The Revenue Commissioners will prepare guidance material for their website and update relevant tax and duty manuals in advance of the upcoming ban on the use of green diesel for private pleasure craft, it is understood.
That’s according to the latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which reminds boaters that the use of marked gas fuel as a propellant by private pleasure craft will be prohibited from 1 January 2020.
However, as reported earlier this week, oil suppliers at ports around Ireland’s coast have yet to be formally updated as to what changes are required under the new legislation. Afloat.ie has more on the story HERE.
The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport reminds water users of amendments to the 2017 edition of the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft.
The Code of Practice is a valuable source of information, advice and best practice operational guidance for owners, masters, operators and users of a range of pleasure and recreational craft operating in Irish coastal and inland waters.
The content of the Code is kept under review in order to ensure that it remains up to date. Since the publication of the latest edition in November 2017, a number of revisions and updates have been identified. A list of these updates is available to view at Gov.ie.
The Code of Practice is a free document and hardcopies can be obtained on request, in both English and Irish, from the Maritime Safety Policy Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport at [email protected]
Gov.ie and Safetyonthewater.ie also have the Code available to view or download.
The Marine Institute’s Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS) department will undertake a survey of herring off the West and North West Coasts from 1-10 December.
This survey is the fourth in a time series that is hoped will be developed into a long-term index of spawning/pre-spawning herring in ICES area 6a S/7b, for use in stock assessments in the future.
The overall 6a survey (6a N and 6a S/7b) is part of a collaborative partnership between Ireland, the Netherlands and UK (Scotland) that aims to improve understanding of the individual stock components of herring in 6a and 7b.
Next month’s survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Voyager (callsign EIQN) using a towed body with two split-beam transducers (38 kHz and 120 kHz). The vessel will be trackable online during the survey.
In total around 1,100 nautical miles of cruise track will be undertaken with a mixture of parallel (spaced at 7.5 and 3.5 nm) and zig-zag transects. The vessel will display appropriate lights and signals.
Night operations will involve the towing of the two split-beam transducer. Fishing will take place opportunistically during daylight hours.
In response to Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) recommendations, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has issued a Marine Notice to remind masters, owners, users, charterers, skippers and crew of fishing vessels of previous safety advice and requirements.
In addition, the notice informs the sector of several recommendations in relation to smaller vessels that are under consideration for inclusion in the next revision of the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of Small Fishing of less than 15m in Length overall.
In recent years the MCIB has made several recommendations some of which were incorporated in the most recent revision of the Code of Practice, most notably in relation to a requirement for all such fishing vessels to carry an automatic, float-free Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and for all fishers to carry Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs).
Some recommendations required further consideration and additional recommendations have since been made including:
- Improvement of stability standards (including freeboard and freeing ports in small decked vessels);
- Consideration of stating a minimum height of rails/bulwarks;
- A mandatory requirement for fishing vessels to be fitted with smoke/fire detection systems in engine rooms and for fuel and hydraulic oil pipes to be constructed out of fire resistant material;
- A requirement to carry safety harnesses for each person on board; and
- Making mandatory the holding of emergency drills for vessels less than 12 metres.
Owners are reminded that the nature and extent of any major repairs or major structural modifications to their vessel must comply with the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length overall (Section 22.214.171.124)
Metocean devices will be deployed in the Irish Sea off the Wicklow coast in late October/early November, subject to weather conditions, to facilitate the development of the Arklow Bank Wind Park.
Five separate devices are being deployed which will include a seabed frame with sensors mounted on it, an anchoring system and a surface marker buoy, according to a recent Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
The devices will be deployed using the shallow draft tug AMS Retriever (callsign MEHI8) and will remain in place for approximately one year, serviced on a quarterly basis.
During deployment and recovery operations, the AMS Retriever will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.
The devices, similar to that recently deployed at the Oriel Windfarm in Dundalk Bay, will be located using yellow special mark buoys which will have relevant markers and ATON characters.
The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS 2019) will take place off the North, West and South Coasts for six weeks from 31 October.
As part of the requirements for the 2019 survey, fishing will take place within a 2-nautical-mile radius of indicated positions.
The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals.
The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.
The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 2nm area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period between Thursday 31 October and Friday 14 December.
This survey follows the annual Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey which was conducted off the West South West and South Coasts in March.
A geohazard investigation to provide support for ongoing research at the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) will be undertaken in the Irish Sea from Thursday 24 October until Wednesday 6 November, weather dependent.
The locations of these works at various shipwreck sites off the Louth coast are provided in Marine Notice No 41 of 2019. The equipment and techniques to be used include:
- Surveying using multibeam echo sounders and shallow seismics (pinger);
- Passive acoustic monitors (PAM) deployed at the indicated locations near the seabed to record acoustic data;
- Seismic sparker equipment to reveal subsurface structure and features;
- Sediment core taken at indicated locations to characterise the lithological characteristics of the seabed with grab samples taken within a 3nm range of these locations.
The surveys will be completed on a 24-hour schedule by the RV Celtic Voyager (callsign EIQN) which will display appropriate lights and signals.
Acoustic surveying using a multibeam echo sounder and seismic sub-bottom surveys using a sparker/pinger system will be performed during both day and night operations in accordance with safe operating practices regarding MMO procedures and cognisant of fishing gear.
Sediment sampling using cores will be carried out during daylight hours due to limited ship mobility. PAM units will be deployed and retrieved at both night and day as dictated by survey conditions.
Boaters and mariners have been reminded of the limitations of using mobile phones for emergency communication at sea.
“Mobile phone coverage at sea is limited and unreliable. Mobile phones are also highly susceptible to failure due to water ingress,” the notice states.
The use of VHF, however, “makes it possible to broadcast to, and receive from, all vessels and coast stations within the vicinity in the event of an emergency”.
Where practicable, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) says recreational craft should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF channel 16 and DSC watch on VHF channel 70.
Further details are included in Marine Notice No 40 of 2019, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.
New Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) remind skippers and crew of small fishing vessels of the requirements set out in the relevant Code of Practice, following the official maritime reports into two fatal incidents off the West Coast last year.
One man died and two others were recovered some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel, the FV Aisling Patrick, overturned on the afternoon of 10 April last year.
The report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) clarifies that their vessel had begun to list to starboard and while that was being investigated, a wave struck from the port side and flooded the deck.
Before the skipper could complete a Mayday call, a second wave came from the port side that capsized the boat.
Only one of the three made it into the vessel’s liferaft, while the deceased “was in the water face down and did not make any attempt to swim or stay afloat”.
The upturned hull of the vessel drifted away but was reported off South Uist in Scotland some three weeks after the incident and later inspected.
While the MCIB report did not determine conclusively the cause of the capsize, it was noted that the vessel’s stability was affected due to water ingress — possibly from suboptimal pipe connections — and that the bilge alarm system did not give early warning to the skipper or crew.
Among other findings, it was noted that none of the three men on board was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), and that the deceased — who had been returning to fishing after a number of years away — had not completed necessary training.
The Marine Notice reminds owners that any major repairs or modifications must comply with the Code of Practice (CoP), and that their vessel must be maintained and operated in accordance with its requirements.
A second Marine Notice, No 39 of 2019, pertains to the investigation into the sinking of a small boat while laying lobster pots off Connemara on 23 May 2018.
As reported here by Lorna Siggins earlier this month, the MCIB found that the boat’s owner, who died in the incident, had purchased a substantial amount of safety equipment — almost none of which was on board at the time.
The notice refers to the same CoP as well as to the advisory published this summer relating to the safety of small vessels engaged in pot fishing.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) reminds the owners of ships and fishing vessels, as well as port authorities, pilots, seafarers and more, of the importance of proper pilot transfer arrangements.
These arrangements — with include pilot ladders — must be certified, maintained and rigged in accordance with Chapter V, Regulation 23 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Ships engaged on voyages in the course of which pilots are likely to be employed shall be provided with pilot transfer arrangements in accordance with the same regulation.