Friday, February 01, 2008

Irish Sea Ferry Riverdance Aground Off Blackpool

.
I shall update this story as and when, all updates at the bottom of the page.

Latest update 14 March bottom of page.

Visitors for this story.
I have had hits, and plenty of them, from every corner and obscure part of the globe,
if you live in any unlikely place be it Tibet or Peru or even middle America would you care to leave a comment as why you have an interest in this story, thanks.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First report 01/02/08

I have sailed on this yoke, a friend being first mate on it, but no mention if he was aboard or on shore leave.



Update video.
Salvage crews are looking at how to recover a stricken ferry and trawler that ran aground off the UK coast in severe weather and stormy seas.

Rescuers airlifted 23 passengers and crew from a ferry which was beached by a freak wave off Blackpool's coast.

A Rotterdam-based salvage team is on its way to Blackpool after a huge wave smashed into the Riverdance, the grounded ferry off the Lancashire coast, as it crossed the Irish Sea at about 2000GMT on Thursday night.

But their efforts will be hampered by what coastguards say are winds of up to 70mph.

The freight vessel which had been taking trucks from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland to the port of Heysham in Lancashire began listing at an angle of 60 degrees off the coast.more and video




Update Daily Mail

In the winter sunshine yesterday, it was the calm after the storm.

Locals wandered in wonder round the ferry Riverdance, stranded on a beach in Lancashire, while others walked their dogs as usual or played football as if it didn't exist.

Trucks on the deck can be seen listing at a perilous angle, much of their cargo already spilled, and the onlookers underneath looked as if they might be in danger if anything else were suddenly to shift.

The serenity surrounding the ship belies the chaotic journey it has gone through in the past few days.

It was hit by a freak wave in the Irish Sea on its journey from Northern Ireland to Heysham in Lancashire and tossed about as rescuers plucked passengers and crew members to safety in daring helicopter rescues.

Nine of the 19 crew members were still on board as the full force of the ocean pushed it on to the north shore of Blackpool beach.

One terrified trucker rang his wife from the deck of the stricken ferry and told her: "I am going to die."

The wife of Nigel Bucknall, 54, had to wait for more than an hour and a half before he rang back to say he had been plucked to safety. Mr Bucknall, of Doncaster, said:

"I took my phone out half a dozen times to phone my wife Mary. When I thought there was only ten minutes left, I phoned again to say that I loved her."

Several crewmen even sent "final" text messages to their loved ones because they feared they would not survive.

Salvage workers have been trying to find ways to move the ferry, but admit their operation would be stalled for another 48 hours.

Tony Redding, a spokesman for Seatruck Ferries, said: "The plan is to stabilise the vessel and create a safer working environment.

"It has around a 50-degree list and we will be trying to do something about that. More equipment to help is expected to leave Rotterdam today."

In the meantime, and as long as this calmer weather lasts, the residents of Blackpool have plenty to talk about as they go for a walk on the beach.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm updating this post to try and explain why Riverdance went aground.
Obviously I wasn't aboard that evening but I know the area well and my take on the situation that evening I don't think will be a million miles off how it went down.

Apologies for the poor detail on the chart, it was the only one I could find.
I have overlaid the pertinent information which gives us the setting for that fateful night.

To understand the disaster you first have to understand the area.
It is nasty, narrow, (for big ships) extremely shallow and is almost permanently a lee shore. (onshore wind)

Riverdance would be taking the same course has she had done hundreds of time previous.
She would have made the turn at Lune Bouy/pillar to sail up the deep trench, Lune Deep, heading for her destination the port of Heysham.

Graphic will enlarge.

Although Lune Deep has a depth of some eighty meters the sides are like a canyon and rise near vertically to extremely shoal ground, particularly on the landward side.

In my opinion:
Riverdance would make her turn at Lune Bouy, or at some point South West of the bouy in order to make her approach, coming across both wind and seas and would be getting a fair old roll on and then gets hit by a big sea.

When one of the mooring chains anchoring the trailers to the deck parted it was all over at that moment, all aboard would have been little more than passengers.

The first trailer sets up a domino effect, other trailers parting their moorings, the whole lot shift to starboard (see Photo) with a big list on the vessel becomes unmanageable, the crew can't navigate the foredeck to get the anchor down and given the Westerly wind at sixty knots, the windage on the ship she would have been aground in minutes and steadily bounce her way up the beach.

As I say I wasn't aboard but I have sailed on her and my impression of both officers and crew was that of professionalism, I have no doubt that could she have been saved she would have been. Hope this helps.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Update:
This from the local free paper posted 25/02/08

Poor weather delays re-floating of stranded ferry

Recent severe weather conditions of Gale Force 8 combined with the highest tides of the month have further reduced the stability of the grounded Ro Ro Ferry Riverdance off the coast at Cleveleys, near Blackpool, according to maritime experts.

The vessel is currently listing 85 degrees which has caused cargo lashings to come off allowing trailers to shift within the vessel.

The appointed salvors are currently reevaluating the condition of the vessel and continue to work to improve the stability of the vessel.

Due to the poor weather conditions this weekend and the recent deterioration of the vessel's stability, there are no immediate plans for refloating the Riverdance.

The salvage control unit, chaired by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of States Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP continues to work with the salvors throughout this operation.

Further cargo material has washed out of the vessel during the poor weather and contractors continue to clean up the surrounding beach.

Additional security staff remain in place to cover the low water periods supported by HM Coastguard personnel and vehicles when the vessel presents dangers to onlookers who stray too close to the site.source

H/T John Quirk for the two photo's below.



Update 01/03/08
As expected with time and tide the ship has dug herself a hole and is now on her side, hardly making life easy for any salvage attempts.

Looking at this next series of photo's, shhhh I didn't screen capture them honestly, we can see most of the upper deck cargo has been removed.

I can say one thing without fear of contradiction the ship has taken over from Blackpool tower as the popular local landmark, thousands are visiting the town to rubberneck the vessel.

I live within easy distance of the place but have only seen the boat the one time, and that was in passing, shipwrecks not being compulsive viewing for me, too sad, far too sad.














Press Notice No: Duty 1
Friday, February 22, 2008
Posted 20:48 GMT

RIVERDANCE UPDATE

Recent severe weather conditions of Gale Force 8 combined with the highest tides of the month have further reduced the stability of the grounded Ro Ro Ferry Riverdance on the North Shore at Blackpool.

The vessel is currently listing 85 degrees which has caused cargo lashings to come off allowing trailers to shift within the vessel. The appointed salvors are currently reevaluating the condition of the vessel and continue to work to improve the stability of the vessel.
Due to the poor weather conditions this weekend and the recent deterioration of the vessels stability, there are no immediate plans for refloating the Riverdance. The salvage control unit, chaired by Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of States Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) continues to work with the salvors throughout this operation.
Further cargo material has washed out of the vessel during the poor weather and contractors continue to clean up the surrounding beach.
Additional security staff remain in place to cover the low water periods supported by HM Coastguard personnel and vehicles when the vessel presents dangers to onlookers who stray too close to the site.source

14/03/08

It's not looking very good at present what with her being on her beam ends.

RIVERDANCE is sinking – and so today were hopes of saving her.
The stricken ferry has taken a terrible beating from massive waves whipped up by this week's 85mph hurricane-force winds.

She is now listing at 100 degrees and sinking into the soft sand on the beach at Anchorsholme.

Maritime experts have now abandoned their attempts to right the vessel and are frantically drawing-up alternative plans to get her off the beach. more and good info from the local paper

Riverdance gallery.


I will not be updating this story for reasons mentioned previously, bookmark this page. It is the front page of the local paper and it will keep you informed as good as anything will, just type Riverdance in the search box.

Final Note: Is that a ship, or is it a plank with a block of flats built on it?

4 comments:

The Sailor said...

Nice to see you're back!
The new direction seems like a good fit.

I hope your mate is OK.

saildog said...

Apparently no anchor dropped. What procedures were followed by the crew?

Anonymous said...

i was on bbc.co.uk looking at pictures of the day.. i wanted to know how a huge ship got so far into shore... as an environmental science major it interested me..

Himself said...

Anonymous.
Thanks for taking the trouble to leave your comment.

I have updated the post I am sure you're not the only one who has wondered how the vessel found herself in this situation.