Wednesday, 9 July 2008

New Rathlin Ferry Operator 6

The Rathlin Development and Community Association (RDCA) seems to have every confidence in the tendering process and the new operator. Time will tell whether or not such confidence is justified.

The RDCA was involved throughout the long and often complex tendering process. We have no criticisms whatsoever to raise with regard to the manner with which the tender was handled or with the outcome of the tendering process.

We are confident that the new ferry service, as operated by Rathlin Island Ferry Limited, will meet all of its contractual obligations.

Troubled waters: Rathlin and Cape Clear Ferries

Photos, documents and what the papers say.

Some pages from Rathlin Ferry Tender 2, January 2008

Adds July 13

Information about this mysterious affair continues to flow in from different parts of these two islands. I'm hearing that the MV Ossian of Staffa was only to be here for about two weeks and that it's replacement is experiencing engine problems in Donegal. Perhaps one of our regular readers can provide clarification.

Photographs show that the promised 20 minute passenger only ferry crossing took 30 minutes, or longer. Also, the 10 minute turn around time doesn't look realistic. How long would it take to, say, disembark passengers and then to embark new passengers and put them through a safety management routine?

Adds July 18

Is the St Sorney to be the replacement vessel? I understand it was owned recently by John Joe Fitzpatrick and that it has now been withdrawn from the Simon Thomas Yacht Sales (STYS) website. Is this the same vessel that is certificated on the Dublin Marine Survey Office to carry up to 12 passengers? It was described on the STYS website as a 35 passenger craft. Presumably the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will resolve the matter before it can go into service.

LOCHIN 40 PASS. CARRIER 35px Passenger Vessel (1999)
The well known Lochin Marine hull was built by Lochin Marine International and supplied to Ryan & Roberts, Ireland, for fit-out to the necessary specification.

My sources tell me that the St Sorney left Rossaveal in Co Galway about a week ago and was subsequently undergoing engine repairs in Burtonport, Co Donegal.

A report from Cape Clear claims that O'Driscoll's ferry there was also experiencing problems a few days ago:

Naomh CiarĂ¡n 11 broke down again today at lunch time, gearbox problems