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  1. #1
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    Irish trawler 'given order to move on' by Royal Navy frigate

    The Department of Foreign Affairs has launched an investigation following a confrontation between a Royal Navy warship and an Irish-registered trawler off the Donegal coast.

    An Air Corps maritime patrol aircraft was dispatched and two Irish naval ships placed on standby after the skipper of the Killybegs-based fishing vessel, the Marliona, reported that a UK frigate ordered him to leave the area where he was fishing 60 miles off the Irish coast.

    It is understood that HMS Lancaster hailed the fishing vessel on Tuesday morning, informing the skipper they were commencing a joint operation with a submarine which would continue over the next three days.

    A probe was launched after the incident was reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces. A maritime aircraft was sent to monitor the area where the UK warship was operating and two Irish naval vessels were redeployed to "show the flag".

    Breach

    The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) told the Irish Independent the incident was "not a fisheries matter" and redirected queries to the Navy. A Defence Forces spokesperson said they could not comment on "ongoing maritime defence and security operations".

    The Marliona has since resumed fishing in the area which is west off Tory Island.

    The incident, described last night as a "breach of Irish sovereignty", was reported to the authorities by the Killybegs Fisheries Organisation (KFO) which represents the trawler.

    "I was alerted immediately they had no right whatsoever to do this," said Sean O'Donoghue, chief executive of the KFO. "I reported it to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence but I haven't heard what happened yet.

    "I have been involved in the fishing industry for 40 years and have never seen this happen before. For the UK vessel to radio a trawler and tell him to get out of the area is totally unacceptable.

    "This is a sovereignty issue, this is a breach of Irish sovereignty," he added.


    https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-39396055.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
    The Department of Foreign Affairs has launched an investigation following a confrontation between a Royal Navy warship and an Irish-registered trawler off the Donegal coast.

    An Air Corps maritime patrol aircraft was dispatched and two Irish naval ships placed on standby after the skipper of the Killybegs-based fishing vessel, the Marliona, reported that a UK frigate ordered him to leave the area where he was fishing 60 miles off the Irish coast.

    It is understood that HMS Lancaster hailed the fishing vessel on Tuesday morning, informing the skipper they were commencing a joint operation with a submarine which would continue over the next three days.

    A probe was launched after the incident was reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces. A maritime aircraft was sent to monitor the area where the UK warship was operating and two Irish naval vessels were redeployed to "show the flag".

    Breach

    The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) told the Irish Independent the incident was "not a fisheries matter" and redirected queries to the Navy. A Defence Forces spokesperson said they could not comment on "ongoing maritime defence and security operations".

    The Marliona has since resumed fishing in the area which is west off Tory Island.

    The incident, described last night as a "breach of Irish sovereignty", was reported to the authorities by the Killybegs Fisheries Organisation (KFO) which represents the trawler.

    "I was alerted immediately they had no right whatsoever to do this," said Sean O'Donoghue, chief executive of the KFO. "I reported it to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence but I haven't heard what happened yet.

    "I have been involved in the fishing industry for 40 years and have never seen this happen before. For the UK vessel to radio a trawler and tell him to get out of the area is totally unacceptable.

    "This is a sovereignty issue, this is a breach of Irish sovereignty," he added.


    https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-39396055.html
    The UN Law of the Sea allows for Innocent Passage of surface warships but precludes launching aircraft in military role, it also allows for innocent transit of submarines and aircraft, in the former case the submarine should transit on the surface. In all cases they should not impede commercial undertakings in the economic zone including fishing. Did the RN ship just tell them as a matter of courtesy and safety OR did they say stop fishing and leave the area?
    Last edited by ancientmariner; 25th July 2020 at 13:00.

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    This is an interesting development, it would be good to know more on the actual position of the incident. There is a submarine exercise are north of Donegal, the Malin Sea Exercise Area, it starts at the 12nm limit, so does cross into our EEZ but not territorial waters.

    However standing orders for the guard ships is only to inform fishing vessels that an exercise is taking place and that a submarine is operating in the area. They do not include requesting a vessel to leave an area, that is reserved for range areas only of which the Malin Sea is not one. So we could have here a RN ship in international waters ordering an Irish vessel to leave, I am not aware of any legal authority which that could happen.

    And why has it taken so long for the press to get hold of this?
    If it had been a British vessel and an Irish naval vessel had done the same it would have been front page news on the Sun the next morning.

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    The bigger question here is if they were monitoring a Russian sub, would we expect them not to warn the trawler and turn for home once they entered the EEZ?
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    Even if they were after a Russian sub, all they could do was inform, it still would not allow them to order the Marliona to leave the area.

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    There has to be more to this.

    Where exactly where did it occur ?
    Was it a warning not to trawl in area due to submarine activity for safety reasons?
    Was it is U.K. territorial waters (I assume not)?
    Were they fishing in U.K. Waters?

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    The VMS in Haulbowline know exactly where the Trawler was at all times if she was fishing. It was outside the 12 mile limit but safely within the EEZ, as reported. Still well within our AO though, and not someplace a foreign navy has any right to demand another vessel to depart from, regardless of flag.
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    I have overlaid the RN Submarine Exercise Area with the Irish EEZ limit in the area north of Malin Head.
    It is clear that a fishing vessel can be in both at the same time.

    EEZ Overlay.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    I have overlaid the RN Submarine Exercise Area with the Irish EEZ limit in the area north of Malin Head.
    It is clear that a fishing vessel can be in both at the same time.

    EEZ Overlay.jpg
    Leaving aside the incident in area V1( a) of the EEZ , it is an accident of historic circumstances that the RN Submarine exercise area remains in what is EEZ waters. The matter will be further complicated when the British leave the EU unless it is solved at EU level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Leaving aside the incident in area V1( a) of the EEZ , it is an accident of historic circumstances that the RN Submarine exercise area remains in what is EEZ waters. The matter will be further complicated when the British leave the EU unless it is solved at EU level.
    I don’t think (Military) submarine activity can Really called as “economic” activity

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    I don’t think (Military) submarine activity can Really called as “economic” activity
    The issue would be the hindering of an Irish vessel undertaking lawful economic activity within the Irish/EU EEZ.

    A quick glance to the west shows massive areas designated for military exercises, naturally in international waters but within our EEZ. Most of these exercise areas are historical but and as long as any non-Irish military activity does not hinder economic activity this should be fine. But it cannot be that a foreign navy can dictate when and where EU fishing vessels can operate within EU EEZ waters.

    Hopefully this incident will be soon clear-up and that it will not occur again.

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  21. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    The bigger question here is if they were monitoring a Russian sub, would we expect them not to warn the trawler and turn for home once they entered the EEZ?
    It seems the Russian send a tug with each sub just in case it needs a tow!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutto.../#3e7af0d05abe
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutto.../#309d7f5e64bb

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    I have overlaid the RN Submarine Exercise Area with the Irish EEZ limit in the area north of Malin Head.
    It is clear that a fishing vessel can be in both at the same time.

    EEZ Overlay.jpg
    That's clearly not "west of Tory Island".
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  23. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    It seems the Russian send a tug with each sub just in case it needs a tow!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutto.../#3e7af0d05abe
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutto.../#309d7f5e64bb
    Indeed. A "tug".



    Latest tugboat to enter service with Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on February 21
    The new tugs have a lifting capacity of 200 tonnes and an operating range of 300 nautical miles

    "On February 21, 2020 (Friday), a ceremony is due to take place to hoist the St. Andrew’s [Russian naval] flag and include the latest tug Sergei Balk in the structure of support vessels of the Black Sea Fleet’s auxiliary fleet," the press office said in a statement.

    The tug Sergei Balk built for the Black Sea Fleet is the Project 23470 lead ship, the press office specified.

    Project 23470 ships are designed to tow vessels in ice-covered and ice-free waters, assist them within port areas and in mooring, provide escort operations at sea, extinguish fires on floating platforms and at coastal facilities and fuel burning on the water surface, and also to refloat ships and vessels.

    The new tugs have a lifting capacity of 200 tonnes and an operating range of 300 nautical miles and their sea endurance is 30 days.
    https://tass.com/defense/1121867
    Last edited by na grohmiti; 25th July 2020 at 18:37.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    This is an interesting development, it would be good to know more on the actual position of the incident. There is a submarine exercise are north of Donegal, the Malin Sea Exercise Area, it starts at the 12nm limit, so does cross into our EEZ but not territorial waters.

    However standing orders for the guard ships is only to inform fishing vessels that an exercise is taking place and that a submarine is operating in the area. They do not include requesting a vessel to leave an area, that is reserved for range areas only of which the Malin Sea is not one. So we could have here a RN ship in international waters ordering an Irish vessel to leave, I am not aware of any legal authority which that could happen.

    And why has it taken so long for the press to get hold of this?
    If it had been a British vessel and an Irish naval vessel had done the same it would have been front page news on the Sun the next morning.
    Or the skipper is being a bit "political" with what was communicated to him.

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Something not right about the Sergey Balk info. She left her home port 1/07/2020, then was in Gibraltar area , and is currently 25/07/2020 in the North Sea. She sailed from Crimea area, down the Mediterranean and up to the North Sea, that's over 4000nm at a guess,haven't checked it, but her range is more than 300 miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Something not right about the Sergey Balk info. She left her home port 1/07/2020, then was in Gibraltar area , and is currently 25/07/2020 in the North Sea. She sailed from Crimea area, down the Mediterranean and up to the North Sea, that's over 4000nm at a guess,haven't checked it, but her range is more than 300 miles.
    They got zero wrong, it is 3000nm.

    http://russianships.info/eng/support/project_23470.htm

  28. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    That's better! It is realistically a bit more. My old navigators note book puts Amsterdam to Port Said ( Suez Canal entrance) at 3368nm berth to berth. Crimea is a bit further. However the class of tug is a big beast. Thanks for research.

  29. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    It's unusual for TASS to get things wrong.....
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    I do like the outrage of the head honcho of the KFO. Some of the old Irish Navy hands might remember some of the antics generated by some of the operators from Killybegs and the current spate of illegal drift netting going up around them parts.

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  32. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    I do like the outrage of the head honcho of the KFO. Some of the old Irish Navy hands might remember some of the antics generated by some of the operators from Killybegs and the current spate of illegal drift netting going up around them parts.
    Possibly the most corrupt trade in Ireland, employing actual slaves, taking pointless risks and forever the poor mouth, while continuing to strip mine the very thing that give them a livelihood. Any form of enforcement is considered "harassment".
    The Shower in the south east are just as bad and should have been flying the skull and crossbones long ago.
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    Maybe the RN should have a look at their training areas, as its not just the fishing industry that have to look out for their subs!

    https://assets.publishing.service.go...NSubmarine.pdf
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    If the discussion about monitoring and intercepting foreign military flights in the Irish airspace is taking place, should their not be a similar discussion about submarines?
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  39. #25
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    The latter document does not include all the RN exercise areas only those in British territorial waters.

    Have a look at the Admiralty Charts 2723 & 2725. They show that almost all the water off our north and west coast have submarine & firing practice areas.
    AC2723 even shown one of the area limits crossing into Irish territorial waters let alone our EEZ. Not that we can check what goes on under the surface!

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