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Displaying items by tag: diving

#Diving - The Dive Ireland expo heads to Athlone in 2013 with a full weekend of speakers, exhibits and workshops for divers and snorkelers of all levels.

This year's hosts at the Athlone Sub Aqua Club have announced details of the 22nd-annual dive show from 2-3 March 2013 at the Hodson Bay Hotel, which also doubles as the AGM for the Irish Underwater Council (CFT).

Speakers lined up for this year include renowned wreck diver Barry McGill, cave divers Jim Warney and Jason Masterson, limit-pushing free diver Feargus Callaghy and snorkelling advocate Victor Kutischev, as well as representatives from marine wildlife conservation group Sea Shepherd.

Just like last year, Dive Ireland 2013 will also feature a wide array of exhibitors to cater for all types of diver interests - and entry for each day costs just €5.

The Athlone Sub Aqua Club has more details on the Dive Ireland 2013 programme HERE.

Published in Diving

#Coastguard - East Londonderry MLA John Dallat has welcomed the news that the Irish Coast Guard station at Malin Head will remain open.

The SDLP politician had previously sought the support of Northern Ireland's Minister of State Mike Penning to help protect the Donegal coastguard station from closure in the wake of the 'value for money' report commissioned by Irish Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

Last week Minister Varadkar made a U-turn on proposals to close one or both of the stations at Malin Head and Valentia Island in Co Kerry, following vocal protests by coastal communities in both areas.

As BBC News reports, Dallat's interest in Malin Head dates back to 1973, when he met divers salvaging items from the wreck of the Titanic sister ship Laurentic, which was sunk by mines off Lough Swilly in 1917.

Dallat joined the crew to salvage for brass and copper machinery from the wreck, but on the way to the site their boat experienced engine trouble.

It was only by contacting Malin Head that they were able to receive assistance from a passing coal boat - and Dallat believes he would not be here today if not for that coastguard radio call.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#DIVING - Diver Gus O'Driscoll and four members of the Delta Specialist Diving Club are currently searching the bed of Lough Salt in Donegal for a number of golf balls driven into the water more than 100 years ago by the legendary Old Tom Morris.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that 20 of the golfer's own rubber balls were hit into the lake during an exhibition in 1891. Though worth a shilling a piece at the time, today they are worth a whopping €20,000 each.

The only obstacle in the path of the intrepid divers is the mountain of golf balls they have to sift through to find the exceedingly rare 'gutta perches'.

"There are literally thousands of balls at the bottom of Lough Salt because stopping off to hit golf balls there has been a tradition going back to Morris's time," said O'Driscoll.

If they do strike it lucky, the divers plan to donate their finds to the nearby Rosapenna Golf Club, whose course was designed by Old Tom himself.

Published in Diving

#DIVING - Dry suits and SCUBA gear were swapped for tuxedos and ballgowns recently as the NUIG/GMIT Sub Aqua celebrated its 50th anniversary ball at the Galway Bay Hotel.

Guest speakers on the night of dinner and dancing included as Professor Paul Ryan, Irish Underwater Council president Richard Thorn, Christie O’Toole and current club diving officer and captain Cian McFadden shared their memories and appreciation for the club.

The evening also featured a fundraising raffle with prizes such as a Pathfiner watch worth €300, donated by Richard Quinn Jewellers, and two days driving and accommodation for two in Antrim courtesy of Aquaholics.

The celebrations came just weeks after the club officially launched its new RIB - named Alice Perry - at a ceremony in NUI Galway, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Diving

#DIVING ON TV - The latest episode of RTÉ One's natural history series Living the Wildlife takes a look at the secrets of 'Underwater Ireland'.

Presenter Colin Stafford-Jones goes diving with renowned underwater wildlife photographer Nigel Motyer, who has had photographs published in National Geographic magazine, to find a conger eel in Killary Harbour, Co Mayo.

Killary is Ireland's only fjord, which means that diving is possible all year round. But SCUBA diving is not the only way to access the underwater world - snorkelling is a cheaper and more practical way, as Victor Kutischev of the website Underwater Ireland demonstrates.

"Victor has seen some remarkable things over the last few years," says Stafford-Jones. "The triggerfish he filmed in Kerry, which we see in the show look absolutely extraordinary; it makes me want to throw on a mask and snorkel right now."

Stafford-Jones also visits old friend Dave Tilley on Sandymount Strand in Dublin Bay, where he shows how to gather a sustainable lunch from the clean waters of the bay - such as the razor clams regularly found on our beaches.

Catch the programme again tomorrow night (Monday 5 November) at 8.30pm on RTÉ One, or click HERE to view via RTÉ Player (available till 22 November in Ireland only).

Published in Maritime TV

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Marine experts are calling on the UK public to pile pressure on their government to create Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) to help protect and restore marine wildlife in the Irish Sea and around the British coast.

The Living Seas North West Conference in Cumbria recently was a call to arms for marine experts and the public to join forces to protect the oceans.

And organisers the North West Wildlife Trusts used the event to press support for nature reserves in the Irish Sea as part of a UK-wide campaign by The Wildlife Trusts for 127 MCZs around the United Kingdom.

Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, described areas off the Isle of Man which have never been dredged as “carpeted with life”.

He said: “In the 19th century the Irish Sea bed was crusted with oysters. Today it is not just a sea different in the quantity of the wildlife it is different in the quality of the habitats in which that wildlife lives.”

Prof Roberts described how a study showed that dredging to catch 28,000 prawns also caught 12,000 other fish, most of which were thrown away. He also spoke of dives where he has seen the seabed damaged in huge areas by trawling.

“Over-fishing is not the only thing going on in the oceans," he said, "they are also affected by climate change and pollution. Our seas are changing faster than at any other time in human history.”

Prof Roberts said he was not against fishing, but that conservationists and the fishing industry need to find some common ground. “The prosperity of wildlife and the fishing industry depend on it," he said.

Meanwhile, The Wildlife Trusts marine protected areas manager Richard White spoke about the problems caused "by all the things that human activity is doing wrong".

He added: "We are trying to increase the resilience of our marine wildlife. The critical part is that we are doing this by trying to create Marine Conservation Zones.”

Pollution was highlighted by TV star and diver Paul Rose and Caroline Salthouse of the North West Coastal Forum.

“A huge problem is ocean debris," said Rose. "In 43 years of diving I am beginning to see more plastic and less fish. It is an issue that we must use to get people engaged in what is going on in our seas.”

Salthouse called for the public not only to sign the Wildlife Trusts’ new 'Petition Fish', but also to write to the British government as individuals.

More details about the Marine Conservation Zones and Petition Fish can be found at www.wildlifetrusts.org/living-seas

Published in Marine Wildlife

#DIVING - Naas Sub Aqua Club is looking for new members from the East coast and the Midlands as it prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Leinster Leader reports.

The Co Kildare-based diving club is one of the most active in Ireland, with 40 members regularly going below the surface on weekly excursions from Coal Harbour, Slade Harbour or Kilmore Quay throughout the year.

Summer trips are also organised to locations as far afield as Gozo in the Mediterranean and Cuba in the Caribbean.

Novices are welcome, and anyone interested in getting into diving will be trained in full SCUBA equipment on Thursday evenings at the Curragh Pool over the winter, with open water dives set to resume in February 2013.

The Leinster Leader has more on the club and how to get in touch HERE.

Published in Diving

#DIVING - Irish diver Paul Devane has smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest cold saltwater SCUBA dive in his second attempt.

Diving.ie reports that Devane set a time of 13 hours and 4 minutes off Killary in Co Galway on 9 October - breaking through the bar set by a Maltese team in February this year, who themselves broke the record set by Devane's brother Declan in 2009.

Speaking to the Irish Independent ahead of his successful second attempt, Devane said: "It will be cold, it will be long... There will be no breaks, no meals, no toilet stops."

Devane said his main aim was to raise money for his chosen charities Hang in Hand, supporting families of children with cancer, and the RNLI.

Find out more about Devane and his record-breaking dive HERE.

Published in Diving

#DIVING - WorldIrish have done it again with another great video find - this time following a team of divers off Donegal as they explore the wreck of the RMS/HMS Carinthia.

On 6 June 1940, during the Second World War, the transatlantic steam-powered cruise liner turned armed merchant ship was sunk by a German U-boat off Tory Island.

The video above shows some of the sights seen by Michael McVeigh and his diving team, including the ship's bow, the anchor telegraph and its wartime addition 6" gun.

Published in Diving

#sub-aqua – In the year of its 50th anniversary, the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club officially launched its new Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), Alice Perry, at a special ceremony in NUI Galway recently. Launched by NUI Galway's Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, the RIB was blessed by the University's Chaplain, Fr Diarmuid Hogan.

In 2009 work began on raising funds to purchase a new offshore class RIB for the Club to allow greater access to some of the fantastic offshore dive sites that lie around Ireland. In late 2011, the NUI Galway Students Project Fund granted the remaining funds required.

The new 6.5m XS-650 RIB is named after NUI Galway graduate Alice Perry, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering in 1906. Alice was the first female to graduate with an engineering degree in Ireland or the UK. She went on to hold the position of County Surveyor for Galway, where her work included the inspection of Galway's piers, before later moving to London and eventually Boston.

Speaking at the launch, Martin Timoney of the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club said: "I thank all those who helped in procuring the Clubs new RIB; from attaining the required funds, through the NUI Galway Students Project Fund, to the deriving the final specification for the RIB to is final delivery in late June. It has taken a lot of time and effort but the new RIB, Alice Perry will allow access to some fantastic dive sites for the club."

Annual events for the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club include a Charity Fundraiser Dive with all the proceeds donated to local charities and groups involved in water safety where divers from the Club cumulatively spend 30 hours in the 3.5m deep tank in one hour time slots. This year over €1,600 was raised for the Galway RNLI Station and the Search and Recovery Unit of the Galway Sub Aqua Club. The Club also provides safety boat cover at a number of events, including Tri the Burren Triathlon and the Cope Triathlon, and this year the Volvo Ocean Race finale. Working with Galway Sub-Aqua Club, the Club provided safety boat cover in Galway Bay for each of the inshore practice and race days, as well as within the docks in the evenings.

The Club dives locally on a regular basis to such sites as Coral Beach, Bóthar Buí and Killary Fjord. Larger weekend trips also take place to dive sites all along the west coast, from Donegal to Cork. The Club is open to all current students, alumni or staff of NUI Galway or GMIT and training starts each year in September. For further information on the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club, or to join, visit website www.galwaydiving.com.

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club are hosting a black tie gala ball in the Galway Bay Hotel on Saturday, 27 October. To find out more, or to purchase tickets for the ball visit www.galwaydiving.com.

Founded in 1962, the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club is one of the oldest sub aqua clubs in the country. The UCG Diving Society was formed primarily by staff members of the then, University College Galway. In the 1990s, the Club formed an alliance with what was then the Regional Technical College, Galway, and when both colleges later changed their name, the Club became the NUIG/GMIT Sub-Aqua Club, as it is known today.  Over the years, the Club has grown from strength to strength and in 2003, was named by Comhairle Fo-Thuinn (CFT), the agency under which the Club affiliates itself and trains under, as the largest training Club in the country, with more trainee certificates issued than any other CFT club in Ireland.  The Club continues this success with a large number of current students, staff and alumni joining each year.

Published in Diving
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