Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Mayo

#Missing - Naval Service vessels have joined the search for a fisherman missing off Mayo since last Friday 11 September.

As The Irish Times reports, 23-year-old Daniel Doherty is thought to have got into difficulty while baiting lobster pots on his boat Carra Rose off Belmullet.

The boat was located on the beach at Benwee Head, as previously reported on, but there has been no other trace of Doherty since then.

Earlier today it was reported that both Ballyglass RNLI lifeboats remain involved in the multi-agency search for the lobsterman.

Published in News Update
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#Missing - reports on an ongoing search for a lobsterman feared missing off the Mayo coast since yesterday evening (Friday 11 September).

A fishing vessel was spotted on the beach at Benwee Head close to where the lone fisherman was thought to be working off Belmullet, but there was no sign of its occupant.

Searching was set to resume this morning with local lifeboats and coastguard teams includinng Shannon's Irish Coasrt Guard helicopter Rescue 115 on callout.

Published in News Update
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#warmlkake – A lake in county Mayo is among a number of lakes around the world that are 'warming' and Irish Marine Scientists are part of a global research project examining the trend. 

Data for Lough Feeagh, situated in the Burrishoole catchment in Co. Mayoforms part of the data, and is one of a small number of lakes worldwide for which long-term temperature data are available.

A temperature recorder on Lough Feeagh was originally installed in 1960, when the Salmon Research Trust of Ireland began investigations into the movement of salmon, trout and eel through the catchment. 

The magnitude and uniformity of the worldwide trend remains unclear but to facilitate research on this topic, a global database of summer temperatures for 291 lakes from 1859-2009 has been compiled, complemented by data on local climatic drivers and lake geomorphology.

The paper describing lakes as sentinels of climate change is published in the Journal of Scientific Data, by Nature ( on the 17th March 2015. Dr Elvira de Eyto, Marine Institute and co author on the paper along with Marine Institute scientists are part of the Global Lake Temperature Collaboration (GLTC), an international group assembled to provide increased access to global lake temperature records.

The GLTC project recognised that a new global database of lake surface temperatures was needed, including not only satellite data, but also "on the ground" measurements from in situ data collection programs. Since its
inception in 2010, the GLTC initiative has grown to a database of 291 lakes and reservoirs worldwide, providing summer-mean lake surface temperatures from 1985-2009, and roughly doubling the amount of data previously available from satellites alone. This new dataset represents the first publicly available global compilation of in situ and satellite-based lake surface temperature data. The GLTC database also provides information on climatic drivers (air temperature, solar radiation, cloud cover), as well as geomorphometric characteristics that may affect lake temperature (latitude, longitude, elevation, lake surface area, maximum depth, mean depth, volume).
This unique, global dataset will offer an invaluable baseline perspective on lake thermal conditions for ongoing and future studies of environmental change. The Marine Institute continues this work, and maintains an extensive environmental monitoring programme in the catchment which is used to record climate and land use changes that may impact fish stocks.

Published in Marine Science

#Corrib - Mayo fishermen have criticised the State's response to the damaged Corrib Gas Field pipe, claiming that no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials had yet been to the site, as The Irish Times reports.

Last Friday news emerged that a section of the outflow pipe from the controversial gas project had been dislodged from the seabed after it was spotted by local fishermen on the surface of Broadhaven Bay.

Recent stormy weather conditions in western coastal areas have been blamed for the damage, with the EPA quickly moving to quell any pollution concerns as the pipe was carrying "mostly rainwater".

However, the Erris Inshore Fishermen's Association – which withdrew co-operation with Shell over the North Mayo gas facility in 2011 – said yesterday (Monday 16 March) that the EPA had not sent its own officials to investigate the incident.

“This is what we fought against, and we are so lucky that there were no pollutants in the pipe,” said fisherman Pat O'Donnell, who was jailed for offences relating to protests against the gas scheme.

In response, the EPA stated that it did not "consider it necessary to send an inspector to view the pipe at this time".

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#CoastalNotes - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) insists there was "nothing underhand" about its amendments to a 2007 licence for Shell's gas terminal at Bellanaboy in Co Mayo.

The Irish Times has a report on Tuesday's opening remarks of a three-day action at the Commercial Court, where it was alleged that the EPA intended to amend an earlier licence for the facility despite a more recent one being quashed by the High Court over environmental concerns.

As previously reported on, local man Martin Harrington had claimed the EPA failed to carry out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment of the north-west Mayo region to meet EU requirements.

The outcome of that case last October was hailed as a victory for the long-time campaign against the controversial Corrib Gas Project.

Harrington's latest action is a judicial review challenge aimed at quashing the amendments to the 2007 licence. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#ArcticBuoy - An extraordinary visitor to Ireland's shores will be the subject of a new exhibition in Belmullet, Co Mayo next week.

As The Irish Times reports, Fergus Sweeney was on the shoreline at Blacksod in north Mayo last autumn when he spotted an unusual buoy floating in the water.

It turned out to be attached to an ice-tethered profiler, or ITP, that had been deployed three years before by American researchers on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean - some 15,000 miles away.

The device was one of 60 deployed in an network measuring climate change, some of which have been lost, but none had been previously discovered further south than the Outer Hebrides.

But while its working life ended in 2012 thanks to water damage, the device will have a new lease of life thanks to Sweeney and a grow of local Transition Year students who have put together an exhibition tracing the buoy's voyage across the oceans.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#RNLI - Achill Island RNLI was tasked to assist a young woman in distress off the cliffs of Old Head in Louisburgh, Co Mayo yesterday afternoon (28 August).

The volunteer lifeboat crew sped to the scene around 4pm yesterday after the woman, who had been diving from a cliff into the sea, was injured on entering the water and required urgent assistance.

As the lifeboat was en route, some of the woman’s friends managed to pull her from the water onto nearby rocks, below the cliff, to await help.

The lifeboat arrived shortly after and sent two crewmen ashore to administer first aid. Westport Coast Guard Unit and Rescue 115, the helicopter from Shannon, were also tasked to the scene.

The woman was taken on board the lifeboat and transferred to the helicopter, which took her to Castlebar General Hospital where her injuries were treated.

Lifeboat operations manager Tom Honeyman said: “This had been a very busy but fulfilling year for the volunteer lifeboat crew with this, the 20th shout so far in 2013.

"It is also another good example of the different wings of the emergency services working in tandem to affect a successful outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Achill Island RNLI responded to two separate incidents off the Mayo coast last Sunday 14 July.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was first requested to launch in the early hours of Sunday morning and again in the evening of the same day.

The crew on board the station’s all-weather lifeboat responded to a call-out a few minutes into Sunday morning when a red flare was reported to Malin Head Coast Guard Radio Station. 

The flare was believed to have been seen on the Westport side of Clew Bay. The lifeboat searched the area but nothing was found and the crew returned to station at 3am.

The second incident happened at around 7.30pm when a cruiser with four people on board reported to Malin Head Coast Guard that it had engine problems and was disabled. 

This was in the vicinity of Old Head on the south side of Clew Bay, and the Achill lifeboat was requested to assist the vessel.


The casualty vessel was towed to Old Head Pier by another boat that was close by, and the lifeboat ensured that all were safe before returning to station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - It was a busy June bank holiday weekend around the country for RNLI lifeboats in West Cork, Mayo and the Midlands.

On Sunday afternoon, Baltimore RNLI assisted four people after their yacht got into difficulty a mile south of Mizen Head.

The 32ft yacht with four people on board had been propped by a pot buoy immobilising her in the water. The alarm was raised at 10.41am and lifeboat the Alan Massey was launched minutes later.

A local RIB, which had commenced towing, passed the tow to the lifeboat and the yacht was then taken to the safety of Crookhaven Pier.

This was the second call out this week for Baltimore RNLI. On Thursday last three men were rescued when their punt overturned near Horse Island.

Later on Sunday, Achill Island RNLI in Co Mayo brought a distressed fishing vessel with seven people on board to safety.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch at 4.50pm to assist a small fishing vessel in the vicinity of Clew Bay and close to Clare Island. The vessel had encountered engine problems and was unable to return to port.

The boat and its crew of seven were subsequently towed safely to Curraun harbour by the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat.

Speaking after, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Honeyman said: "The presence of thick fog surrounding the vessel meant that great care was needed in the rescue and the fishing party of the vessel were delighted to return empty handed for a change."

Meanwhile in the Midlands, Lough Ree RNLI brought five people to safety in two call-outs over the weekend.

On Friday 31 May the volunteer crew was requested to launch around 5pm following a report that a cruiser had ran aground north of Quaker Island.

A local fisherman raised the alarm after spotting the cruiser on the rocks at the island located in the north end of Lough Ree raised the alarm.

The lifeboat crew managed to establish contact with the person on board the cruiser via mobile phone and he had confirmed that he had got lost and had ran aground. He reported that there was no water entering his boat. He was on his own but not injured.

The inshore lifeboat was launched and the crew was on scene at 5.30pm. It took the lifeboat 10 minutes to safely navigate its way through the rocky area to reach the casualty. The person on board the cruiser was taken to shore and arrangements were made for a specialist company to attend the scene to recover the cruiser.

Lough Ree RNLI was then launched on Sunday evening to assist a 26ft cruiser which had ran aground east of Green Island after sustaining engine failure.

The small cruiser with a family of four on board had lost engine power and had ran aground on the south east side of Lough Ree.

A crew launched the lifeboat at 8.40pm and arrived on scene 10 minutes later. After one of the lifeboat crew had carried out an assessment of the causality vessel, the decision was made to make an attempt to pull the vessel from the rocks, which the lifeboat was successfully able to complete.

Once the lifeboat had the vessel in deep water, a tow was set up and the casualty vessel was taken to Quigleys Marina in Athlone.

It marked the continuation of a dramatic week for the Lough Ree crew, after six were rescued from a sinking cruiser on the lough last Tuesday 28 May.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MarineWildlife - Seven dolphins and two beaked whales have stranded on beaches in the northwest in events described as "unusual" by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

On the Mullet Peninsula, a group of seven common dolphins - comprising five adults and two juveniles - live stranded at Tarmon Beach on Sunday 12 May.

Though initial attempts to refloat them were successful, one of the juveniles was later found dead and the other was euthanised due to poor health.

Meanwhile in Donegal, the fresh carcass of a female True's or Sowerby's beaked whale was found on Sunday evening on Five Fingers Stand at Inishowen - some days after a reported live stranding of a Sowerby's beaked whale on the Welsh coast.

The Inishowen stranding was followed yesterday 14 May by the discovery of a dead beaked whale calf at Trawbreaga Bay, in what is believed to be a connected stranding.

Samples of the adult female were taken in order to confirm the species, either of which would mark a rare cetacean record for Ireland - the first since 2009.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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