Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) is seeking for new pilot boats

by Marine-Pilots.com - published -
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Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) is seeking for new pilot boats
Photo Safehaven Marine: The last delivery in 2019 by Safehaven Marine

The upgrade is part of a £1 million investment, with the new vessel to patrol the waterways and support visitor traffic, including cruise ships, warships, and oil platforms. The contract for the work is currently being put out to tender and interested parties are encouraged to apply before the deadline of 8 May, 17.00.

The new vessel will be used by pilots employed by CFPA to ensure the safety of passage for ships visiting the port.

Bob Buskie, Chairman of CFPA, said:
"This second contract will represent a significant investment of over £1 million in two new pilot boats over the last 12 months. This new boat will replace one of our older vessels which has served us very well. It will be state of the art and will give us more capacity at peak times. These boats will ensure pilotage in the harbor for years to come."

The latest figures from CFPA put the value of the port to the highland economy at around £275 million.

The latest ship from 2019, named Dalmore after an area on the banks of the Firth, was built by Safehaven Marine in the Irish county of Cork and replaces its predecessor, which had patrolled the waterways for 45 years before retiring. An official inauguration ceremony was held to christen the Dalmore.

The new vessel is expected to be similar to the Dalmore, which is 48 feet long and can travel at speeds of up to 25 knots, equivalent to 29 miles per hour.
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Opinion Sea Trials in Stroms at the Entrance to Cork Habour

by Safehaven Marine - published

The entrance to Cork Harbour situated on the South coast of Ireland can produce some pretty extreme sea states during the winter storm months. There are two main factors that influence the sea state at the entrance, the first being the ebbing tide, the second being shoaling waters over the Harbour Rock, this is situated at the entrance to the Harbour off Roches Point lighthouse, right in the middle between the Western and Eastern channel entrances.

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Article ‘SANAAG’ A new Pilot boat for the Port of Berbera, Somaliland in Africa delivered by Safehaven Marine.

by Safehaven Marine - published

Safehaven Marine based in Ireland have just delivered a pilot vessel for operations at the Port of Berbera in
Somaliland, Africa. ‘Sanaag’ is one of Safehaven’s Interceptor 38 pilot vessels, at 11.9m LOA, a very capable design which proves economical to operate, yet capable of dealing with very rough seas and challenging boarding conditions when required.

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Video Pilot boats in Storm Ciara video & 3 boats together inc boardings

Here's the full video of recent sea trials with our two pilot boats including storm Ciara, three boats together and some boarding runs. Its quite an interesting little video with some great footage.

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Video Corryvreckan Maelstrom & Thunder Child II documentary

Found on YouTube. Created by "Frank Kowalski".

Safehaven Marine undertook an 800nm 4 day cruise in Thunder Child II to Scotland, living off the boat to visit a place called the Gulf of Corryvreckan. A pretty wild yet beautiful place.

The Corryvreckan whirlpool, or ‘Maelstrom’, as would be a more appropriate description, is formed as the tide enters the narrow stretch of water between the Islands of Jura and Scarba that is the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Here the tidal flow speeds up to 8.5kts as it is squeezed between the islands, and there it encounters a variety of underwater seabed features. On the western entrance a basalt pinnacle rises up from depths of 70m to 29m, and lying to East, directly in front of the pinnacle is a deep hole in the seabed, with a depth of 219m.

As the water flows through the gulf it falls into this hole, and then encounters the steep face of the pinnacle, causing a massive upwelling surge of water to rise to the surface. On a flood tide this surge meets swells entering the Gulf from the West, and creates standing waves that can reach heights of 9m. These ‘standing waves’ are not like normal waves as they form directly over the pinnacle, standing still and breaking heavily on the spot. Whirlpools are also formed over the pinnacle as well as throughout the Gulf, as opposing water columns sheer, and these can be up to 50m wide.

During a storm on spring tides it is said that the angry roar from the seething waters of the maelstrom, with its standing waves and whirlpools can be heard up to 10 miles away, and local mythology refers to this as the voice of ‘Cailleach’ (The Hag) of the Whirlpool.

In a well found boat the gulf can be safely navigated in fair conditions, or at slack water, but I can imagine that in a Westerly gale on a flood tide, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the place, as it would truly be described as ‘Unnavigable’. Indeed it was once classified as such by the Royal Navy. On the day we visited with Thunder Child we had Westerly winds of Force 5 gusting 6, and a 3.9m tide which enabled us to experience the standing waves on the flood and the whirlpools on the ebb.

The word Corryvreckan translates to ‘Cauldron’ and that perfectly describes the seething sea state around the whirlpools, and it was quite an experience to have the throttles set for 6kts, holding station just ahead of the standing waves that were breaking behind the boat, and not be moving at all!

There is an Old Irish text known as Cormac’s Glossary written by the King and Bishop of Cashel, Cormac mac Cuilennáin who died in the year 908: “There is a great whirlpool which is between Ireland and Scotland to the north, in the meeting of various seas, its thunderous eructation and its bursting and its roaring are heard among the clouds, like the steam boiling of a cauldron of fire.” I felt that was a pretty cool description of the place as how the place might have appeared of old during a storm.

Coryvreckan is reputed to produce the third largest whirlpools after the Saltstraumen and Moskstraumen Maelstroms in Norway, however the unique submarine topography of the gulf of Corryvreckan and its capability to produce dangerous standing waves means that in storm conditions, it is potentially one of the most violent stretches of water in the world.

The Voyage: Casting off at Cobh in the afternoon on Saturday 18th July 2020 Thunder Child II arrived at Bangor marina at 9.30pm for refuelling after averaging 32kts over the 275nm run. Overnighting on aboard we set sail early Sunday morning heading up the Northern Ireland coast to Rathlin Island, itself a place notorious for producing challenging seas with its tidal strong race and overfalls, before a lumpy crossing to Scotland to enjoying two days taking Thunder Child II through the standing waves and whirlpools in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, and capturing some cool Ariel drone video. Whilst we were there It was also nice to see one of our old Interceptor 42 passenger boats ‘Venturer’ for the first time since we built her 15 years ago, and still looking good. Operated by Craignish Cruises running boat tours in the Gulf, they guided us on a tour around the islands visiting the notorious ‘Grey Dogs’ tidal race and seeing the Sea Eagles nesting nearby.

Spending Sunday night isolated on the breakwater at Ardfern marina we headed to Belfast late afternoon on Monday. Next day we were onwards to Dun Laoghaire for lunch and down the East coast of Ireland where we we’re buzzed overhead by Rescue 116 of the Irish Coastguard, which was great to experience and gave us the excuse to give Thunder Child the beans, and although heavy with fuel we still managed to hit over 50kts.

We arrived home to East Ferry Marina, Cobh late Tuesday evening after an enjoyable voyage for her crew comprising: Skipper Frank Kowalski and crew: Carl Randalls (Drone pilot) Ciaran Monks, Mary Power and Kenny Carrol. During the voyage Thunder Child II ran faultlessly and proved her capabilities of averaging high speeds for long distances.

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Article SWATH & SWASH Technology - Smoother pilot boarding

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

SWATH and SWASH are interesting technologies that allow a vessel to sail much more calmly in high waves. A stable and calm position of the ship is especially important for pilot boarding.


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Article "Hanakahi" is the Hawaii Pilots Association’s newest boat

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

Pilot boat Hanakahi inbound to Pier 19, Honolulu Harbor. 18 July 2020.

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Video Pilot boat Le Fret

Found on YouTube. Created by "micheljt".

returning to her St.Helier base

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Video Pilot receiving onboard ship, Philippines

Found on YouTube. Created by "Seafaring".

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Article Overview of documents concerning the COVID-19 pandemic by EMPA

published

The European Maritime Pilots' Association (EMPA) has compiled a very good overview of current (and also country-specific) documents concerning the COVID-19 pandemic on its website. This page is updated regularly.

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Video Maritime Pilotage at Tanger Med Port - APL Lion City, 398m

Found on YouTube. Created by "mustapha OULMANE".

Pilotage job at Tanger Med Port. Sailing of APL Lion City from Eurogate Terminal. She is lengthened to 398 m LOA , and increased her capacity to 17,300 TEU.

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