The Marine Institute video shows the key stages in the construction of the new Tom Crean motorhome

The new Irish marine research vessel will be named RV Tom Crean after the famous sailor and explorer from County Kerry who undertook three great groundbreaking expeditions to Antarctica in the early 20th century, which sought to increase scientific knowledge and explore parts of the world unreached at that time.

Irish marine research activities

Due for completion in the summer of 2022, the new state-of-the-art multipurpose marine research vessel will conduct a wide range of marine research activities, including vital fisheries, climate change related research, bottom mapping mariners and oceanography.

The new modern 52.8 meter research vessel, which will replace the 31 meter vessel RV Celtic Voyagerwas commissioned with funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine approved by the Government of Ireland.

According to Aodhán FitzGerald, MI Research Vessel Manager, the RV Tom Crean will feature a knuckle boom crane on the stern ([email protected] 10m, [email protected] 15m), located on the rear portico. This will be widely used for loading scientific equipment and handling nets and equipment offshore.

Rear mounted is a rear 10T A-frame that can articulate 170 degrees and is intended for deployment and retrieval of large science equipment such as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), sleds towed and for fishing operations.

Additionally, the installation of an 8 ton starboard side T-frame to deploy grapples and corers to 4000m, which is the same depth applicable when the vessel is lifting, but is offset by a CTD system consisting of winch and frame during such operations.

The vessel will have the regulation MOB boat on a dedicated davit and the ability to carry a 6.5m rigid inflatable dinghy on the port side.

It is also on the aft deck that the Work class ROV “Holland 1” and the sub-Atlantic ROV “Etain” from the University of Limericks will be positioned. In addition, up to 3 containers of 20′ (TEU) can be transported.

The new construction was designed to withstand increasingly harsh conditions and the grueling weather systems encountered in the North East Atlantic, where deployments of the RV Tom Crean on surveys have lasted up to 21 days.

Additionally, the Tom Crean RV will be able to operate in ultra-quiet mode, which is crucial to meeting the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research purposes.

New Build Classification as named at Lloyds and below is a list of the main abilities and duties to be performed by RV Tom Crean:

  • Oceanographic surveys, incl. CTD water sampling
  • Fisheries research operations
  • Acoustic search operations
  • Environmental research and sampling operation incl. coring
  • ROV and AUV/ASV surveys
  • Buoy/mooring operations