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Displaying items by tag: Isle of Man

#LIFEBOATS - Volunteers with Douglas RNLI in the Isle of Man were presented with Diamond Jubilee medals from the Queen last week in recognition of their tireless service to saving lives in the Irish Sea.

And they couldn't have found a better place to present them than the Fort Anne, the former home of RNLI founder Sir William Hillary.

The medal recipients included lifeboat crew Neal Corran (Coxswain); Juan Howland (Emergency. Cox); Tony Radcliffe (Mechanic); Peter Cowin (Emergency Mechanic); Donald Bottomley Emergency Mechanic); Simon Bushe (Emergency Mechanic); Peter Washington (Emergency Mechanic); Emily Heaton; Richard Coase; J Noel Farrell; Mark Versluijs; Richard Forrest; Graeme Cushnie; and Nigel Smallwood; plus shore crew Mary Corran (LOM); Paul Cunningham (Head Launcher); Alex McBride (Winch Operator); Robert Corran MBE; John McCreadie; and Paul Zywicki.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Manx Wildlife Trust has commenced its annual survey of seal pups on the Calf of Man, as Isle of Man Today reports.

Volunteers will be on watch at the island nature reserve, off the southwest coast of Man proper in the Irish Sea, for the next four weeks to develop a complete picture of the area's grey seal pupping season.

As of Sunday 14 October, some 14 seal pups have already been born, which is a few less than last year, according to marine officer Eleanor Stone - though she notes "there are still many pregnant females around, just waiting for their time to give birth".

Stone, who is volunteering on the first week-long shift, said the trust has already spotted six seals recognised from previous years, and it is expected many more will be returning to the sheltered beaches of the islet.

Isle of Man Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#LIFEBOATS - IOM Today reports that the Isle of Man's Peel RNLI lifeboat crew went to the rescue of the pleasure craft Flying Fox, which suffered an engine room fire some 22 miles off the island's west coast.

Flying Fox was en route from Strangford to Holyhead with one person on board when the fire occurred early yesterday, leaving the 34-foot Nelson-type vessel stranded in the Irish Sea.

Relief lifeboat Bingo Lifeline - replacing the stations main lifeboat, Ruby Cleary, which is currently in Holyhead for a refit - was dispatched with a volunteer crew, who found the boat after a "difficult" search.

The vessel was taken in tow back to Peel in moderate seas. No injuries were reported.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The famous dolphins of Cardigan Bay have been found to cross the Irish Sea to spend their winter holidays in the Isle of Man, WalesOnline reports.

New evidence uncovered by researchers at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) confirms that dolphins from the New Quay area on the Welsh coastline have been photographed over the winter hundreds of miles north by conservationists in Douglas.

As many as eight vacationing cetaceans have been identified by matching markings on their dorsal fins, with one being a regular visitor since 2005.

“We’re really excited about this because it confirms how far the Cardigan Bay dolphins roam in the winter months when we see fewer of them at New Quay – knowledge we need to have if we’re to protect them successfully," said CBMWC science officer Sarah Perry.

Cardigan Bay is home to Europe’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins and is one of the last remaining places in the UK where the species thrives.

WalesOnline has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MANX FERRY – The IOM Today reports that the Manx Government is drawing up plans to ensure that any wind-farms built within the waters off the island would not affect ferry routes.

Work on the Isle of Man Marine Plan is under way and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's director of environment Martin Hall said it was important it was completed in a 'timely manner'.

One of the plan's objectives would be to identify current activities in Manx waters and safeguard their ongoing use. Mapping the location of navigation corridors, important natural areas and pipelines/cables will enable the island to identify potential wind farm sites that will not adversely affect current uses of the Manx marine environment, including ferry routes and fishing.

The comments come following criticism from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over Centrica's plans for a wind farm in the Irish Sea, outside Manx waters. The Steam Packet says that Centrica plans to develop in the path of two routes: Douglas-Liverpool and Douglas-Heysham, in spite of complaints from the ferry operator. For much more on this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FISHING - Conservationists and the fishing industry have joined forces in a new venture to evaulate the state of the Isle of Man's scallop fishery, as the Guardian reports.

Both sides will co-manage the 35-square-mile Ramsey marine nature reserve in the Irish Sea, collecting data to show what progress the scallops have made since fishing in the area was banned in 2009.

It is hoped that the study will lead to a renewing of leases for scallop fishing, which is worth up to £12 million annually to the Isle of Man's economy - though industry leaders have doubts that the new arrangement will serve the island's fishermen.

Some 2.6% of Manx waters are protected, with more than 1% 'highly protected', which is in stark contrast to the rest of the United Kingdom after plans for a national network of conservation zones were shelved till at least next year.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The UK's Wildlife Trusts have launched a new website in an effort to redress the idea that the Irish Sea is "a dirty, lifeless" place.

As BBC News reports, the trusts' Cheryl Nicholson put down the Irish Sea's poor image, saying "nothing could be further from the truth".

"Our sea is home to so many amazing species and habitats," she added, "but sadly, after centuries of neglect, it is not in a good state. We must act now to protect the Irish Sea from the depths through to the coastal shallows."

The new website is part of a campaign by wildlife trusts throughout northwest England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man to establish 15 Marine Conservation Zones recommended for the area.

The zones, if officially designated, would provide "a haven for wildlife to recover and thrive", said Nicholson.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans to establish such zones in the Irish Sea have been shelved till 2013 at the earliest after pressure from fishermen, boaters and other groups.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - Peel Lifeboat Station is three times proud as a trio of its volunteers will receive awards for their services to the RNLI.

IsleOfMan.com reports that the badge winners were announced at the RNLI headquarters in Poole as part of its 2012 awards list.

Bronze badges will go to Francis Watterson and press officer and past chairman Malcolm Kelly, while Adrienne Teare was awarded a gold badge.

All three will be presented with their badges at a function later this year.

RNLI Peel is one of five lifeboat stations on the Isle of Man servicing much of the Irish Sea between northern England, Scotland and Ireland.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
A Welshman has set a new record for the fastest crossing of the Irish Sea by kayak.
According to Canoe & Kayak, last Saturday 2 October Anglesey man John Willacy crossed from Soldier's Point in Holyhead to Howth in Dublin - a distance of 55.8 nautical miles - in 11 hours 19 minutes and 59 seconds.
It's not the first open sea kayaking record set by Willacy, who last year broke the record for circumnavigation of the Isle of Man in 12 hours 38 minutes.
A Welshman has set a new record for the fastest crossing of the Irish Sea by kayak.

According to Canoe & Kayak, last Saturday 2 October Anglesey man John Willacy crossed from Soldier's Point in Holyhead to Howth in Dublin - a distance of 55.8 nautical miles - in 11 hours 19 minutes and 59 seconds.

It's not the first open sea kayaking record set by Willacy, who last year broke the record for circumnavigation of the Isle of Man in 12 hours 38 minutes.
Published in Kayaking
At 07.52 am today, Liverpool Coastguard monitored a call from someone making a radio call that was not specifically directed at any receiving station. A Liverpool Coastguard officer responded to the call and communicated with the man.

It transpired that the caller was a sailor onboard his catamaran with his wife south of the Isle of Man who had taken some water on the vessel and believed that he was sinking.

Liverpool Coastguard working with the coastguards at the marine operations centre, Douglas on the Isle of Man requested the launch of the Port St Mary and Port Erin RNLI lifeboats to locate the vessel and render assistance.

The lifeboats located the vessel and pumped water from one of the hulls and towed it into port.

Paul Parkes, Watch Manager, Liverpool Coastguard said:

We recommend that you have adequate training in the use of VHF radio equipment, to ensure that when you have a situation that causes you concern, you make the appropriate call to secure the best possible response.

It is recommended that you fit VHF DSC radio equipment to your vessel which would enable the Coastguard to receive an accurate position of your vessel.

Published in Coastguard
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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