Angling Notes: New RIBs costing €3.3m to be phased in over several years

Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 00:00

Derek Evans

Minister of State Seán Kyne at the wheel of the new RIB with Minister of State Joe McHugh, Donegal mayor Cllr Gerry McMonagle and IFI personnel. Photograph: Brian McDaid

The first of 12 new state-of-the-art rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) for use as fisheries protection vessels around Ireland coastal zone and larger inland lakes, was launched this month by the Minister with responsibility for inland fisheries Seán Kyne.

Following a competitive tendering process, the new model is the Delta 780HX maritime protection RIB, designed and built by UK-based company Delta Power Services of Stockport. There were no applications from Irish vessel-building companies.

An expert team to review the tender applications included fisheries personnel and representatives from the RNLI and the Irish Water Safety Association. The 12 new RIBs will be named in sequence from Delta 1 through to Delta 12.

Trials took place in Southampton in mid-April before delivery for crew familiarisation and training in Crosshaven, Co Cork.

The new RIBs will be crewed by fully trained and warranted fisheries protection officers, who also carry the remit to board suspect vessels as required. Delta 1 will be based in Letterkenny and entered service on June 1st.

At present, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has 23 RIBs, the youngest of which was built in 2006. Also, a number of smaller vessels continue to be utilised for fisheries protection on Ireland’s lakes, rivers and estuaries, including kayaks, jet skis, electro-fishing and research boats.

“The launch of this first vessel marks the Government’s commitment to augmenting IFI’s capabilities for protecting valuable inland fisheries species as they migrate offshore and enhancing protection in larger inland lakes. The new RIBs will be phased in over a number of years, replacing the current ageing fleet, at a total cost of €3.3 million,” the Minister of State said.

Minister of State at the Department of Culture Joe McHugh said: “The new model is a single boat patrol vessel with an average of three crew. It is also a substantially more sophisticated vessel with an overall length of 7.80m, and licensed by the Marine Survey Office to operate to 12 miles. This offers the additional capacity to assist the emergency services, if requested.”

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