The Sail training ship Pelican of London dropped anchor in the bay on Tuesday morning after arriving from the south. According to www.marinetraffic.com the vessel is on passage to Dublin.
The ship was built at a French shipyard in 1948 as a fishing vessel, she was converted to a sailing ship in 2007 under the Red Ensign and is a regular sight along our coastline during the summer months.
Rcc Faire visiting Wicklow harbour on Sunday 6 May. Built in Finland by Tyovene in 2009 and operated by a crew of six, The vessel is capable of 25 knots and is equipped with an array of surveillance systems and use of a 38-knot RIB’s to provide rapid response to board vessels at sea. Operated by the Revenue Commissioners for maritime patrols such as prevention of drug smuggling and illegal importation of other illicit goods into Ireland. The vessel along with Rcc Suirbheir conduct patrols in Irish territorial waters and are assisted by the Irish Navel Service and An Garda Siochana in their work.
The motor vessel Sumnia is seen approaching Wicklow harbour on the 7th October 1987, to load a cargo of Quarry stone from the nearby Belleece Quarry in Rathdrum. The cargo was destined for Barking Creek near London. The ship loaded the cargo and sailed on the tide the following day for the river Thames.
She was built at Goole in 1972 as the Summity for FT Everard & Sons. In 1987 she was sold to new operators and renamed Sumnia.
The cargo was delivered to London and the ship was heading to Shoreham when it lost power and went to anchor as a great storm tracked along the UK south coast, high winds caused loss of life and widespread damage along its path.
The ship put out a mayday call in the early hours of Thursday 16th October 1987, as it hit the south breakwater near the entrance to Dover harbour. The Dover RNLI lifeboat and a port tug went to the assistance of the sailors in horrendous conditions. Two crew lost their lives as the ship broke up and sank. The remaining four crew were rescued by the lifeboat and tug boat that morning. The Sealink ferry Hengist broke her moorings and was driven ashore at Folkestone around the same time, luckily there were no casualties.
The storm claimed 22 lives that day and while weather forecasters predicted strong winds -nobody was expecting hurricane conditions. Thirty years to the day the Met office have issued a serious weather warning as Ireland is set to feel the tail end of hurricane Ophelia, which is moving eastwards over the Atlantic and is expected to pass close to the country on Monday morning. For more details of the weather alert visit www.met.ie for updates.
Not the best quality photos as they were too far offshore, but it is a record of Scot Explorer heading north with sister ship Victress (ex Scot Carrier) in Wicklow bay on Monday afternoon for Belfast and Port Ellen respectively. Faversham ships has only recently taken over the Scot-Line ship and painting of the hull is in progress, as can be seen in the digital zoom photo.
Sign’s advising the general-public to keep clear of seals nursing their young pups on the beach at Brides Head have been posted on coastal walks. The advice is to keep dogs away from the beach as they can sometimes frighten away nursing mothers and inadvertently lead to pups being injured or orphaned. For more information and advice visit the Seal Rescue Ireland website here
Major improvement and repair work began on the East pier in August and is expected to last through September. The first week saw divers from Dive & Marine Construction carry out an underwater survey, before shuttering was placed and concrete pumped to fill voids on both sides of the pier. To facilitate the work, public access is restricted during the day and the top level of the pier is closed for the foreseeable future. For details about Dive & Marine Construction click here
Meanwhile Irish Sea Contractors began Engineering work in mid-September on the North Quay berth. Again, divers are working and the berth will remain closed to vessels while the improvements are carried out. For details about Irish Sea Contractors click here
The much-needed repairs are funded by a State grant, which was allocated earlier this year to Wicklow County Council, who took over the running of the port in late August 2016.