Gold Ribbon Banner
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Justin Merrigan and Andrew Douglas

Donald Gelling, former Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, described him as a caring man, a dedicated and safe pair of hands, a man you could rely on. How right he is.

When Andrew Douglas “Crossed the Bar” Sea Breezes lost a proud and dedicated editor and its regular contributors a very real and true friend.

I first heard the name Andrew Douglas in 1996 while on the bridge of Stena Line’s Stena Traveller on passage to Holyhead. I took a mobile call informing me that a new editor for Sea Breezes had been appointed by the magazine’s new owners following the death of predecessor Harry Milsom. Finishing the call, I related the news to the ship’s Mate/Master, Tony Lavis-Jones, who exclaimed “Oh that’s great news – a good choice!” I would later discover such reactions were not uncommon whenever his name was mentioned – he was known the length and breadth of the Irish Sea and beyond.

It was April 1997 before I would meet my new editor and his lovely wife, Doreen. How proud and excited he was – proud that he had been entrusted care of this most respected of shipping publications and its associated library; excited by the possibilities before him – to chart a safe passage for Sea Breezes into the 21st century.

And he did just that.

It could be argued that Sea Breezes might very well have ceased to exist in 1996, but under Andrew’s command the title was brought through tricky waters, not least of all the move to A4 format and full colour; risking the wrath of the traditionalists, loyal to the magazine through several decades!

That Sea Breezes is alive and well today, including his stewardship of the most recent change of ownership, is his lasting testimony. How fitting that he has passed the baton of care to his close friend and indeed former colleague, Capt Hamish Ross, now the magazine’s publisher.

And colleagues they were; while Hamish was Sealink’s Shipping & Port Manager at Stranraer during the late 1970’s, Andrew was Marine Superintendent with Manx Line, the fledgling yet groundbreaking new operator between Douglas and Heysham, later becoming the company’s General Manager in the Isle of Man under Sealink ownership.

It is perhaps for his time with Sealink/Manx Line that Andrew is well known in the ferry industry. A Conway man, he went on to serve with the Isle of Man Steam Packet, later becoming Chief Officer and it was as such in August 1974 that he sailed on the old Mona’s Isle under his friend, Capt Jack Ronan, on what was then the final Steam Packet sailing from Heysham to Douglas. Within a few years Andrew would be back at Heysham in a very real way!

How I loved his tales from those challenging years with the Manx Viking. How I laughed when he related the escape of his ship from the strikebound dockyard at Leith, whose town he had threatened to lay waste to, just as his ancestors of the “Black Douglas’ clan had done centuries before!

That was Andrew. No matter what the situation, his uncanny ability to add humour to the occasion always helped things along.

But to those outside our industry, he was so much more. A family man through and through. A man who loved his church. A tireless youth worker. An author of several books on his beloved Isle of Man. And of course public service – how tirelessly he gave of his time as a member of the world’s oldest parliament.

To me personally, he was so much more than my editor. He was my friend and indeed I am so happy to include him as one of those people in my immediate circle I call mentor. Instrumental in my move from Stena Line to Dublin Maritime where I was to handle the Isle of Man Steam Packet’s affairs in Dublin Port, I can thank him for ramping up my ferry industry career.

I will miss him.

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Celebrity Solstice

Most Popular

  • Garbage Patch Cleanup Hits Problem +

  • Crew Evacuated in North Atlantic Fire +

  • LR And UMAS Release ZEV Pathways Study +

  • MV Iron Pacific and her Volcano Encounter +

  • Major Recovery After 281 Containers Lost +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Investment is Paying Off at Five South Wales Ports +

    Port of Swansea Last year, there was an increase in the trade of several commodities as a result of investment in infrastructure and Read More
  • Major Recovery After 281 Containers Lost +

    MSC Zoe A total of 281 containers fell overboard from the large container ship MSC Zoe, 192,237gt, in bad weather off the Read More
  • Data Plan of Port Call +

    Port of Rotterdam The Port of Rotterdam are investing in an application that allows standardised data about a visiting ship call to be Read More
  • Crew Evacuated in North Atlantic Fire +

    Yantian Express The crew of the German container ship Yantian Express, 88,493gt, had to be evacuated after the ship caught fire in Read More
  • RNLI Help Save Historic Boat from Sinking +

    Cervia The Ramsgate harbourmaster Rob Brown had to call the Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboat Station for help to prevent the historic tug Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Special Service Marks 160 Years of Lighthouse +

    Pensacola Lighthouse The 160th anniversary of one of northwest Florida’s best known landmarks was marked with a special ceremony on Jan 11 Read More
  • Cranes Boost at Port +

    Port of Virginia Four new ship-to-shore cranes arrived at the Port of Virginia on Jan 7, the latest development in the port’s $20mn Read More
  • Garbage Patch Cleanup Hits Problem +

    Maersk Transporter The cleanup system being used to recover plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch halfway between Hawaii and California was Read More
  • Switching On at Vancouver Terminal +

    Vancouver Power Large ships berthed at Vancouver, Canada, can now switch off their diesel engines and connect to an electrical grid ashore Read More
  • First of Four New Ships for Hawaii Service +

    Daniel K Inouye The first of four new ships for the US container line Matson Inc arrived at Hawaii on her maiden voyage Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • COSCO Acquires Stake in Major Chinese Gateway +

    Beibu Gulf Port The Chinese port operator COSCO Shipping Ports has acquired a 4.34 per cent interest in the country’s Beibu Gulf Port Read More
  • 330 Ships to be Deployed in Group +

    CMA CGM Bougainville The container grouping Ocean Alliance is due to start a new service next month which will deploy 330 ships. Read More
  • Delight at Naming Ceremony of LNG Carrier +

    Shinshu Maru There was an impressive line-up of guests at the naming of the new liquefied natural gas carrier Shinshu Maru at Read More
  • "Intelligent Bulk Carrier" Enters Service +

    Pacific Vision What is claimed to be the world’s first ‘intelligent very large ore carrier’ has been delivered to the China Merchants Read More
  • Port Expansion Given the Federal Go-Ahead +

    Port of Cairns The Australian Federal Government has given the final environmental approval to the Cairns Shipping Development Project which aims to attract Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • Brazil to Take Over HMS Clyde +

    HMS Clyde British News It has been announced by the Brazilian Government in early December that the Falklands Patrol ship HMS Clyde Read More
  • Navy And NASA Complete Recovery Test +

    USS Anchorage American News In what might be seen as a return to the heady days of NASA’s Apollo moon program, the Read More
  • F-35s Touch Down on HMS Queen Elizabeth +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News Many people never thought they’d see it happen, but F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters have finally flown Read More
  • Sea Trials Recall for Zumwalt-Class Destroyer +

    USS Michael Monsoor American News The Zumult class destroyer USS Michael Monsoor was in dockyard hands at Bath in Maine for the removal Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Scottish Ship Shuffling +

    Caledonian Isles To Scotland now, and Calmac continue their shuffling of ships between routes, this time Arran’s mainstay Caledonian Iles having rudder Read More
  • Welsh Port Activity +

    Stena Superfast X I arrived in Holyhead late at night with no preplanning. There were no ferries in sight and the port was Read More
  • Ferguson's Woes +

    Glen Sannox It is depressing to follow the sad story of ferry building in the UK, especially involving Ferguson at Port Glasgow Read More
  • Irish Moves to Beat Brexit +

    WB Yeats The major new vessel for Irish Ferries, delayed at the Flensburg builders, is at Dublin and very impressive she looks Read More
  • Appledore's Legacy +

    Clansman The impending closure of the Appledore Yard is another loss of merchant ship-building capacity even though its bread and butter, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Sussex Sterns +

    Edward and Mary and Valiant In the Victorian era, there were many coastal places where craft worked off open beaches. Read More
  • Sail Trade Revival +

    Recouvrance and Cancalaise The revival of interest in Breton traditional craft started in Douarnenez, North Eastern France and this is also the headquarters Read More
  • Barrow History +

    Hanna Ayress I recently discovered the archive of Barrow ship movements dating from my formative years of the fifties and sixties when Read More
  • Gravesend Tankers +

    Forth Fisher On a recent visit to Gravesend just before Christmas, I witnessed a parade of tankers of various shapes and sizes. Read More
  • All Change at Sea-Change +

    Cambria Since she was rebuilt in 2011, the mulie barge Cambria has been based in Kent, but in September, after her Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Damen Awarded Contract for Diving Bell Ship +

    Carl Straat I was interested to learn that WSA Koblenz (WasserSchiffahrtsAmbt) has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to build a new Read More
  • LR And UMAS Release ZEV Pathways Study +

    ZEV Transition Pathways Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have released ‘Zero-Emission Vessels Transition Pathways’. Read More
  • Madden Marine Charts 2019 Business Success +

    Madden Marine I was pleased to hear that Madden Marine, one of Northern Ireland’s leading specialist ship refit companies, has just completed Read More
  • Griffon Hoverwork Launch Latest Model +

    995ED The world's leading hovercraft builder Southampton, UK-based Griffon Hoverwork staged the official global launch of its new 995ED model, at Read More
  • Cammell Laird Shortlisted for Fleet Support Contract +

    Cammell Laird Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird says it is delighted to have been shortlisted, as part of a syndicate of British firms, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Reconstruction of “Danah Voyager” +

    Danah Voyager Reconstruction of redundant offshore oil industry tonnage turning them into luxury superyachts is not a new phenomena, but recent photographs Read More
  • Vitruvius N°5 is Launched +

    Najiba The fifth in the line of Vitruvius motor yachts designed by London based Philippe Briand, has been launched by Feadship Read More
  • "Splicing the Mainbrace" +

    Drink! It appears that the phrase ‘One for the road’ needs an update, particularly where travelling on the ocean wave is Read More
  • Balmoral Voyage Report +

    Balmoral Most readers will be aware of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and many, in fact, would have travelled on one of Read More
  • New Turquoise Yachts 77m Unveiled +

    Project Quantum Turquoise Yachts, the Turkish based shipyard under the same ownership as the Dutch Oceanco shipyard, has commissioned Ken Freivokh Design Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Braemar

Fred Olsen's "Braemar"

In September 2018, the Fred. Olsen family of Oslo celebrated 170 years of shipowning. The schedules of the members of Read More
Iron Pacific

MV Iron Pacific and her Volcano Encounter

The bulk carrier MV Iron Pacific was the biggest ship registered to an Australian company at the time of this Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

The Royal Charter

The Great Gale of 1894

First published in the January 1984 issue of Sea Breezes, this article describes the few days before Christmas 1894 which Read More
The Lutine

Is There Any Treasure Left in The Lutine?

Just mention the word “Terschelling” to any lover of stories involving sunken gold and silver, and the name Lutine will Read More
  • 1
  • 2