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#Galway - A body was found this morning (Friday 13 April) in the search for a swimmer missing off Salthill in Galway since yesterday.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 spotted the body on the seabed in shallow water offshore around 10.15am this morning as part of the ongoing search operation.

The body was recovered into Galway RNLI’s inshore lifeboat for transfer to Galway University Hospital. Pending formal identification, the search will be stood down. 

Search units involved included An Garda Síochána and Civil Defence teams, and volunteer divers provide by the Irish Underwater Council.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Galway - Irish Water Safety in engaged in talks with Galway City Council over the possibility of reinstating the liferaft at BlackrockDiving Tower.

Councillors last year rejected proposals to replace the amenity after a poor health and safety assessment in 2015, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The raft was originally removed from the tower in Salthill in 2014 after it was associated with incidents of falls and near drownings.

But as Galway Bay FM reports, talks have begun in the wake of local public sentiment for the liferaft, with a view to including it in delayed upgrade works on the tower.

Published in Galway Harbour

#Galway - The liferaft at Blackrock Diving Tower on Galway Bay is not likely to be reinstated, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Concerns over risks posed by the raft were reiterated at a meeting of Galway City Council earlier this week, following a poor health and safety assessment of the amenity last year.

The raft was removed from the tower in 2014 after it was associated with incidents of falls and near drownings recorded by lifeguards, according to the Connacht Tribune.

Afloat.ie reported late last month on a public consultation regarding long-awaited upgrades and repairs to the iconic diving tower in Salthill.

Published in Galway Harbour
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#Galway - Next Wednesday is the date for a public consultation on planned upgrades and repairs to the Blackpool Diving Tower in Salthill.

As the Galway Advertiser reports, the hearing will take place at the Salthill Hotel from 7pm to 10pm on Wednesday 30 March.

 
 
Published in Galway Harbour

#StormDesmond - It was a 'red' alert for western coastal counties this weekend as Storm Desmond blew in from the Atlantic with extreme gusts and downpours.

But amid the damage and disruption across the country, Galway-based photographer Cathal Devlin took to social media to share his dismay at the recklessness of two would-be divers who decided the stormy conditions presented the perfect time to take a dip.

Devlin's video of the "stunt" at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill – which clearly shows the young men ignoring basic water safety advice by diving into rough seas, with blasts of spray occasionally obscuring the pier – has gone viral in the 24 hours since he first uploaded it to Facebook. But he says he did not post it for entertainment purposes.

"I do not know if they are strong swimmers or not, that is not the case," Devlin writes. "If any one of them got into difficulties there was no one there to do anything for them.

"The voluntary and rescue services are kept busy enough without having to worry about this type of stupid behaviour."

Published in Water Safety

#WaterfrontProperty - Two new properties on the market in Clare and Fermanagh are sure to appeal to keen anglers.

Sugarloaf on Clifden Hill in Co Clare overlooks Lake Inchiquin, described by the Irish Independent as an 'angler's paradise', and hosting a bounty of wildlife including the spectacular sea eagle.

But the picturesque spot is also a popular area for sunny-day picnics, and not only with the locals.

Sugarloaf provides a permanent picnic spot in the heart of that beautiful visa, with a detached three-bed home in 1.5 acres of gardens with panoramic views of the lake nearby and the Burren beyond.

And in spite of its privacy, with no neighbours in sight, you're just 3.5km from the village of Corofin and a swift drive further on to Ennis.

The Irish Independent has more on this property, on the market for €315,000.

North of the border, angling enthusiasts might be tempted by Amled's Fishing Lodge in Garrison, Co Fermanagh.

Within walking distance of Lough Melvin, the spacious detached five-bed home is on a secure site with high fencing, and plenty of room for boats and more in the driveway.

The wooded grounds have also been developed by the previous owner for wheelchair use, making garden maintenance easier than usual.

It's an unfinished renovation project - the upstairs is yet to be completed - but it'll be more than worth the effort to many, especially with an asking price of just £115,000 (€159,000). 4NI has more on this property.

Elsewhere, for those who just want to enjoy that seaside vibe, the Irish Independent sings the praises of Salthill in Galway.

Just a short walk from the centre of the City of the Tribes, the charming suburb maintains its own old-school seaside town atmosphere, with plenty of local social options, especially for dining.

And of course there's the renowned promenade, which hosts among others the annual An Tóstal race for Galway Hookers.

Published in Waterfront Property

#Jellyfish - Summer may be long gone, but jellyfish attracted by the warmer waters of recent months are still posing a hazard on Galway's beaches, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

Recent weeks have seen Salthill strewn with the remains of hundreds of dead mauve stingers, which can still pack a punch even after death.

Meanwhile, though marine science boffins are not surprised by the sheer numbers of the seaborne creatures in Galway Bay as this period is their mating season, they are concerned that so many are being washed ashore.

The jellyfish warning comes not long after Fáilte Ireland's falling afoul of locals for advising against bathing at Salthill's popular strand.

While recommending the city suburb's famous promenade for walking and sightseeing, the tourism board's Discover Ireland website reportedly stated that "swimming is not recommended" at the adjacent beachs.

No reasons were given for this advice, which has raised the ire of locals including Labour Party city councillor Niall McNelis, who said: “I cannot understand why Fáilte Ireland would warn people not to swim in Salthill. It has a Blue Flag."

Published in Coastal Notes

#WaterfrontProperty - A first-floor apartment with a large balcony facing onto Galway Bay could be yours for €235,000.

The Galway Advertiser reports on No 13 Croit na Mara, a 75sqm abode overlooking the famous promenade in Salthill, within walking distance of Galway city centre.

The apartment boats two double bedrooms with one en-suite, plus a main bathroom, an open-plan kitchen/dining/living area and a utility room, with gas central heating and a B3 rating for energy performance.

Viewing is by appointment with Sherry FitzGerald, and more details are available HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

#MarineWildlife - Young and old alike are invited to join a 'beach safari' from the lifeguard hut Grattan Beach in Salthill at 11.30am on Sunday 26 May, ahead of the first Galway Sea Festival.

Marine wildlife experts such as Amy Lusher of GMIT's Marine and Freshwater Research Centre and Dr Nóirín Burke of the Galway Atlantaquaria will be on hand to provide insights into an often ignored world of plants and animals, as the Galway Independent reports.

“The shore can sometimes appear to be devoid of wildlife, but when you start to look closely, there is a wonderful amount of activity going on - in the sand, under the rocks and in the rock pools," said Dr Burke.

“Grattan Beach is such an amazing resource to have on our doorstep here in Galway. Just a few hundred metres from the footpath where people walk and jog you can enter a habitat where life is completely different from our own."

A further chance to discover more about this secret world of the marine habitat will be available at the Galway Atlantaquaria's 'Family Funday' on 2 June in conjunction with the city's Galway Sea Festival celebrations.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, "tens of thousands" of visitors are expected to flock to the City of the Tribes for the first Galway Sea Festival from 31 May till 3 June over the June bank holiday weekend.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#AnTostal - Galway's An Tostál maritime festival will take place on 26 May after strong winds forced the postponement of the originally scheduled date last Sunday, according to the Galway Independent.

Cian O’Lorcáin of the organisers said the decision to delay the event was made "for the benefit of water safety. We were really thinking of the crews on the water because, with the winds, it could have proved hazardous...

"Safety is the number one thing for us so when that couldn't be guaranteed, we decided to postpone."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the festival - reactivated in 2011 after a 50-year gap - celebrates Galway's maritime traditions with currach racing along the Salthill promenade. This year's event is also set to feature a Galway Hooker parade of sail.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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