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#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises on revisions to the performance standards for emergency beacons on small fishing vessels.

The revision includes the carriage requirements of manual/automatic activation float-free Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) for all fishing vessels of under 15 metres and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) for all crewmembers.

It follows the recent Marine Notice No 14 of 2014, which advised of a revised Code of Practice concerning the design, construction, equipment and operation of small fishing vessels less than 15 metres in length overall.

Full details of the revised standards are included in Marine Notice No 18 of 2014, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB
Two Mayo fishermen stranded at sea after their boat capsized were not assisted after they used flares, a Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report has found.
The report, released earlier this week, recounted that the 33m crabber Léim an Bhradán had set out from Porturlin in Ballina on the morning of Saturday 30 October last on a routine fishing trip to retrieve and reset crab and lobster pots some 12 to 15 miles offshore.
The vessel was manned by skipper John O’Donnell, aged 18 at the time, and crew Nathan Flannery, in his 20s, both young men but with many years of fishing experience between them.
At some time between 1pm and 1.45pm, after having successfully hauled and re-shot one tow of pots, a second tow, in the process of being hauled, was partially aboard being emptied and re-baited.
The vessel was listing slightly to starboard due to the pots being hauled over that side when a large wave broke over the starboard quarter and flooded the working deck.
This caused the vessel to list further to starboard, allowing more water over the side and causing the stacked pots and boxes to shift, increasing the angle of the list and throwing both men into the water before the boat capsized and sank rapidly.
The boat's canister-type liferaft, which was not secured to the vessel but stored in a cradle on top of the wheelhouse, floated to the surface with a life ring. O’Donnell and Flannery managed to inflate the raft and climb aboard around 2pm, after some difficulties in operating the gas inflation cannister and releasing the raft from its securing straps.
The men then opened the SOLAS B equipment pack stored on the liferaft and released two parachute flares, 20 minutes apart, with no response. At around 3pm the pair spotted an Irish Coast Guard helicopter and released an orange smoke signal, but the chopper did not respond. It later transpired that this aircraft was the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter on a training exercise.
Several hours later, the alarm was raised ashore when the Léim an Bhradán had not returned to port. A rescue helicopter and lifeboat were tasked to the scene before midnight and the liferaft was located just after 1.30am.
O’Donnell and Flannery, who had earlier donned thermal suits to protect from the cold, were picked up and brought ashore by the lifeboat. Neither was injured in the incident.
The MCIB report found that had the lifeboat been secured to the vessel, it would have been in a position to inflate correctly as per its design.
It also found that had the EPIRB emergency beacon been mounted to a 'float free' bracket outside the wheelhouse, rather than stored inside, it would have floated to the surface and activated automatically, notifying the coast guard immediately.
Neither skipper nor crew was in possession of the boat's handheld VHF set, the report noted, which hampered their ability to contact any nearby vessels for assistance.

Two Mayo fishermen stranded at sea after their boat capsized were not assisted after they used flares, a Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report has found.

The report, released earlier this week, recounted that the 33m crabber Léim an Bhradán had set out from Porturlin in Ballina on the morning of Saturday 30 October last on a routine fishing trip to retrieve and reset crab and lobster pots some 12 to 15 miles offshore.

The vessel was manned by skipper John O’Donnell, aged 18 at the time, and crew Nathan Flannery, in his 20s, both young men but with many years of fishing experience between them. 

At some time between 1pm and 1.45pm, after having successfully hauled and re-shot one tow of pots, a second tow, in the process of being hauled, was partially aboard being emptied and re-baited. 

The vessel was listing slightly to starboard due to the pots being hauled over that side when a large wave broke over the starboard quarter and flooded the working deck. 

This caused the vessel to list further to starboard, allowing more water over the side and causing the stacked pots and boxes to shift, increasing the angle of the list and throwing both men into the water before the boat capsized and sank rapidly.

The boat's canister-type liferaft, which was not secured to the vessel but stored in a cradle on top of the wheelhouse, floated to the surface with a life ring. O’Donnell and Flannery managed to inflate the raft and climb aboard around 2pm, after some difficulties in operating the gas inflation cannister and releasing the raft from its securing straps.

The men then opened the SOLAS B equipment pack stored on the liferaft and released two parachute flares, 20 minutes apart, with no response. At around 3pm the pair spotted an Irish Coast Guard helicopter and released an orange smoke signal, but the chopper did not respond. It later transpired that this aircraft was the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter on a training exercise.

Several hours later, the alarm was raised ashore when the Léim an Bhradán had not returned to port. A rescue helicopter and lifeboat were tasked to the scene before midnight and the liferaft was located just after 1.30am. 

O’Donnell and Flannery, who had earlier donned thermal suits to protect from the cold, were picked up and brought ashore by the lifeboat. Neither was injured in the incident.

The MCIB report found that had the lifeboat been secured to the vessel, it would have been in a position to inflate correctly as per its design.

It also found that had the EPIRB emergency beacon been mounted to a 'float free' bracket outside the wheelhouse, rather than stored inside, it would have floated to the surface and activated automatically, notifying the coast guard immediately.

Neither skipper nor crew was in possession of the boat's handheld VHF set, the report noted, which hampered their ability to contact any nearby vessels for assistance.

Published in MCIB

The UK 406 EPIRB Registry based at MRCC Falmouth reached a new milestone this month by registering their 40,000th beacon, meaning the database has doubled in size in three years. The team has worked tirelessly to provide good customer service and maintain operationally valid records and as such the Registry is well respected throughout the SAR world.

The importance of the 406 MHZ beacon was highlighted by the safe rescue of four people from the Yacht Hollinsclough in the deep Southern Atlantic recently. The vessel had two correctly registered beacons which supplied key data to both national and international search and rescue authorities.

Steve Huxley, SAR Communications Manager said:

If you are a boat owner, consider buying an emergency beacon as part of the life- saving equipment fit to your vessel.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons have proved many times that they have contributed to the saving of lives.


Published in Coastguard

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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