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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Saturday’s Lift-in of yachts and boats at the Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is an important milestone in the opening of the 2021 sailing season on Dublin Bay.

Despite the continuing lack of clarity surrounding the easing of lockdown measures, sailing is heading into its second season of adapting and coping with Covid 19.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April.

They plan to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population is vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

After the weekend lift-in, the summer sailing season is to commence on Dublin Bay with ISORA Golden Jubilee coastal racing sometime after April 26th and for DBSC to start its summer season sometime in Mid-May depending on Govt restrictions.

Read more here from WM Nixon on why Sailing in Ireland Looks to April 20th for Some Real Clarity

Published in RStGYC

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer in difficulty yesterday (Tuesday 30 March) who could not get back to shore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard that a swimmer was believed to be in difficulty and finding it hard to get back to shore.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately by a crew of three at 3.21 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.26 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were described as having an easterly breeze causing a moderate sea state with a slight swell, visibility at the time was good.

On arrival the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted and holding on to rocks about 50 metres southeast of Forty Foot. After quickly assessing the situation, the crew came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was very cold from the long exposure to the cold sea temperature but otherwise in good health. The lifeboat transferred the person to land in Sandycove Harbour with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard unit and into the care of an awaiting National Ambulance service crew for a secondary medical assessment.

Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat CoxswainMark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain

Speaking following the call-out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy that the outcome of this call-out was a positive one as things in situations like that can change very fast for the worst. We are glad the person involved was brought back to shore safely and in good health'

'I would like to ask everyone planning on entering the water to check the weather and sea conditions at the time and to never underestimate the sea. The sun may be shining and air temperatures rising but the Irish sea temperature in our area is just above 7 degrees at this time of year. Please be aware that cold water shock is always a risk for people in Irish waters even as we come into the summer'

One of the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat stations has urged the public to be water safety aware as they anticipate the increased demand for their services to continue. Lifeboat crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI have seen their launch requests significantly increase over the last twelve months as a number of factors have worked to raise demand on local lifeboat volunteers. The station, which operates two lifeboats out of the Dublin harbour has urged the public to be aware of the common causes for lifeboat callouts and to make sure they have the proper water safety advice to stay safe on or near the water.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat crew responded to launch requests more than 100 times in 2020, an increase of over a hundred per cent on 2019 and brought 101 people to safety. The increase is attributed in part to Covid related changes in peoples use of the sea and the surge in Stay-cations.

The introduction of the new cycle path and changes to local traffic systems under the Coastal Mobility Intervention have also impacted on volunteer crews’ response times. Lifeboat crews are paged by the Coast Guard and must make their way to the station through the busy town of Dun Laoghaire to launch the lifeboats and answer the call for help. Crew can have limited information before they launch and treat every callout as an emergency. The public can help by being water safety aware.

Common causes for Dun Laoghaire’s lifeboat launches in 2020 were to swimmers in trouble, people cut off by the tide on Sandymount and boaters in difficulty. The Station hopes that if people are aware of the issues and what to do if they get into trouble before they engage in their chosen activity, then lives will be saved.

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations ManagerStephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Photo: via Twitter

If going on a coastal walk check the tide times and always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you see someone in trouble on or near the water. For boaters always carry a means of calling for help and wear a lifejacket.

Advice for sea swimmers

  • Always check the weather forecast and tides.
  • Never swim alone and if possible, have somebody ashore who is familiar with your plans and can observe your progress.
  • Only swim in sheltered areas and swim parallel to the shore.
  • Be visible. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap or use a tow float to increase your visibility in the water.
  • Acclimatise to cold water slowly to reduce the risk of cold-water shock.
  • If in doubt, don’t go out!

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added, ‘There are always challenges for lifeboat crews when responding to emergencies and our lifeboat crew have been meeting those challenges for almost two centuries. Covid has certainly seen an increase in numbers of people visiting the coast and taking up new interests including water sports. Our lifeboat volunteers have also had to deal with the effects of a new traffic scheme in the area to facilitate the works carried out under the Coastal Mobility Intervention which has added time to their journey to the station, particularly at busy times during the day.’

‘We would like to remind the public of simple and effective safety advice which could save their life. Our lifeboat crews will always respond to calls for help but as we know, seconds count in a search and rescue scenario. We are extremely grateful to the general public for their continued support and we hope the busy summer months ahead will be safe and enjoyable for water users.’

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both lifeboats this weekend to assist seven people in two separate incidents

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Sunday 21 March) following a request from the Irish coast guard at 4.10 pm, to assist five people on board a motorboat that had reported engine failure and was adrift close to the shore in Killiney Bay

The lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Adam O’Sullivan with five crew members on board and made its way to the scene on arrival at 4:35 pm the crew could see the vessel was drifting towards Killiney Beach, and quickly assessing the situation the crew decided to take the vessel in tow, they then proceeded to bring the vessel back to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Also yesterday (Saturday 20 March) the station's inshore lifeboat was launched at 2:34pm under Helm Alan Keville and two crew to an incident just south of Sorento Point in Dalkey where two people on board a rigid inflatable boat had reported to the Irish Coast Guard that they also had suffered engine issues onboard, the lifeboat’s volunteer crew took the vessel in tow and returned it to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting vessel in Killiney BayDun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting a small speedboat in Killiney Bay

All onboard the stricken vessels were wearing lifejackets with no medical attention required.

The Weather conditions at the time of both incidents were described as good with a light wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Adam O’Sullivan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxswain today said: ‘The people on board the vessel took the correct steps by calling for help once they knew they were having issues onboard it is also always great to see everyone wearing their lifejackets. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody to make sure that their vessels are checked and in working order before taking to the water. At this time of year, these checks are of great importance with vessel engines and safety equipment having not being used over the winter months.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A British registered Spanish owned fishing trawler was towed to harbour in Dún Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay yesterday after drifting for days in the Irish Sea because of engine failure.

There are 15 crew members, some are Spanish, but most are Indonesian, according to news reports.

An official from the International Transport Federation, a union that represents maritime workers, called to the ship this morning, but was unable to make contact with the crew, according to RTE News.

Magan D was first reported to be in trouble last Wednesday when it was 27 nautical miles off the Welsh coast and experiencing engine trouble because water had mixed with oil and it could not start the engine.

Holyhead Coast Guard was attempting to contact the owner.

By Friday, the owners had organised a tow, but although they had hoped to have the trawler brought to their base in Pasajes in Spain, that was not possible so an Irish tug, Trojan, brought it to Dún Laoghaire.

News reports say that because Magan D is British registered it has reportedly been 'detained' by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency' which means it must be inspected and declared safe before it can leave Dún Laoghaire.

RTE News has more here

Published in Dublin Bay

Plans for a National Watersports Campus for Dun Laoghaire Harbour is part of the scope of an extensive economic survey being conducted in the Dublin Bay town.

As Times.ie reports today, consultation on the future development Dun Laoghaire’s town and harbour may represent the “last real opportunity for public input”, Cllr Juliet O’Connell (Lab) says.

Three online surveys conducted by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council which have a deadline of Sunday (Feb 28) aim to gauge opinion on developments, including the national watersports campus.

Last year, the Government awarded €400,000 to the local authority to conduct a feasibility study on the watersports campus, which would be a marine version of the national sports campus in Abbotstown, Dublin.

Under Project 2040, the State’s national development plan, the Government set aside €100 million for sports infrastructure.

The National Sports Policy, published in 2018, established the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) to provide exchequer support for sports facility projects.

Dun Laoghaire’s Carlisle pier has been proposed as a location and would involve a high-performance watersports coaching centre and a venue for national and international events.

It would also involve an education centre for schools, community groups and clubs, and a public slipway for recreational craft users who are not members of the harbour sailing clubs.

Currently, Dun Laoghaire has one public slipway in the Coal harbour which is not accessible at all stages of the tide.

If approved for planning, the campus would complement the Dun Laoghaire baths which are currently being refurbished by the local authority.

Loss of revenue since the cancellation of regular Irish Sea ferry sailings between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead, a long with increased interest in watersports during the Covid-19 pandemic are factors influencing the local authority’s move.

The campus plan is being spearheaded by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Irish Sailing Association and has been endorsed by a number of Irish watersport national governing bodies, along with clubs and activity providers.

Details of the timeline for stage one of the project are due to be presented by sailing representative Paddy Boyd at an online public meeting at 7 pm tonight hosted on Facebook Live by Cllr O’Connell.

More on Times.ie here

The three surveys are available here

Recent developments suggest that the future of Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay is at a critical phase where decisions over the next few months will have impactful long-term implications.

The next move for the great granite piers will either set it on a course to being one of Europe’s top boating harbours or leave it to stagnate under the new ownership of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Currently, three online surveys formulated by harbour consultants and whose results will form the development plan for the harbour are seeking public input on its future development. 

To recap the key developments:

  1. October 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved and the harbour transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.
  2.  April 2019 - LSSIF Application submitted
  3. August 2019 – DLRCC seeks Consultancy services for an Economic Plan for Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
  4. December 2019 – Indecon appointed as Consultants
  5. December 2019 - Quarterdeck applies to modify PP previously granted to Workshack Ltd by way of extension of lease term and addition of food court at ground floor level in Ferry Terminal
  6. January 2020 National Watersports Campus Project granted provisional approval
  7. February 2020 – Quarterdeck application approved by DLR
  8. February 2020 - PP Approval appealed
  9. December 2020 – Indecon commences consultation
  10. December 2020 - An Bord Pleanala approves Quarterdeck application
  11. December 2020 – National Watersports Campus project granted final approval
  12. January 2021 - DLR commences public consultation

In regard to the public consultation, DLRCC state – “the aim of the studies is to set out a clear and coherent vision and roadmap to assist and guide the ongoing optimal development and strategic planning of both Dún Laoghaire Harbour and Dún Laoghaire Town given the synergies and interdependencies between both.” This is in keeping with the specific local objectives identified in the County Development plan:

  • 156 In accordance with National Policy, the Council shall, within the relevant planning frameworks, formulate and implement, where appropriate and applicable, a plan for the future development of Dún Laoghaire Harbour and its curtilage.
  • 157 To support and encourage the development of a National Watersports Centre to facilitate training and participation in a varied range of water sports and activities to provide a focus for national and international watersport events. Site appraisal and analysis of the Harbour environs to identify the optimum location(s) for such a centre to be expedited as an integral part of the forthcoming Dún Laoghaire and Environs Local Area Plan (LAP)

It is concerning to note that these objectives were part of the 2016-2022 plan and are repeated virtually word for word in the Draft County Development Plan 2022 2028. (currently open for consultation)

In summary, the current position is that there are two projects which have outstripped the timeline – the National Watersports Campus and the Quarterdeck development in the old ferry terminal. And while it is great to see the recognition of the long-term future of Dun Laoghaire as a recreational asset, we are faced with piecemeal development without an overall plan. It is vital now that DLRCC expedite the specific local objective of formulating and implementing a plan that covers Dun Laoghaire Harbour and its curtilage.

Ironically, under the previous harbour regime, there was no shortage of proposals and ideas and a masterplan was produced, driven by Harbour Company Management. The question is can DLRCC replicate the urgency and initiative that previously existed?

Tagged under

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Water Safety Team has produced a video on checking and maintaining a lifejacket lead by the RNLI's Laura Jackson (see vid below) ahead of the 2021 boating season.

Choosing the right lifejacket or buoyancy aid for your activity can be difficult. With many different options to choose from and technical language that can be confusing, you might end up using something unsuitable, or worse, not using one at all.

In Ireland, the law requires that an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid must be carried for everyone onboard all vessels. If the craft is under 7m, personal flotation devices must be worn at all times on an open vessel or on deck on a vessel with accommodation.

Anyone under the age of 16 must wear a personal flotation device at all times on an open boat or on deck if the vessel has accommodation, irrespective of the size of the vessel.

A personal flotation device (PFD) is something you wear that will keep you afloat should you enter the water. There are a number of different types, but the most common are buoyancy aids and, in particular, lifejackets.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Save our Seafront group in Dun Laoghaire have been monitoring recent developments regarding the future of the harbour, and today issued the following statement and invitation:

"The Council has hired consultants to produce plans for the future of Dún Laoghaire Harbour and the town of Dún Laoghaire. We have discussed this before at meetings of Save Our Seafront, and many of us are sceptical that these consultants are either necessary or if they are the best people to make plans for our Harbour and our town.

We have campaigned for many many years for our Harbour to be run by the Council rather than the undemocratic and unaccountable Harbour Company. Now we have a fantastic opportunity to develop the harbour as a working harbour, a public amenity and to celebrate its unique historical and cultural heritage. The expertise and talent to decide all of this lies in our local community and amongst all the stakeholders.

The council is now looking for input from all of us on what we would like to see. There are questionnaires on the DLR website here where you can input your thoughts.

Save Our Seafront is hosting a public meeting on zoom next Tuesday 23rd February at 7 pm to discuss the priorities that should be at the core of any future development of our Harbour.

Click here to register for the meeting here

Tagged under

With the continued interest in Laser dinghy sailing among adults, the Dún Laoghaire harbour Laser fleet has announced the launch of an adult pathway that supports adults from beginner level right up to elite racing.

The Laser with all its variants has long been considered one of the most versatile single-handed dinghies for both adults and juniors. The boat was originally designed with what is now known as the Standard rig as a “car-topper” with the intention that it would be easy to transport on the roof-rack of a car. Today in Dún Laoghaire, adults continue to sail the Standard rig, plus the smaller Radial and 4.7 rigs, depending on the individual sailor’s weight and ability. “The Laser can be a challenging boat to sail and what’s remarkable is that many of these adults never sailed before or if they did, never sailed a Laser,” says local Laser sailor Rachel Crowley.

Crowley was nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category in this year’s Irish Sailing Awards for her work with the affectionately named Dún Laoghaire Adult Kindergarten for Lasers. A member of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, she only started sailing cruisers as an adult, never having sailed before. She crewed for a few years in Cruisers 3 in Dublin Bay Sailing Club and recalls how one “evangelical Laser sailor” encouraged her to try Laser sailing after racing one evening.

Lasers launchingDue to the popularity of the Kindergarten, the coaching squad has divided the group into two levels. Absolute beginners can join the Basic Skills sessions while the more confident beginners join in with the Start Racing sessions Photo: Rachel Crowley

Rachel approached the Sailing Manager in her club who provided her with access to a club boat and found a coach who was willing to take her out the first time. “Ronan [Adams] was really helpful in making it easy for me to try the boat as I was a bit nervous. When I came in after that first day, he said to me that there were a lot of other adults expressing interest in trying out the Laser.” says Crowley. And thus the Kindergarten started to take shape.

That was September 2018, just after the Laser Masters World Championships came to Dún Laoghaire. Today there are 49 adults in the Kindergarten group with more waiting to join once Government restrictions allow. The group is organised out of the RSGYC club, but sailors participate from right across the Dún Laoghaire clubs and from the Coal Harbour. Due to the popularity of the Kindergarten, the coaching squad has divided the group into two levels. Absolute beginners can join the Basic Skills sessions while the more confident beginners join in with the Start Racing sessions.

Crowley outlines how a typical coaching session in the group starts with an onshore briefing at the club followed by some on-the-water warm-up exercises. “These are followed by specific skills instruction and practice. The session usually finishes some fun activities and a debrief onshore again.” Richard O’Rahilly who leads the coaching team describes how coaching adults can be different to coaching juniors. “Adults are usually looking for more specific skills training. They’re less competitive than juniors typically and ask for lots of feedback on how they can improve. We spend as much time as possible on the water as adults are looking for hands-on experience” says O’Rahilly.

Mick Shelley who joined the Kindergarten group in 2019 highlights how the support received from more experienced Laser sailors has impressed him greatly. “I hadn’t sailed a Laser before, and the support and encouragement I received from people up the fleet was great. There were days when I was nervous about heading out in heavier conditions and some tips or advice that someone would give me on the forecourt gave me the confidence to push myself a little more.” says Shelley. He went on to say “getting out on the water after many years out of the sport has given me a new lease of life”

Crowley agrees that the support from the experienced sailors has been “phenomenal”. “We have experienced Laser sailors who not only support us ashore, but have helped us organising fun racing for our group and even finding second-hand boats to buy.” Crowley also acknowledges the continued support provided by the local clubs, encouraging adults to try Laser sailing specifically and also facilitating access to boats, coaches and safety ribs.

Crowley intends to tap into the willingness of the more experienced sailors at this year’s Irish Laser Association Masters National Championship event which is slated to be hosted by RSGYC on the weekend of June 12/13. “We’re launching a buddy system at the Masters Nationals where a more experienced sailor will be paired off with a beginner sailor and support them over the two days of the event. It will be simple things like offering advice and encouragement before racing and checking in at the end of the day to see how they got on.”

Laser training at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Rachel CrowleyLaser training at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Rachel Crowley

The Dún Laoghaire adult pathway doesn’t stop with the Kindergarten. While many sailors are happy to remain within the Kindergarten group for the fun and camaraderie, the coaches encourage those who are ready to get involved with the Masters Race Training sessions that take place right throughout the year. These sessions are focused on adult sailors who aspire to compete at the top end of the fleet nationally. Here the coaches, who are all top Laser sailors, focus on fine-tuning race strategy and boat handling skills.

In addition, a number of elite racing clinics are held each year with top Irish and international coaches drawn in. Irish and Olympic athletes such as Finn Lynch and Aisling Keller have run weekend-long clinics over the past couple of years. The fleet also has connections with the high-performance Laser training centres in Malta and Viana, Portugal. In 2020, the fleet intends to send a delegation to the Europa Cup regatta taking place in Malta in November.

The message from the Dún Laoghaire Laser fleet is that no matter what level you are at, there’s a support framework in place from local sailors, coaches and clubs to help you access and enjoy this boat. Anyone looking to find out more about sailing Lasers in Dún Laoghaire is encouraged to contact the class directly via email: [email protected]

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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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