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Displaying items by tag: Donegal

#MarineWildlife - RTÉ News reports on the deaths of five pilot whales in a 13-strong pod that beached in Donegal this morning (Monday 7 July).

Despite valiant efforts by locals, four of the whales stranded Ballyness Beach in Falcarragh were already dead when the pod was discovered in distress.

Several whales also beached themselves again after a JCB was used to try to drag the surviving pod members out towards the sea. A fifth whale, a juvenile, died soon after.

It's hoped that the next high tide will help the remaining eight whales out of the shallows to deeper waters. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

The story brings sad memories of the more than 30 pilot whales lost in a mass stranding on Rutland Island some three-and-a-half years ago, and more recently the 16 pilot whales that died after beaching in eastern Scotland almost two years ago in similarly tragic circumstances.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Inishowen - The Irish Times reports that a fisherman has died after his fishing vessel is thought to have sunk off Inishowen Head in Co Donegal this morning.

The alarm was raised by a local fisherman who spotted debris in the water, and the body of the mid-50s man was recovered by another boat some minutes later.

A subsequent coastguard search established that the man had been fishing alone in his 20ft vessel.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Surfing - Travel writer Pól Ó Conghaile has posted his recollections of surfing the wintery waters of Dunfanaghy in North Donegal.

With "waves you’d be hard pressed to find in Australia", the region proved to Ó Conghaile why surfing in Ireland is such a draw for world-class pros and land-lubber novices alike.

"Sheltered or exposed, facing every which way, throwing up all kinds of waves – sure, the water is cold, but with the right gear you can break out the board no matter what," he writes.

And there's more on the story at Pól Ó Conghaile's website HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#BoatVandals - Gardaí in North Donegal are looking for vandals who wrecked two boats with a combined worth of over €10,000 off Downings Pier late on Tuesday night (17 September).

Donegal Daily reports that the fishing boats owned by local men were cut from their moorings and left to drift across the bay, where they were destroyed on rocks.

Gardaí at Carrigart are studying CCTV footage from the pier and have appealed to any locals who spotted people acting suspiciously in the area that night to contact them.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - Marine researchers have attached a video camera to the dorsal fin of a basking shark off Donegal in what's described as a "world's first".

RTÉ News reports that the footage captured by the team from the Irish Basking Shark Project, who affixed their camera to the giant six-metre shark off Malin Head last month.

Team spokesperson Emmett Johnston remarked on the basking shark bonanza off Donegal at present, commenting that the research "haven't seen sharks in such good numbers since 2010".

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the gathering of beasts was a surprise for an angling kayaker who posted his own video of being 'stalked' by a basking shark off the Inishowen Peninsula.

But he was never in any real danger as despite their fearsome appearance, the gentle giants live on a diet of plankton.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI will host the revived Castle Island charity swim and family fun morning in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh on Sunday 11 August.

The swim traditionally took place each year with the support of the Blake family.

And Enniskillen RNLI have hailed as a "great honour" the opportunity for its local volunteer crew to revive the swim in association with sponsors Blakes the Hollow, Western Cars and The Print Factory.



The 750m swim on Lough Erne is open to swimmers of all ages either individually or in small groups such as youth clubs, sports clubs or simply groups of friends.

Enniskillen RNLI says the emphasis for this swim is for everyone to have fun and for that reason, if required, novice swimmers may complete the swim in a well-fitted lifejacket or buoyancy aid but must be confident that they can complete the distance. 



Lifeboat crew not swimming themselves will also be present on the day to provide safety cover for the event.



Registration for the swim will take place at 12 noon on the day, followed by a short safety briefing. Sponsorship forms are available by email or can be collected at The Wig & Crown, Blakes the Hollow and Western Cars. For further information contact Adrian at 07974 730456.

In other news, RTÉ Radio 1’s The Business will broadcast live from Bundoran RNLI lifeboat station this Saturday morning 3 August.

The focus of the show will be on the business of Bundoran being a seaside resort - a reputation the Donegal town has enjoyed for more than two centuries. 

Speaking ahead of his visit, programme host George Lee said: "I'm really looking forward to broadcasting from Bundoran, particularly on a bank holiday weekend. I'm hoping to experience lots of surfing, slots machines and ice-creams.

"On the show we'll be looking back at the heyday of the dancehalls, we'll be joined by Bundoran regular Ramona Nicholas from Dragon's Den, we'll be speaking to two men making money from oil exploration and lots, lots more."


The Business is broadcast Saturday morning at 10am on RTÉ Radio 1.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#GhostShip - It was an unsettling discovery for a Donegal skipper to happen upon a deserted yacht drifting in the Atlantic Ocean last week.

As BBC News reports, the unmanned vessel materialised in fog off Downings harbour in the north-west of the county, evoking memories of the famous Mary Celeste.

Fearing the worst, local charter boat operator Michael McVeigh sent two divers abroad to investigate, and all they found were rotting food and an e-mail address left on a note on the table.

But the mystery was soon solved after McVeigh contacted Malin Head coastguard - who confirmed that the yacht's owner had been rescued some 600 miles west of Galway.

The yachtsman had been sailing on a "dream trip" from his home in the Azores towards Iceland when he encountered difficulties and used his satellite phone to call for help.

He was later picked up by a passing freighter, leaving his yacht to drift.

BBC News has more on the tale here.

Published in News Update

#MarineWildlife - An angling kayaker has spoken of his surprise at being "stalked" by a basking shark off Donegal.

The Irish Times yesterday posted video of the close encounter captured by Graham Smith while paddling along the coast.

As Smith told the Irish Independent, he was only hoping to catch a tope shark when he came upon a school of basking sharks off the Inishowen Peninsula.

And when one of them started following him, Smith went into panic mode - but soon realised the shark was more interested in the slipstream of his kayak, which provided a steady source of plankton for the giant filter feeder.

The second biggest fish in the sea after the whale shark, basking sharks are now a regular sight in Irish waters, with protections on the endangered species resulting in a boom in numbers.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard dealt with a lifesaving of a different kind on Friday night (19 July) when one of the crew of the Sligo-based rescue helicopter helped deliver a baby boy.

As TheJournal.ie reports, the delivery happened after the coastguard crew had airlifted a woman in advanced labour from Arranmore off the Donegal coast to Letterkenny.

When she began to give birth in the hospital corridor, Rescue 118 crewman Gary Robertson stepped in to help bring the healthy baby boy into the world.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#WaterSafety - Four more people have drowned in separate incidents around Ireland as the heatwave continues.

As RTÉ News reports, a 24-year-old man died while swimming in the sea near Ardara in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon (20 July).

Later, the body of a second victim was recovered from the Shrule River in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone after getting into difficulty.

A third man in his 60s is was drowned after failing to return from a swim in a quarry near Carrick-on-Suir. His body was recovered earlier today.

The tragedies follow news of a 19-year-old who drowned while swimming with friends in Lough Leane in Killarney on Friday evening (19 July).

And a woman in her 30s was lucky to be rescued after getting into difficulty swimming in the River Nore near Kilkenny. She is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Irish Water Safety have renewed their appeal for the public to take extra care when taking to the water during this extraordinary hot weather that had already claimed seven lives as of Thursday last.

Published in Water Safety
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