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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Ballycotton

#rnli – Ballycotton lifeboat launched at 17:15 this evening to a 30 ft Irish registered vessel with mechanical difficulties 12 miles east of Ballycotton.

The vessel with two persons on board ran into difficulties and sought assistance. The Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, arrived on scene at 17:50.

The situation was assessed and a tow line was established. The vessel was taken under tow to Ballycotton where it was safely secured alongside the pier wall at 20:00.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Mine Head Coast Guard received a call for assistance at 3:30am this morning from a lone sailor on passage from the UK.
Ballycotton lifeboat launched at 3:45am and proceeded to the known position of the 6.5 metre vessel, which was approx. 38 miles east south east of Ballycotton off the East Cork coast.
The yacht was still under steam and the RNLI lifeboat reached the vessel at 5:25am.
Two crew members were placed aboard the yacht and the yachtsman was transferred to the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat where his condition was assessed.
It was decided to have the casualty air lifted and the Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117, has been requested to launch.

The helicopter was expected to reach the Ballycotton lifeboat at approx. 07:00am.

Update at 0740

The helicopter rendezvoused with Ballycotton lifeboat at 06:50am, approx. 25 miles off Ballycotton. The casualty was air lifted to Waterford airport where an ambulance has been requested for 07:30am. The yacht is sailing under its own steam, with two lifeboat crew members aboard and the Ballycotton lifeboat accompanying it.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#lifeboat – A pan pan message was sent out and the Ballycotton lifeboat crew pagers were activated this afternoon for a capsized sailing dinghy.

The alert was for a capsized sailing dinghy one mile north east of Ballycotton lighthouse with one person on board. The lifeboat crew assembled at the lifeboat station and the Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, was launched.

The lone sailor was located within minutes sitting on the hull of the upturned 14 foot dinghy. He was wearing a dry suit which helped to keep him warm while he waited for help to arrive. He was taken on board the Ballycotton lifeboat. Attempts were made to right the dinghy but these were unsuccessful. It was decided to take the dingy under tow into a more sheltered position in Ballycotton bay.

The Ballycotton lifeboat boarding boat joined the all weather lifeboat and a further attempt was made to right the sailing dinghy, which was successful. The dinghy was bailed out and towed into Ballycotton harbour where it was placed on moorings.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli –Yesterday afternoon, a lone fisherman contacted the emergency services seeking assistance when his propeller became fouled 3 miles south of Ballycotton lighthouse off the East Cork coast.

The Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, launched at 16:20 and proceeded to the casualty. When they arrived on scene it was found the 20 foot fishing vessel was still attached to the net and it was necessary to cut it free. The vessel was taken under tow to Ballycotton harbour where it was safely secured alongside the pier wall at 17:30.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#rnli – The annual family fun day was held on Ballycotton pier to raise funds for Ballycotton lifeboat yesterday on bank holiday Sunday afternoon. At 12:30 the lifeboat station received a call from a rib with engine failure east of Ballycotton lighthouse and requesting assistance. The lifeboat crew abandoned their posts on Ballycotton pier and proceeded to the all weather lifeboat moored in the harbour. The Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, proceeded east of the lighthouse and reached the rib with four persons on board. The pleasure craft was taken under tow to Ballycotton harbour, where they were closely observed by visitors on the pier attending the fundraising activities.

The afternoon was a hit with the many visitors being able to observe a live rescue. Among the afternoon's activities was "Rock the Boat" which took place at 3:00pm, with in excess of 100 people taking part to fulfil a condition of a sponsor who offered €100 if 100 people or more took part. A short video clip of this is available to view on the Ballycotton Lifeboat website www.ballycottonlifeboat.org. At 3:45pm the Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter did a fly-by over the pier. Conditions were not suitable to demonstrate a lift of a person from the Ballycotton lifeboat which was going through manoeuvres in Ballycotton Bay.

At 5pm the visitors moved from the pier to the village to continue the fundraising activities with a wet t-shirt competition in the Blackbird. The event rounded up a weekend of fundraising events for the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat, which included a football competition on Thursday evening, a table quiz in the Schooner Bar on Friday and a family treasure hunt and Pitch "n" Putt competition on bank holiday Saturday. The organisers and volunteer crew appreciated the support they received during the long weekend of fundraising events from both sponsors and supporters.

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#rnli – Ballycotton lifeboat rescued a pleasure craft one mile south east of Capel Island, off the East Cork coast yesterday. The Coastguard received a call for assistance shortly after 1500 and requested the RNLI lifeboat to launch. The 25–foot vessel with five anglers aboard were experiencing mechanical difficulties and were in need of assistance.

Weather conditions in the area were poor at the time with the winds blowing force 5 / 6 and poor visibility. When the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat arrived at 1600 they established a towline and took the vessel under tow to Ballycotton, arriving at 1800. The pleasure craft was safely secured alongside the pier wall.

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#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended a ministerial review of stability standards for fishing vessels following its report into the death of a crab fisherman off Co Cork in January last year.

Gerry Hegarty drowned after a wave struck the crab boat Carraig An Iasc, which was fully loaded with crab pots at the time, causing it to capsize and sending its two-man crew into the water.

Hegarty, who was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or other buoyancy aid, got into difficulty while attempting to swim ashore with his crewmate and skipper James Fitzgerald, who subsequently raised the alarm.

Lifeboats from Ballycotton and Crosshaven, as well as Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, were tasked to the incident. Divers from Naval Service vessel LE Emer located the sunken crab boat but no body was found.

A coastguard search of the area continued over a number of days without success. Hegarty's body was eventually recovered on 17 February 2011 at Ringabella Strand in Co Cork.

The MCIB found it probable that the Carraig An Iasc encountered wind or wave action or a combination of both that caused the vessel to heel to an angle beyond which it was able to recover from its loaded condition. The vessel's Code of Practice Declaration of Compliance was valid until 15 July 2013.

The board noted that there have been "a number of incidents caused by overloading boats thus effecting stability", and recommended that the Minister for Transport reviews and revises the stability standards in the current Code of Practice to improve these standards.

It was also recommended that a safety notice be issued to all skippers and owners in the fishing fleet reminding them of their legal responsibility to ensure that all their crew wear PFDs or lifejackets while on deck.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#LIFEBOATS - Ballycotton's RNLI lifeboat was dispatched in poor conditions Wednesday evening to fishing boat taking on water some 20 miles south east of the Co Cork town, FishNewsEU.com reports.

Assisted by the Waterford coastguard helicopter Rescue 117, the lifeboat stood by the Irish-registered fishing vessel as its four-man crew kept the water intake under control and headed towards Ballycotton harbour under its own power.

Once returned to port, an RNLI salvage pump was placed aboard the boat to extract the excess water, and the crew offered thanks to the emergency services for their assistance.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifeboats from Ballycotton and Youghal responded to reports of white flare seen south of Ballycotton in East Cork tonight. The LE Emer was off Power Head, east of Cork Harbour, when the report was received and proceeded to the area also. Having spoken with a fishing vessel in the area they were satisfied there were no problems and the two Lifeboats were stood down.

Unconfirmed reports on Twitter said that the suspected flare sighting was in fact a streaming white light on a vessel.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Yesterday while out on exercise in a squally southwesterly force four winds the crew of the Ballycotton lifeboat Austin Lidbury received details of a 26 foot fishing vessel that had sunk off Roches Point, at the mouth of Cork Harbour. The two crew members had taken to a liferaft and were retrieved by a fishing vessel in the area. Crosshaven lifeboat also launched and was first on scene. Ballycotton lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 4 of 5

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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