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Displaying items by tag: Portumna

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Shannon Navigation that the upgrade works on the waiting jetties upstream and downstream of Portumna Bridge will be carried out from Thursday 17 November to Friday 2 December.

These jetties will remain open except for the area where works are ongoing. The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it regrets any inconvenience that this may cause and thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

On Friday (23 September), Waterways Ireland marked the commencement of works on two significant tourism and navigation projects on the Shannon Navigation in Portumna, Co Galway.

Minister of State for Disability, Anne Rabbitte and fellow local TDs Ciarán Cannon and Seán Canney, along with Fiona Monaghan and Paddy Mathews from Fáilte Ireland, Alan Farrell from Galway County Council and Éanna Rowe and Phil Cargill from Waterways Ireland turned the sod on the redevelopment of Connaught Harbour.

Elsewhere, at Portumna Bridge the commencement of construction of a blueway cycle and pedestrian trail along the inland waterway linking Portumna Castle and Connaught Harbour was also marked. 
 
The Connaught Harbour redevelopment project — which is part-funded by Fáilte Ireland and stems from the Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Lough Derg VEDP — consists of a new eight-berth marina at Connaught Harbour, incorporating a boat pump-out with new car parking area and ancillary services.

Quay wall berthing for 22 boats along with car parking and a civic area will also be developed at the bridge yard end of Connaught Harbour. This will be facilitated by the removal of three buildings on the site.

Footpaths will be repaired, where required, and a new road crossing will be developed connecting to the new blueway. Work on the development has begun and the project is expected to be open to the public in mid-2023.
 
Commenting on the works, Minister Rabbitte said: “I am delighted to be in Portumna today to turn the sod on this exciting development for the area. This investment will transform the area as both a domestic and an international tourist attraction, and for the local people who live in the vicinity.”
 
Aimed at positioning the Shannon as a hub destination for international and domestic tourism, the Shannon Tourism Masterplan is the first dedicated plan undertaken on the entire Shannon region.

A collaborative project led by Waterways Ireland, with Fáilte Ireland and 10 local authorities along the River Shannon and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, it sets out an integrated framework for sustainable tourism development along the Shannon across to 2030.

The masterplan identifies the measures needed to develop the necessary infrastructure, products and experiences to reposition the Shannon region as a key tourism destination within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. 
 
These Portumna projects are funded by Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Fiona Monaghan, head of activities product development at Fáilte Ireland said: “The River Shannon is a signature visitor experience within the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands regional brand and offers huge tourism potential for both domestic and international visitors.

“This investment in Connaught Harbour and the wider Portumna area will help to stimulate greater tourism and visitor activity in this area. These exciting developments will significantly enhance the outdoor recreation infrastructure portfolio in the destination and have the potential to have a transformative impact on Portumna and Lough Derg as a key visitor destination on the Shannon.” 
 
Jim Cullen, chief executive of Galway County Council said: “This redevelopment project will totally revitalise this area and will add another attractive amenity to the county, for the people who live here and for those who visit.”
 
Waterways Ireland regional manager Éanna Rowe added: “These projects have significant economic and social benefit and will really increase the recreational and amenity value of this area. I look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Rural and Community Development, Fáilte Ireland and with Galway County Council to bring them to fruition for the people of Galway and beyond.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and users of the Shannon Navigation that significant redevelopment works at Connaught Harbour will commence in the coming weeks.

A new public marina adjacent to Connaught Harbour and redevelopment of the bridge yard site will be undertaken from September to December, followed by some completion works and pile removals in July 2023.

Connaught Harbour and the quay wall at the bridge yard site will be closed for mooring of vessels from this Sunday 18 September until the completion of the works. All vessels moored in these areas should vacate the moorings by this date, the cross-border body for Ireland's inland waterways advises.

Published in Inland Waterways

New lock opening hours have been introduced on the Shannon Navigation as the 2022 boating season gets under way.

The new times have been agreed and implemented following a lock-keeping review process. The primary objectives of this review were to:

  • improve the work/life balance of the lock/bridge keepers;
  • help future-proof lock keeping on the Shannon Navigation;
  • increase operational efficiency within the region; and
  • continue to provide a high level of service to vessels travelling on the navigation.

As of last Monday 14 March, locks on the Shannon Navigation will be open from 9.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and 9.30am to 6pm on Sundays. From next Friday 1 April to the end September, weekday and Saturday hours extend by an hour to 7.30pm.

In October, weekday and Saturday hours will be 9.30am to 6.30pm. And for the winter season from 1 November this year to 13 March 2023, hours will be reduced to 9am to noon on weekdays and Saturdays, and 9am to 11am on Sundays.

Opening times for Portumna Bridge have also changed. Until and including next Thursday 31 March, the bridge will open six times on weekdays and Saturdays (10am, 11am, 12.40pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm) and five times on Sundays (10am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5pm).

From Friday 1 April to the end of September, there will be an additional opening at 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and 11am on Sundays.

And over the winter season from 1 November, there will be only three openings on weekdays and Saturdays (9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am) and two on Sundays (9.30am, 10.30am).

As the boating season commences, Waterways Ireland reminds masters of vessels and waterways users that COVID-19 continues to be present within the population, and urges continued vigilance and appropriate precautions to prevent its spread while using the inland waterways.

In this context, Waterways Ireland says toll-free passage will continue for the 2022 boating season on the Shannon Navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

#PortumnaHarbour - Motorhome bye-laws for the newly refurbished Portumna Harbour are being redrafted over a legal issue.

And it could be two months before the new regulations are in place, according to Galway Bay FM.

The redeveloped harbour on Waterways Ireland’s Shannon Navigation was only opened to the public last month, with upgraded marina berths and improved parking facilities to accommodate camper vans, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr. Seán Canney, T.D., today opened the refurbished Harbour and Amenity Park on the Shannon Navigation in Portumna. Developed by Waterways Ireland, Galway County Council and the Office of Public Works and jointly funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Lough Derg Stimulus Fund the €750k project involved harbour and onshore works.

The harbour works included the doubling of the moorings space capacity at this ever popular location, upgrade of berths, re-paving of the quay area, installation of cut stone walls and installation of a hoist for disabled boaters. The onshore works included the upgrade of the service block (with toilets and showers), car parking and access road. A further development of integrated services for camper vans has also been completed which will see for the first time the provision of facilities and services for the growing numbers of visiting camper vans to Ireland.

Commenting at the redevelopment, Minister Canney said “The improvement works undertaken here at Portumna Harbour have been extensive and will prove important in increasing visitor numbers to this scenic area of County Galway. The project, funded jointly by Fáilte Ireland and developed by the Office of Public Works, Galway County Council and Waterways Ireland, will make an excellent facility for boaters, tourists and those who enjoy waterway activities. I have no doubt that this facility will develop and promote activity tourism and will add to this region’s reputation as one of Ireland’s most attractive and enjoyable destinations for visitors from both at home and abroad which is one of the key elements of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.”

This project has been funded by Fáilte Ireland and administered through the Lough Derg Marketing Group. A key element of the Lough Derg Marketing Group is product development and all the agencies engaged in the Group including Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, the Local Authorities, Inland Fisheries Ireland and private sector representatives have worked collaboratively to deliver the Lough Derg Roadmap, the strategic tourism development plan for the region.

Dawn Livingstone, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland stated “Portumna is a key destination and gateway on the Shannon Navigation area for domestic and international visitors. The development here in Portumna is part of our strategy in Waterways Ireland and is key in encouraging further economic activity in the town and indeed wider Lough Derg."

Waterways Ireland will continue to work in partnership to develop new projects which benefit the people living along the Shannon as well as visitors and tourists.

Published in Inland Waterways

#LoughDerg - Two years after Lough Derg Marina sold for more than three times its guide price, another marina on the third-largest lake on the island of Ireland has come on the market.

As The Irish Times reports, more than €2.5 million is being sought for Cloondavaun Bay Marina near Portumna — a 50-berth property with almost a kilometre of lake frontage and a range of modern services for boat owners, as well a four-bed detached home.

Subject to planning, estate agents CBRE say the marina is most suited to aquatic tourism, from private berthing to angling and watersport on the lough.

There is also scope to expand its berthage to accommodate as many as 100 more vessels.

Published in Irish Marinas

#Flooding - Met Éireann confirms that further flooding is expected as prolonged falls of very heavy rain begin tonight (Friday 11 December) continuing through Saturday with totals of 30 to 50mm on lower ground.

Towns and villages along the Shannon have been warned to be braced for the worst flooding in that river's catchment for 20 years.

Galway Bay FM reports that four water pumps are already on standby in Portumna, where crews have managed to keep waters from rising over the bridge that connects the south-east Galway town to Tipperary.

Flooding is only the latest issue in the town, as a local councillor has complained about persistent dumping at Portumna Marina from illegally parked vehicles – though the waste has since been removed.

Pollution is also a problem in Clarinbridge, just outside Galway city, where locals fear the area's famous oysters, already downgraded from their 'A' status – allegedly due to runoff from a water treatment plant in Athenry – will be downgraded to the point of shutting down all harvesting. Galway Bay FM has more HERE.

Published in News Update

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has gone on site at Castle Harbour in Portumna, Co Galway with a programme of works to expand the recreational and tourism capacity of the harbour area.

The programme involves improvements to the harbour, service block and car park and is funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Lough Derg Stimulus Fund.

The project is a partnership between Galway County Council and Waterways Ireland who each own different parts of the site.

The service block, car park and boat pump-out are currently leased and maintained by Galway County Council, while the harbour area and existing moorings are owned and maintained by Waterways Ireland.

Castle Harbour is in the grounds of the Portumna Demesne on the shore of Lough Derg and is immediately surrounded by the castle and formal gardens, community gardens, medieval abbey, forest park and nature reserve.

Improving the capacity of both the harbour and the amenity area will have an immediate impact on the level of access and usage of the surrounding facilities.

In the harbour, the finger jetties are to be widened, lengthened and clad in hardwood timber, connecting them with the end concrete pillar. The finger moorings will also receive low level safety lighting and water & electricity connections. This will enhance the practical use and visual characteristics of the main harbour.

The work will bring the mooring facilities up to the standard that Waterways Ireland currently provides on new installations along the navigations.

The existing boat pump-out facility will be updated and the existing public lighting around the harbour will be replaced with low intensity directional lighting. Improving accessibility for boat users with a disability through the installation of a boat hoist is a key provision of the programme. New paving and the cladding of the existing wall around the harbour is also planned.

The existing service block is to be modernised and the general amenity area is to have seating areas & picnic tables and low intensity directional lighting. The planting of some native species of trees and shrubs will add to the visual amenity of the general area.

The existing car park is currently used for visitor parking and by recreational vehicles (RVs) who use the site as a stopover. The plan is to resurface the area and formalise the parking areas and facilities for these users, including the regulation and provision of services such as water and electricity to enhance the visitor experience to the site.

Waterways Ireland says it recognises the environmental designations of the area and has scoped, planned and is carrying out the works in compliance with best practice.

The work is expected to be completed early in 2016.​

Published in Inland Waterways

Powerboaters have been asked to heed their wash when passing vessels under sail. The request comes on the eve of the Shannon One Design (SOD) long distance race. SODs will race from Athlone lock to Banagher harbour on Sat the 25th and from Banagher to Portumna bridge on Sun 26th.

Published in Shannon One Design
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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

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