The Irish Naval Ship L.É. CIARA paid a surprise visit to the harbour town yesterday, Tuesday 12th March 2013, as part of its navigation exercises off the mouth of Youghal Harbour and on the river Blackwater. The Officer Commanding L.É. CIARA is Lt Cdr Brian Sweeney with a crew of 40 approx. Locals and tourists were surprised to see the ship from the vantage points along the Quayside and no other than the proud parents of Chief Petty Officer Michael ( Rocky) Cashell from Youghal who was at the wheel of the LÉ Ciara as she steamed up the river Blackwater. Click on the video below to see the L.É. CIARA during her brief visit.
The ship’s principal armament is a 76mm (3 inch) OTO Melara Gun Compact. This has a 20-kilometre (12 mi) range and can fire 85 rounds per minute. It can be used in both anti-aircraft and anti-ship roles. It holds an 80 round magazine that can easily be reloaded by a two man team. There are also two single 20mm Rh202 Rheinmetall cannons and four single 7.62mm machine guns.
She is equipped with surveillance equipment and a fishery protection information system which is regularly updated via a satellite link to the Irish Naval Service base at Haulbowline Island, Cobh.
The Ciara has a cruising speed of 46.3 km/h (25 knots) and a sprint speed of 55.6 km/h (30 knots). The crewmen have given the vessel the nickname Road Runner and the cartoon mascot is displayed on the funnel. The nickname was chosen to signify that the Ciara is the fastest ship in the Irish Navy.
Name: LÉ Ciara (P42)
Commissioned: 16 January 1989
Homeport: Haulbowline Naval Base
Nickname: Road Runner
Status: In active service
Displacement: 712 tonnes full load
Length: 62.6 m (205 ft)
Beam: 10 m (33 ft)
Draught: 2.72 m (8 ft 11 in)
Propulsion: 2 diesels, 2 shafts, 10,600 kW (14,188 bhp)
Speed: 46.3 km/h (25.0 kn), cruising
55.6 km/h (30.0 kn), sprint
Complement: 39 (6 Officers and 33 ratings)
Armament: 1x76mm OTO Melara Cannon
2 x Rh202 Rheinmetall 20mm
Armour: Belted Steel