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This summer, Waterford’s ‘marathon man’ will attempt a 500km open water swimming challenge from the Causeway Coast to Tramore to raise funds for stroke and cancer support.

Alan Corcoran made headlines in 2012 when be became the first man to run a lap of the island of Ireland in tribute to his father, former FAI president Milo Corcoran, who suffered a stroke the year before.

After his father’s death from cancer in 2016, Alan embarked on another ambitious undertaking — to swim from the top to the bottom of Ireland.

Alan first attempted the swim in 2017, but came acropper some 200km in when his support boat sank to shy of the border.

Nevertheless, his efforts still raised €13,000 for his chosen charities, and firmed his resolve to take on the challenge again in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation and Solas Cancer Support Centre.

“Losing my dad has been the toughest experience of my life,” says Alan. “Out of the darkness I am determined to grasp any opportunity to create some positives.”

He adds: “The swim is my small way of feeling like I’m taking some meaningful action.”

As Alan prepares to set out from the Giant’s Causeway on Saturday 1 June, he is also seeking a skipper to sail his 32ft Jeanneau Attalia as a support vessel for the swimming challenge. For more details see the Afloat Marine Market HERE.

Published in Sea Swim

#CoastalNotes - The Canadian coastguard hat found washed up on a Co Waterford beach before Christmas may have been traced to Newfoundland, according to CBC News.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Tramore man Craig Butler found the barnacle-encrusted hat while returning from surfing at a local beach on Christmas Eve.

Upon searching the internet for the Latin inscription on the hat, he discovered that it belonged to the Canadian Coast Guard – which has now confirmed that it would be been worn by an officer of its environmental response unit.

It also said that accounting for prevailing winds and currents, the hat most likely entered the water in the Canadian Coast Guard's Atlantic Region, which encompassed the Maritimes and Newfoundland.

CBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#CoastalNotes - Just weeks after a US Coast Guard life ring was found on the Clare coast comes news that a hard had belonging to the Canadian Coast Guard washed up in Tramore on the South Coast.

As CBC News reports, the barnacle-encrusted hat was discovered on Christmas Eve in the Co Waterford coastal town by local man Craig Butler, who left it on a sea wall due to its noxious odour.

But the surfer later searched online or the Latin inscription on the hat, 'Saluti Primum Auxilio Semper' – the motto of the Canadian Coast Guard, which translates as 'Safety First, Service Always'.

It's not yet known how old the hat is or how it might have ended up in the sea, nor whether it travelled as far as the 6,000km the life ring found in Kilkee some weeks ago had drifted from Florida more than two years ago, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

CBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Tramore RNLI officially named their new D-class lifeboat Isabella Purchase during a ceremony at the National Lifeguard Training Centre in Tramore on Saturday. The honour of naming the new lifeboat went to Mrs Sally Mongey, wife of the late Finn Mongey. Finn was the Lifeboat Operations Manager for Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Station from when it re-opened in 1964 until his retirement in 1984.

The lifeboat was named in honour of Mrs. Ivy Purchase, who was known as Isabella, and who died in September 2012, leaving her estate to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to provide a lifeboat in her name. She lived in Midhurst, West Sussex and was a long-time supporter of the charity. The new lifeboat, which has already launched four times on service since its arrival, replaces the Trá Mhór lifeboat, which was placed on service on 30 June 2005 and launched 127 times, rescuing 100 people, over its lifetime.

Tramore RNLI was the first Irish lifeboat station to receive the original of the D-class lifeboats in 1964. They were specially developed by the RNLI for inshore rescues carried out close to land and hard to access areas.
The D-class lifeboat is built at a cost of €62,000 and has been the workhouse of the charity for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable, robust and highly manoeuvrable, capable of operating much closer to the shore than the all-weather lifeboats. It is especially suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or caves. It measures five-metres in length and can carry three crewmembers on board. It has an endurance of three hours at sea, at its maximum speed of 25 knots.

Peter Crowley of the RNLI Irish Council accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the Institution before handing her over into the care of Tramore Lifeboat Station. Speaking during the handover he said,

‘As marine leisure activity around our coast increases, the demand for our rescue services grows in tandem with this increased activity. In Tramore the station’s lifeboat crew have rescued a total of 54 people in the last five years. One can only imagine the life changing impact of these rescues on both the casualties and the volunteer crew members who performed them. I thank you for your invaluable contribution and I am in awe of your selflessness and dedication.’

A photo posted by Afloat Magazine (@afloat.ie) on

Mrs. Sally Mongey, wife of former Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Finn Mongey officially names the station’s new D-class lifeboat ‘Isabella Purchase’ assisted by the station’s current Lifeboat Operations Manager Derek Musgrave

‘Every naming ceremony for a new lifeboat is a special occasion and today we are honouring Mrs. Isabella Purchase and her generous life-saving gift to the Institution and the people of Tramore.
‘We couldn’t operate our lifeboat without the dedication of our volunteers. The crew in Tramore provide an outstanding service to their community. There is nothing greater that a person could offer and they deserve nothing less than the best in lifeboats, equipment and training that the RNLI offers. May our lifeboat crew come home safely in the Isabella Purchase and may they bring many home to safety.’

Among the platform party at the service were Mr. Len Bell, Chairman of Tramore Lifeboat Station who welcomed guests and opened proceedings; Peter Crowley, RNLI Irish Council member who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed her into the care of the station; Derek Musgrave, Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the station; Frank Nolan, President of the Tramore Lifeboat Station, who proposed the Vote of Thanks and Mrs Sally Mongey, who officially named the lifeboat.

Fr. Shane O’Neill and The Very Reverend Maria Janssen lead the Service of Dedication and music was provided by the Doirdan Male Choral Ensemble, Mr. Damien Kehoe, Mrs Claire Musgrave and Mrs. Cecelia Kehoe.

In a special moment during the ceremony three of Tramore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew received their Long Service Badges and Certificates for 20 years’ service to the life-saving charity. They were Raymond Cowman, Brian Kavanagh and Stephen Murray.

Tramore RNLI has a proud and distinguished record in the RNLI, receiving 13 Silver Medals for Gallantry and the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum on five separate occasions. The lifeboat station was opened in 1824 with the first lifeboat rowed by a crew of eight lifeboat men. The station closed in 1924 but was reopened again in 1964 with a D-class lifeboat; this class of lifeboat has been on service since then with improvements made to successive lifeboats.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - The new Tramore RNLI D-class lifeboat D-781 will be officially named the Isabella Purchase during a ceremony at the National Lifeguard Training Centre in Tramore on Saturday 12 September at 3pm.

The lifeboat will be named during a short ceremony and service of dedication by Mrs Sally Mongey, wife of the late Finn Mongey. Finn was the lifeboat operations manager for Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Station from when it re-opened in 1964 until his retirement in 1984.

The lifeboat is being named in honour of Mrs Ivy Purchase, known as Isabella, who died in September 2012, leaving her estate to the RNLI to provide a lifeboat in her name. Isabella lived in Midhurst, West Sussex and was a long-time supporter of the charity.

This new lifeboat replaces the Trá Mhór, which was placed on service on 30 June 2005 and launched 127 times, rescuing 100 people over its lifetime.

Tramore RNLI lifeboat operations manager Derek Musgrave, who will be accepting the lifeboat on behalf of the Waterford lifeboat station, said: "On behalf of all the volunteers with Tramore RNLI I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the late Mrs Purchase for her generous and life-saving gift.

"This lifeboat is the vessel that will carry our volunteer lifeboat crew out to sea to save lives and onboard it, our volunteer lifeboat crew will learn and develop their skills through extensive training.

"We look forward to welcoming the people of Tramore, who have been so generous in their support to the RNLI and our lifeboat station, to show them the newest edition to the life-saving fleet in Ireland."

The D-class lifeboat is built at a cost of €62,000 and has been the workhouse of the charity for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable, robust and highly manoeuvrable, capable of operating much closer to the shore than the all-weather lifeboats.

It is especially suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even caves. It measures five metres in length and can carry three crewmembers onboard. It has an endurance of three hours at sea, at its maximum speed of 25 knots.

All are welcome to attend the naming ceremony and service of dedication. Please note that the Totem Pole car park located at the end of the Lower Promenade along the seafront will be closed to facilitate the ceremony from 9am to 5pm on the day. An alternative car park located adjacent to this will remain open to the public and can be accessed by Estuary Road. Alternative parking will also be available along the Main Promenade.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - Tomorrow (Monday 9 March) sees the opening of the new National Lifeguard Training Centre in Tramore, Co Waterford, as The Irish Times reports.

The €500,000 inter-agency initiative will have a focus on training people for the growing discipline of surf lifesaving both around Ireland and abroad.

But the three-storey facility on Tramore's Lower Promenade has practical water safety implications for beachgoers over the summer months, as the town's duty lifeguards will have a panoramic view of the strand and shore from the observation deck.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#RNLI - Tramore RNLI's volunteers were involved in a rescue operation with a difference recently when they worked alongside Tramore Coast Guard and Waterford Animal Welfare to bring a stranded bull to safety after he had fallen from a cliff and taken refuge on a rocky ledge.

The drama unfolded after 5pm on Sunday evening (16 November) when local gardaí contacted Tramore RNLI to inform them that a bull had fallen from a cliff near well known local landmark, the Metal Man, and had swam to a rocky ledge near Newton Cove a few hundred metres away.

Tramore RNLI were joined by the local coastguard unit on shore and Wateford Animal Welfare were contacted for their advice.

The RNLI and coastguard crews tried to approach the bull but his position was hard to access in fading light and rising tides and it was deemed by all present that it was too difficult to carry out a rescue at that time.  It was decided to wait until the following morning before trying again.

At first light the next morning, Tramore Coast Guard contacted the Tramore RNLI lifeboat crew and, along with Andrew Quinn from Waterford Animal Welfare, they were on scene in minutes with a plan to bring the bull to safety.

A rope was secured to the animal by a member of the coastguard team and passed to the lifeboat. The oars of the lifeboat were used to gently usher the bull down off his rocky ledge and into the water. Once there, he started swimming and came alongside the lifeboat before being guided by the crew and Andrew into a nearby cove.

Conditions at the time were calm, and the bull was able to exit the water unaided to be met with his owner.

Commenting on the unusual callout, Tramore RNLI helm Dave O’Hanlon said: "We have a bit of a history here in Tramore RNLI with animals. Over the last few years we have gone out to a calf, a whale, a dolphin and a group of puppies. 

"We are pleased that the animal was not too distressed by the ordeal and that working with our colleagues in the other services we were able to render assistance and bring about a happy outcome. 

"Our thoughts were to try help the poor animal but also to prevent anyone trying to carry out a rescue themselves without the correct advice or equipment. Bulls are very strong and could easily cause an injury. I was also surprised to learn they are good swimmers too!"

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#Fishing - A duo caught illegally fishing for bass off Tramore put themselves in "extreme danger" by going to sea in an unseaworthy boat.

Staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) were working with the Garda investigating illegal netting of fish near Saleens in Co Waterford around 5am on Sunday morning last (25 August) when they came upon the tiny craft, which was not capable of dealing with the sea conditions, and had only one buoyancy aid for its two occupants.

IFI fisheries officers and gardaí were left with no choice but to alert the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard when what began as a fisheries investigation turned into a multi-agency marine search operation.

Thankfully the two people from the tiny craft were later found safely ashore. IFI subsequently seized the small craft and a 120m drift net, along with nine dead bass.

In a statement, IFI emphasised that fishing for bass is illegal, and that such activity has the potential to do huge damage to stocks.

The sale of wild Irish bass is also illegal, and it is important that the public does not support illegal fishing by buying such fish.

A file is being prepared by IFI with a view to prosecuting the fisheries offence.

IFI director David McInerney said it is incredible the risks that are undertaken by people undertaking  water based activities.

The area in question is famous for having great stocks of bass and sea trout, but sadly has been the location for a number of tragic drowning’s in recent years.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#rnli – Lifeboat crew with Tramore RNLI responded to a callout this afternoon at 1.43pm when a six metre half decker boat capsized with four men onboard halfway between Brownstown Head and Rhinashark off the Waterford coast. One man managed to swim to shore and the remaining three were recovered by the Tramore RNLI inshore lifeboat crew. One of the three was airlifted off the lifeboat by the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 to be taken to hospital.

It is believed the men were in the water for up to a half an hour before they were rescued. There was a moderate swell in the area at the time.

Commenting on the callout Tramore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Derek Musgrave said, "I am relieved that all four men are safe after their boat capsized. They were wearing lifejackets which provided the necessary buoyancy to keep them afloat while they clung to the upturned vessel.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#rnli – Lifeboat crew with Tramore RNLI were called out this weekend when a member of the public raised the alarm after seeing three men out at sea on a homemade raft without lifejackets. On arriving at the scene with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, the lifeboat crew managed to convince the three men to return to shore on the lifeboat for their safety.

The call for assistance came at 6.40pm on Friday evening with the initial location of the men incorrect. Using local knowledge the lifeboat crew located the men at Kilfaraissey beach and were then joined on scene by Rescue 117. The men who were 600 metres offshore insisted that they were not in need of help and the lifeboat stood by.

Following a discussion with Rescue 115 a decision was made that due to the unsafe structure of the raft and with no lifejackets being worn that the men would have to return to shore with the lifeboat crew. The three men agreed to return onboard the lifeboat and they were taken onboard and brought back to the beach. They were met on their return by members of An Garda Siochana.

Commenting on the callout Tramore RNLI crewmember Paul Tuohy said, "This could have so easily ended in tragedy. The men were a good distance out from the shore and between two islands where there is a racing tide that changes rapidly. The raft was very poorly constructed and the men were unprepared for any change in their circumstances. The raft could have broken up or they could have been thrown from it and with no lifejackets they would have found themselves in trouble very quickly. With the recent drownings we would appeal to everyone to take care in the water and to wear and use the proper equipment including a lifejacket.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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