Friday, May 25, 2012

TT Races Prompt Extra RoRo Freight Ferry Capacity

Isle of Man Short Term Charter for Fortnight
Shipping News Feature

UK – In December we wrote of the problems which the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company suffered when unable to charter a replacement ferry after problems with the MV Ben-my-Chree which normally plies the route to the mainland. Fortunately this month the company has been able to charter a suitable RoRo freight vessel for the island’s busiest period, the TT race fortnight which starts on Monday. The size of the harbour at Douglas means only ships of limited size can manoeuvre within it.

The island’s ferry service, the oldest continually operating passenger shipping company in the world, has managed to short term charter the freighter MV Arrow, which whilst not able to increase the passenger carrying capacity to and from Man, will assist greatly in the passage of the 11,000 motor cycles which invade the island for two weeks of the Summer each year.

The island’s lack of a national speed limit has traditionally proved a magnet for motorcycling aficionados and the new ship, the sister vessel to the Helliar which finally serviced the route during the Ben-my-Chree’s period in dry dock, has been hired from Irish Sea specialist Seatruck Ferries. A statement from Steam Packet Company CEO Mark Woodward said that this was a second chartered vessel and provision for 43,000 extra travellers had already been made during TT fortnight.

Photo: The statue of the immortal Joey Dunlop OBE, MBE overlooking the Bungalow Bend at Snaefell. Winner of three TT hat tricks, the last on the year of his death in 2000 whilst racing in Estonia, Joey won his OBE for his charity work principally helping orphans in Eastern Europe.