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Displaying items by tag: Mayo

A refuse barrel from South Carolina has been found washed up in an unexpected spot — on a beach more than 5,500km away in Co Mayo.

Myrtle Beach City Government shared their surprise email exchange with Keith McGreal, who discovered the blue barrel at the weekend while walking his local beach in Mulranny, between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay.

McGreal contacted officials in Myrtle Beach — perhaps best known in this part of the world for its abundance of golf courses — going by the labels that were still fastened to the trash can despite its epic journey.

It’s suspected that following strong winds or a storm blew it into the North Atlantic, a favourable Gulf Stream current was responsible for taking the coastal rubbish receptacle so far off course.

“We typically remove trash containers from the beach before a hurricane, but this one apparently had a mind of its own,” the city said on social media, adding: “We’ve already had a city employee volunteer to come fetch it.”

Published in Coastal Notes

A local community in eastern Co Mayo rallied to attempt to save as many as 13 common dolphins that live-stranded near Blacksod on Friday (13 August).

As Mayo IWDG’s Facebook reports, the family group comprising 13 dolphins — mainly mothers and calves with a large male — stranded at Tarmon Beach with the tide dropping.

Sadly three of the dolphins died before they could be helped, but the rest responded to being cooled with buckets of seawater by local volunteers assisting the area’s Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) members.

As the tide was still dropping for over an hour, it was quickly decided to move the dolphins 2km by road to the slipway at Blacksod where they could be more easily immersed and cared for.

The local IWDG team used their new wheeled dolphin stretcher to transport the larger marine wildlife to a horse box, while the juveniles were carried in beach towels.

Once carefully released back into the water, all were seen to swim quickly and without obvious distress, and by 9pm the pod had left the area.

“Tarmon and the surrounding beaches on the east side of the Mullet Peninsula are notorious for common dolphins live-stranding due to the topography of the beaches,” Mayo IWDG said.

“The beaches are large flat expanses so during spring tides especially, the water can level can drop uniformly and recede up to 1km in parts. Common dolphins being an offshore dolphin species often get caught out on such difficult-to-navigate shallow terrain.

“When a dolphin live-strands it puts immense pressure on their bodies. They can become very disorientated and have muscle spasms from the stranding event making it difficult to swim, which is why this group were given recovery time at Blacksod before being released.

“Thanks again to everyone who helped out today; it was so humbling to see everyone work together to get this pod back to the sea.”

Juvenile dolphins cooled down with wet towels and seaweed were given recovery time with their pod before release | Credit: Mayo IWDG/FacebookJuvenile dolphins cooled down with wet towels and seaweed were given recovery time with their pod before release | Credit: Mayo IWDG/Facebook

Elsewhere, the IWDG reports on two separate strandings of Sowerby’s beaked whales in Co Galway. The first was found washed up on Inisbofin at the end of the week while the second was reported yesterday (Saturday 14 August) across the water in Cleggan.

Commenting on the former report, the IWDG said: “Beaked whales are not stranded that frequently but this individual had evidence of rope marks on its body.

“As [they are] an offshore deep-diving species we don’t expect beaked whales to get entangled in fishing gear or interact with offshore activity.

“Maybe these rope marks were not from fishing but some other source. Hard to tell, but without a full post-mortem examination the cause of death will remain speculative.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is set to return to Ireland on 12 September, with Downpatrick Head in Co Mayo hosting the fourth stop on this year’s international circuit.

It’s one of the four new locations for the elite cliff diving competition, along with spots in France, Norway and the Caucasus.

It also marks the fifth Irish edition of the event — following three visits to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands and 2019’s contest in Dun Laoghaire, which attracted an estimated 145,000 spectators.

Elite divers representing 18 nationalities will take part in the 2021 series, which kicks off at Cap Dramont, south-west of Cannes on France’s Mediterranean coast, on 12 June.

The athletes then head to Oslo in Norway (14 August) and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina before their Irish stop, continuing on to Polignano a Mare in southern Italy (26 September) and Baku in Azerbaijan (16 October).

Published in Watersport

The Irish Times reports that a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries after a diving incident in Co Cork yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 June).

It’s understood that the man was diving from rocks near Nohoval Cove, between Kinsale and Crosshaven, when his foot caught and he landed on rocks.

Kinsale RNLI and gardaí attended the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard, which airlifted the casualty on board the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to Cork University Hospital.

Elsewhere, the search resumed this morning for a five-year-old boy believed to have fallen from a dinghy on Lough Mask.

RTÉ News reports that gardaí and the coastguard are searching the west side of the lough near Toormakeady in Co Mayo.

Published in Rescue

Mariners off the Mayo coast are advised to be on the lookout for two separate undersea operations from next week.

From Sunday 17 May, America Europe Connect 2 will be installing a subsea fibre optic cable in Irish waters to Oldhead, near Westport.

The works from the CS Responder involve a pre-lay grapnel run until Tuesday 19 May, followed by the cable installation from Wednesday 20 May to Tuesday 16 June, weather permitting.

Three other vessels will also be involved in these works, fun details of which are included in Marine Notice No 21 of 2020 attached below.

Meanwhile, Vermillion Ireland will begin a near shore inspection survey of the Corrib gas pipeline and umbilical from next Wednesday 20 May.

Details of the locations and vessels involved can be found in Marine Notice No 20 of 2020, also attached below.

Published in Marine Warning

The original owner of a mystery houseboat that washed up on the Mayo coast three years ago has been traced to western Canada, as RTÉ News reports.

The wooden vessel, which was fitted with solar panels, was recovered for restoration by locals with a view to becoming a tourist attraction for the North-West.

On an interior wall, it included a message from a ‘Rick Small’ offering it for free as a dwelling for homeless youth in Newfoundland.

It appeared that the houseboat was owned by the same Rick Small who gained some celebrity in Canada in 2014 for riding a solar-powered tricycle across the country.

And that’s since been confirmed by Canada’s CTV News, who traced Small (64) to his home in Victoria, British Columbia — and learned that he built the vessel himself for an intended voyage from Newfoundland around the Arctic.

CTV News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

New Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) remind skippers and crew of small fishing vessels of the requirements set out in the relevant Code of Practice, following the official maritime reports into two fatal incidents off the West Coast last year.

Marine Notice No 38 of 2019 has been published in response to a fatal fishing boat capsize off Co Mayo in the spring of 2018, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

One man died and two others were recovered some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel, the FV Aisling Patrick, overturned on the afternoon of 10 April last year.

The report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) clarifies that their vessel had begun to list to starboard and while that was being investigated, a wave struck from the port side and flooded the deck.

Before the skipper could complete a Mayday call, a second wave came from the port side that capsized the boat.

Only one of the three made it into the vessel’s liferaft, while the deceased “was in the water face down and did not make any attempt to swim or stay afloat”.

The upturned hull of the vessel drifted away but was reported off South Uist in Scotland some three weeks after the incident and later inspected.

While the MCIB report did not determine conclusively the cause of the capsize, it was noted that the vessel’s stability was affected due to water ingress — possibly from suboptimal pipe connections — and that the bilge alarm system did not give early warning to the skipper or crew.

Among other findings, it was noted that none of the three men on board was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), and that the deceased — who had been returning to fishing after a number of years away — had not completed necessary training.

The Marine Notice reminds owners that any major repairs or modifications must comply with the Code of Practice (CoP), and that their vessel must be maintained and operated in accordance with its requirements.

A second Marine Notice, No 39 of 2019, pertains to the investigation into the sinking of a small boat while laying lobster pots off Connemara on 23 May 2018.

As reported here by Lorna Siggins earlier this month, the MCIB found that the boat’s owner, who died in the incident, had purchased a substantial amount of safety equipment — almost none of which was on board at the time.

The notice refers to the same CoP as well as to the advisory published this summer relating to the safety of small vessels engaged in pot fishing.

Published in Water Safety

The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors to primary school children this week and to the general public for an open day this Sunday 14 April from 11am to 4pm.

Primary pupils from Newport, Kilmeena, Carrowaholly, Glenhest, Knockroosky and Snugboro schools in Co Mayo will visit the Newport Catchment Facility on today and tomorrow (Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April) to speak with marine scientists and view the freshwater hatchery and fish rearing facilities on site.

A number of PhD candidates will also be available to talk to students about their subject choices and potential careers in the marine sector.

Beavers and cubs from the Westport and Ballyhaunis Scout groups will have an opportunity to tour the facility this Saturday 13 April.

And the open day at Newport Catchment Facility thus Sunday offers an opportunity for visitors to view the facilities in the Burrishoole Valley and learn more about the research taking place at the site.

A range of cutting-edge research is undertaken at the Newport Catchment Facility including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems events, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said: “We welcome visitors to our Newport facility to see the work that is being undertaken by scientists and postdoctoral students that not only contributes to national research, but also has international relevance.

“Our open day is also an opportunity to engage the public and increase awareness of the value and opportunities of our marine resource, a goal of Ireland’s marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.”

Published in Marine Science

#Angling - Seán Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has signed off three new angling bye-laws which affect the Corrib catchment in Galway and Mayo.

The bye-laws, which have been requested by local angling clubs, concern the Abbert and Grange Rivers, the Clare River and the Cong River and Canal, and reflect the support of the clubs for the conservation imperative and the sustainable management of the local fisheries resource.

The Abbert and Grange Rivers (Annual Close Season) Bye-Law extends the closed season for all angling on the Abbert and Grange Rivers by two months to cover the period from the 1st of September until the 31st of March annually.

This bye-law is being introduced at the request of the angling clubs on the Clare system and will act as a vital conservation measure.

Both rivers make a significant contribution to wild brown trout stocks in the Clare River system and Lough Corrib. The new bye-law will afford greater protection to spawning salmonids in these two very important tributaries of the Clare River.

The Western Fisheries Region River Clare (Revocation) Bye-Law permits all legal angling methods on the Clare River from Daly’s Bridge in the townland of Corrandrum to a point 300 metres upstream of the footbridge at Anbally in the townlands of Anbally and Turloughmartin, Co Galway.

This section of river was previously restricted to fly fishing only. However, this new bye-law will bring this short section of the river into line with the rest of the Clare River. This bye-law was introduced at the request of the local angling club.

The Upper and Lower Limits of Cong River and Cong Canal Bye-Law clearly defines the upstream boundary between Lough Mask and the Cong Canal and the downstream boundary between the Cong River and Lough Corrib.

The purpose of the bye-law is to enable the effective enforcement of legislation governing the open angling seasons for trout and salmon on the Cong Canal/River as these differ from the open seasons for these species on Loughs Corrib and Mask.

This bye-law will also remove any difficulty in identifying the correct angling season at the extremities of the Cong River/Canal and will afford greater protection to highly prized ferox trout which are known to spawn in the Cong River/Canal.

“We welcome the introduction of these bye-laws in Galway and Mayo which will help us to enforce relevant legislation and enhance the resource in the long term,” said Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.

“The introductions of these bye-laws follow public consultations whereby stakeholders were invited to input their views and insights into the proposed new regulations. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fisheries officers will now protect these rivers in line with the new laws in place.”

Anglers are requested to familiarise themselves with the details of the new bye-laws, which can be found on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Published in Angling

#RNLI - Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat crew had an unusual callout on Monday evening (14 May) when they were launched to recover a runaway barge that had drifted to the Mayo coast across the Atlantic from Canada more than 3,000km away.

The large floating barge had broken from its moorings in Labrador in north-east Canada last November, and after six months at sea was spotted and reported by a passing fishing vessel earlier on Monday.

Ballyglass RNLI received the call to launch last night at 7.20pm. On arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew found a steel barge measuring 26 metres by 16 metres, which was unsecured and floating.

The lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the barge back to Ballyglass Harbour.

However, with no room to berth such a large barge safely, it was put on the lifeboat mooring before a more permanent solution could be found. The crew were not stood down until 2am this morning.

All in all, it took the lifeboat crew seven hours to secure the barge and and bring it safely to Ballyglass.

Commenting on the shout, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager Padraic Sheeran said: “We were not expecting this type of callout at all. You do hear of vessels and craft breaking free of moorings but it’s unusual to have one drift thousands of kilometres and have to be rescued by lifeboat.

“On a serious note though, it represented a major navigational danger to any vessel that it collided with and it was a relief to have it safely recovered.”

The callout will remind Afloat.ie readers of the houseboat that drifted from Newfoundland to the Mayo coast in November 2016.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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