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Displaying items by tag: Doolin

#MarineWildlife - The swimmer who suffered serious injuries when she was attacked by Doolin's formerly resident dolphin has spoken of the "pure terror" of the incident last summer.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the woman was hospitalised after being stuck by the snout of Dusty the dolphin, whose behaviour had grown increasingly hostile towards swimmers in the Co Clare harbour over the summer.

Valerie Ryan spoke out some weeks later over the incident, calling for a total swimming ban in the area as she outlined the extent of her injuries, which included eight spinal fractures, two broken ribs and lung damage.

More recently, she recounted her experience for the Guardian, noting how Dusty "went ballistic" after she entered the water to join another swimmer ("I found out afterwards that she's very territorial when she us with somebody") and rammed Ryan from behind before she could climb out.

"All these people on the pier were staring down at me open-mouthed," she recalls. "Dusty was still in the water beside me, her tail flapping crazily. That was more frightening than anything: I thought, if she hits me with her tail, I could go under; I’m gone."

Yet despite the shock of that day, Ryan says she doesn't have "any anger towards Dusty. I respect her. But I was in her territory and she’s a wild, unpredictable animal. People need to know that."

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Coastguard - More than a year after getting final approval from then Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar, the new coastguard station at Doolin has opened at last, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The 25 volunteer members of the Irish Coast Guard's North Clare unit began their move into the state-of-the-art €1.9m facility on Monday 18 August, after previously operating out of a 150-year-old stone shed that suffered serious damage in this year's severe winter storms.

And its location – much closer to the village's peer, which is currently undergoing long-awaited upgrade works – should mean an end to the delays caused by parking issues that have plagued the rescue boat service in recent years.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
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#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has allayed concerns over the fate of Doolin's resident dolphin Dusty as work begins on the Co Clare town's new pier.

Despite the distress caused by her attacks on swimmers last year, Dusty has many loyal supporters - one of whom, Jan Ploeg, shared with the Sunday Independent concerns about the effect of underwater sound waves produced by blasting works in Doolin harbour on the sensitive cetacean.

However, the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow says there's little to worry about, as Dusty is currently living and feeding at Inisheer, some 8km from the blast site, "so there will be no impact on her".

The IWDG is presently monitoring a 500m zone around the blasting works using passive acoustic monitoring through a hydrophone to ensure no marine mammals are affected by the potentially damaging sound waves.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that works are being advanced by L&M Keating Ltd on the new harbour development at Doolin, Co Clare.

The location of the works – comprising a new pier, revetment, bed rock dredging, access road and associated works – is at Latitude 53° 00’.54 N and Longitude 009° 24’.23 W.

Construction commenced last month and the works are expected to take in the region of 18 months to complete.

Drilling and blasting works were scheduled to be carried out this week, and for health and safety reasons an Exclusion Zone has been set up and is being and monitored.

Mariners are requested to proceed slowly and with caution in the vicinity and to give the works a wide berth.

All vessels in this area should proceed with extreme caution, reduce speed to a minimum and keep a close look out for obstructions in the vicinity of the works.

The site working area will be marked with blue buoys. Wave-wash from vessels should be avoided. A diagram of the works area is included in Marine Notice No 33 of 2014, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning
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#DoolinPier – A new Atlantic seaboard pier sought by ferry operators and fishermen at Doolin in County Clare is expected to be completed by mid-2015 following the signing of a major marine infrastructural project today.

Brendan Howlin, T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform was in Doolin this afternoon to visit the location of the proposed €6m pier project for the County Clare coastal village.

Minister Howlin's visit coincided with the signing by Clare County Council of a contract with L&M Keating, the successful tenderer for the construction of the new pier. Construction work will begin in the coming days and is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins commented: "This project has been long sought after by ferry operators, fishermen and tourists who use the pier. The new pier development will boost visitor numbers in Clare considering access to the Aran Islands from the County will be greatly enhanced once the project is completed."

He added: "The completed pier will be used mainly to facilitate ferry activity between North Clare and the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher during the tourist season while the existing pier will be available to accommodate other activities – both leisure based and otherwise. The new pier will ensure that Doolin is accessible in all tidal conditions, which will be of particular benefit to Doolin Search and Rescue as well as the ferry operators."

"I want to congratulate Clare County Council and its consultants who have worked closely with interested parties in ensuring that the completed pier brings a wide range of benefits to its users and the wider community," said Mayor Arkins.

Tom Coughlan, Clare County Manager added: "I am delighted that construction of this vitally important piece of infrastructure will commence shortly following years of open debate and extensive consultation with users of the pier, as well as the local community."

He continued: "The Local Authority has invested considerable time and resources into ensuring that the Doolin Pier project is one that benefits all users of the existing pier. Once completed, this project will have significant, positive economic and social consequences for the people of North Clare and the wider region. For example, the construction phase of the project will create jobs as will the increase in business that will arise as a result of the Pier's completion."

Tom Tiernan, Senior Engineer and Doolin Pier Project Manager stated: "I wish to pay tribute to the Council Consultants, led initially by Malachy Walsh and Partners, who guided the project from its inception through the various stages of planning, including the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which facilitated An Bord Pleanala's decision in 2013 to give the go ahead for the construction of a new pier. I also want to thank Punch Consulting, who are leading the project through its tender and construction stages."

"The next stage of the Pier project is construction which will get underway almost immediately. L & M Keating Ltd, with whom Clare County Council signed a contract with today, is a well established Marine Works contractor and we look forward to working with the company. We anticipate that the project will be completed around mid 2015," concluded Mr. Tiernan.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#Dusty - Renewed warnings have been made to the public to keep a wide berth from Doolin's dolphin Dusty as the Irish Examiner reports she's "more jumpy" than usual.

Last summer the female bottlenose earned a degree of infamy after attacking a number of bathers in the Co Clare town, one of whom suffered eight spinal fractures, two broken ribs and lung damage in their altercation.

As we get closer to this year's summer, it may be tempting to join Dusty in the water for typical dolphin frolics, but Vanessa Fagan-Vanhorn of Dolphin Day Ireland strongly advises against it.

“[Disty] is definitely more jumpy and easier to startle than she used to be," she says. "The incidents of last summer do seem to have had an effect and her behaviour has changed."

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#DolphinAttack - A woman who suffered serious injuries after being struck by the snout of Doolin's dolphin resident Dusty has criticised the lack of warning signs in the harbour at the time.

As RTÉ News reports via the Irish Independent, Valerie Ryan is calling for a total swimming ban in the area after suffering eight spinal fractures, two broken ribs and lung damage in the incident on 28 July last.

The self-employed osteopath has been forced out of work for six months due to her injuries.

Hers was the fourth such altercation with Dusty, a 14-year-old female bottlenose dolphin, recorded at that point this summer.

It has since emerged that the dolphin may have been acting aggressively in reaction to mistreatment by certain members of the public on various occasions.

Warning signs have since been erected in the area by Clare County Council, in line with advice from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group that no one should swim with any of the whales or dolphins that frequent Ireland's waters - activity that puts both humans and cetaceans at risk.

"This dolphin is a wild animal and people should take serious account of that," said Liam Griffin, water safety officer with Clare County Council.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has urged people in Doolin to refrain from swimming with or even approaching Dusty the dolphin after it emerged the cetacean has been tormented by loutish visitors.

As reported on Afloat.ie last week, a woman was hospitalised after being struck by the dolphin's nose in what was just one of a spate of incidents involving the 14-year-old female bottlenose at the Co Clare town.

However the Irish Examiner reports that the marine mammal may only be reacting to antagonising behaviour such as fin grabbing by some swimmers and visitors in the Doolin area - with one group of campers allegedly trying to pour cider down her blowhole.

Speaking after the latest attack late last month, Dr Simon Berrow of the IWDG commented: "It is IWDG policy to discourage people swimming with whales and dolphins in Ireland. The risk is not only to humans but also to the dolphin as habituation to humans increases risk of injury or death to the dolphin.

"Around 80% of such interactions worldwide end up in the death or severe injury of the dolphins involved."

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Dusty the dolphin has injured yet another swimmer off Doolin Pier in Co Clare in the latest of a recent spate of incidents, as The Irish Times reports.

Last night a woman was hospitalised after being struck by the dolphin's nose in the kidney area, leaving her "badly bruised and shocked by the incident".

It's since emerged that this was the fourth such attack by the bottlenose dolphin in the past month.

The cetacean responsible - a 14-year-old female - has made Doolin her home after many years in the Fanore area, and has apparently been responsible for a number of attacks on swimmers over the last two years.

But visitors continue to swim with the dolphin despite warnings by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), which discourages any interference with the protected species.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Coastguard - Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has given approval for the construction of a new volunteer coastguard station in Doolin, Co Clare.

The €1.8-million project, to be overseen by the Office of Public Works, will be tendered within a matter of weeks, with construction expected to start in early April.

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard is one of the busiest in the country and operates a cliff rescue team, a boat unit and shoreline search team. The 24-member team is supported by seven additional volunteers located on nearby Inisheer.

The unit was featured on the recent RTÉ programme Ireland’s Search & Rescue conducting cliff and boat rescue operations.

Volunteers currently operate out of a temporary premises and a nearby rented farm shed. The new station will provide a garage area for the storage of boats, cliff rescue, personal equipment and transport as well as changing facilities and an operations room.

Minister Varadkar said: "I am delighted to be able to confirm funding for the new Doolin coastguard station. I am very conscious of the demands placed on the unit and I am keen to provide them with a base to so they can continue to serve their community and the many visitors to the Doolin area, including the Cliffs of Moher.

“In both 2012 and 2011 the Doolin unit responded to over 40 call-outs each year. This is a long-term investment in the Doolin area and acknowledges the efforts and service that the volunteers continue to provide.”

The Doolin coastguard unit is currently awaiting an update on long-delayed plans to redevelop the pier facilities at Doolin, which rescuers argue are "regularly over-congested" in peak tourist periods - though the current plans face opposition from local surfers who fear a negative impact on the renowned Crab Island surf break in the area.

Published in Coastguard
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