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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: East Cork

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

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in East Cork.

The lifeboat station will be hosting an open day at the lifeboat station in Youghal this coming Sunday 27 January between 2pm and 5pm where interested candidates can visit to find out more.

Youghal currently has approximately 20 volunteers but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved.

Speaking ahead of the open day, Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join the RNLI.

“Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind.

“Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service.”

If you cannot make the open day but are still interested in finding out more, contact the station directly or email [email protected]

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

Youghal’s long-awaited harbour pontoon is now open for business in what’s expected to be a major boost for the East Cork town.

Mooring fees are €10 per day or €25 a week, applicable to all users — whether casual, commercial or sailing club members.

Preliminary rules for users have been posted on the pontoon, and the necessary key fobs are available from Youghal Town Hall.

There was some confusion last month over the status of the facility, which was installed in early May but without an official opening date, prompting concern among some boaters.

Meanwhile, Youghal’s first full-time harbour master is expected to take up their role next month, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

Youghal in East Cork has been appointed its first full-time Harbour Master.

According to the East Cork Journal, the move is expected to boost Youghal as a destination for boating visitors in tandem with the new harbour pontoon.

Cork County Council advertised for the ‘full time and pensionable’ post last December, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The new Harbour Master, who is expected take up their role next month, will also have responsibility for the coastline to nearby Ballycotton.

The appointment comes on the heels of new council bye-laws that give Harbour Masters and proposed ‘harbour constables’ greater authority to deal with mooring fees, abandoned vessels and criminal activity.

Youghal has been the focus of a spate of outboard engine thefts in recent weeks.

The East Cork Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Marinas

#EngineThefts - Gardaí have warned boaters in East Cork over a spate of outboard engine thefts along the coast in recent weeks, as the Evening Echo reports.

Five of such engines have been reported stolen from vessels in Youghal and Lower Aghada the last three weeks alone — with the loot likely to be sold abroad on the black market.

The Evening Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Youghal - The components for Youghal’s new marina pontoon have arrived, and the amenity is currently being installed in the East Cork town.

Preparation for the new embarkation pontoon began last November with pile driving works in the harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The pontoon marks the fruition of longstanding community efforts to build a marina for the town — and is hoped to “bring a welcome boost to our capability as a destination for marine tourism”, according to the Build a Marina in Youghal page on Facebook.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

A few weeks ago I rounded Ballycotton Island on the East Cork coastline, sailing beneath the iconic, dramatic black lighthouse which towers 195 feet above sea level. It was erected in 1851, the construction led by the renowned engineer George Halpin who, as Inspector of Lighthouses, established 53 of them and modernised another 15.

As the wind died away our Sigma 33, SCRIBBLER, needed the reaching spinnaker hoisted to get across Ballycotton Bay to the finish line off the small harbour’s pier wall. It was the re-establishment of the annual race from the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven to Ballycotton.

That distance is about a nautical mile and, relaxing afterwards over refreshment in the village, I heard the tales of how Lightkeepers on the island, in the days before modern communications, kept in touch with their wives living ashore…. by semaphore, the signalling system invented by Frenchman, Claude Chape, in 1792 as a “visual telegraph,” using crossbars with pivoting arms on top of towers. Napoleon used it to communicate strategy to his armies. The British Royal Navy developed naval flag semaphore which they used to defeat the French at the Battle of Trafalgar.

But it is unlikely that either Chape, Napoleon or the British, envisaged semaphore helping a Lightkeeper to elope with another Lightkeeper’s daughter…This story I narrated, subsequent to the race, on a documentary about Ballycotton Lighthouse and its Keepers produced by Community Radio Youghal Programme Director, Justin Maher, in which Ballycotton Historian, Derry Keogh, a guide with the community project, Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours, revealed another use for semaphore:

Listen to the PODCAST below.

• Tom MacSweeney presents THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme

Published in Tom MacSweeney

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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