The Carlingford Ferry has been attracting lots of attention and the team have been getting many enquiries from people who have seen her on the Lough and moored at several positions on the Greenore Pier.
Pamela Houston, Chief Executive of Frazer Ferries Ltd, who manage the Carlingford Ferry, Pamela Houston said: “We are still hoping to set sail officially in June but it is looking like it could be another couple of weeks. We are quite simply at the mercy of bespoke navigational aids and once they are delivered and installed, we can get underway.
“We are, as you would expect, following due process in terms of the official sequence for final approvals before opening the service for passengers. All the Captains are hugely experienced and already carry the official Certificate of Competency to operate a range of vessels, hence they can be seen putting the Ferry through its paces.
“Unfortunately, not until the navigational aids are in place, can the captains then be tested and certified for the very specific class that is the car ferry, and specifically for operation on Carlingford Lough.
“The delay in equipment cannot be avoided but it is giving the captains and crew additional hours operating the ferry without passengers and getting to better know the tides, currents and perfecting its passage and approaches. They can repeat drills and have even more hours on the Lough than the Marine Survey Office (MSO) and Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) require for final certification.”
Pamela added: “We are also using the unavoidable delay to fine tune civil works at both sites. In the mean time the ferry has moored in a number of positions over the last few weeks, not to interfere with the other vessels. We are extremely grateful to Greenore Port for their assistance while we await the delivery and equally grateful for our customers who have been patient.
“We will keep everyone updated and as soon as the navigation aids arrive and are installed, we can plot the dates for final certification and the maiden voyage.”