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Displaying items by tag: castletownbere

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched today (Monday 5th December 2022) at 12:45 to go to the immediate assistance of a fishing trawler, drifting without power, between Dinish Island and Bere Island in West Cork.

A thirty-metre fishing vessel raised the alarm when it experienced mechanical failure and was drifting without power and requested immediate assistance. Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked and launched immediately under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with Mechanic Marney O’Donoghue, and crew Sean Bawn O’Sullivan, Seamus Harrington and Carl Cronin.

The lifeboat was on scene within ten minutes, where a local boat had attached a rope to the stricken vessel. In addition, a local tugboat was on standby. There were fresh easterly winds Force 4/5. The lifeboat took the vessel under tow and proceeded towards Catletownbere Harbour. At the entrance of the harbour, a second rope was attached from the stern of the disabled vessel to the tugboat. Once safely within the harbour, the vessel was berthed alongside the quay wall at Dinish Pier. The fishing boat skipper expressed his gratitude for the timely assistance of the lifeboat and local vessels.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, there was a swift response from our crew and we were pleased with the outcome and we acknowledge the assistance of other vessels involved in the operation’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Saturday, 13 August 2022) just after 22:00 to go to the assistance of an 11-year-old child who had fallen on Bere Island off the coast of West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre to provide assistance to the injured child in the village of Rerrin at the eastern end of the island.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew David O’Donovan, Martin Cronin, Dave Fenton, and Andrew O’Neill.

Conditions were described as very calm. On arriving at the pier in Bere Island, tidal conditions were such that the lifeboat was unable to berth and so the lifeboat’s inflatable Y-boat was launched. The casualty, accompanied by her mother, was then transferred by stretcher to the lifeboat.

On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station, the casualty was met by paramedics from the National Ambulance Service and she subsequently received medical assessment and attention. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service by 12.15 a.m.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, this was a very straightforward call out and everything went very smoothly – we wish the girl a full and speedy recovery’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat in West Cork was launched on Saturday 25 June 2022 at 10.05 pm last night to go to the immediate assistance of two sailors who were crossing the Atlantic and had run into challenging weather and needed assistance.

A Vermont-based couple had set out in their 37-foot yacht from Boston a number of weeks ago and were crossing the Atlantic on route to Scotland.

At 5:30 pm yesterday evening, the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia advised the yacht to change course and make for Castletownbere due to deteriorating weather conditions.

As the evening progressed and weather conditions became increasingly challenging Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 10.00 pm and launched immediately under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Dave O’Donovan, David Lynch, Marc O’Hare, Donagh Murphy and Dion Kelly.

Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 10.00 pm and launched immediatelyCastletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 10.00 pm and launched immediately

The yacht was located at 10:46 pm. ten miles South-West of Castletownbere – conditions on scene were Westerly Force 6/7 winds and a 3-metre sea swell.

A local fishing boat assisted while the lifeboat escorted the yacht. Once in calmer waters, a lifeboat volunteer went aboard to assist with berthing the yacht at Castletownbere pier. When ashore, the sailors had refreshments in the lifeboat and expressed their gratitude to the Irish Coast Guard, The Castletownbere lifeboat and the skipper of the local trawler. One of the sailors commented: ‘It was so reassuring to see the lifeboat coming – we were tired and sea conditions were challenging and we are so delighted to be safe and on dry land now!’

This was Castletownbere lifeboat's second call-out in two days – on Saturday, the lifeboat was involved in a multi-agency search for a missing person in the Ballylickey area.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Irish Lights is recruiting for a Local Contact in Castletownbere. This part-time role is a critical and responsible position that provides an essential service to our coastal communities.

The role is also responsible for carrying out ground support for Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter operations for the Irish Coast Guard. The role is based at the Irish Lights helipad in Castletownbere and may, from time to time, be required to travel and work at other locations.

Main Responsibilities will include:

Aids to Navigation: Being the local, on the ground, contact for Irish Lights, in the area. Being familiar with the running of the Aids to Navigation and stations assigned.

Helicopter Operations: Being responsible for carrying out ground support for Irish Lights helicopter operations.

Search and Rescue (SAR): Be available to provide ground support and refuelling services for Search
and Rescue (SAR) helicopter operations when required by the Irish Coast Guard.

Key Requirements:

  • Reliable, diligent, conscientiousness and self-motivated person
  • Technical background - possess a good standard of technical and administrative skills
  • Hold a full current clean Driving Licence
  • Reside within 1 hours driving time of Castletownbere Helipad
  • Please view the Candidate Briefing Pack on our website for further information on the role and requirements - https://www.irishlights.ie/who-we-are/vacancies.aspx

Closing date is Tuesday, 21 June 2022. Please send CV and cover letter to Gemma Gregan at [email protected]

Published in Jobs

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night (Friday 13th August 2021) at 8.20 p.m to go to the immediate assistance of a yacht that had broken away from its mooring at Trafrask on the shores of the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

A member of the public spotted the stricken yacht from the shore and was concerned that the vessel would be washed against the rocky shoreline and become damaged. They telephoned the Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia to raise the alarm.

Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 8.10 p.m. and launched within ten minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Martin Cronin, John Paul Downey and Aaron O’Boyle.

The yacht was located at 8.45 p.m. in a small inlet known as Trafrask Bay near Adrigole – the boat was aground with no persons on board. Coxswain Fenton described the conditions onscene as ‘calm’. The lifeboat launched its inflatable Y-boat with two crew members and attempted to tow the yacht. However, the grounded yacht would not move so then a tow was then attached to the lifeboat. The yacht was pulled clear and reattached securely to the mooring.

Commenting on the callout, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens stated that: ‘However minor the problem may seem at the time, members of the public should never hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard - an early response from the emergency services ensures that situations such as this can be dealt with quickly and effectively’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI were launched this morning (Wednesday 14th July 2021) just before 9.00 a.m. to go to the immediate assistance of a kayaker who had become stranded yesterday evening on the Calf Rock and then went on to rescue his dog ‘Lucky’ who was stranded on the Bull Rock in West Cork.

Yesterday evening, a 50-year-old lone kayaker with his dog landed on the Bull Rock west of Dursey Island. However, when he went to leave the rock, his dog ‘Lucky’ would not come with him. He then paddled to the Calf Rock where he intended to stay the night – however he became separated from his kayak and was stranded on the Calf Rock overnight.

The story began to unfold this morning when a local fishing vessel spotted the man calling for help on the Calf Rock. The vessel raised the alarm and Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio. The lifeboat ‘Annette Hutton’ was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Kyle Cronin, Mark O’Hare & David O’Donovan,

At 9.40 a.m the lifeboat located the stranded man on the Calf Rock and immediately launched a small dinghy to retrieve him. Coxswain Hegarty complimented the crew as landing at the rock required considerable skill as there was a 2/3 metre run of tide. He was found to be safe and well. The lifeboat then proceeded west to the Bull Rock and again launched its Y boat in similar sea conditions to retrieve the man’s dog. Both man and dog were reunited on board the lifeboat.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Luckily, other than being cold last night, neither the kayaker or his dog suffered any ill-effects from being stranded on two separate rocks overnight. Callouts like this highlight the need for anyone using the sea to carry a VHF radio to make contact in an emergency.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens stated that ‘This is not the first time that someone has been stranded on the Calf Rock. In 1881, when the top of the lighthouse was blown off and swept away in a violent storm, six lighthouse keepers spent 12 days on the rock prior to being rescued. Modern lifeboats, dedicated volunteer crew and good weather meant that this kayaker only spent one night there!

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI was launched yesterday evening (Saturday 10th July 2021) just after 7.20 pm to go to the immediate assistance of a lone sailor who had become injured on his yacht off Bere Island in West Cork

Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio yesterday evening after a yacht approaching Lonehart Harbour on the southern side of Bere Island hit a rock and the sailor was thrown forward resulting in injuries to his face and leg. He immediately radioed for help.

The lifeboat ‘Annette Hutton’ was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Martin Cronin, Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, Aaron O’Boyle, Donagh Murphy & David O’Donovan,

At 7.40 pm the lifeboat located the yacht at Island’s End located at the easterly tip of Bere island in calm conditions. A member of the lifeboat crew was transferred aboard to rig a tow and the casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat to receive first aid.

On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station, the injured man was met by paramedics from the ambulance service and he subsequently received medical assessment and attention. Meanwhile, members of the lifeboat crew had motored the yacht to a safe berth in Castletownbere harbour.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘The crew are to be complimented for their very swift response this evening and the rescued sailor seemed to be in good spirits when expressing his gratitude.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Major expansion works were set to begin today (Thursday 4 March) for Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre at Dinish Wharf.

Works on the €23.5 million project, which had been due to begin in late 2018, will continue on the site until March 2022 and include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction of a new quay structure approximately 216m at Dinish Island, including all associated infilling and land reclamation.
  • Dredging of a berthing pocket adjacent to the new wharf extension by dredging to a depth of -8.0m Chart Datum.
  • Dredging of a navigation channel to a depth of -6.5m Chart Datum.
  • Construction of two new breakwater structures.
  • Construction of a reclamation area to act as a quay/storage hinterland area.
  • Provision of all water, electrical and fuels services.
  • Heavy-duty pavement surfacing to new wharf/quay structure area.
  • Ancillary marine facilities and services.
  • Relocation of navigation lights.
  • Revised security and access arrangements for quay facilities.

Civil engineering crews will operate from the adjacent lands, existing harbour infrastructure and from jack-up barges, pontoons, heavy civil engineering plant and machinery, work vessels and platforms. Divers are also employed on site.

For safety reasons, mariners are advised to proceed slowly and with caution in the approach channel to the inner harbour and within the inner harbour area and to give the works a clear berth. Wave-wash from vessels should also be avoided.

Published in Irish Harbours

Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night (Tuesday 10 February 2021) just after 11.00 pm to go to the assistance of a seriously ill skipper on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio last night to go to the assistance of a 30-metre Spanish-registered fishing trawler, located south west of Castletownbere which reported that the skipper had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donogue, John Paul Downey, Kyle Cronin and Donagh Murphy and located the vessel at 12.09 nineteen miles south-west of Ardnakinna lighthouse. Conditions on-scene were challenging with a 3-4 metre swell and gusting east northeast winds up to Force 6.

The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where local pilot went aboard and took command of the vessel. The casualty, a man in his late fifties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. The lifeboat then took the casualty to Castletownbere RNLI station where he transferred a waiting ambulance at 2.10 a.m. He was taken to hospital for medical assessment and treatment. Meanwhile, the fishing was safely berthed at Castletownbere Pier. The lifeboat was made ready for service again by 2.20 a.m.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, complimented the crew on its rapid response, maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols and the safe transfer of the ill casualty’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night at 22:54 to go to the assistance of a seriously will fisherman on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio at 22:46 last night to go to the assistance of a 27-metre locally-registered fishing trawler, with six persons on board, located two miles south of Mizen Head which reported that a crewman had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and located the vessel west of Sheep’s Head.

Conditions on-scene were difficult with a three metre swell and 25-knot south-westerly winds. Two attempts were made to transfer the casualty from the fishing vessel to the lifeboat but were unsuccessful due to unfavourable conditions. The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where the casualty, a man in his late forties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. 

Castletownbere RNLI with Coastguard Helicopter crew on boardThe Coastguard helicopter 115 lowered a winchman onboard the Castletownbere RNLI

The Shannon-based Sikorsky Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 was tasked and met with the lifeboat in Bantry Bay. The helicopter lowered a winchman and the casualty was successfully transferred to the helicopter for immediate evacuation to Cork University Hospital.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Brendan O’Neill, complimented the crew on its rapid response to the call-out and thanked the coastguard for its cooperation in making this call-out successful.

Published in West Cork
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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!