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Displaying items by tag: Helvick Head

#RNLI - The naming ceremony and service of dedication of Helvick Head RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat Robert Armstrong will take place at the lifeboat station on Helvick Pier on the south side of Dungarvan Bay at 11am on Saturday 30 August.

The new lifeboat was funded through a legacy from the late Robert Armstrong and will be named in his memory. Robert passed away on 9 November 2009 and the lifeboat will be named by his niece Judi Fleming during the ceremony.

Robert Armstrong was born in 1936 and loved sailing, fishing and boats. He crewed in the English Channel and the North Sea. Bob’s main home was Blackheath but he was most relaxed at his holiday home in Potter Heigham on the Norfolk Broads, where he moored his own boat.

Commenting ahead of the ceremony, his niece Judi said: "Robert’s aunt Alice and her brother Charles were the donors of Alice and Charles, Helvick Head RNLI’s previous lifeboat. Robert attended the ceremony back in 2000 and he was given an RNLI jacket which he wore proudly.

"It is great that something is left in his name of such importance as a lifeboat; saving people’s lives. We as a family are very proud of Bob and what he has done. He would have been 78 on 31 August."

Several members of the Armstrong family will travel from the UK to attend the naming ceremony and service of dedication.

The new lifeboat is an Atlantic 85, built at a cost of €255,000, and has a number of improvements from the Atlantic 75, Helvick Head’s former lifeboat, including a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crewmember and more space for survivors.

It can operate safely in daylight in up to Force 7 conditions and at night up to Force 6. It also allows lifeboat crews to respond even faster in emergencies.

Helvick Head RNLI fundraising chairman Oliver Clancy will MC the ceremony and Chaplin Fr Conor Kelly and the Very Rev Dean Draper will lead the service of dedication.

Lifeboat operations manager Ian Walsh will accept the lifeboat on behalf of Helvick Head lifeboat station.

Local dignitaries, guests and RNLI volunteers from other lifeboat stations on the coast and the general public will also be in attendance. Cór Fear na nDéise, the local men’s choir and Pax, Cárthach and Macdara Ó Faoláin will perform at the event in addition to Dónal Clancy, who will sing the RNLI anthem 'Home from The Sea', which was sung by his dad the late Liam Clancy as the Alice & Charles was launched in 2000.

All are welcome to attend this event, but are asked to park their cars on the main road, as access to Helvick Pier from the Erin’s Hope monument will be controlled in the interest of public safety. There will be extra parking in Murray’s field near the pub on the main road in Helvick.

Following the ceremony and with conditions permitting, the Robert Armstrong lifeboat will be launched.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has called for better safety awareness among leisure boat users in its report into the deaths of two men off Helvick Head in Co Waterford in May 2010.

John O'Brien and Pat Esmonde were lost overboard from their small RIB on 23 May 2010, and their remains were recovered two days later. Post-mortems confirmed that both died by drowning.

The report does not conclude exactly how the incident occurred. But accounts from eyewitnesses who sighted the men in the minutes before state that neither was wearing a lifejacket, despite the legal requirement to do so - and despite O'Brien having no seafaring experience and Esmonde being unable to swim, as confirmed by their families.

The MCIB also noted that while there were two lifejackets aboard the vessel, they were for emergencies and not suitable for constant wear as per the requirements for the vessel class.

Other safety issues highlighted include the kill-cord on the engine, which was not being used, and the fact that the initial distress call was made by mobile phone and not VHF radio.

Though neither had any bearing on this specific incident, the MCIB warned in particular that mobile phone calls are closed in nature, whereas VHF distress calls can be heard and answered by any vessel in the vicinity.

The board recommends that the Minister for Transport "undertakes a highly visible information poster campaign on piers and launching areas relating to lifejackets, VHF radio and emergency contact details" and also reminds boaters of their legal obligations.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#NEWS UPDATE - RTÉ News reports that a body found in Glandore Harbour today is that of Tit Bonhomme skipper Michael Hayes.

The body of the 52-year-old from Helvick Head in Co Waterford, who went missing more than three weeks ago, was discovered floating close to the mouth of the harbour around lunchtime by his brother, Garda Chief Spt Tom Hayes, according to The Irish Times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the search operation in Glandore is being wound down this week after the remains of three of the five missing crew were recovered. Egyptian crewman Said Mohammed (23) - also known as Saied Ali Eldin - is still missing.

The fishing vessel Tit Bonhomme ran aground and went down in rough seas near Adam's Rock, at the mouth of Glandore Harbour, on Sunday 15 January.

Only one crewmember, 43-year-old Abdul Mohammed, is confirmed alive after he was able to reach the shore.

Published in News Update
FOUR Irish fishermen reported missing on Sunday have been found in good spirits off the coast of Minehead in Somerset.
This Is The West Country reports that the four men had left Helvick harbour in Co Waterford early on Sunday on a fishing trip but got lost shortly after.
www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/somerset_news/9284434.Missing_Irish_fishermen_found_off_Minehead/
After contacting the coastguard with their concerns, the Helvick Head RNLI lifeboat was dispatched to Minehead, where the lost boat had been found by another fishing vessel, Faoilean Ban.
The lost fishermen subseqently followed the Faoilean Ban back to port at Helvick.

FOUR Irish fishermen reported missing on Sunday have been found in good spirits off the coast of Minehead in Somerset.

This Is The West Country reports that the four men had left Helvick harbour in Co Waterford early on Sunday on a fishing trip but got lost shortly thereafter.

After contacting the coastguard with their concerns, the Helvick Head RNLI lifeboat was dispatched to Minehead, where the lost boat had been found by another fishing vessel, Faoilean Ban.

The lost fishermen subseqently followed the Faoilean Ban back to port at Helvick.

Published in Rescue
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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.

© Afloat 2022