#Buoys - After more than two decades of service as part of the Marine Institute’s national weather buoy network, the affectionately named ‘Bob the Buoy’ will see out his retirement as a permanent resident at Valentia Lighthouse.
Now visitors to Valentia Island in Co Kerry can check out Bob’s new home at Cromwell Point and get a closer insight into Ireland’s marine navigation and safeguarding history.
“Weather buoys are a fundamental aspect of our maritime history, and it is our hope that Bob will emphasise this in his new location here, on Valentia, the most extreme south-westerly point of Europe,” said Paul Duff, member of the lighthouse committee which worked closely with the Marine Institute on the buoy’s relocation.
“It is fitting that he should be placed here, and we look forward to incorporating him into our visitor experience,” Duff added.
Lighthouse committee chair Brian Morgan said: “This is such a fantastic artefact. It is our hope that we can reinstate Bob, a working retirement if you like, in order for us to provide a weather feed which we can share through our community, and lighthouse network, utilising the available technology, but we will let him settle in first.”
Dr Guy Westbrook from the Marine Institute said he and his colleagues are delighted that Bob has a new home at Valentia to educate the public about the weather buoy network.
“Designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland, the buoy network provides vital data for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research,” Dr Westbrook added.
In other news, the large marker buoy found adrift by Clifden RNLI in late July has been removed from the Connemara coast.
Harry Duggan of the Commissioners of Irish Lights says the buoy, which originated in Canadian waters, was as of yesterday (Friday 10 August) on its way to CIL headquarters in Dun Laoghaire.
The CIL recommends caution around any and all aids to navigation around the Irish coast.