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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for public harbours on these navigations will commence on Tuesday 1 November.

Masters wishing to avail of winter mooring — which continues until 31 March 2023 — are required to register online and pay the winter mooring fee of €63.50 prior to 1 November.

Masters must apply for winter mooring at a specific harbour. They will then receive by email their approval, rejection or an alternative location of application. Upon approval, follow the link in the email to pay the required fee online.

Masters are reminded that Bye-law 17 of the Canals Act — the “5 consecutive days/ 7 days in one month rule” — continues to apply for those not availing of winter mooring.

Waterways Ireland says it will be disconnecting its electricity supply points and water supply at public moorings for the winter period. Both services will be reinstated prior to the commencement of the 2023 boating season, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Owners are urged to note that vessels are moored in public harbours at the owners risk at all times and may be directed to other harbours “as operational exigencies require”.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users on the Shannon Navigation that the Coosan Point jetties on Lough Ree will be closed from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 October for improvement works.

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

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Shannon Navigation that a series of events will take place in Killaloe next weekend (16-18 September) as part of the end-of-season LUA celebration of ‘wild water’ in the Co Clare village.

Friday 16 September will see the Lough Derg branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) hold its end-of-season celebration with commodores John and Sandra Lefroy and Matt Daniels with guest of honour Mayor of Clare, Tony O’Brien. 
                                         
In addition, Norma Manly and band will be in concert at St Flannan’s Cathedral from 8pm.

On Saturday 17 September, there will be a presentation by Gary McMahon, director of the AKA Ilen project on sailing in Irish and international waters for over a century. This takes place at noon in St Flannan’s Cathedral.

It will be followed by a presentation by Martin Cooper on the cathedral’s distinctive bells at 3pm, honouring Bryan and Betty Brislane.

And at 8pm there will be a special concert — Killaloe: a musical celebration — featuring Mary Donahue, Paul Fitzpatrick and friends. Proceeds will go to the Lough Derg Coast Guard and Killaloe Fire and Rescue Services.

On Sunday 18 September, Caroline Rainsford will host a special hour-long session of tai chi by the waterside from 9am, free and suitable for all abilities.

At 11.30am, there will be an ecumenical service at St Flannan’s that will include a blessing of the waterways and environs, followed by a presentation to Sandra and John Lefroy of the famed steamboat Phoenix as well as a closing celebration hosted by the IWAI’s Lough Derg branch.

Throughout the weekend, St Flannan’s will also host a special art exhibition from local artist Trish Taylor Thompson on the theme of the waterways.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that construction works have commenced on a new bridge across the Shannon Navigation around 1km downstream of the existing bridge in Killaloe.

A silt curtain has been installed in the navigation and construction works will be extending into the navigation over the next 12 months. Masters of vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the construction works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Safety on the water must be improved as demand for staycations on the inland waterways increases.

That’s the warning from boat operators on the Shannon, as reported in The Irish Times, who have raised various issues such as a lack of qualified mechanics for maintenance, poor boat handling and a lack of enforcement of existing bye-laws.

“The Government have a huge thing about water safety at the minute,” says Leslie Shaw, proprietor of Portumna Marine, “but it seems to be only for swimmers.”

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Shannon’s cruising fleet is in line for a ‘green overhaul’ as Fáilte Ireland seeks consultants to advise on a more sustainable future for the inland waterway.

According to The Irish Times, the new strategy seeks to reverse the decline of the fleet on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway to half of its numbers in the 1980s.

And it’s been given a boost by renewed domestic interest in tourism on the waterways since the Covid pandemic.

“On top of that it’s about greening the fleet,” said Paddy Mathews, head of the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand. “Looking at new propulsion systems, potentially new fuel sources, potentially looking at how the boats can be converted.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of all craft on the Shannon Navigation that there is a sunken vessel on the western side of the navigation some 200m upstream of the N6 bridge at Athlone.

Afloat.ie previously reported on the rescue of 10 people from the speedboat on Saturday evening by Lough Ree RNLI.

A temporary red buoy is in place to mark the location, and masters are requested to proceed with additional caution in the area.

Elsewhere, on Lough Derg the Green Cage Buoy No 1184 northwest of the Corrikeen Islands has moved from its correct position.

A temporary green buoy has been installed at this location until the cage buoy can be repositioned.

Masters of vessels are urged to proceed with additional caution in the area. The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways assures that the marker will be replaced as soon as possible.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that further diving operations will be conducted on floating breakwaters along the Shannon Navigation from this coming Tuesday (16 August).

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the works at Spencer Harbour and Cleighran More on Lough Allen in Co Leitrim, Derryvunny and Rockingham on Lough Key and Kilglass in Co Roscommon until Tuesday 23 August.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways previously announced diving operations taking place from 11-19 August at Ballyleague on Lough Ree, Castle Harbour in Portumna and Garrykennedy on Lough Derg, and Limerick city.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and waterways users on the Shannon Navigation that restrictions around the construction of the new pedestrian and cycleway bridge in Athlone will continue until the end of next month.

Additionally, the first section of the bridge will be floated downstream from Wansboro Field on a large pontoon from Tuesday 30 to Wednesday 31 August.

Two tugs will be manoeuvring the 18 sqm pontoon, and two safety boats will be on the river during the bridge moving operation.

In preparation for the bridge moving operation, the three upstream sections of the new Waterways Ireland jetty at the railway bridge will be removed from Thursday 25 August.

All power and water to the remaining sections of the jetty will be disconnected for safety reasons from this date, and the red navigation markers at the railway bridge will also be removed.

No vessel will be allowed to moor on this jetty from 8pm on Monday 29 August until 8pm on Wednesday 31 August.

Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the works and to follow the instructions of safety craft and personnel in the area, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 6 of 18

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