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Displaying items by tag: COVID19

A former boss of a Belfast Harbour based shipping company has come out of retirement and gone back to work to help out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ex-William Reid director Alan Dunlop made the decision to return after four employees decided to self-isolate.

The 67-year-old said: "William Reid battled through the worst imaginable trading circumstances.

For more on this story reports Belfast Telegraph here.

Published in Belfast Lough

RTÉ News reports that Tory Island residents sought the assistance of gardaí and the Irish Coast Guard after a yacht berthed unexpectedly at the Co Donegal island’s pier last night (Friday 27 March).

The yacht’s four crew were spoken to by the local coastguard unit and reminded of the updated measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, which include limiting travel to offshore islands only to residents.

Published in Island News

In a statement to its members, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) confirms that personal use of vessels for leisure purposes is now prohibited under the Government’s added restrictions on movement to combat Covid-19.

“All citizens on the island must now stay at home except in the most limited of circumstances as determined by the governments in both jurisdictions,” said the preservation group for all of Ireland’s working inland waterways navigations.

Following the Taoiseach’s address to the nation last night (Friday 27 March), the IWAI also emphasises that “face-to-face meetings, such as branch meetings, must be postponed” until at least after Easter Sunday.

“Where branch committees wish to continue to perform their duties, this can only be done using technology to manage meetings rather than face-to-face … All planned indoor gatherings must be postponed.

“All outdoor gatherings are banned, therefore all cruises in company, rallies and work parties must be postponed.”

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

Dun Laoghaire Marina has been closed to berth-holders with immediate effect, following the Taoiseach’s announcement last night (Friday 27 March) of more measures restricting movement to slow the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement sent out following Leo Varadkar’s address to the nation, Dun Laoghaire Marina general manager Paal Janson confirmed that the facility is now “shut completely, as directed by the Government, for a period of 14 days” from midnight this morning, Saturday 28 March until Easter Sunday, 12 April.

He added: “There will be no access to berth holders, contractors or any visitors. Fuelling for boats will cease for this period also. The marina will maintain access for necessary state and emergency service vessels, etc.”

In addition, new travel restrictions have been extended to “the arrival of personal non-national maritime leisure vessels is banned (except to exceptions as ‘port in a storm’)”, according to the Government.

Janson continued: “Marina staff come under the category of essential workers and will be present at the marina throughout this period. Your boats will be checked daily and staff will deal with any issues that arise. We will be contactable throughout on [email protected] and 01 2020040.

“We are now about to sail into the worst of this storm and it’s time to heave-to and weather it as best we all can. We respectfully ask that you follow Government guidelines and stay at home.”

Prior to the Taoiseach’s address, the Royal Cork Yacht Club announced the cancellation of Cork Week this July and all planned Cork300 events from now until August, while the Department of Transport issued guidance to the maritime industry on measures in response to the virus.

The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTTAS) has issued transport related measures (incl. Maritime) currently in place in response to Covid-19 which are set out below.

DTTAS added given that this is a rapidly evolving situation this page (click HERE) will be updated as required.

As for the central online Government hub to view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of Covid-19.

Among the guidlines are detailed below concerning the Maritime Transport sector and those associated from hauliers using Irish Ports, their dockers and staff etc. 

Maritime Measures 

Cruise ship travel

All scheduled cruise ship travel has ceased. The National Health and Emergency Planning Team agreed that no cruise ship will be permitted to enter any Irish port or anchor in Irish waters.

Marine Notice No.6 of 2020 COVID-19 (2019nCoV) - Maritime Declarations of Health
This Marine Notice communicates instructions from the Health Service Executive (HSE) on the submission of Maritime Declarations of Health.

Marine Notice No.14 of 2020 Temporary Contingency Planning for Certification of Seafarers - COVID-19

This Marine Notice sets out the temporary measures being put in place in relation to the validity of seafarers’ documents impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: to extend the validity of Irish seafarer certifications (by 6 months) and Irish flagged vessels (by 3 months) which remove administrative issues for those seafarers and vessels requiring renewal over the coming 3 months.

Marine Notice 15 of 2020 Temporary Contingency Planning for the Surveying and Certification of Irish Registered Ships –COVID-19

This Marine Notice sets out temporary contingency measures put in place to extend the validity of ship certificates where a survey cannot be carried out in advance of the expiration of the certificate. This includes provision for intermediate surveys and inspections.

For much more information as alluded above, consult the Gov.ie website HERE In addition the Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Marine (homepage) web here.

Published in Irish Ports

Following the UK Government’s advice in relation to Covid-19, the Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise capacity to continue to deliver business and statutory services to the public.

The public are still encouraged to report illegal angling or pollution concerns through the Waterwatch App or 24-hour response line on +44 2871 342100.

Loughs Agency offices remain closed and customers are strongly encouraged to engage using email ([email protected]) and telephone (+44 2871 342100).

Those wishing to pay bills or undertake other financial transactions with the Loughs Agency are requested to do so online, via telephone or by bank transfer.

Staff will be, if possible, working from home. In these circumstances there may be delays in replying to queries.

The agency adds that it is currently experiencing technical difficulties with its elicence website, and is working to try and fix the issue as quickly as possible.

Regarding the current restrictions announced by the Irish and UK Governments, the cross-border body for fisheries in Carlingford and Foyle reminds that the only permitted activities that have been specified are walking, running and cycling for the purpose of local daily exercise.

“We must all do what is required of us by the Government’s and work together to fight this pandemic. This is about saving lives and supporting our healthcare systems and frontline staff,” it added in a statement.

Published in Angling

Improper disposal of wet wipes could cause the coronavirus to spread via Ireland’s recreational waters, it’s being claimed.

The Green News reports on Coastwatch Ireland’s warning over the use of wet wipes, which are linked to around 90% of wastewater overflows as households flush them instead of binning them.

With a much larger volume of such wipes being used, both in the bathroom and to keep surfaces clean in homes amid the Covid-19 outbreak, there are fears that treatment plants and septic tanks could be pushed past their limits and spread the virus.

The Green News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Outdoor enthusiasts have been urged to “stay local” this weekend to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Two mountaineering organisations have urged people to refrain from heading to the uplands this weekend and ensure their one daily walk is “low” and “local”.

This follows tighter Covid-19 response restrictions announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on March 24th, urging people to stay at home for all but essential trips.

Last week, the Irish Sailing Association advised that all organised sailing events should be cancelled, noting that social distancing was “ not only difficult to achieve onshore from an organisers’ perspective but also difficult to achieve at a personal level on the water”.

The Wicklow Uplands Council has said “anxious upland communities” are “appealing directly to would-be visitors” to “please stay at home and avail of recreational amenities within their own locality”.

“Each visitor brings with them an increased chance of the virus spreading to the area. Each rest stop, each hand that touches a metal gate or stile, each person that engages another, potentially brings that daunting reality one step closer,” the council says.

Mountaineering Ireland, the umbrella body for walking and climbing groups, has also appealed to people to avoid travelling for their exercise and to stay at home and away from upland walking and climbing routes.

“By doing this, we will all play our part in fighting against this national and global emergency, and hopefully support the work of the health services,” Mountaineering Ireland chief executive officer Murrough McDonagh has said.

Earlier this week, Kerry Mountain Rescue had asked people to forego their enjoyment of the uplands and warned of restrictions on rescue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wicklow Uplands Council said that during the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak, Irish people “understood the challenges and heeded the call to avoid the hills”

“Since measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19/Coronavirus were first announced, and with schools, educational centres and many businesses now closed, the uplands have seen unprecedented numbers of visitors arrive on a daily basis,” it said.

Both organisations and the Leave No Trace network had issued guidelines on physical distancing, appropriate parking, litter disposal and dog control, but upland areas reached what the council describes as “breaking point” last weekend.

Wicklow County Council, the Office of Public Works and the National Parks and Wildlife Service decided to close all car parks and facilities in the Glendalough valley until further notice, while shops in the village of Laragh also closed due to the volumes of people visiting.

Shortly afterwards, An Garda Síochána closed sections of the Sally Gap road near Luggala estate for a number of hours.

Wicklow Uplands Council co-ordinator Brian Dunne urged people to act responsibly and stay at home.

“Travelling to the uplands for recreational and pleasure activities is considered unnecessary and irresponsible. It is contrary to government measures and exposes local communities to the risk of spreading the virus,” he said.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Temporary measures are being put in place in relation to the validity of both seafarers’ documents and the survey and certification of Irish-registered ships impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marine Notice No 14 of 2020 outlines measures and procedures to provide for a temporary extension to the valid of seafarer certificates in order to minimise as much as possible the impact of Covid-19 on the maritime and shipping sectors.

Meanwhile, Marine Notice No 15 of 2020 sets out temporary provisions for survey and certification of Irish ships, including a three-month extension on the validity of certificates where surveys are not possible due to personnel and travel restrictions.

Both Marine Notices are available to download below.

Published in Ports & Shipping

A Dun Laoghaire senator has suggested that the currently vacant ferry terminal at the south Dublin harbour be employed as a Covid-19 testing centre.

In a letter to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council chief executive Philomena Poole, as seen by Afloat.ie, Senator Victor Boyhan says the St Michael’s Pier terminal building “would be ideal as a drive-in Covid-19 testing and support centre”.

He outlines a number of reasons for this, which include “its proximity to population along the east coast, its size, facilities and car capacity, and that it is disconnected from the principal residential quarter of the town”.

He continues: “Planning permission would not be an issue, given the emergency powers in place to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary nature of the use.

“The harbour terminal buildings extend to about 7,000 sq m (75,000 sq ft) with large, open-plan internal spaces and a wide range of facilities on the site.

“The property has 95 car-parking spaces for occupiers and visitors along with additional roll-on-roll-off car standing facilities that were put in place for the car-ferry service.

“Public transport including the Dart and a number of Dublin Bus routes are within a two-minute walk of the complex, so the site is very accessible to the general public – an important consideration.

“In simple terms, the site is ideal as an emergency Covid-19 testing and support centre.”

Senator Boyhan adds that he had contacted HSE bosses and Health Minister Simon Harris suggesting they explore the suitability of the site with DLRCoCo.

Published in Dublin Bay
Page 10 of 14

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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