615 ton boatto visit quay

THE Londonderry public will get an insight into the lives of deep-sea fishermen when the heritage fishing vessel the Jacinta berths at Queen’s Quay, during the Foyle Days maritime festival later this month.

The Foyle Days maritime festival, which takes place on 21 and 22 May, is an annual event that brings the city’s riverfront alive with marine activity and family events in an effort to promote the river and encourage people to get involved in water-based activities.

New to this year’s itinerary is the arrival of the “Jacinta” Heritage fishing vessel, which will berth along Queen’s Quay, close to the Council Offices, and allow the public to come on board and find out about the fishing industry at first hand.

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Lionel Marr, chairman of the Jacinta Heritage Trust said they are very much looking forward to coming to the city. “Jacinta’s crew are looking forward to the visit and welcoming aboard visitors to Fleetwood’s record breaking trawler. As our brochure says you can experience a trip to sea without leaving the quayside.”

The Jacinta is a 615 ton stern trawler which had a crew of 16 and was built in 1972 at Wallsend for trawler owners J Marr and Sons Ltd at Fleetwood. The vessel is 50 metres long, 9.75 metres wide and needs 6 meters of water to float in. it has a 1633 horsepower diesel engine and travels at 11 nautical miles per hour.

In 1975 the vessel set the record for the top results by a Fleetwood wet fish trawler by catching 188 tons on a 19 day trip to Iceland. In 1982 it switched to Marr’s Hull operation and became the top earning British trawler for 1986 - £1.3m. It holds the British record for one voyage when a 21 day trip produced 230 tons which sold for £270,516 in 1991 while in 1994 it was the top earning trawler in Britain with £1.94m.

Mayor Colum Eastwood said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to find out more about the fishing industry and just how tough and dangerous a job it is. While we may see fishing vessels at our neighbouring villages of Greencastle and Killybegs we don’t often get a chance to go on board and see how they operate, so I think this boat will be of great interest to local people wanting to find out about the fishing industry and its unique history,” he commented. Further details on the Jacinta can be found on www.derrycity.gov.uk.