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Displaying items by tag: Forty Foot

The environmental action group, SOS Dublin Bay, has today launched a detailed policy document entitled - “The water quality crisis in Dublin Bay - what is happening and actions needed to protect the public”.

Download the full documents and survey below.

The Group is calling for urgent steps to better inform the general public of the extent of the problem which it describes as serious and a more significant risk to swimmers than previously thought. It is also calling for urgent action by the government and Irish Water to clean up the Bay, which was declared a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 2015 in recognition of its unique ecological and cultural status. 

The Group has conducted extensive research into data provided by Irish Water and the four local authorities in Dublin which reveals that in the 4 year period 2017 to 2020, a total of 8.875 million cubic metres [1] of untreated sewage and storm waters has been discharged into Dublin Bay from overflow tanks located at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. This figure does not include other significant discharges from the 410 Storm Water Overflows in the Dublin region which are not measured but are thought to exceed the discharges from the plant. 

This equates to 3,550 full-size Olympic 50 metre pools over the four year period and averages out at 74 Olympic pools full of untreated wastewater each month. These discharges of untreated sewer wastewater usually occur during storm periods where the current Dublin Wastewater Treatment Facility (DWwTF) reaches maximum capacity and cannot cope with the loadings being received.

The scene at Sandycove Harbour in the South of Dublin Bay where sea swimming in the harbour and nearby Foot Foot is a year round pursuit Photo: AfloatThe scene at Sandycove Harbour in the South of Dublin Bay where sea swimming in the harbour and nearby Foot Foot is a year round pursuit Photo: Afloat

In an online survey of over 1200 people conducted in March, more than one in 5 (21.77%) declared that they had been ill or suffered adverse health effects as a result of recreational activity they had recently undertaken in Dublin Bay.

Chairman of SOS Dublin Bay Gerard Jones said the Group were taken aback by how much wastewater is being illegally dumped into Dublin Bay – “Our research has revealed clear evidence of a significant ecological problem of which the public is unaware which is clearly having a negative impact on the health of bathers in particular. We have seen a major increase in year-round bathing in the Bay. People need to be informed about bathing conditions and periods of poor water quality. Dublin Bay is our city’s most treasured public amenity, but it is heavily polluted and causing illness. There a duty of care to protect public health and that obligation is not being met .”

SOS Dublin Bay is calling for a series of short and medium-term actions to be implemented

Short Term Measures Proposed

Systematic year-round survey of Dublin Bay bathing waters incorporating daily sampling and testing over a 24 month period - 365 days a year at 10 separate locations around the Bay. This should commence immediately, continue and conclude in May 2023. Information gained will inform the users of Dublin Bay when it is safe to use the bay for activities such as swimming, kayaking, etc.

The information to be disseminated to the public via real time electronic signage at established bathing locations and through information channels such as local authority information websites and social media channels.

The data to be used or planning and ensure investment in infrastructure is properly targeted at the root causes of the pollution of Dublin Bay.

The Dublin Waste Water Treatment Facility Plant in Ringsend has an Ultra Violet (UV) treatment facility which reduces the microbiological load of effluent from the Plant to Dublin Bay. This UV plant operates only during the Bathing Season (1 June - 15 September) each year. This plant should operate continuously throughout the year. This will result in an immediate improvement of the bathing water quality..

Medium and Longer Term Measures Proposed

More investment is immediately needed in the water infrastructure for the Greater Dublin Region. This will protect public health, achieve compliance with EU Directives meet the duty of care obligation of the State and ensure that Dublin Bay can retain its status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

These measures are :

Expediting the delivery of the new Clonshaugh wastewater treatment plant; this facility is urgently needed. Its future is in question following a decision of the High Court in 2020. The judicial review process is leading to a breakdown in the development of critical public infrastructure investment.

Accelerating the current upgrade at the Ringsend plant. This is due for completion by 2025; we believe the deadline is optimistic and unlikely to be achieved. Current contracts with the existing contractors for the Ringsend Plant upgrade, should be reviewed to determine how delivery can be brought forward.

Implement real-time testing using next-generation buoy based sensors which can test many times each day and transmit results via 5G telecommunications networks.

"There is a crisis in Dublin Bay which has led to the permanent closing of the Merrion beach as a bathing facility. Unless action is taken the bathing water is going to deteriorate further and could lead to more permanent closures of other Dublin beaches and popular bathing areas around the Bay; this is now a major public health issue and requires immediate action by Local Authorities, the Department of the Environment and the EPA" concluded Mr Jones.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer in difficulty yesterday (Tuesday 30 March) who could not get back to shore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard that a swimmer was believed to be in difficulty and finding it hard to get back to shore.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately by a crew of three at 3.21 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.26 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were described as having an easterly breeze causing a moderate sea state with a slight swell, visibility at the time was good.

On arrival the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted and holding on to rocks about 50 metres southeast of Forty Foot. After quickly assessing the situation, the crew came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was very cold from the long exposure to the cold sea temperature but otherwise in good health. The lifeboat transferred the person to land in Sandycove Harbour with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard unit and into the care of an awaiting National Ambulance service crew for a secondary medical assessment.

Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat CoxswainMark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain

Speaking following the call-out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy that the outcome of this call-out was a positive one as things in situations like that can change very fast for the worst. We are glad the person involved was brought back to shore safely and in good health'

'I would like to ask everyone planning on entering the water to check the weather and sea conditions at the time and to never underestimate the sea. The sun may be shining and air temperatures rising but the Irish sea temperature in our area is just above 7 degrees at this time of year. Please be aware that cold water shock is always a risk for people in Irish waters even as we come into the summer'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Coast Guard rescued two swimmers after they ran into difficulty while swimming at the Forty Foot bathing place on Dublin Bay yesterday.

The incident occurred earlier today as the swimmers required help in the choppy sea. The Dun Laoghaire Harbour branch of the Coast Guard confirmed that one of the swimmers also required medical assistance.

Thankfully, all persons are understood to be ok.

Personnel from the National Ambulance Service, Dublin Fire Brigade, RNLI Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Station, and An Garda Síochána were required during the rescue operation.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said: "We have had two callouts this morning involving swimmers. Conditions are unsafe along our coastline and continue to be unsafe for the rest of the week due to strong easterly winds.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

People are being asked to forego the annual Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in Sandycove on Dublin bay due to concerns over large groups of people gathering for the annual tradition.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, gardaí, and the Health Service Executive issued the appeal for people to refrain from visiting bathing areas, especially the 40 Foot in Sandycove and at Seapoint this year over the potential risk of spreading Covid-19 at these public gatherings.

In a joint statement, the council, gardaí, and the HSE acknowledged that winter swimming and especially the long-standing tradition of the Christmas Day swim have become increasingly popular in recent years in the area, with very large numbers of people of all ages gathering at bathing locations along the coastline.

In the statement, they said "it is only for this year and is being advised in the spirit of ensuring the safety of all our families and friends".

The statement goes on to say that they are "keenly aware that this is a very significant request being asked of people.

"We would not be asking this if we did not consider that a large gathering would create a potential risk to public health and the spread of Covid-19.

"Personal responsibility has been a significant part of our armoury in the fight against Covid-19 and we urge you to exercise it now and to avoid creating a crowded environment over Christmas at these traditional locations.

"We are appealing to the public to consider their wider communities and to please refrain from visiting these bathing areas this Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day".

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
Tagged under

The Forty Foot in south Co Dublin has emerged as an unlikely battleground in a war between long-time cold-water bathers and a newer breed who have taken to the storied bathing spot with ‘dry robes’ and selfie sticks.

According to The Guardian, signs have been erected near the Sandycove swimming hole by disgruntled regulars warning away those they believe are fad-chasers who come wearing fleece-lined robes designed for athletes to keep warm.

One notice, which referred to the newbie bathers as “dryrobe w*****s”, said the issue was with the newcomers “taking up too much space” by hogging benches with their robes and other items, and occupying limited parking space.

But the fleece wearers have been undeterred, with Viking Marine owner Ian O’Meara reporting a brisk trade in the premium-priced robes.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
Tagged under

The alarm was raised shortly after 8 am this morning at Sandycove on Dublin Bay when a male was found unresponsive in the water at the Forty Foot Bathing Place.

Coast Guard, Ambulance Service & Gardaí are at the scene and the Garda has a cordon in place at the popular sea swim spot.

A Garda spokesman told Afloat 'No further details are currently available'.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

Dun Laoghaire’s coastguard unit was tasked yesterday (Sunday 12 July) to assist paramedics with a casualty who had fallen down steps at the Forty Foot bathing spot.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was also in attendance at the scene, where local lifeguards in Sandycove treated the casualty before the arrival of emergency services.

Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard says the patient was stabilised and stretchered to an awaiting ambulance for further care.

Published in Rescue

Popular bathing spots at the Forty Foot, Sandycove and Seapoint on Dublin Bay have been closed as of today (Saturday 11 April) following the latest extension of restrictions against Covid-19.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said the decision was made “following consultation [with] the Garda, as a result of concerns raised with social distancing compliance”.

All three bathing areas are now closed to the public until further notice, following the announcement that movement restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended to Tuesday 5 May.

It follows a nationwide call on Thursday by the Coastguard and the RNLI asking people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

BreakingNews.ie reports that a man in his 50s has died after an incident at the Forty Foot swimming spot in south Co Dublin.

The alarm was raised after the man got into difficulty in the water this afternoon (Sunday 29 September).

Emergency services removed the man to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he later died. Gardaí confirmed that investigations are ongoing.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

Dublin local authorities have issued bathing ban notices for a number of popular swimming spots after a sewage leak at the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

Swimming is currently prohibited along the coast between Dollymount in North Dublin and White Rock Beach in Killiney on the Southside, just beyond Dublin Bay.

The string of bathing spots includes the enduringly popular Forty Foot in Sandycove.

Moreover, Sandymount and Merrion just south of Ringsend — where the wastewater plant was in the news earlier this year over a discharge in the Liffey — have been landed with a swimming ban for the entire 2019 bathing season due to their overall poor water quality.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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