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Displaying items by tag: Lorna Siggins

North Connemara’s Clifden has become the first west coast RNLI station to receive a new Shannon-class lifeboat writes Lorna Siggins.

The all-weather Shannon, which was designed by an Irish engineer and is the first RNLI class to be named after an Irish river, was given a warm welcome by several hundred people at Clifden Quay yesterday.

Named the Brianne Aldington, the 13-metre Shannon reduces response times to call-outs, as it has a top speed of 25-knots. It replaces the Mersey-class 15 knot vessel at Clifden and represents a 2.4 million euro investment by the RNLI in the west coast.

RNLI Clifden 4985

The Shannon was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who as a child was rescued by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal. It has a maximum speed of 25 knots and an endurance of 250 nautical miles.

It is propelled by waterjets, rather than propellers, and it can be driven directly onto a beach for recovery.

The vessel can be recovered directly from the beach by her launch and recovery tractor. Once winched up from the beach, the tractor’s carriage revolves 180 degrees so that the lifeboat is repositioned for relaunching.

The 24-person voluntary crew at Clifden includes a husband and wife and a father and son, while two of its four coxswains are brothers.

Clifden RNLI coxswain James Mullen recalled yesterday how the station received its first all-weather craft three years ago and was thrilled then.

“ However, with the arrival of the Shannon, we have 21st-century lifeboat design and technology. Bringing her home to Clifden from Poole was one of my proudest moments. As we rounded Loop Head we hit a bit of weather and we really made her dance,” he said.

“ The ergonomic seats bear the force of the impact of the lifeboat hitting the waves, and the improved communications technology means the crew can talk to each other by linked headsets and can hear each other above the noise and receive information directly from the Coast Guard,” Mr Mullen said.

The Clifden crew have trained intensively since May and will consolidate this off the Connemara coast before the Shannon is declared on service and the Mersey is retired. The former lifeboat will be sold on to a charity.

The RNLI says the first planned outing for the new lifeboat is to visit the nearby island communities on Inishbofin and Inishturk.

The new vessel left RNLI headquarters in Poole for Clifden on July 24th for its delivery run across the Irish Sea, crewed by two coxswains, David Barry and Alan Pryce, two mechanics, Thomas Davis and Andrew Bell and navigator Owen Hayes.

There are currently two Shannon-class lifeboats at Lough Swilly in Donegal and Clogherhead, Co Louth, and a relief vessel at the Wicklow station.

Clogherhead received its Shannon-class in early June. The vessel was funded through a generous legacy by a Wexford farmer, Mr Henry Tomkins, who was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI. Mr Tomkins stipulated that a lifeboat be named after former Arklow RNLI coxswain Michael O’Brien, his lifelong friend.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#haulbowline – Marine minister Simon Coveney says there has been no final decision taken on an 'Ocean Yacht Racing Hub' within the Naval Service base at Haulbowline island in Cork Harbour.

In this morning's Irish Times newspaper, marine correspondent Lorna Siggins writes that a British yacht racing consultancy has met Government agencies as part of a 'grand plan' for haulbowline island, site of a former steelworks site. The plan for the yacht base was first mooted by British solo racer Alex Thomson when he called into to Cork Harbour for repairs last April before heading across the Atlantic Ocean.

As Afloat.ie reported last October, Thomson, together with his shore manager Stuart Hosford, a Cork native, returned to the harbour and gave a public lecture about his solo sailing success that also included comment about the potential to develop the harbour site. The visit was part of an 'Innovation Week' in Cork where Cork Institute of Technology, the Irish Naval Service and University College Cork promoted the first Imerc Innovation Week.

Interest in the Haulbowline site focuses on the substantial graving dock where large yachts measuring up to over 100–foot in length or more could be lifted in an out of the water in a deep water environment with convenient access to the Atlantic. 

Haulbowline has been making headlines for years because of cancer-causing residue, left over from the Irish Steel plant that once occupied the land. It has been confirmed that a cache of 500,000 tonnes of slag and toxic waste material were buried at the former steelworks. Afloat reported on the hot site in the harbour in 2011.

More in the Irish Times on the Yacht Hub story here.

Published in Cork Harbour
12th January 2011

Foghorns Fall Silent

Yesterday lighthouses around Ireland ceased sounding fog signals. Lorna Siggins has a piece in the Irish Times this morning complete with a slideshow. We've also been covering the story here on afloat.ie over the last couple of days, and many of you have left comments on our facebook page. Tell us what you think.
Published in Ilen
Writing in the Irish Times regarding marine animals Lorna Siggins says Irish waters many be home to a large proportion of the world's basking shark population following a conference in Galway that says thousands of the species frequent this coastline. Her piece and a great photo is HERE.
Published in Marine Wildlife

Next year's Irish entry in the Clipper Round the World Race may be named twice according to Lorna Siggins in the Irish Times.  The local yacht could bear the name Derry on one side of its bow and Londonderry on the other, as it circumnavigates the globe – to appease all political interests on the river Foyle. More from the Irish Times HERE.

Published in Clipper Race
New regulations that may force smaller vessels out of the Irish fishing fleet have come in to force. Fishermens organisations have reacted angrily to meeting the high cost of what they call 'over zealous' safety regulations. Lorna Siggins has more in today's Irish Times HERE and Tom MacSweeney counts the likely cost of the Department of Transport regulations in Afloat's Island Nation blog HERE.
Published in Fishing

At the beginning of August, a 23ft four-man rowing boat arrived off The Lizard, England's most southerly headland and the traditional point for Transatlantic bids, to establish a new transoceanic rowing time for the crew of one Irishman, two Scotsmen, and a Faroes islander. Lorna Siggins of The Irish Times set the scene as they made their first landfall approaching the Isles of Scilly fifty miles westward. Click HERE.

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Published in Rowing

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