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Displaying items by tag: west cork

#WestCork - The body of a Spanish fisherman has been found by his son in Castletownbere Harbour in West Cork after an incident yesterday evening (Tuesday 23 December).

As The Irish Times reports, it's believed the man, who was in his late 50s, may have slipped and fallen into the water while returning to his trawler some time after 7pm. More on this story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#WildAtlanticWay - Popular travel YouTube duo the Vagabrothers have been posting clips from their current trip along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way - including a "super relaxing" kayaking adventure off West Cork.

As TheCork.ie reports, Californian brothers and self-professed vagabonds Marko and Alex Ayling paddled in the company of Atlantic Sea Kayaking's Jim and Maria Kennedy as part of their extensive tour of the country at the invitation of Tourism Ireland.

Once back on shore, the Aylings were treated to a surprising seaweed lunch at the Union Hall café run by the Kennedy's own daughter.

The video above is just one of a series that's taken the brothers surfing in Strandhill, cliff-jumping in the Aran Islands and tucking into an oyster feast in Co Galway.

And it comes as Lonely Planet recommends the Wild Atlantic Way as the world's best offbeat coastal road trip, according to Galway Bay FM.

The whole of the Vagabrothers' Irish adventure so far can be found on YouTube HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MarineWildlife - Whale Watch West Cork have shared this incredible video of one of a humpback whale breaching off Baltimore this week.

The whale is one of three of the ocean giants seen feeding off Baltimore and nearby islands in recent days, and caught in some stunning shots by photographer Simon Duggan, among others.

 



Meanwhile, some no less impressive sights have been seen of Donegal, new video shows basking sharks - the second biggest fish in the sea - breaching off Malin Head.

 

Bren Whelan of Wild Atlantic Way Climbing told Independent Travel that it's been an "outstanding week" for marine wildlife watching on the North Coast, saying he himself had witnessed "over 300" basking shark breaches.

Basking sharks have been seen in big numbers the area all month long, with 15 spotted during the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Whale Watch Ireland 2015 event on the afternoon of 23 August alone.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Missing - Diving volunteers from across Ireland joined the effort to search for missing student Barry Davis Ryan off West Cork yesterday (Thursday 9 July), more than a week after the tragic death of his father and girlfriend.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, 51-year-old Penney's retail scion Barry Ryan and 20-year-old Niamh O'Connor were recovered off the coast near Baltimore on Tuesday evening 30 June, but died soon after.

Davis Ryan was last seen entering the water to rescue O'Connor, who had been swept into the sea while walking on rocks. His father then followed them into the water as they were both in difficulty, but all three were swept out to the Eastern Hole, as The Irish Times reports.

Despite poor weather conditions over the last week, the search has continued for Davis Ryan, with John Kearney of the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue unit expecting as many as 200 dives by more than 100 volunteers to be conducted yesterday between 6am and 10pm, searching a rocky area some 23 metres deep, 300 metres long and almost a kilometre wide.

And 60 divers were expected to join the effort this morning (Friday 10 July) before forecast poor weather sweeps in later today. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#BoatTheft - An email alert system is among the tools being used by a new cross-agency initiative to fight back against boat thefts in West Cork, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Mizen Coastal Watch – which comprises members of Cork County Council, Crookhaven and Schull sailing clubs, the RNLI and more – has been established in the wake of a spate of thefts at marinas around the Mizen Peninsula in recent years by "highly organised gangs".

Equipment such as outboard motors are particularly vulnerable as they are sought after by thieves for quick resale abroad.

The new initiative is set to enhance vigilance and communication among and between various marine users, and will involve the use of an email alert system for marine crime blackspots that will also be available to the public.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineWildlife - A paddleboarder "still can't believe" the moment when a humpback whale surfaced right under his board off West Cork earlier this week.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Jason Coniry was out for a paddle with fellow boarders off Inchydoney beach on Wednesday evening (17 June) when the ocean giant appeared suddenly before him.

Luckily for the Corkman – who took the 'special endeavour' award in the Ocean to City An Rás Mór last month for being the first ever stand-up paddle board entrant – the whale was nothing more than curious about him and his fellow humans on the surface.

And Coniry has the presence of mind – and the available tech – to record the incredible marine wildlife experience on video to share with the world.

“Instinct guides us as to when it’s unsafe," he said of the respectful close encounter. "The whale’s movements are very intentional and accurate. If it did not want us near it, we would definitely have known.”

The humpback visitor was certainly in safer company than fellow whales in the Antarctic, where Japan is expected to resume whale hunts by the end of the year – despite the International Whaling Commission not being satisfied of the need to hunt for research purposes.

The Irish Examiner has more on that story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Kitesurfing - West Cork is firmly behind two junior stars of the Irish kitesurfing scene, as the Southern Star reports.

Fifteen-year-old James Tidmarsh, already a four-year veteran, was victorious in the junior competition at the recent Battle for the Bay on Dollymount Strand, where his fellow West Cork kiteboarder Darragh O'Brien (10) placed joint third.

The latter result is even more remarkable given that O'Brien has been kitesurfing for less than a year, and the Battle for the Bay was his first competition.

The Southern Star has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing
Tagged under

#Zillah - Lack of seafaring experience and the absence of a VHF radio or other means of contact compounded a tragic situation that led to the death of a retired teacher after the capsize of his dinghy off West Cork last summer, according to the official investigation into the incident.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an inquest into the capsize of the Drascombe Lugger Zillah returned a verdict of accidental death in the case of 66-year-old Douglas Perrin, who drowned after his vessel overturned and sent him and two companions into the water off Castle Island near Schull on the evening of 13 August last.

The court heard that guests Marian Brown and Patrick Anwyl, neither experienced sailors, were taking turns at the helm under the supervision of Perrin, a sailing instructor for more some 30 years, when the boat overturned in gusty weather.

As the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) outlines, it was found that the boat - built before the Recreational Craft Directive requirement and of a type known to have stability issues in certain conditions – gybed suddenly on the approach to the Amelia Buoy at the Schull Harbour entrance, taking all three by surprise.

The vessel quickly turned turtle, with its centreplate retracting into the stowed position, and the guests managed to clamber onto the upturned hull with Perrin in the water beside them.

However, they did not have a VHF radio or EPIRB-type beacon on the vessel, and there were no other boats in the vicinity to witness the incident not spot the casualties and attempt rescue.

Despite the mild water temperature, none of the three were wearing more than light summer clothes with their PFDs, and Perrin spoke of feeling cold within 30 minutes.

After the three attempted to swim some 50 metres to nearby rocks on Castle Island, Perrin was separated from his guests, who later saw him drifting past the island making no effort to swim but with his head above the waves.

It was many hours later into the following day, after an alert by Perrin's wife who had been expecting the group's return, that Brown and Anwyl were located and rescued by emergency responders. The body of Perrin was found a short time later off Sherkin Island.

The MCIB found that the guests' lack of sailing experience "meant that they did not react correctly to the developing situation" when the boat suddenly gybed.

Moreover, the lack of a radio, which would have immediately alerted any number of vessels in the nearby Schull area as well as emergency teams, would have likely seen all three rescued in a matter of minutes.

It's also possible that had their PFDs been fitted with lights and whistles, the guests may have been spotted sooner by search and rescue crews.

The full report into the Zillah incident by the MCIB, including its safety recommendations, is available to download HERE.

Published in MCIB

#WaterSafety - Recreational divers must follow safety guidelines to the letter, a coroner has urged during the inquest into the death of two diving enthusiasts off West Cork last summer.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the two men in their 60s, who were understood to be experienced divers, died while exploring the wreck of a German U-boat off Castlehaven on 2 July last.

Cork City coroner Dr Myra Cullinane this week ruled misadventure in the deaths of 65-year-old Stephen Clarke from Surrey and 61-year-old Jonathan Scott from Western Australia, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The inquest heard that both men had overstayed their 'bottom time' at the wreck 42 metres below the surface and succumbed to the bends after making a rapid ascent.

It was also found that the duo's air regulators were not appropriate for operation at such depths, which would have made breathing difficult.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Elsewhere, an Irish student who was paralysed while diving into the water at a Portuguese beach in 2012 has spoken of the moment that changed his life forever.

Jack Kavanagh was an experienced lifeguard and surfing instructor before the dive into a hidden sandbank that broke his neck with a "little click".

But as the 22-year-old tells the Irish Mirror: "I was very calm. I knew immediately what had happened. I was so used to being in the water so I didn't panic at all... As a lifeguard I had done training, I knew all the signs and symptoms."

Since then he has defied the preconceived notions of his disability, returning to Trinity to complete his pharmacy studies – and next week is headed to the States with friends for a J1 working holiday.

And that's not to mention the 'Sail for Jack' organised by the Royal St George last August to raise funds for his specialised supports and treatment.

Published in Water Safety
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