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#Coastguard - The Irish Times reports on the death of a local fisherman off the Waterford coast on Thursday morning in an incident that prompted a major coastguard and lifeboat search and rescue operation - six years to the day after the tragic sinking of Dunmore East trawler the Pere Charles.

The Irish Coast Guard's Rescue 117 helicopter was dispatched to before 8am along with the RNLI lifeboats from Dunmore East and Tramore to the scene off Brownstown Head after a 16-foot fishing boat capsized, throwing its two-man crew into the water.

James Tate reached the shore unaided after some two hours in the water to raise the alarm. He was later treated for shock and hypothermia.

His friend Johnny Flynn - a former member of the Dunmore East lifeboat crew, according to the Irish Independent - was found unconscious in the water by the coastguard helicopter before 8.30am, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The men's boat has been recovered, and a spokesperson for the Marine Casualty Investigation Board confirmed that a full investigation and inquest into Flynn's death would take place.

The incident came just two days after four fishermen were rescued from their boat off Hook Head in Co Waterford.

Elsewhere, it's reported that a Spanish fisherman died after sustaining head injuries on a trawler off Loop Head in Co Clare on Thursday morning.

The Irish Times has more on both stories HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has raised concerns after eight seals were found dead in Wexford and Waterford in recent days, as RTÉ News reports.

A shocking total of six carcasses were discovered near Fethard-on-Sea alone, while one apiece were found near Dunmore East and in Tramore - the latter reportedly decapitated.

The news comes just a few months after Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary warned of a "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier this year.

The most horrific of these incidents was the grisly scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle wildlife sanctuary, accompanied by graffiti daubed in red paint reading 'RIP Cull' - presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

More recently, reports from Castlerock in Co Derry suggested that a dead seal found on the beach suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

All seals in Ireland are protected under national and EU law.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch an investigation into these latest incidents, and is appealing to the public for information on these or other seal deaths.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RESCUE - RTÉ News reports that two fishermen have been rescued from a burning trawler off the Waterford coast this morning.

The two men abandoned ship to a liferaft when a fire started on board the herring boat Kingfisher some 10km off Dunmore East around 7.30am.

They were picked up by a passing fishing vessel shortly after while the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard's helicopter Rescue 117 attended the scene.

As of 11am this morning attempts to put out the fire on the Kingfisher have been unsuccessful.

More from RTE here

Published in Rescue

#RNLI - Neville Murphy of Dunmore East lifeboat station has been named the RNLI's Photographer of the Year for 2012.

The public came out in force on Facebook to vote for 'The Calm', his shot of heavy weather jackets hanging in the locker room at the Waterford station as the best out of 12 stunning images selected for the shortlist.

Murphy, a native of Skibbereen in Co Cork, has been on the all-weather lifeboat crew fat Dunmore East for 10 years since his job as a winch man with the Irish Coast Guard brought him to Waterford.

See a gallery with the winning photo and the runners up HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#topper – Waterford Harbour showed it's sunnier side for day two of the Irish National Topper Championships, with a similar breeze to yesterday giving more fantastic racing for the fleet but the strong currents continuing to complicate matters at mark roundings. Report and Photos (below) by Gareth Craig.

The race committee made the most of the perfect weather ahead of a relatively windless forecast for Sunday by packing in four races. The overnight top-two further consolidated their lead over the following pack with a string of good results pulling Dougie Power (WHSC) and Laura Gilmore (SLYC) clear in head-to-head for the overall lead. Multiple restarts were the order of the day as the fleet of nearly 50 youth sailors repeatedly egged each other on against the tide to force general recalls, and the dreaded black flag even made a number of appearances!

The wind gradually built through the day, blowing a good Force 3 – 4 by the later stages, and swinging a little between races, but staying from a north to north-westerly direction to keep the famous Dunmore Swell at bay for great Topper racing condition.

By the time the fleet came ashore with seven races complete and a single discard in play Power held the lead by three points from Gilmore, with Conor O'Farrell from Carlingford Lough YC 13 points further back in third and the rest of the top ten predominantly filled by sailors from along the east coast.toppernats

Published in Topper
Tagged under

#SEASIDE FESTIVAL – The popular and scenic fishing harbour of Dunmore East is to host a Festival of Food, Fish & Fun running from 22-24th June.

The first day of the festival on Friday, officially starts at 6pm with a marquee located in the town's park where there will be live music with Waterfords' Gypsi Swing. During the evening refreshments will be provided by local restaurants. Among the activities of the festival's opening night, there will be a Ready, Steady Fish Final sponsored by Flanagans Fish Merchants.

On the Saturday, Tony Kellys Fish Shop will be open all day in the Break Supermarket. The shop will have a large selection of fresh fish and assistance will be on hand to help you recognise the various species, talk about how the different fish are caught, the issue of sustainability, cooking advice and recipe leaflets.

At 2.30 pm Bruce McDonald will talk and teach about seaweeds. His foraging walk on the beach will guide you in the identification of our local seaweeds. The walk taking one-hour is to give you a new perspective on how we perceive the sea, the next time you take a seaside stroll.

An another all-day event is the The Annual Angling Competition. Registration is required the day before or in the morning in Powers Bar. For information call: 087 2576191. The weigh-in and competition results will be announced at the sailing club at 5.30pm.

Another fishing related event is the fish filleting and cookery demonstration, to be presented by Joan Power of The Lemon Tree cafe, which will take place at the harbour pier.

Views of Dunmore East through a 'Now & Then' photo exhibition will be on display, where photos taken up to 50 years ago and in more recent years by Lisa Walsh will be available to buy.

On the final day of the festival, there will be an Arts & Crafts fair held in the Fisherman's Hall. A fundraising 'Garden Party' hosted by The Friends of the Fisherman's Hall will be held in the community garden behind the Fisherman's Hall. The fundraiser will have advice on planting and vegetable seedlings for your garden.

Also that Sunday will be the 'The Blessing of the Boats' and a RNLI Open Day. For more action, there's The Adventure Centre which has a 12-metre rock climbing wall located on the harbour, where there will be a charge.

To view the full festival programme of events, times and locations over the three day festival click HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#IRISH HARBOURS - Yachts berthing at Ireland's main fishing harbours could see their charges hiked by an incredible 800 per cent.

According to The Irish Times, Marine Minister Simon Coveney has announced a mere 21 days for comment and consultation on the draft Fishery Harbour Centres (Rates and Charges) Order 2012. The consultation document is attached to the bottom of this post and available to download as a pdf.

The proposed new charges include an annual fee of €250 per metre for yachts, which could see a 10-metre yacht currently paying €312 a year for a berth shell out as much as €2,500 annually for the same space.

Additional water and electricity costs could even see this bill rise to €3,100 - for berths that come "without proper marina facilities in most cases".

The proposals apply to the State's six fishery centres at Killybegs, Rossaveal, Dingle, Castletownbere, Dunmore East and Howth, only two of which have pontoons suitable for leisure boats.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Harbours

#CRUISE CALLS – Waterford is to welcome its first cruise caller in 2012 with the Quest (1992/1,180grt) an ice-strengthened expedition cruiseship which is to dock next month along the city-quays, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Normally she operates around the Scottish Isles, Norway, Greenland and Spitsbergen. This year she will make her itineraries for the first time around Ireland, England and Wales.

The stout looking Danish built vessel is just 50m in length, has a beam of 11m and draws 3.5m, this allows her to reach more destinations in difficult conditions. She carries around 50 passengers and a crew half that number. For images including interiors and deck plans click HERE

Quest is also scheduled to make a second call to the south-east city in May. Following both these calls another 17 cruise callers are lined up for the season which runs until September.

Among the callers are the 940 passenger capacity Crystal Symphony, the 66,000 tonnes Marina which only entered service last year, Ocean Princess (for a dry-dock slideshow click HERE) and the 1988 built Prinsendam.

Depending on the vessel's draught, the location of where they will call in Waterford estuary will vary. Aside the city quays, the other berth is in Belview and for deep drafted vessels, they take anchorage off Dunmore East. To view the full cruise call list click HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
The domestic regatta season of the Irish Fireball Class closed in Dunmore East as it had opened in Carlingford in May, with a single day of racing. Race Officer Harry Gallagher had indicated as early as Friday morning that there was a distinct possibility that sailing would not be possible on Sunday and consequently took the decision to sail four races on Saturday.

Arriving at the club in time for the Class AGM, the consensus was that an excellent day’s racing had been had by the 18-boat fleet, with four good races completed in excellent conditions and very tight racings.

This is manifested by the overall results which show that the winners had a 1pt margin over second place and second place had a similar 1pt margin over third.

Race wins were shared by Kenny Rumball & Teddy Byrne and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, but Messrs McCartin & Kinsella, the 2011 National Champions, were obviously snapping at everyone’s heels with a 3, 2,2,2 series of results.

Rumball & Butler took alternate race wins with Butler getting the first one. A 1,3,1,3 scorecard at the close of Saturday saw Butler/Oram at the top of the standings with McCartin/Kinsella and Rumball/Byrne tied second overall a point astern. The pecking order thereafter was Clancy/Rowan, Boyle/Flahive, Smyth/O’Reilly, Murphy/Voye. But with a seven point gap between tied second and fourth, in reality the regatta would come down to the tope three on Sunday.

My information is that RO Harry Gallagher’s initial assessment of conditions on Sunday morning, observed from a rib on the race course, was that racing could proceed. However, by the time the committee boat got onto station the conditions had deteriorated and the few combinations who had gone out were happy to retire to the shore where boats were packed up early in driving rain and cold conditions.

With the single discard coming into play the order at the top of the fleet was changed in that Rumball/Byrne were able to get rid of a 5th, whereas Butler/Oram were only able to shed a 3rd, giving the former the title by a single point margin.

Thus the five regattas of the year have each been won by a different combination.

Butler/Oram took 2nd overall, with McCartin/Kinsella 3rd overall.

In the Silver Fleet, Luke Malcolm & Shane Diviney saw a four point margin over the next Silver Fleet boat on Saturday night shrink to a 1pt margin in the overall standings, but this was enough to win this division and claim 10th overall. Second in the Silver Fleet was Cariosa Power & Marie Barry, followed by Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion.

This regatta also concludes the season-long Travellers’ Trophy which sees Noel Butler & Stephen Oram double their margin over Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella to two points at the tope of the log. Kenny Rumball & Seamus Moore/Teddy Byrne go into third overall, followed by Clancy/Rowan, Boyle/Flahive, Smyth/O’Reilly/Bradley, Bracken/O’Hara, Miller/Donnelly, McGrotty/Grimes & Colin/Casey. Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire win the Silver Fleet, evidence of even further progress after attending the training sessions last season. Second and third in the Silver Fleet go to Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry respectively.  

The Dunmore East regatta had an international flavour with participation from Hannah Showell, from the UK sailing with Martina Michels, who flew in from Germany for the regatta, having relocated there from Ireland earlier this summer.

Regrettably, the regatta was conspicuous by the absence of representatives of the Skerries and Clontarf fleets and there was a sole representative from Killaloe.

At the AGM, the need to rebuild these fleets was identified as a challenge for the Class Association by incoming Chairman Neil Colin. The AGM also discussed the operation of the Silver Fleet where numbers have been falling in recent events despite the fact that we have seen new combinations coming into the fleet.

With the regatta season concluded the focus will now turn to the Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. These will get underway in November and run through to March.



Published in Fireball
The 7,987 gross tonnes containership Samskip Endeavour grounded on a sandbank in Waterford Harbour this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She was successfully refloated and no reports of pollution occurred during the incident according to the Irish Coast Guard. The Cypriot-flagged was arriving from Zeebrugge and was able to continue her journey to Belview Port container terminal, the main facility for the Port of Waterford.

In attendance was Bargarth, a UK-flagged tug based in Waterford and operated by Fastnet Shipping. The twin Voith & fire-fighting tug made a special appearance during the Tall Ships Races Parade of Sail on 3 July, when she put on a celebratory water-display off Dunmore East.

Samskip Eandeavour is capable of handling 812 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEU). She was completed only this year by Damen Gorinchem Scheepswerf B.V. Foxtol in the Netherlands. The vessel is operated by an Icelandic company, Samskip which provides several container feeder-liner services between Rotterdam / Zeebrugge with Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Waterford.

After unloading and loading at Belview the 140m vessel is scheduled to dock in the Port of Cork tomorrow at the Tivoli Container Terminal before returning to Europe.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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