Harbour Master is 'doubtful' jumbo cruise ship plans for Dun Laoghaire will work
THE Harbour Master of Dublin Port Company fears captains of the jumbo cruise liners destined for Dun Laoghaire may not feel safe entering the harbour under the current designs.
In a submission to An Bord Pleanala the Dublin Port Company (DPC) outlined concerns about the plans by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) to spend €18m developing a jumbo cruise berth.
The letter to the planning authority notes that the masters of large cruise ships would not have "confidence from a marine safety perspective to use the approach channel and turning circles identified" unless detailed simulations were carried out.
DPC confined its submission solely to the approach channel and turning circle proposed by the Harbour Company.
"Large cruise ships manoeuvring within the proposed turning circle could be vulnerable (due to the effects of wind and tidal current) to being pushed outside the basin onto shallow ground, particularly to the west," the submission read.
The submission also noted that the larger cruise ships might need to steer wider than the 120m in the harbour.
It goes on to say that it is "doubtful" that the proposed approach channel and turning circle are workable for larger ships, though they are suitable for some cruise liners.
Captain David T Dignam, the Harbour Master of Dublin Port, wrote to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company in July.
He said that more simulations needed to be carried out to ensure that large ships mentioned in the plans would be able to enter the cruise berth in varying tidal and wind conditions.
The controversial planning application has been the subject of 17 submissions so far. An Bord Pleanala has said that it expects several more before the closing date on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Dun Laoghaire Coastguard Unit is in favour of the development because it will end the practise of tendering passengers from giant cruise ships to shore.
It will also provide better infrastructure for emergency situations, including improved pier lighting.
The Dun Laoghaire Powerboat School is also in favour of the overhaul, which they say will bring more business.
A number of private residents have lodged objections to the plans, citing fears that it would destroy the harbour.