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Displaying items by tag: Ballycotton

Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Austin Lidbury was called out by Valentia Coast Guard to a report from a passing yacht of a possible upturned boat south of Nohaval.

Conditions were fresh with Force 6-7 south-westerly winds and clear visibility when the lifeboat launched at 2.20pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 24 October).

Two miles west of Daunt Rock, the lifeboat crew discovered the remains of an old boat with its hull upturned in the water. It is believed it may have been washed out to sea as a result of recent storms.

Ballycotton RNLI duty coxswain Barry Murphy said: “Thankfully this was a false alarm, and the call was made with good intent. The RNLI would always ask members of the public to call 999/112 if they feel somebody is in possible danger.”

All crew from Ballycotton RNLI returned safely at 5.20pm to refuel and wash down in preparation for the next callout.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Ballycotton RNLI all-weather Trent class lifeboat the Austin Lidbury was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard at 11.25 am yesterday to a report of a fishing vessel with engine failure approximately 5 miles off Flat Head, south of Cork Harbour

Conditions were fresh with a strong 5/6 knot easterly wind and clear visibility.

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Ballycotton RNLI arrived at the scene at approximately 11.50 am where they found the 13-metre catamaran fishing vessel being held in position by another fishing vessel. The crew of Ballycotton RNLI secured the vessel, ensuring the two crew on board the boat were safe and then proceeded to tow the boat into Cork dockyard where it was moored safely. 

Speaking following the callout, Peter O' Shea Ballycotton RNLI Mechanic said “On arrival, the fishing vessel was being held in position by another fishing boat. If they had not be able to secure a line to the boat it would have most likely ended up on the rocks due to the strong easterly winds. By towing the vessel to safety the outcome was positive for all involved”.

Broken down RIB

As the crew of Ballycotton RNLI prepared to return to the station they were alerted by radio to a report of a 6.5-metre semi-rigid pleasure boat with engine trouble anchored in Cobh harbour with two people on board. Ballycotton RNLI secured the boat and towed it into Cobh where it was safely brought alongside the pontoon and secured. The two people on board were both wearing lifejackets and had a radio which they used to call for assistance. 

All crew from Ballycotton RNLI returned safely at 4.00 pm. 

Ballycotton RNLI Crew:

  • Mike Hallihan - Coxswain
  • Peter O’Shea - Mechanic
  • Claire McCarthy
  • Eolan Breathnac
  • Sile Scanlon
  • Mike Kenneally
  • Ciaran Walsh
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Ballycotton RNLI in East Cork was launched at 7.30 pm this evening following a request from Valentia Coastguard to a report of two swimmers thought to be missing off Garryvoe beach approx. two miles west of Ballycotton by a concerned member of the public.

Conditions were good with clear visibility.

Ballycotton RNLI all-weather Trent class lifeboat Austin Lidbury and its boarding boat carried out an extensive search between Arhnahinch and Garryvoe beach.

Two members of the volunteer crew from the boarding boat went ashore and spoke with several members of the public. No sign of the swimmers was found and it is believed they had returned to shore and the call-out was treated as a false alarm with good intent.

All crew from Ballycotton RNLI returned safely at 9.00 pm.

We would remind everyone to respect the water, to understand the risks and to stay safe. Never swim alone. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard. Consider wearing a wetsuit and bright coloured hat and safety buoy for longer swims.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Ireland needs to appoint a Secretary of State’s Representative to deal with any future maritime or shipping incidents similar to the beaching of the MV Alta, a maritime expert advises.

Captain Neil Forde, a maritime consultant with Marine Hazard Ltd, tells the Irish Examiner that the ‘ghost ship’ which ran around in Ballycotton at the weekend is proving to be an “insurmountable bureaucratic obstacle” to measures to deal with the cargo ship, which underwent an environmental assessment yesterday (Tuesday 18 February).

“We are going to have a major maritime incident at some point, it is just inevitable … The county council, who even with the best will and intention is only going to be able to deal with small incidents, has been pushed into dealing with this by the current legislation,” he said.

Another ‘ghost ship’, the MV Lyobov Orlova — its decks infested with ‘cannibal’ rats — could pose a biohazard threat to Ireland if it reached these shores.

A straightforward solution, Capt Forde suggests, is to appoint a single expert whose “job is to say to the different agencies ‘you are going to do this’, no ifs or buts about it, and to deal with the situation quickly”.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ballycotton Sea Adventures is reporting that a cargo ship abandoned at sea for more than a year has run aground on the Cork coastline during Storm Dennis, writes Tom MacSweeney.

An initial Irish Coast Guard inspection of the 'ghost ship' from the air reports no signs of pollution so far from the 80-metre vessel, which lies three miles west of Ballycotton.

The Irish Coast Guard's Twitter account posted video recorded from its Rescue 117 helicopter based in Waterford which was tasked to the location.

Alta was some 1,500km off West Africa in the autumn of 2018 when its crew abandoned ship, and it remained lost at sea until September last year when it was spotted by the Royal Navy in the middle of the Atlantic.

RTÉ News has more on this breaking story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Volunteer lifeboat crews from Crosshaven and Ballycotton RNLI in Cork will share their own stories of how they got involved with the lifesaving charity on TV for RTÉ One’s Nationwide this coming Wednesday 18 December.

And the two stations will also carry out a joint exercise to recover an unconscious casualty from the water, as they appeal to the public to support the RNLI’s ‘Perfect Storm’ fundraising campaign.

In Crosshaven, local business owners Aoife Dinan, of Rejuvenate beauty salon, and Denis Cronin of the popular Cronin’s Bar both volunteer for the Cork Harbour village’s lifeboat crew.

Denis was a keen surfer before he volunteered for the lifeboat and now answers the pager by jumping on his pushbike and heading to the station a couple of minutes away.

Aoife and her partner lost a close friend to drowning and she is now an active member of the lifeboat crew, often running from her business to make callouts at the station.

Best friends Molly Murphy and Caoimhe Foster joined the lifeboat together when they were in fifth year in school. They speak about what it was like to rush out of the classroom and down to the lifeboat station for a callout and to leave their schoolmates behind.

Crosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh StephensonCrosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Ballycotton RNLI crew member Alan Cott lost his brother Glynn when the Maggie B sank in 2006. He is very proud of his involvement with the lifeboat and is honouring the memory of his brother in the work he does to save lives at sea.

Speaking about the programme and the launch of the Perfect Storm appeal by the RNLI, area lifesaving manager Brian O’Driscoll said: “Our lifeboat crew are what is best in the RNLI. These men and women give up their time to train and launch lifeboats in all weathers and to all types of situations.

“Our thanks to the Nationwide team for visiting two of our Cork lifeboat stations and speaking to our volunteer lifeboat crew about why they do it and what they get out of it.

“Many people don’t realise that the RNLI is a charity and we depend on the generosity of the public to continue with our work saving lives at sea.

“Aoife, Denis, Alan, Molly and Caoimhe give their time and their passion to the RNLI and in return they get the training, skills and equipment to be able to help those in trouble at sea. We are very grateful for the support of the public and we don’t take it for granted.”

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A four-day shark festival with a €250,000 prize fund is set to put Ballycotton on the sea angling map later this year.

In his latest Angling Notes for The Irish Times, Derek Evans says the Ballycotton Big Fish from 12-15 September will be the biggest festival of its kind in Europe.

The event is the brainchild of Ballycotton-born Pearse Flynn, an experienced deep-sea angler who was determined to attract the world’s top competitors to an East Cork town already renowned for its big fish records.

Prizes are set to be awarded for biggest shark landed, as well as for the boat that lands the greater number of sharks ever the course of the tournament.

But only big spending anglers need apply, as the entry fee is a whopping €5,000 per head.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sharks

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI launched yesterday morning (Tuesday 11 September) to a swimmer reported missing on a swim from Skibbereen to Baltimore in West Cork.

The inshore lifeboat was called to search the Ilen River for the swimmer after a safety boat lost visual contact with him during a squall north of Inishbeg.

Within an hour they were joined by the all-weather lifeboat to search the narrower channels of the river. Toe Head Coast Guard and the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 also assisted.

Some 40 minutes later, at 11.10am, Mizen Head Coast Guard informed all rescue agencies that the swimmer had made his way safely to shore, and all were to stand down.

“This was a great example of multiple rescue agencies working together and thankfully ended with a good outcome,” said Baltimore RNLI press officer Kate Callanan.

Elsewhere in Cork, Ballycotton RNLI launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats on Friday afternoon (7 September) to a capsized small sailing dinghy off Ballynamona beach.

A concerned member of the public had witnessed the casualty having difficulty righting the capsized dinghy, which was some 400 metres from the beach.

The crew on board the inshore lifeboat located the casualty in the water approximately 80m from the scene attempting to swim ashore.

The male casualty, believed to have been in the water for nearly 30 minutes, was brought onboard the inshore lifeboat and transferred to the larger all-weather vessel where he was administered first aid, then brought ashore where a local doctor and ambulance crew were waiting to assist.

“Thanks to the vigilance and very quick thinking of the local members of the public, they contributed to a speedy recovery with a positive outcome for all involved,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday evening (4 August) around 7.20pm to a crew member on board the Pont-Aven cruise ferry.

The female casualty, who became injured while working on the vessel, required a medevac while 30 miles off Ballycotton Bay.

Ballycotton RNLI and its volunteer crew were launched on request by Valentia Coast Guard and proceeded to the incident.

The Pont-Aven altered its course back towards Cork Harbour and was met by Ballycotton RNLI some 16 miles out. The casualty was transferred to Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat and brought to Crosshaven where the ambulance service was waiting to assist.

Weather conditions were favourable, and near perfect for the task which enabled all involved to transfer the casualty quickly and seamlessly.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “The timeliness and transfer of the casualty was made so much simpler by the professionalism of the Pont-Aven’s fast rescue boat crew.

“We would like to thank all involved that contributed to a positive outcome and we wish the casualty a speedy recover from all at Ballycotton RNLI.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Three men were rescued from their pleasure boat off an East Cork island on Thursday afternoon (26 July) when it began taking on water.

BallycottoRNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat at around 1.40pm to to the scene east of Capel Island, where the men on board the 26ft pleasure boat had issued a Mayday to the Irish Coast Guard.

Youghal RNLI was also requested to launch their inshore lifeboat, while the coastguard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 was also tasked.

Youghal was first on scene and placed two volunteer crew members onboard the boat with a salvage pump. Ballycotton RNLI and its crew arrived shortly after and transferred a larger salvage pump onto the vessel from their all-weather lifeboat.

The three casualties were transferred onto the Youghal lifeboat and brought ashore where they were assisted by Youghal Coast Guard. Ballycotton RNLI took the casualty vessel under tow and brought it ashore.

“This launch had the potential to be extremely serious for the casualties,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh, “but due to the collaboration with our colleagues at Youghal RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard, we had a safe outcome. We would like to wish the three men involved well following their ordeal.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.

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