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Displaying items by tag: Helvick Head

On Sunday afternoon (21 April), the RNLI Helvick Head was called to rescue three boaters who got into difficulty near Helvick Head, southwest of Dungarvan. The Irish Coast Guard requested the assistance of the volunteer crew who launched their inshore lifeboat into easterly Force 2-3 winds and slight waters.

The lifeboat, with Alan Kelly at the helm and crew members Páidí Breathnach, Catherine Reeves, and Rian Kelly onboard, arrived at the scene at 5:13 pm. Upon assessing the situation, the crew found that the three male casualties were safe and well, all wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE).

As the 20-foot cabin cruiser had sustained mechanical failure, the crew decided to tow it back to Dungarvan harbour. The boats arrived safely back to port at 6:15 pm, thanks to the teamwork of the RNLI Helvick Head volunteers.

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Four boaters in a RIB were rescued by Helvick Head RNLI in County Waterford on Sunday afternoon (7 January) after their boat encountered trouble off the coast of Dungarvan.

The inshore lifeboat was launched into north-east Force 3-4 winds and calm waters, responding to a request from the Irish Coast Guard. The team, led by Alan Kelly and consisting of Páidí Breathnach, Joe Foley and Rian Kelly, arrived at the scene at 2:40 pm and found all the sailors to be safe and well.

The 5.5m rigid inflatable boat had suffered engine failure, and the RNLI team quickly established a tow line and safely brought the boat back to Dungarvan harbour by 4:00 pm.

The Helvick Head Atlantic RNLI lifeboatThe Helvick Head Atlantic RNLI lifeboat

Seán Walsh, the Helvick Head RNLI Launching Authority, reminded boaters to always be prepared before heading out to sea. He emphasized the importance of wearing life jackets and carrying a means of communication and urged anyone in trouble or witnessing someone else in difficulty to call the Coast Guard at 999 or 112.

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Four sailors were rescued by the Helvick Head RNLI on Friday afternoon after they experienced difficulties near Ballinacourty Lighthouse, southeast of Dungarvan.

A member of the public reported the incident to the Irish Coast Guard, who then requested the volunteer crew to launch their inshore lifeboat. The lifeboat, helmed by Joe Foley and with crew members Pat Devereux, Rian Kelly, and Michael Moore onboard, braved westerly Force 2-3 winds and mild seas to reach the scene at 2.30 pm.

Upon arrival, the crew assessed the situation and found the two male and two female casualties to be safe and well, all wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE). However, the 5-metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) had suffered mechanical failure, prompting the decision to tow it to the nearest safe port. A tow line was established, and the boats safely returned to Helvick Head pier at 3.10 pm.

Nick Hannigan, Helvick Head RNLI Launching Authority, reminded everyone to always be prepared before heading out to sea. "Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, don’t hesitate and dial 999 or 112 asking for the Coast Guard," he said.

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Helvick Head RNLI came to the aid of a fisherman on Tuesday afternoon (11 July) after they got into difficulty and needed assistance three miles off Mine Head, southwest of Dungarvan in Co Waterford.

At the request of the Irish Coast Guard, the volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat into westerly Force 2-3 winds and moderately choppy seas.

The lifeboat — helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Catherine Reeves, Jamie Walsh and Críostóir Ó Faoláin onboard — made its way to the scene, arriving at 12.50pm.

The crew assessed the situation and found the male casualty to be safe and well.

File image of Helvick Head RNLI’s inshore lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Helvick HeadFile image of Helvick Head RNLI’s inshore lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Helvick Head

As the 30ft fishing boat had sustained a fouled propeller, it was decided to tow it back to the nearest safe port. A tow line was established, and the lifeboat and fishing boat arrived safely back to Helvick Head pier at 2.25pm.

The fisherman was very appreciative of the service rendered by the Helvick Head RNLI crew and extended his thanks to all involved.

Speaking following the call-out, Kieran Rossiter, Helvick Head RNLI deputy launching authority said: “We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared. Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Helvick Head RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 7 June) following a report that two swimmers were in difficulty off Clonea beach.

With moderate seas and Force 4-5 east/north easterly winds, the volunteer crew launched the ‘Robert Armstrong’ lifeboat at 5.22 pm, for the first time this year, following a request by the Irish Coast Guard who had been alerted by a member of the public. 

The lifeboat, helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Paidi Breathnach, Simon O’Hara and Rian Kelly onboard, made its way to the reported location. On arrival at the scene at 5.27 pm, it materialised the two teenagers had been assisted from the water by another member of the public who was helping at a swim class, highly proficient in the water and wearing a buoyancy aid. 

Helvick Head RNLI inshore lifeboat  was launched for the first time this year Photo: John FoleyHelvick Head RNLI inshore lifeboat  was launched for the first time this year Photo: John Foley

Two of the lifeboat crew were tasked by the Coast Guard with swimming ashore to clear the area, which allowed the Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter to land safely. With local Gardai also in attendance, the situation was assessed, the casualties were found to be safe and well; however, as a precaution, they were transferred to hospital for observation.

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October's Helvick Head & Dungarvan RNLI Dinner Dance celebrates 25 years of station reopening on the Waterford coast.

The event takes place on October 22nd at the Park Hotel in Dungarvan. 

Tickets are €50 each, including a four-course meal and live music by Deuces Wild. 

It's been a busy season for the Helvick Head RNLI who were called upon twice on the same weekend as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its reopening in August.

 

 

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Helvick Head RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat on Tuesday afternoon, 20 September, following a report that a swimmer was in difficulty off Clonea beach.

With calm seas and Force 2-3 south westerly winds, the volunteer crew launched the ‘Robert Armstrong’ lifeboat at 5.35 pm following a request by the Irish Coast Guard. It followed a report from a member of the public that a swimmer was in difficulty near Ballinclamper, the southern end of Clonea beach.

The lifeboat, helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Joe Foley and Simon O’Hara onboard, made its way to the reported location arriving on scene at 5.40 pm. However, the lifeboat was stood down as it transpired the male swimmer was snorkelling in the area and did not require any assistance. 

Speaking following the call out, John Condon, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘This call out turned out to be a false alarm with good intent, but we would commend the person who raised the alarm, reporting what they perceived as someone in difficulty. It is always better to be safe than sorry, safety is always our priority.’

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Helvick Head RNLI in Co Waterford was called upon twice on the same weekend as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its reopening.

The first callout was during a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon (20 August), when lifeboat volunteers were paged at 4.30pm to give onshore assistance to a beachgoer with a leg injury at Helvick Head cove.

The female tourist had sustained a dislocated knee while sitting on the rocks and was supported by a number of crew members until an ambulance arrived.

She was treated on scene by paramedics before being transferred to hospital and later released to recover at home.

A family member visited the station the following day to thank all involved as it materialised that this was not the first time the casualty had encountered the lifeboat services.

Over 20 years ago, she had been one of a number of children cut off by the tide at Faill an Staicin beach and subsequently rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The following day (Sunday 21 August), Helvick Head RNLI were celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the station with an open day to recognise its relationships with other local emergency services.

While conducting an exercise in front of local crowds, alongside the crews of Naval Service vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw, the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 and Youghal RNLI, the volunteer lifeboat was redirected at 3.52pm at the request of the coastguard.

It followed a report that an 18-foot pleasure boat had broken down in Dungarvan Bay.

The lifeboat — helmed by Richard Haines and with crew members Alan Kelly, Pat Devereux and Rian Kelly onboard — made its way to the reported location through choppy waters and Force 3-4 northwesterly winds.

Once on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found the three male casualties to be safe and well. As the boat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow it back to Helvick Head pier.

Speaking following the callout, John Condon, Helvick Head RNLI deputy launching authority said: “The casualties did the right thing by calling for help when they realised they were in difficulty.

“We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared. Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Helvick Head RNLI went to assist two children today (Tuesday 19 July) at Clonea Beach after they were swept out to sea on an inflatable.

With Force 2-3 north westerly winds and calm seas, the volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at the request of the Irish Coast Guard at 12.17pm 

The lifeboat helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Paidi Breathnach, Cathal Reilly and Pat Devereaux onboard, launched at 12.25pm and headed north of the An Rinn peninsula.

On arrival at the scene, the two casualties had been rescued by the Clonea Beach lifeguard team so the lifeboat crew stood by and monitored the situation until everyone was safely back on shore.

Speaking following the call out, Sean Walsh, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Thankfully all’s well that ends well and we would like to wish the children well and commend the Clonea Beach lifeguard team for their efforts in bringing them to safety.

‘While inflatables can be great fun, we would advise that you don’t take them to the beach as they are not designed for open water and it can take very little breeze for them to be swept out to sea - much quicker than you can swim or paddle back to the shore. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 10.15pm on Wednesday night (4 May) to join a search off Garrettstown and Garrylucas beaches near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

Members of the public noticed a person swimming alone offshore, and an item of clothing was located at the beach some time later.

The lifeboat, with a crew of five under coxswain Mark Gannon, was underway within minutes and proceeded in the dark of night to the area of the search.

The lifeboat reached the area within 15 minutes and commenced a detailed search of the waters and coastline alongside the Kinsale RNLI inshore lifeboat and the Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard unit. The search was joined later by the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117.

A thorough search was undertaken using the powerful search lights, night vision and parachute flares from the lifeboat and the heat detection sensors of the helicopter, while the coastguard unit on the water combed the shoreline at Garrettstown and Garrylucas.

At 12.30am, when nothing was located and gardaí had carried out detailed enquiries ashore, the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Co-Ordination Centre called off the search and the lifeboat and the other rescue services returned to their bases.

Brian O’Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager said: “It was great to see the fast response of so many of our voluntary crew tonight when their bleepers activated which ensured that we were at the scene very quickly.

“It is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs as the various rescue services are always at the ready 24 hours a day and great credit is due to the concerned people that raised the alarm last night.”

The Courtmacsherry volunteer lifeboat crew involved in this call out were Coxswain Mark Gannon, duty mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Peter Nunan, Denis Murphy, Evin O’Sullivan and Dean Hennessey.

Helvick Head RNLI's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Aoife DuffyHelvick Head RNLI's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Aoife Duffy

Elsewhere on the same night, Helvick Head RNLI in neighbouring Co Waterford was requested to launch its inshore lifeboat following a report that a swimmer was in difficulty in Dungarvan Harbour.

With calm waters and little to no wind, the volunteer crew launched following the request by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.02pm. It followed a report that a swimmer was in difficulty between the Lookout in Dungarvan Harbour and Cunnigar Point.

The lifeboat, helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Joe Foley, Shane Walsh and Paidi Breathnach onboard, made its way to the scene. However, the lifeboat was shortly stood down as it transpired the swimmer wasn’t in difficulty and had reached the shore successfully.

Speaking later, Helvick Head RNLI deputy launching authority Sean Walsh said: “This callout turned out to be a false alarm with good intent but we would commend the person who raised the alarm as we would always much rather launch and find that all is safe and well, than not launch at all.

“On the first official week of summer, we would like to remind people if they are planning on going in the water that Dungarvan Harbour is renowned for its rip currents and can catch even the most experienced swimmers out. If you’re caught in a rip, stay calm, don’t panic. Don’t swim against it but rather parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then make for shore.

“We would also like to remind visitors and people new to our shores that the RNLI has a range of translated safety messages and advice in many languages which are available to download.

“If you do get into difficulty or see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - FAQS

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are geographically defined maritime areas where human activities are managed to protect important natural or cultural resources. In addition to conserving marine species and habitats, MPAs can support maritime economic activity and reduce the effects of climate change and ocean acidification.

MPAs can be found across a range of marine habitats, from the open ocean to coastal areas, intertidal zones, bays and estuaries. Marine protected areas are defined areas where human activities are managed to protect important natural or cultural resources.

The world's first MPA is said to have been the Fort Jefferson National Monument in Florida, North America, which covered 18,850 hectares of sea and 35 hectares of coastal land. This location was designated in 1935, but the main drive for MPAs came much later. The current global movement can be traced to the first World Congress on National Parks in 1962, and initiation in 1976 of a process to deliver exclusive rights to sovereign states over waters up to 200 nautical miles out then began to provide new focus

The Rio ‘Earth Summit’ on climate change in 1992 saw a global MPA area target of 10% by the 2010 deadline. When this was not met, an “Aichi target 11” was set requiring 10% coverage by 2020. There has been repeated efforts since then to tighten up MPA requirements.

Marae Moana is a multiple-use marine protected area created on July 13th 2017 by the government of the Cook islands in the south Pacific, north- east of New Zealand. The area extends across over 1.9 million square kilometres. However, In September 2019, Jacqueline Evans, a prominent marine biologist and Goldman environmental award winner who was openly critical of the government's plans for seabed mining, was replaced as director of the park by the Cook Islands prime minister’s office. The move attracted local media criticism, as Evans was responsible for developing the Marae Moana policy and the Marae Moana Act, She had worked on raising funding for the park, expanding policy and regulations and developing a plan that designates permitted areas for industrial activities.

Criteria for identifying and selecting MPAs depends on the overall objective or direction of the programme identified by the coastal state. For example, if the objective is to safeguard ecological habitats, the criteria will emphasise habitat diversity and the unique nature of the particular area.

Permanence of MPAs can vary internationally. Some are established under legislative action or under a different regulatory mechanism to exist permanently into the future. Others are intended to last only a few months or years.

Yes, Ireland has MPA cover in about 2.13 per cent of our waters. Although much of Ireland’s marine environment is regarded as in “generally good condition”, according to an expert group report for Government published in January 2021, it says that biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are of “wide concern due to increasing pressures such as overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change”.

The Government has set a target of 30 per cent MPA coverage by 2030, and moves are already being made in that direction. However, environmentalists are dubious, pointing out that a previous target of ten per cent by 2020 was not met.

Conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment has been mandated by a number of international agreements and legal obligations, as an expert group report to government has pointed out. There are specific requirements for area-based protection in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the OSPAR Convention, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Yes, the Marine Strategy Framework directive (2008/56/EC) required member states to put measures in place to achieve or maintain good environmental status in their waters by 2020. Under the directive a coherent and representative network of MPAs had to be created by 2016.

Ireland was about halfway up the EU table in designating protected areas under existing habitats and bird directives in a comparison published by the European Commission in 2009. However, the Fair Seas campaign, an environmental coalition formed in 2022, points out that Ireland is “lagging behind “ even our closest neighbours, such as Scotland which has 37 per cent. The Fair Seas campaign wants at least 10 per cent of Irish waters to be designated as “fully protected” by 2025, and “at least” 30 per cent by 2030.

Nearly a quarter of Britain’s territorial waters are covered by MPAs, set up to protect vital ecosystems and species. However, a conservation NGO, Oceana, said that analysis of fishing vessel tracking data published in The Guardian in October 2020 found that more than 97% of British MPAs created to safeguard ocean habitats, are being dredged and bottom trawled. 

There’s the rub. Currently, there is no definition of an MPA in Irish law, and environment protections under the Wildlife Acts only apply to the foreshore.

Current protection in marine areas beyond 12 nautical miles is limited to measures taken under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives or the OSPAR Convention. This means that habitats and species that are not listed in the EU Directives, but which may be locally, nationally or internationally important, cannot currently be afforded the necessary protection

Yes. In late March 2022, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that the Government had begun developing “stand-alone legislation” to enable identification, designation and management of MPAs to meet Ireland’s national and international commitments.

Yes. Environmental groups are not happy, as they have pointed out that legislation on marine planning took precedence over legislation on MPAs, due to the push to develop offshore renewable energy.

No, but some activities may be banned or restricted. Extraction is the main activity affected as in oil and gas activities; mining; dumping; and bottom trawling

The Government’s expert group report noted that MPA designations are likely to have the greatest influence on the “capture fisheries, marine tourism and aquaculture sectors”. It said research suggests that the net impacts on fisheries could ultimately be either positive or negative and will depend on the type of fishery involved and a wide array of other factors.

The same report noted that marine tourism and recreation sector can substantially benefit from MPA designation. However, it said that the “magnitude of the benefits” will depend to a large extent on the location of the MPA sites within the network and the management measures put in place.

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