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Displaying items by tag: Explorers Education Programme

Pupils of Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore Boys National School in Co Galway have been presented with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Award for the Best STEM and Cross Curricular project by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport.

Congratulating the children and teachers involved in their healthy ocean project, ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’, Minister Naughton said: “The Explorers Ocean Champions Award is a fantastic example of an all-inclusive school approach to learn about our local marine environment and heritage.

“The incredible effort of the teachers, children, Explorers outreach team, and the partners from local boat builders to scientists and seabed mappers from INFOMAR shows that this project went beyond the classroom and highlights the value of teaching as a community.”

As part of the Explorers Ocean Champion project and awards initiative, the programme Manager, Camden Education Trust and the Explorers Education Programme outreach teams have worked with 28 primary schools, reaching up to 3,500 children and 124 teachers across 13 coastal counties, creating ‘healthy ocean’ projects covering themes from STEM and outdoor education to the arts and ocean literacy.

The minister added: “The title of the school project called ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’ is a wonderful slogan, as it represents the importance of learning about our ocean at a local level, so we are able to care for it now and into the future.

“The children’s extensive learning experience from visiting the displays at Galway City Museum, Galway Atlantaquaria, beach cleans coupled with school visits from the INFOMAR seabed mapping team, is a great example of local organisations working with the schools to inspire them to learn about the ocean. This project also helps open up opportunities to inspire future marine scientists and ocean champions.”

School principal Maeve Meeneghan congratulated the lead teacher Ms Lillis and the Explorers outreach officer Noirin Burke, saying: “The Explorers Ocean Champions initiative promoted a culture of improvement, collaboration, innovation and creativity in learning and teaching beyond our imagination. It empowered staff to take on and carry out leadership roles and above all else, it awakened and built on our awareness of the natural resource on our doorstep here in Oranmore.”

Published in Environment

The black seadevil anglerfish was voted as “one of the ugliest deep-sea fish species” during the launch of the new Explorers Education Programme book and resources, The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species, which took place at the Marine Institute exhibit at the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2022.

Inspired by the work of the Marine Institute’s scientists that carry out deep-sea fishing surveys on board the research vessels each year, Cushla Dromgool-Regan — Explorers strategic education and communications manager at Camden Education Trust — said she was delighted to produce a new book and resources that showcased the amazing marine wildlife that are found in the deepest parts of the ocean in Ireland and around the world.

“I love deep-sea animals and their amazing ability to adapt under extreme conditions,” she said. “The animals selected for the book were based on some of our favourite deep-sea species that we have affectionately called the good, the bad and the ugly — because of their incredible features that help them survive. Some look cute but are deadly and others look angry but are basically looking for their next meal.”

Families were introduced to some of these amazing animals at the exhibit, where they saw a display of supersized photos of the deep-sea species. The blobfish known as Mr Blobby, the viperfish with giant fangs, the hagfish that produces slime in seconds and the goblin shark with a protruding jaw were just some of the children’s favourites.

The Explorers programme team were delighted to see their mascot, the black seadevil anglerfish come in with top votes by children “who loved learning about its bioluminescent lure, expandable stomach and huge mouth that can pretty much eat anything it can get its mouth around”, Dromgool-Regan added.

“There are over 200 species of anglerfish. Among them, the species known as the monkfish can open its mouth wide enough to engulf other animals larger than itself. It is reported that monkfish have been found with birds in their stomachs including gulls, puffins and cormorants.”

‘The workbook and lessons and activities will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean’

Patricia Orme, corporate services director with the Marine Institute congratulated the Explorers team on the production of the excellent new resources.

“This will certainly generate excitement in the classroom!” she said. “The materials are packed full of photos and graphics showing the greatest explorers, ocean zones as well as the weird and wonderful creatures that call the deep-sea home.

“The workbook and lessons and activities are also really well illustrated and we are sure will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean.”

The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species and resources are free to download from the Explorers website. The Explorers team will also be delivering deep-sea species class projects with primary schools, where teachers will receive printed copies of the introductory book and workbooks with a range of cross-curricular activities for the children.

There are over 20 activities to choose from such as making an anglerfish light card — learning about electricity and circuits — to one of the Explorers teams’ favourites: creating fashion from slime, inspired by the hag fish.

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, the State agency for marine research and development, and delivered by outreach centres to primary schools around the country, as well as for Leave No Trace Ireland, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy, Old Cork Waterworks – Lifetime Lab, Oceanics and SEASHOREKIDS.

Published in Marine Wildlife

A five-day continuing professional development (CPD) course has been successfully delivered in person to over 70 primary school teachers in Waterford, Kerry, Galway and for the first time in Cork.

Plus, a further 40 teachers are completed the Explorers Education Programme course online.

The programme, approved by the Department of Education and Skills, provides primary school teachers with the ocean knowledge and skills to introduce marine themes through cross-curricular teaching such as science, maths, geography, English and arts in classroom, as well as conducting field trips to the seashore.

Exploring sand dunes and rock pools, creating art pieces from flotsam and jetsam, conducting beach-clean games on the shore as well as learning about the seashore animals and the different types of seaweeds are all ways to teach children how to interact with the natural world.

Congratulating the Explorers team involved in the delivery of the programme nationwide, Patricia Orme, corporate services director with the Marine Institute said: “These courses are key to introducing teachers to ocean concepts, environmental awareness and climate change.

“We are delighted to see in-person CPD courses back in full swing and the Explorers first online course is also doing extremely well. The expansion of the CPD summer teachers training courses reaching over 100 teachers this year is testament to the hard work of the Explorers team and the ongoing support also provided by the education centres in Galway, Waterford, Tralee–Kerry, West Cork and Mayo.”

Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Explorers strategic education and communications manager with the Camden Education Trust thanked the teachers for their enthusiasm in teaching marine subjects in their classrooms.

Rory McAvinney from Galway Atlantaquaria delivers the Exploring Ireland’s Seashore course tho primary school teachers in Galway | Credit: Maria Vittoria MarraRory McAvinney from Galway Atlantaquaria delivers the Exploring Ireland’s Seashore course tho primary school teachers in Galway | Credit: Maria Vittoria Marra

“We were delighted with the positive feedback and especially where a number of teachers said that the skills learned during the training have also provided them with far reaching skills beyond the classroom and within their communities,” she said.

“One teacher explained that she had recently seen a mother finding it difficult to answer her child’s questions about what they were seeing on the shore in the rock pools, and unfortunately quickly pulled the child along.

“The teacher said at the time she felt disappointed she couldn’t help, but now after completing the Explorers course, she feels confident to help potential seashore explorers in this situation. She is now looking forward to paying it forward and encouraging children and parents to keep exploring over the summer, as well as when she gets back to school.

“The teacher's positive feedback and enthusiasm is very encouraging and highlights the importance of sharing our knowledge about the ocean. The idea of ‘paying it forward’ to inspire a new generation of ocean advocates is key to helping children develop a greater appreciation of the importance of the ocean and an understanding of the significant impact it has on our daily lives.”

The CPD course, Exploring Ireland’s Seashore through Science, Maths, Geography, English and Art, is still open for teachers to complete online. Registration closes on Wednesday 17 August. For further information see elearning.mayoeducationcentre.ie.

The Explorers Education Programme is managed by the Camden Education Trust and support services are provided by Galway Atlantaquaria. Explorers teams involved in the CPD training include Leave no Trace - Ireland (Waterford), Lifetime Lab (Cork), Sea Synergy (Kerry) and Galway Atlantaquaria (Galway).

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland’s State agency for marine research, technology development and innovation. For further information about the Explorer Education Programme see www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science

The Explorers Education Programme has launched a new online teaching course that will enable teachers all over Ireland to learn about how to bring the ocean into the classroom.

Presented in collaboration with the Mayo Education Centre, the online course — Exploring Ireland's Seashore through Science, Maths, Geography, English & Art — is approved for EPV (Extra Personal Vacation) certification by the Department of Education and will take around 20 hours to complete.

The online course aims to bring the ocean and seashore into the classroom via a range of specially recorded short videos with the Explorers team.

These films and associated activities are designed to guide teachers through developing their ocean literacy, planning seashore trips, exploring marine biodiversity through the existing curriculum, as well as reflecting on human impacts on the ocean and much more.

Anna Quinn, Dr Noirin Burke and Padraic Creedon of the Explorers team filming for online seashore resources and the teacher training course | Credit: Cushla Dromgool-ReganAnna Quinn, Dr Noirin Burke and Padraic Creedon of the Explorers team filming for online seashore resources and the teacher training course | Credit: Cushla Dromgool-Regan

The course runs from 4 July to 19 August. Early bird bookings cost €59 until 30 June after which the cost is €69. Further details and how to book can be found at the Mayo Education Centre website.

Speaking about the new online course, Michael McKenzie, director of the Mayo Education Centre said: “We are delighted to work with the Explorers team this year to provide an online course for teachers as part of the summer courses approved by the Department of Education and Skills. The content that the Explorers team have developed helps make the ocean as accessible as possible for teachers.”

Further information about the Explorers teachers training can be found on explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science

Kilglass National School in Ahascragh, Co Galway has received the European Blue Schools Award for a mini-project that helped bring marine issues into the classroom.

The award is in recognition of the school’s Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor pilotless mini-boat project that “helped bring real-life marine content to their classroom, which is one of the leading principles of the European Blue Schools Programme”, said Evy Copejans, coordinator of the European Blue Schools Programme.

Congratulated the students of Kilglass NS for their achievement, Copejans said: “This is a very special occasion for Kilglass NS, as they are one of the first primary schools in Ireland to become a European Blue School.”

Presenting the award at Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore to Peter Kane, who led the project at Kilglass NS, chief executive Dr Paul Connolly joined in congratulating the school on their achievement.

“To become a European Blue School, students are encouraged to become responsible and engaged ocean-literate citizens. The Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor unmanned mini-boat project demonstrated that the children from Kilglass recognised the importance of the ocean in our lives,” he said.

Kane said he was very proud to receive the European Blue Schools plaque: “Working on this project with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme provided us with an excellent opportunity to involve all of the school in a marine-themed project.

“Everyone took ownership of the project — from painting and naming the boat to the handover at the RV Celtic Explorer for its launch at sea, and also tracking it while at sea.

“The cross-curricular content provided by the Explorers programme enabled the children to get hands-on practical skills, including critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, working in collaboration with other children, as well as developing their creative and communication skills.

“This project also helped the children to learn more about their role as global citizens and becoming ocean leaders."

The European Blue Schools Award is led by the EU4Ocean Coalition and supported by the European Commission.

Published in Marine Science

Teacher training courses this summer are now available to book as part of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme.

The five-day continuing professional development (CPD) courses will take place from 4-8 July in Galway, Dublin, Waterford, Kerry and West Cork.

This year’s programme follows on from a successful virtual course held last year, and will provide teachers with an opportunity to connect with their local seashore and learn new ideas for outdoor education, as well as bringing the seashore into the classroom.

“Everyone is eager to meet face-to-face this year with the school teachers,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Explorers strategic education and communications manager with the Camden Education Trust.

“The team are looking forward to providing practical seashore activities, covering the sciences, learning about the marine environment and living things, environmental awareness and care, as well as introducing maths, PE and wellbeing games.

“With a combination of outdoor field trips to the shore and an introduction to marine themes in the classroom, this course is a favourite of teachers and can book up very quickly.”

Teachers are provided with a pack of Explorers teaching resources to take back to their classrooms and will also learn about the work of the Marine Institute ranging from marine research to sustainable fisheries, the environment and climate change.

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute and managed by the Camden Education Trust with support services provided by Galway Atlantaquaria. The Explorers teams involved in this summer’s CPD training include Marine Dimensions (Dublin), Leave no Trace – Ireland (Waterford), Lifetime Lab (Cork), Sea Synergy (Kerry), and Galway Atlantaquaria (Galway).

Published in Coastal Notes

More than 20 primary schools in 14 coastal counties around Ireland have been selected to complete Healthy Ocean projects to be in with a chance of winning a Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champion Award.

This award is part of the Explorers Education Programme, which provides teachers and children with the tools necessary to develop a project within their school and community.

Healthy Ocean projects focus on supporting the primary school curriculum and creating positive actions to raise awareness and engagement about the ocean in the schools and their local communities.

“We are delighted with the number of schools that are taking part in the Explorers Healthy Ocean project module that is being delivered by the Explorers teams around Ireland,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Explorers Education Programme and Camden Education Trust.

“The schools working with the Explorers outreach centres will be learning about the ocean and how to take action to improve ocean health.”

The Explorers teams and schools will be working on the healthy ocean projects over the next term where they will be able to select one of three categories to focus on.

The first category includes incorporating a marine theme into a science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) project.

The second category includes developing an ocean literacy Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) creative project which addresses an SDG. This may be based on SDG topics such as climate change, wellness and life underwater.

The final category is providing teachers and students an opportunity to complete a project outdoors, ranging from creating outdoor sculptures to beach cleans.

This is the first year of the Ocean Champions Awards, and submissions will be judged by a team of marine and education experts. The winners will receive a Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champion Award for their school. Winners will be announced around World Ocean Day on Wednesday 8 June.

There are some places still available for schools to take part in the Ocean Champions Awards. For more information, see Explorers School Projects on the Explorers Education Programme at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science

To celebrate Science Week, the Marine Institute and the Explorers Education Programme are supporting the 2021 Galway Science and Technology Festival, which kicked off on Sunday 7 November and continues to Sunday 21 November.

“We are delighted to engage with parents and children again this year to inspire the next generation to be ocean champions and pursue marine careers,” said the Marine Institute’s Patricia Orme.

The Explorers Education Programme and Galway Atlantaquaria are providing school classes with guided tours of Ireland’s largest native species aquarium.

Primary school children will receive an Explorers resource pack and access the aquarium’s virtual tour. Explorers’ Wild About Wildlife on the Seashore short films will also be showcased for Science Week.

Dive beneath the surface to explore our deep sea in The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science exhibition at Galway City Museum. Free to visitors, the gallery features new exhibitions on climate change, surveys at sea, and life along the seashore.

In the ROV simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

Visitors to the exhibition can pick up a free children's activity book to continue exploring the marine world from home.

Those engaging virtually can learn about our ocean and climate with ‘The Science Guy’ Mark Langtry in the Marine Institute’s Sea Science Series available on the Galway Science & Technology Festival website.

Mark brings the wonders of sea science to the screen with his entertaining, sometimes explosive, and educational sea science shows. The four-part series includes episodes on ocean acidification, creating ocean currents, and experiments on temperature and salinity.

And discover how scientists at the Marine Institute are increasing our understanding of the ocean through their research with the ‘Our People’ video series, which profiles the study and career paths of our people and the work they do at the Marine Institute.

Meanwhile, the Marine Institute is running a competition on the Galway Science & Technology Festival Facebook page. View the short film Ireland's Marine Life and guess the correct number of species featured for the chance to win a LEGO City Ocean Exploration Submarine Set.

In Ireland’s Marine Life, follow Fiadh, a gannet journeying over and underwater and meeting sea creatures along the way — from tiny hermit crabs and jellyfish to dolphins and basking sharks.

Published in Marine Science

Primary classrooms throughout Ireland are celebrating cephalopods throughout the month of October with the launch of the Explorers Education Programme’s new educational resources focusing on squid.

Marine scientists around the world have been studying squid for many years, learning about their evolution, what they eat and what eats them, as well as their habitats and distribution in the global ocean,” says the Marine Institute’s Patricia Orme.

“When talking about cephalopods, we often think of the charismatic octopus, or the cuttlefish and their ability to change colours. However, squid also have special qualities, including the ability to see long distances in the dark, and being able to fly above the water.”

Squid have also been a point of interest for storytellers, artists, film-makers and museum curators the world over, says Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Camden Education Trust.

“Led by the work of scientists, researchers and storytellers, the Explorers team are delighted to have produced a series of resources that will inspire teachers and children to learn more about the ocean, and possibly become ocean explorers themselves,” she adds.

Find the new resources on the Explorers microsite, and follow the Explorers Education Programme on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more fun facts about squid … and even the fearsome Kraken!

Published in Marine Science

The Explorers Education Programme has been expanded to deliver modules to primary schools in all of Ireland’s coastal counties.

Established in Galway over 15 years ago and funded by the Marine Institute, the Explorers programme now reaches schools all around the coast — including Leitrim, the coastal county with the shortest coastline — via outreach teams offering a wide range of marine science modules for the classroom and field trips to the seashore.

With this expansion, the programme says its teams will also be able to offer online and blended learning modules to classes from inland counties.

“With an increasing awareness of ocean literacy and the value of ocean sciences in Ireland, we can’t wait to share all of what the Explorers team have to offer with primary schools in these new counties,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, strategic education and communications manager with the Camden Education Trust.

“We have been very lucky to have been working with a group of marine education experts and outreach officers for a number of years, and we are now extremely pleased to be working with additional new members joining the team.

“They have all showed how extremely passionate they are about sharing their ocean knowledge with children, as well as supporting teachers with the delivery of marine-themed content that can be used on the primary schools curriculum.”

Explorers team members will be working with primary school teachers introducing a range of exciting marine projects and resources over the coming months, covering topics such as marine biodiversity and environmental awareness to a range of STEM topics leading up to Maths Week in October and Science Week in November.

“The teams can reach classes delivering face-to-face project modules held in the class, seashore safaris, as well as through online and blended learning. Our new Explorers Back to School Brochure also provides information about our modules and links to the centres for bookings,” Dromgool-Regan said.

The outreach teams that deliver the Explorers programme to primary school children include: Leave No Trace Ireland; Galway Atlantaquaria; Sea Synergy Marine Awareness Centre in Co Kerry; Old Cork Waterworks Experience; Oceanics Surf School in Tramore; and Marine Dimensions in Bray.

Enquiries about bookings can be made directly to the above centres. Schools and classes located within inland counties should be sent to the Explorers support services team at Galway Atlantaquaria to check on an outreach centre’s availability.

The Explorers Education Programme also has a wide range of teaching materials that are freely available on the explorers.ie website.

Published in Marine Science
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General Information on using Waterways Ireland inland navigations

Safety on the Water

All users of the navigations are strongly recommended to make themselves aware of safety on the water for whatever activity they are involved in and to read the advice offered by the various governing bodies and by:

The Dept. of Transport, Ireland: www.gov.ie/transport and The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, UK, The RNLI – Water Safety Ireland for information in terms of drowning prevention and water safety.

Registration of Vessels

All vessels using the Shannon Navigation, which includes the Shannon-Erne Waterways and the Erne System must be registered with Waterways Ireland. Only open undecked boats with an engine of 15 horsepower or less on the Shannon Navigation, and vessels of 10 horsepower or less on the Erne System, are exempt. Registration is free of charge.

Craft registration should be completed online at: https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/craft-registration

Permits for use of the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation

All vessels using the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation must display appropriate valid Permit(s) i.e A Combined Mooring and Passage Permit (€126) and if not intending to move every five days, an Extended Mooring Permit (€152).

Permit applications should be completed online at: https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/canal-permits

Passage on the Royal and Grand Canals – Dublin Area

For boat passage through the locks east of Lock 12 into / out of Dublin on either the Royal or Grand Canals, Masters are requested to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (M-F 9.30am-4.30pm) on tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or email [email protected] prior to making passage in order to plan the necessary lock-keeping assistance arrangements.

On the Grand Canal a minimum of two days notice prior to the planned passage should be given, masters should note that with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of 2 boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either east or west.

Movements in or out of the city will be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day. Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

Newcomen Lifting Bridge

On the Royal Canal two weeks’ notice of bridge passage (Newcomen Lifting Bridge) is required for the pre-set lift date, and lock assistance will then also be arranged. A minimum of 2 boats is required for a bridge lift to go ahead.

Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (Tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or [email protected] ) is the point of contact for the bridge lift.

A maximum number of boats passing will be implemented to keep to the times given above for the planned lifts (16 for the Sat / Sun lifts & 8 for the weekday lifts). Priority will be given on a first come first served basis.

On day of lift, boaters and passengers must follow guidance from Waterways Ireland staff about sequence of passage under bridge & through Lock 1, and must remain within signed and designated areas.

Events Held on the Waterways

All organised events taking place on the waterways must have the prior approval of Waterways Ireland. This is a twelve week process and application forms must be accompanied with the appropriate insurance, signed indemnity and risk assessment. The application should be completed on the Waterways Ireland events page at :

https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/event-approval

Time Limits on Mooring in Public Harbours

On the Shannon Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway craft may berth in public harbours for five consecutive days or a total of seven days in any one month.

On the Erne System, revised Bye Laws state that: No master or owner shall permit a vessel, boat or any floating or sunken object to remain moored at or in the vicinity of any public mooring, including mooring at any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location, for more than 3 consecutive days and shall not moor at that same mooring or any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location within the following 3 consecutive days without prior permission by an authorised official.

Winter Mooring on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway

Winter mooring may be availed of by owners during the period 1 Nov to 31 Mar by prior arrangement and payment of a charge of €63.50 per craft. Craft not availing of Winter Mooring must continue to comply with the “5 Day Rule”. Winter Mooring applications should be completed online at : https://www.waterwaysireland.org/online-services/winter-moorings-booking

Owners should be aware that electricity supply and water supply to public moorings is disconnected for the winter months. This is to protect against frost damage, to reduce running costs and to minimise maintenance requirements during the winter months.

Vessel owners are advised that advance purchasing of electricity on the power bollards leading up to the disconnection date should be minimal. Electricity credit existing on the bollards will not be recoverable after the winter decommissioning date. Both services will be reinstated prior to the commencement of the next boating season.

Smart Cards

Waterways Ireland smart cards are used to operate locks on the Shannon Erne Waterway, to access the service blocks, to use the pump-outs along the navigations, to avail of electrical power at Waterways Ireland jetties.

Berthing in Public Harbours

Masters are reminded of the following:

  • Equip their vessel with mooring lines of appropriate length and strength and only secure their craft to mooring bollards and cleats provided for this purpose.
  • Ensure the available berth is suitable to the length of your vessel, do not overhang the mooring especially on finger moorings on floating pontoon moorings.
  • Ensure mooring lines, electric cables and fresh water hoses do not create a trip hazard on public jetties for others users.
  • Carry sufficient fenders to prevent damage to your own vessel, other vessels and WI property.
  • Allow sufficient space between your vessel and the vessel ahead /astern (c.1m) for fire safety purposes and /or to recover somebody from the water.
  • Do not berth more than two vessels side by side and ensure there is safe access/egress at all times between vessels and onto the harbour itself.
  • Do not berth in such a way to prevent use of harbour safety ladders, slipways or pump-outs.
  • Do not allow the bow of your vessel to overhang the walkway of a floating mooring thus creating a hazard for others with an overhanging anchor or bow fendering.
  • Animals are not allowed to be loose or stray at any time.
  • Harbour and jetty infrastructure such as railings, power pedestals, fresh water taps, electric light poles, safety bollards, ladders etc are not designed for the purpose of mooring craft , they will not bear the strain of a vessel and will be damaged.
  • At Carrybridge on the Erne System, Masters of vessels are not permitted to use stern on mooring. Masters of vessels must use the mooring fingers for mooring of vessels and for embarkation / disembarkation from vessels.

Passenger Vessel Berths

Masters of vessels should not berth on passenger vessel berths where it is indicated that an arrival is imminent. Passenger vessels plying the navigations generally only occupy the berths to embark and disembark passengers and rarely remain on the berths for extended periods or overnight.

Lock Lead-in Jetties

Lead-in jetties adjacent to the upstream and downstream gates at lock chambers are solely for the purpose of craft waiting to use the lock and should not be used for long term berthing.

Vessel Wake

Vessel wake, that is, the wave generated by the passage of the boat through the water, can sometimes be large, powerful and destructive depending on the hull shape and engine power of the vessel. This wake can be detrimental to other users of the navigation when it strikes their craft or inundates the shoreline or riverbank. Masters are requested to frequently look behind and check the effect of their wake / wash particularly when passing moored vessels, on entering harbours and approaching jetties and to be aware of people pursuing other activities such as fishing on the riverbank.

Speed Restriction

A vessel or boat shall not be navigated on the Shannon Navigation at a speed in excess of 5 kph when within 200 metres of a bridge, quay, jetty or wharf, when in a harbour or canal or when passing within 100 metres of a moored vessel or boat.

Vessels navigating the Shannon-Erne Waterway should observe the general 5 kph speed limit which applies along the waterway. This is necessary in order to prevent damage to the banks caused by excessive wash from vessels.

Vessels navigating the Erne System should observe the statutory 5kt / 6mph / 10kph speed limit areas.

A craft on the Royal and Grand canals shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 6km per hour.

A craft on the Barrow Navigation shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 11km per hour except as necessary for safe navigation in conditions of fast flow.

Bank Erosion

Narrow sections of all the navigations are particularly prone to bank erosion due to the large wash generated by some craft. Masters are requested to be vigilant and to slow down to a speed sufficient to maintain steerage when they observe the wash of their craft inundating the river banks.

Unusual Waterborne Activity

Unusual waterborne vessels may be encountered from time to time, such as, hovercraft or amphibious aircraft / seaplanes. Masters of such craft are reminded to apply the normal “Rule of the Road” when they meet conventional craft on the water and to allow extra room to manoeuvre in the interest of safety.

Sailing Activity

Mariners will encounter large numbers of sailing dinghies from late June to August in the vicinity of Lough Derg, Lough Ree and Lower Lough Erne. Sailing courses are marked by yellow buoys to suit weather conditions on the day. Vessels should proceed at slow speed and with due caution and observe the rules of navigation when passing these fleets, as many of the participants are junior sailors under training.

Rowing

Mariners should expect to meet canoes and vessels under oars on any part of the navigations, but more so in the vicinity of Athlone, Carrick-on-Shannon, Coleraine, Enniskillen and Limerick. Masters are reminded to proceed at slow speed and especially to reduce their wash to a minimum when passing these craft as they can be easily upset and swamped due to their very low freeboard and always be prepared to give way in any given traffic situation.

Canoeing

Canoeing is an adventure sport and participants are strongly recommended to seek the advice of the sport’s governing bodies i.e Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland, before venturing onto the navigations.

Persons in charge of canoes are reminded of the inherent danger to these craft associated with operating close to weirs, sluice gates, locks and other infrastructure particularly when rivers are in flood and large volumes of water are moving through the navigations due to general flood conditions or very heavy localised precipitation e.g. turbulent and broken water, stopper waves. Shooting weirs is prohibited without prior permission of Waterways Ireland.

Canoeists should check with lockkeepers prior entering a lock to ensure passage is done in a safe manner. Portage is required at all unmanned locks.

Canoe Trail Network – "Blueways"

Masters of powered craft are reminded that a canoe trail network is being developed across all navigations and to expect more organised canoeing along these trails necessitating slow speed and minimum wash when encountering canoeists, rowing boats etc

Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals – Lough Key

It is expected that work on Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals on Lough Key will be completed in 2021. Access to these canals will be for non-powered craft only, eg canoes, kayaks, rowing boats.

Fast Powerboats and Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis)

Masters of Fast Powerboats (speed greater than 17kts) and Personal Watercraft (i.e.Jet Skis) are reminded of the inherent dangers associated with high speed on the water and especially in the confines of small bays and narrow sections of the navigations. Keeping a proper look-out, making early alterations to course and /or reducing speed will avoid conflict with slower vessels using the navigation. Personal Watercraft are not permitted to be used on the canals.

Towing Waterskiers, Wakeboarders, Doughnuts etc

Masters of vessels engaged in any of these activities are reminded of the manoeuvring constraints imposed upon their vessel by the tow and of the added responsibilities that they have to the person(s) being towed. These activities should be conducted in areas which are clear of conflicting traffic. It is highly recommended that a person additional to the master be carried to act as a “look-out” to keep the tow under observation at all times.

Prohibition on Swimming

Swimming in the navigable channel, particularly at bridges, is dangerous and is prohibited due to the risk of being run over by a vessel underway in the navigation.

Age Restrictions on operating of powered craft

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the minimum age for operating of powered craft. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a personal watercraft or a fast power craft shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years does not operate or control the craft

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft powered by an engine with a rating of more than 5 horse power or 3.7 kilowatts shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 12 years does not operate or control the craft.

Lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Lifejackets and PFD’s are the single most important items of personal protective equipment to be used on a vessel and should be worn especially when the vessel is being manoeuvred such as entering / departing a lock, anchoring, coming alongside or departing a jetty or quayside.

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the wearing of Personal Flotation Devices. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall ensure, that there are, at all times on board the craft, sufficient suitable personal flotation devices for each person on board.

- A person on a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) of less than 7 metres length overall shall wear a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of decked craft, other than when the craft is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years complies with paragraph above.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft), shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years wears a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of a decked craft other than when it is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person wears a suitable personal flotation device, at all times while – (a) being towed by the craft, (b) on board a vessel or object of any kind which is being towed by the craft.

Further information is available at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2005/si/921/made/en/print

Firing Range Danger Area – Lough Ree

The attention of mariners is drawn to the Irish Defence Forces Firing Range situated in the vicinity of buoys No’s 2 and 3, on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation. This range is used regularly for live firing exercises, throughout the year, all boats and vessels should stay clear of the area marked with yellow buoys showing a yellow "X" topmark and displaying the word "Danger".

Shannon Navigation, Portumna Swing Bridge Tolls

No attempt should be made by Masters’ of vessels to pay the bridge toll while making way through the bridge opening. Payment will only be taken by the Collector from Masters when they are secured alongside the jetties north and south of the bridge.

Navigating from Killaloe to Limerick on the Shannon Navigation

The navigation from Killaloe to Limerick involves passage through Ardnacrusha locks, the associated headrace and tailrace and the Abbey River into Limerick City. Careful passage planning is required to undertake this voyage. Considerations include: lock passage at Ardnacrusha, water flow in the navigation, airdraft under bridges on Abbey River in Limerick, state of tide in Limerick

Users are advised to contact the ESB Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power station (00353 (0)87 9970131) 48 hours in advance of commencing their journey to book passage through the locks at Ardnacrusha. It is NOT advised to undertake a voyage if more than one turbine is operating (20MW), due to the increased velocity of flow in the navigation channel, which can be dangerous. To ascertain automatically in real time how many turbines are running, users can phone +353 (0)87 6477229.

For safety reasons the ESB has advised that only powered craft with a capacity in excess of 5 knots are allowed to enter Ardnacrusha Headrace and Tailrace Canals.

Passage through Sarsfield Lock should be booked on +353-87-7972998, on the day prior to travel and it should be noted also that transit is not possible two hours either side of low water.

A Hydrographic survey in 2020 of the navigation channel revealed that the approach from Shannon Bridge to Sarsfield Lock and the Dock area has silted up. Masters of vessels and water users are advised to navigate to the Lock from Shannon bridge on a rising tide one or two hours before High Tide.

Lower Bann Navigation

The attention of all users is drawn to the “Users Code for the Lower Bann”, in particular to that section covering “Flow in the River” outlining the dangers for users both on the banks and in the navigation, associated with high flow rates when the river is in spate. Canoeists should consult and carry a copy of the “Lower Bann Canoe Trail” guide issued by the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland. Users should also contact the DfI Rivers Coleraine, who is responsible for regulating the flow rates on the river, for advisory information on the flow rates to be expected on any given day.

DfI Rivers Coleraine. Tel: 0044 28 7034 2357 Email: [email protected]

Lower Bann Navigation – Newferry – No wake zone

A No Wake Zone exists on the Lower Bann Navigation at Newferry. Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at a slow speed and create no wake while passing the jetties and slipways at Newferry.

Overhead Power Lines (OHPL) and Air draft

All Masters must be aware of the dangers associated with overhead power lines, in particular sailing vessels and workboats with cranes or large air drafts. Voyage planning is a necessity in order to identify the location of overhead lines crossing the navigation.

Overhead power line heights on the River Shannon are maintained at 12.6metres (40 feet) from Normal Summer level for that section of navigation, masters of vessels with a large air draft should proceed with caution and make additional allowances when water levels are high.

If a vessel or its equipment comes into contact with an OHPL the operator should NOT attempt to move the vessel or equipment. The conductor may still be alive or re-energise automatically. Maintain a safe distance and prevent third parties from approaching due to risk of arcing. Contact the emergency services for assistance.

Anglers are also reminded that a minimum ground distance of 30 metres should be maintained from overhead power lines when using a rod and line.

Submarine Cables and Pipes

Masters of vessels are reminded not to anchor their vessels in the vicinity of submarine cables or pipes in case they foul their anchor or damage the cables or pipes. Look to the river banks for signage indicating their presence.

Water Levels - Precautions

Low Water Levels:

When water levels fall below normal summer levels masters should be aware of:

Navigation

To reduce the risk of grounding masters should navigate on or near the centreline of the channel, avoid short cutting in dog-legged channels and navigating too close to navigation markers.

Proceeding at a slow speed will also reduce “squat” effect i.e. where the vessel tends to sit lower in the water as a consequence of higher speed.

Slipways

Reduced slipway length available under the water surface and the possibility of launching trailers dropping off the end of the concrete apron.

More slipway surface susceptible to weed growth requiring care while engaged in launching boats, from slipping and sliding on the slope. Note also that launching vehicles may not be able to get sufficient traction on the slipway once the craft is launched to get up the incline.

Bank Erosion

Very dry riverbanks are more susceptible to erosion from vessel wash.

Lock Share

Maximising on the number of vessels in a lock will ensure that the total volume of water moving downstream is decreased. Lock cycles should be used for vessels travelling each way.

High Water Levels:

When water levels rise above normal summer level masters should be aware of:

Navigation

Navigation marks will have reduced height above the water level or may disappear underwater altogether making the navigable channel difficult to discern.

In narrow sections of the navigations water levels will tend to rise more quickly than in main streams and air draft at bridges will likewise be reduced.

There will also be increased flow rates particularly in the vicinity of navigation infrastructure such as bridges, weirs, locks etc where extra care in manoeuvring vessels will be required.

Harbours and Jetties

Due care is required in harbours and at slipways when levels are at or near the same level as the harbour walkways' as the edge will be difficult to discern especially in reduced light conditions. It is advised that Personal Flotation Devices be worn if tending to craft in a harbour in these conditions.

Slipways

Slipways should only be used for the purpose of launching and recovering of water craft or other objects from the water. Before using a slipway it should be examined to ensure that the surface has sufficient traction/grip for the intended purpose such as launching a craft from a trailer using a vehicle, that there is sufficient depth of water on the slipway to float the craft off the trailer before the concrete apron ends and that the wheels of the trailer do not drop off the edge of the slipway. That life-saving appliances are available in the vicinity, that the vehicle is roadworthy and capable of coping with the weight of the trailer and boat on the incline. It is recommended that slipway operations are conducted by two persons.

Caution to be Used in Reliance upon Aids to Navigation

The aids to navigation depicted on the navigation guides comprise a system of fixed and floating aids to navigation. Prudent mariners will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly a floating aid to navigation. With respect to buoys, the buoy symbol is used to indicate the approximate position of the buoy body and the ground tackle which secures it to the lake or river bed. The approximate position is used because of the practical limitations in positioning and maintaining buoys in precise geographical locations. These limitations include, but are not limited to, prevailing atmospheric and lake/river conditions, the slope of and the material making up the lake/river bed, the fact that the buoys are moored to varying lengths of chain, and the fact that the buoy body and/or ground tackle positions are not under continuous surveillance. Due to the forces of nature, the position of the buoy body can be expected to shift inside and outside the charted symbol.

Buoys and perches are also moved out of position or pulled over by those mariners who use them to moor up to instead of anchoring. To this end, mariners should always monitor their passage by relating buoy/perch positions with the published navigation guide. Furthermore, a vessel attempting to pass close by always risks collision with a yawing buoy or with the obstruction that the buoy or beacon/perch marks.

Masters of Vessels are requested to use the most up to date Navigation guides when navigating on the Inland Waterways.

Information taken from Special Marine Notice No 1 of 2023