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#RNLI - Two people are recovering after being rescued by Galway RNLI when the tide trapped them on Hare Island, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

The lifeboat launched at 6.41pm yesterday evening (Wednesday 13 September) to reports from passers-by on Renmore beach of people trapped on the tidal island.

With Declan Killilea was at the helm and crewed by Olivia Byrne, Ian Murphy, and John O’Sullivan, the lifeboat was at the scene five minutes later to recover the pair, who were uninjured but shaken by their ordeal.

Both rescued are visitors to the area, prompting Galway RNLI to urge caution to those who may not be familiar with the local tides.

Strandings are not uncommon at Hare Island, with similar incidents in 2010, 2013 and most recently last year.

In other news, Galway RNLI is hosting an open day at its lifeboat station in Galway Docks this Sunday 17 September from 1pm to 4pm. Fire and Rescue Galway, which shares volunteers with the lifeboat service, will also be in attendance.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rowing: Irish composite crews had good wins on the first day of the World Masters Regatta in Bled in Slovenia. The Irish B eight (average age 36 or more), which is formed from six clubs won. Two fours in the E class (average age 55 or more) also won – the Galway/Neptune combination by just .26 of a second. The decision was initially given to their German opponents.

World Masters Regatta, Bled, Slovenia, Day One (Selected Results; Irish interest; all heats of 1,000 metres, winners only)

Men

Eight, B (avg 36 or more) – Heat Five: Galway, Commercial, Shandon, Clonmel, Neptune, Cork 3:05.51.

Four, E (avg 55 or more) – Heat One: Galway, Neptune 3:26.26.

Heat Four: Waterford, Neptune, Commercial, Belfast BC 3:28.1

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul Giblin, a hugely successful rower with NUIG/Gráinne Mhaol, has died aged just 34. Giblin had dealt with cancer since 2012 and had undergone a bone marrow transplant in 2015.

His rowing career brought him medals at the World Student Games and the World Under-23 Championships, but he will be best known as a powerful member of the remarkable senior eight and senior fours from NUIG/Gráinne Mhaol. He was part of senior eights wins at the Irish Championships in 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2010, and senior coxless fours wins in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 and 2010. In all, Paul Giblin amassed 17 Irish senior championship wins. He won titles racing in all four seats of the coxless four.

He also competed as a cyclist with Galway Bay Cycling club and took part in Rás Tailteann in 2010.

The Galway man, who was a Lieutenant in the Irish Army will be buried on Wednesday after mass at at St Oliver Plunkett Church in Renmore.

Published in Rowing

#OurOceanWealth - Maritime Alliance executive director Greg Murphy will provide insights into the success of the US ‘blue tech’ cluster for the Irish marine sector in his keynote address at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit later this month.

Murphy heads a list of speakers announced to coincide with World Oceans Day (Thursday 8 June) for the summit on Friday 30 June at NUI Galway, which will focus on the theme of ‘Rethinking Boundaries and Innovation for a Sustainable Marine Economy’ and where delegates will also receive a progress update on Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

Terry Garcia, principal at Exploration Ventures LLC and former chief science and exploration officer at National Geographic, will lead discussions on the overwhelming and urgent imperative to innovate arising from our changing oceans.

Bringing Ireland’s blue economy into focus, Dan O'Brien, chief economist for the Institute of International and European Affairs, is addressing a number of topics from the Irish seafood sector, sustainability and economic development in coastal regions to the impact of the Wild Atlantic Way coastal tourism initiative.

Also on the speaker list are representatives from GEOMAR, PwC and Statoil as well as national speakers and panellists including Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy and Fáilte Ireland’s head of the Wild Atlantic Way programme, Fiona Monaghan, among others.

They join previously announced innovation expert Tom Kelley, of award-winning global design and development firm IDEO, who will address the summit on encouraging leaders in Ireland’s marine sector to engage in creative thinking.

Moderated by broadcaster and journalist Olivia O’Leary, this year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit offers a platform for global and national leaders from across the marine industry and related sectors to convene and collaborate on innovating for our marine future.

“Our ocean is a national asset and supports a diverse economy,” says Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said. “There are many success stories from businesses, from a range of sectors, about how they have responded to the opportunities provided by the ocean.

“To enable our marine potential to be realised, it is essential that we seek new approaches and ways of thinking to harness the boundless opportunities that exist in our marine industry.

“At this year's summit, delegates will be inspired by those leading the way in driving innovation to continue developing a sustainable marine economy for Ireland.”

A number of related marine industry and research events will also be held around the summit on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June, including the Digital Ocean Conference and the Marine Trade Show.

The Our Ocean Wealth Summit sponsored by PwC and related events are held as part of SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival, from 30 June to 2 July in Galway. For the full summit programme and to register visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie/register

Published in News Update

#Rowing: Irish crews had a very successful second day at the Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake. Monika Dukarska of Killorglin and the Skibbereen double of Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey won in the top single and double sculls races, but other crews also impressed. NUIG’s women’s eight finished third in the A Final in Tier One – the crew, which has a number of novice rowers, had also taken third in the morning time trial. Trinity, UCC, Shandon, Galway, Cork and UCD were amongst the crews which also came away with encouraging results over the weekend.

Metropolitan Regatta, Dorney Lake, Day Two (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Eights – Tier One, Final B: 2 NUIG A, 3 UCD (A). Final C: 1 Trinity 6:07.65. Final D: 2 UCD. Final F: 1 NUIG (B) 6:25.61. Final I: 2 Trinity (D), 3 UCD (C).

Four – Tier Three Final: 1 UCC 6:36.53.

Four, coxed – Championship Final: 3 NUIG (B).

Pair – Tier Two Final: 2 UCC

Sculling, Double

Tier Two Final: 2 Shandon

Women

Eight – Tier One – Final A: 3 NUIG (A). Final B: 2 Commercial. Final C: 3 Galway. Final D: 2 NUIG.

Four, coxed – Tier Three: 3 Galway Rowing Club.

Pair - Tier One Final: 2 Cork (G Collins, L Dilleen)

Sculling, Double – Tier One Final: 1 Skibbereen 7:17.56.

Single – Tier One: 1 Killorglin (M Dukarska); 3 UCD (A Crowley).

Published in Rowing

#MarineScience - Marine Minister Michael Creed fficially opened Ireland's first sea science gallery at Galway City Museum yesterday (Thursday 18 May).

‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ is Ireland’s first marine science exhibition to have audio and visual displays accessible in both English and as Gaeilge.

The interactive exhibition spans a variety of topics including the nature of how tides operate, multi-beam mapping, deep sea exploration and marine life along the seashore, using a combination of digital interactive touch screens, hands-on-exhibits, holograms and high-definition video footage.

“I’m delighted to officially open Ireland’s first marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, an exhibition that both strengthens our maritime identity and raises awareness about our oceans,” said Minister Creed.

“For an island nation like Ireland, the sea has particular importance to our history and culture, as well as supporting a diverse marine economy. Our ocean is a valuable source of food, a gateway for shipping and means of transport, as well as supporting diverse ecosystems. For many of Ireland’s coastal communities, our ocean also offers tourism and leisure opportunities which contribute to our health and wellbeing.

“Our ocean is indeed a vital resource, and it is imperative to cultivate an interest in our oceans from a young age.”

Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, "Ireland has a rich maritime heritage, from a seafaring history to researching and preserving our marine environment. Our ocean is a national asset and a key aspect of Ireland’s marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, is to ensure our marine resource generates social, cultural and economic benefits for all our citizens.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan added: “To realise Ireland’s marine potential, it’s incredibly important to have an ocean literate society – a population that has a strong understanding of the marine environment and how it impacts our everyday lives.

“To understand the value of our oceans, citizens need to engage with the marine environment from a young age. This exhibition provides a stimulating learning environment for children to discover the mysteries and science of our oceans, and to also inspire our next generation of marine entrepreneurs, explorers and scientists.”

The opening of ‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ coincides with the launch of SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival, which runs from Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July.

Volunteers are still wanted for the three-day event, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

#SeaFest - Organisers promise “a larger and more spectacular” SeaFest, as Ireland’s national maritime festival expands to include three days of activities and attractions celebrating the sea in Galway from 30 June to 2 July.

Festival chiefs met in Galway City Hall on Thursday 23 March to plan the SeaFest 2017 programme, intending to attract an even bigger number than the 60,000 who attended last summer.

Galway Harbour will be a hub of activity for three days, featuring even more activities for children, aquatic displays, vessel tours, as well as exhibitions and entertainment,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Heffernan.

“Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, and visitors will also have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans.

“SeaFest also raises public awareness of the value of our marine resources and the economic benefits our ocean provides to Galway and all of Ireland’s coastal communities.”

Donal Maguire, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) director of aquaculture development Services, said BIM is delighted to be taking part in SeaFest 2017, promising the return of last year’s popular Big Top on the Docks.

“Our Big Top will be a wealth of family friendly fun information on all things relating to Ireland’s fishing, fish farming and overall seafood sectors, from cookery demonstrations to exciting interactive games and puzzles for the kids,” he said.

Naval Service vessel LÉ Niamh was popular with crowds last year, and an even bigger display is planned for SeaFest 2017. World-famous tall ship The Phoenix will again return to Galway Harbour, and visitors will also enjoy tours of Marine Institute vessels the Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager.

SeaFest 2017 is supported by BIM, the Department of Defence, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, NUI Galway, Bord Bia Irish Food Board, Port of Galway, Western Development Commission, Galway Chamber, The Village Salthill and Latin Quarter Galway.

Dr Peter Heffernan said collaboration with the festival’s partners is key to SeaFest’s success.

As well as the public festivities, the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be held on 30 June at NUI Galway. National and international delegates will discuss how Ireland is transforming its marine sector through new thinking to achieve economic prosperity and to protect marine resources for the future.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Shellfish - Galway will host the 11th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety (ICMSS 2017) this summer from Sunday 14 to Thursday 18 May.

ICMSS 2017 will be hosted by the Marine Institute in association with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Irish Shellfish Association, National University of Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway.

This 11th conference in the biannual forum series, subtitled ‘Protecting consumers, assuring supply, growing confidence’, offers an important multidisciplinary interface between regulatory, scientific and industrial representatives of the international molluscan food safety community. Unusual, emerging and novel shellfish risk factors will be discussed, offering new information and solutions.

ICMSS 2017 will include keynote presentations from acclaimed international experts in the area. A series of workshops will be held in conjunction with the event on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May which will be of particular interest to shellfish safety professionals and students, including microbiologists, toxin chemists, toxicologists, marine scientists, regulators, policy makers, food safety specialists, environmental health officials, engineers, environmental managers, academics and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

More information can be found on the ICMSS 2017 website. The programme is available to as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#OurOceanWealth - Early bird registration is now open for the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, which takes place on Friday 30 June at NUI Galway.

Global and national leaders from across the marine sector are set to convene and collaborate on innovating for our marine future, at this year’s summit, reflecting on innovation for a sustainable marine economy in a landscape of global turbulence and dynamic, disruptive technological, social and political change.

The summit is specifically targeted at national maritime stakeholders, from policy makers, industry representatives, and businesses to Government departments and agencies, NGOs, academics and researchers, and is increasingly attracting international attention.

In addition, the summit — an initiative of the Government's inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group — will review progress to date on Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

A full agenda for this year's Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be available in the coming weeks. Outline sessions include:

Session A: Progress on Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth
The objective of this session is to provide a platform whereby tangible progress towards the goals of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the national maritime plan for Ireland, can be announced.

Session B: The Drive for Innovation
This session is intended to highlight to the audience the global context in which efforts to transform Ireland's marine industry must take place.

Session C: Smarter and Better
This session will examine how Ireland's established economic sectors, such as the food sector, can turn their attention to the sea. The session is designed to highlight that Ireland has key sectors of strength and expertise operating on a global playing field, which if matched to the marine resource, can be drivers for growth.

Session D: The Coastal Economy
This session will move the focus of the summit from the global perspective to one more focused on the Irish economy, using marine tourism and coastal enterprise as a case study to pose the question "How can Ireland innovate in marine tourism and leisure?".

Session E: Our Rapidly Changing Oceans
Designed to bring the summit full circle, this session will reflect on the ways in which innovation is possible and the benefits it can bring. Participants will also consider the overwhelming and urgent imperative to innovate arising from our changing oceans.

A number of related industry, innovation and research events will also take place on Thursday 29 June in advance of the summit, which is an integral part of Ireland's national maritime festival, SeaFest, in Galway from 29 June to 2 July.

To secure your place at this year’s summit, register now at www.ouroceanwealth.ie/register. See the website for more information or follow @OurOceanWealth on Twitter.

Published in News Update

#Diving - Planning permission is being sought for a new hyperbaric therapy centre in Galway city centre, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Regularly used for the treatment of damaged body tissues, hyperbaric facilities are also key to the treatment of decompression sickness, or ‘the bends’ – a risk for deepwater divers.

Last November, Cork’s SCUBA diving community announced plans to raise funds for a local hyperbaric chamber, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Diving
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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