Killybegs welcomes first of three sister ships

Atlantic Dawn Group new vessel Leila arriving in Killybegs after its maiden voyage from Turkey. Photos by John Cunningham

THE Atlantic Dawn Group based in Killybegs has welcomed their new 64.65 metre pelagic trawler, ‘Leila’ to the local fishing fleet.
The state-of-the-art vessel is the first of three sister ships that are being constructed at the Cemre shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey, at a cost in excess of €50 million.
The vessels were designed by the Norwegian naval architects Salt Ship Design. This company is owned by the Sandvik family, who has a long standing relationship with the McHugh Family, having designed all of their new fishing vessels as far back as the first ‘Veronica’ in 1987.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Karl McHugh, Atlantic Dawn Group chief executive, said the new vessel spent last Sunday conducting a series of fishing trials off the coast.
“We took delivery of the new vessel last week and all went well for us. We’re now preparing for the new season and new quotas in January,” he said.
The vessel will fish with a crew of nine and will be skippered by Karl’s brother Kevin McHugh, who is also Director of Fishing Operations in the Atlantic Dawn Group. The godmother of the vessel is his daughter, Leila.
“This project has taken over four years from the initial design meetings until the final arrival of the ‘Leila’ to her home port. We are very grateful to all their employees who have worked so hard to make this project a success,” he said.
Mr McHugh also praised the quality and workmanship of local Killybegs companies involved in the project. These include Seaquest Systems, Barry Electronics, MMG welding and Swan Net Gundry.
The Atlantic Dawn Group wanted a truly ‘green’ vessel and the design brief focused on incorporating as many environmentally friendly features as possible.
As a result, the ‘Leila’ will be the first pure pelagic trawler to have a hybrid propulsion system installed. The vessel has a sophisticated electrical integration system that allows for future increases in battery capacity as this technology improves or alternatively the introduction of non fossil fuel energy sources. Additionally, the vessel has installed systems to reduce its NOx exhaust gas emissions by up to 95%.
The vessel has a fully enclosed forward shelter deck and a spacious aft fishing deck designed to provide optimal working conditions and safety for the crew.
The vessel’s interior is also designed and finished to the highest standards. The wheelhouse features a split level aft trawling station with large panoramic windows. The lounge and mess areas are spacious and comfortable. The vessel also has nine ensuite crew cabins for each seafarer who works on board.







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