Dáil Éireann - Volume 554 - 09 October, 2002
Written Answers. - Marine Accidents.
Ms O'Sullivan Ms O'Sullivan
126. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the investigation which has been held into the sinking of a dredger, the Clipper Cheyenne, in Foynes Harbour on 3 June 2002; the total cost  of the clean up operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17060/02]
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern)
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern): The maritime safety directorate in my Department is conducting an investigation into the sinking of the MV Clipper Cheyenne. The MV Clipper Cheyenne is a semi-submersible float-in/float-out, heavy-lift/ro-ro dock ship. The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain, as far as is possible, the cause of the sinking of the ship. The ship sank while nearing the completion of the ballasting procedure to flood the ship's float-in/float-out cargo dock to load a dredger for transportation. The investigation is ongoing at present and it is being carried out in co-operation with the Bahamas maritime administration, the flag state for the vessel. The ship has now left Foynes and it is berthed in Cherbourg, France.
The salvage agreement to refloat the MV Clipper Cheyenne and to prevent and clean up any pollution was between the salvors, underwriters and the Protection and Indemnity Club. The operation was commanded by the harbour master of the Shannon Foynes Port Company. The Coast Guard monitored the refloating and the pollution prevention and clean up operations undertaken by the salvors, to ensure that the environment was being safeguarded to the greatest possible extent. It is only if there is a difference of opinion as to the best way of serving the over-riding public interest that the Coast Guard will become more actively involved in salvage operations of this nature.
The cost of the services provided by the Coast Guard, including the provision of pollution response equipment, was almost €138,000 and steps have been taken to recover this sum. The port company and others will be negotiating the recovery of their own costs.
Dáil Éireann 554 Written Answers. Marine Accidents.