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Why Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club Opposes County Clare Jet Ski Ban

22nd April 2021
Peter Conroy of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club opposes a proposed ban on jet skis at Count Clare beaches
Peter Conroy of Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club

“Aquabikes” caught the attention of former Irish Times journalist Kevin Myers back in 1982.

The Irishman’s Diary writer was seriously concerned about the pressure windsurfers were putting on the RNLI Dun Laoghaire lifeboat at the time.

He had read about these “aquabikes”, made by a Japanese motorbike company, which “skid across the water, steered by handlebars”.

Although there might be “cacophonous” drawbacks, this vehicle might prove useful in rescuing windsurfers, he wrote - if it wasn’t engaged in knocking them down, or worse...

Almost 40 years later, and jetskis have proved their worth in rescue, with trained riders able to access areas of the coastline that may prove too dangerous for coast and cliff rescue crews, lifeboats or helicopters.

However, jetskis still get bad press among those who don’t understand their benefits – or those who have witnessed untrained and ill-considerate use of them. Now Clare County Council wants to ban their use altogether on a number of beaches.

The Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club has objected to a proposed jetski ban Photo: ITSRC via FacebookThe Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club has objected to a proposed jetski ban Photo: ITSRC via Facebook

Clare fireman, lifeguard and surfer Peter Conroy owes his life to a jetski rescue. He was one of the founders of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club which has provided training, and invaluable support to surfers, and to open water sea swimmers.

Organisers of marine events have benefited from their voluntary assistance, and the club has also provided defibrillators at a number of coastal locations.

Conroy spoke to Wavelengths this week about his rescue, and about why his club opposes the proposed ban.

Listen to Wavelengths below

And you can then view a bit more of the work of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club here

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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