. In 1988, she became the CHAUNCEY M DEPEW for a year, then went to Canada as the GOBELET D'ARGENT II. She still appears in Equasis under this name.


Wicklow notes  27 JUNE - 04 JULY2004

Coaster callers included the Scot-line ships SCOT TRADER , SCOT VENTURE and SCOT MARINER , HENNING S and the HEGGE.

Visitors to the port included ASGARD II, she was bound for the English South coast before going on to the continent, The sailing vessel LEADER arrived after a 48 hour passage from Brixham, she spent a night in the port, departing next day for Dublin, then Holyhead and then on to cruise around the Scottish Western Isles.

02TEAMSPIRIT was the first yacht to cross the finish line in this years Round Ireland Yacht Race, CALX VOICE & DATA was the overall winner on corrected time.

Traffic in the bay included BEN NEVIS southbound, BOWCLIFFE also southbound, the containership DOERTE, and the cruise liner SUNDREAM.

Wicklow Rowing club took first line honours in the Junior , Intermediate , Junior ladies , Senior Ladies and Senior races at the Dalkey Regatta held on 4 th July.Wicklow will host it's annual regatta on the August Bank holiday Monday at Wicklow harbour.

Wicklow RNLI fundraising branch will hold it's annual ABC SALE on Sunday 11 July 2004 at the Assembly hall, Bachelors' s Walk. The Lifeboat OPEN DAY will be held on Sunday 18 July between 12 - 4 pm.  


Reddington Finance, owners of the Cammell Laird south yard at Birkenhead revealed plans to create a ferry link between the site and Liverpool Airport across the river at Speke.

The plans have been made public at the same time that Wirral Council has indicated that the site can only be used for Industry. Reddington wants to completely redevelop the site to include leisure facilities etc.

Local unions and the local MP have stated that they wish to see the site retained for possible shipbuilding activity.

[COMMENT: The ferry proposal does not appear to be a really viable proposition. If a landing stage or pier could be constructed near the airport it would be on the wrong side to the terminal buildings, which are to landward of the runways and a considerable distance from the river.

How many people would bother parking at Cammell Laird, going on the ferry, and catching the plane? Sounds like a lot of hassle for very little advantage. Perhaps Reddington will offer cheaper car parking, but how much will they charge for the ferry?].

July 03
Acknowledgements: Chris Jones, Ian Liston, John Lewis, Chris Allman and "others"


SEACAT ISLE OF MAN was reported by a correspondent to have taken 45 minutes to berth at Liverpool on Saturday July 03 in high winds. She required Adsteam's tug COLLINGWOOD to assist with delayed 10:30 departure for Douglas. 


WAVERLEY departed from A&P late on July 01.  She was bound for Glasgow to take up services following repairs to damage caused when she struck a submerged object on June 20 off Sanda Island.


WOODCHURCH - the vessel's first post - refit sailing takes place on July 03 with a Manchester Ship Canal cruise. As yet, she still carries her original name on plates. 


MERSEY VIKING was registered in Belfast on the evening of June 29 followed by LAGAN VIKING on the morning of June 30 and consequently both vessels fly the red ensign.


HMS BULWARK is expected to depart from A&P Birkenhead on Monday July 05.


STENA LYNX III was reported to be moving out of Canada Graving Dock just after noon on Saturday July 03.


Plans by Reddingto Finance to redevelop the Cammell Laird south yard site appear to have been thwarted by Wirral Council.

It appears that the council intends to maintain the land's industrial zoning which will frustrate Reddington Finance's plans. A vote on the issue will be taken later this month.

Reddington have pledged to fight any decision against them. The preservation of the south yard site could just pave the way for future ship repair or building work and should be welcomed.


The historic former New Brighton lifeboat - WILLIAM & KATE JOHNSTON which recently attended the Mersey River Festival had to be beached after running into difficulties off Anglesey whilst en rooted to Falmouth, Cornwall on June 30.

The following report from BBC Wales covers the incident:

A former lifeboat which spent many years on rescue duties has itself been saved while at sea.

The 1920s-built vessel, now a pleasure boat named William and Kate Johnston, was off the coast of Anglesey en route to a lifeboat convention when it began taking in water.

Two lifeboats and a helicopter were called out, and the three-man crew was given pumps for bailing out.

The 60ft boat was towed nine miles to Rhoscolyn, on the tip of Anglesey . When in service, William and Kate was known as RNLI lifeboat 682. It was heading from Holyhead to Falmouth , Devon .

It got into trouble during a sea swell on Thursday afternoon, and was taking in up to two feet of water.

The Sea King helicopter flew from RAF Valley on Anglesey , and the Holyhead and Trearddur Bay lifeboats joined in.

Tony Price, second coxswain of Holyhead lifeboat, said: "Off the South Stack area the conditions weren't too nice at all, but once we made the lee of the land it wasn't too bad.

"At times it was a touch difficult, but apart from that... there was nothing we haven't been trained for."

Mr Price said: "At one point we contemplated taking everybody off it and letting the boat go down, but luckily enough the pumps managed to cope and she was run up the beach for her own safety".

Both lifeboats got pumps on board the vessel, but neither could cope with the amount of water and the helicopter delivered a third pump, which enabled the William and Kate to hold its own."

Ian Wright, auxiliary coastguard at Rhoscolyn, said: "The crew are not in good spirits. They are very dismayed about what's happened because they are responsible for this boat.

"They are just a transit crew and of course it's put them in a difficult position. This was going to be an important boat at the event and the safety and condition of the boat is at the forefront of their minds.

Nobody on board the William and Kate was hurt, and investigations are being carried out into the cause of the problem. 


The auditors of the company behind one of Europe's largest fishing vessels, the Atlantic Dawn, have resigned saying that proper books have not been kept by the business. Atlantic Dawn Ltd is owned by the Killybegs-based businessman, Kevin McHugh.

The report in The Irish Times says the auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, have resigned and filed both the decision and the reason for it with the Companies Registration Office. It is understood that the Director of Corporate Enforcement will now investigate the filing and may bring a prosecution.

In a statement last night, Atlantic Dawn Ltd said it had recently discovered an error in its books and records while carrying out an internal review of its accounts. The statement said the error was promptly corrected by the company, the tax authorities notified and additional taxes due paid.


The Irish Customs Service has recently taken delivery of its first customs cutter the R.C.C. SUIRBHÉIR [SURVEYOR]. The new €1.6m vessel will boost the custom officers’ fight against drugs. The 21 metre vessel was formally commissioned on June 28 and is to be based in Cork.

The vessel . similar to those used off Florida by the U.S. Coastguard was constructed in Finland and has 500 miles range. An all weather vessel it will carry a crew of six.

A spokesman for the Revenue Customs Service said the cutter is being introduced as a further development of its response to the problem of drugs importations via the Irish coastline.

"The vessel will provide us with the ability to provide greater cover by way of patrolling the Irish coastline/EU external frontier. It will allow us to have a highly visible presence in coastal areas and make the service more accessible to the coastal and maritime communities who are important partners in the Customs Drugs Watch Programme," he said.

The introduction of this vessel will allow even greater liaison between the Revenue Customs Service and the Naval Service in their combined efforts against drugs smuggling.

Millions of euros worth of drugs have been seized off the coast of
Cork in the past 10 years. Irish drugs barons living in Holland and Spain have in the past organised the landing of drugs along the county's lengthy coastline.

The Naval Service is to provide an officer to accompany customs officers for the first few weeks on active service as they get used to the vessel which is not armed.

Powered by two 820kw engines,
R.C.C. SUIRBHÉIR, will have a national remit and will be under the management of the Special Compliance District, South West Region.

"The role of the vessel will be to the patrol and monitoring of internal waters, territorial seas and adjacent waters, aimed at the prevention, detection, interception and seizure of controlled drugs, fiscal goods, and arms," the Revenue Customs Service spokesman said.

She was named following a competition among Revenue staff which attracted over 2,000 entries. The winning suggestion, from Pádraig Dooley from Kilkenny, recalls the former customs service grade of "Surveyor" which was in use for hundreds of years.

The use of the Irish version of the word is in keeping with the tradition of naming all Government vessels Gaelic.



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