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Displaying items by tag: Arklow

Lough Derg RNLI volunteers were tasked to the aid of two people on a cruiser which engine failure near Mountshanon Harbour yesterday afternoon, Sunday 6 September.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer diverted from a training exercise just before 2pm and made way to the reported location.

With no vessel in sight, the lifeboat crew made radio contact with the stricken vessel, which it turned out had drifted close to rocks east of the Scilly Isles.

The two on board the 27ft cruiser were safe and unharmed, and wearing lifejackets.

A lifeboat crew member was put aboard and discerned that the cruiser has suffered a gearbox failure.

A tow was then set up to bring the broken down vessel back to Mountshannon Harbour, and within an hour the lifeboat had returned to Dromineer Bay to complete its exercise.

‘Even on the calmest days, inflatable toys are not fit for the conditions you will experience along our coastline’

Elsewhere on Sunday afternoon, Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr launched to reports of a person in difficulty in a small inflatable boat off Mizen Head.

Once the crew was on scene, the individual tried to make his way back to shore while the lifeboat stood by.

But the rocky coastline and prevailing tidal conditions made this difficult, so it was agreed the safest option was to take the person on board the lifeboat.

Following the incident, Arklow RNLI’s community safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “Thankfully this afternoon was relatively calm, had conditions been worse the situation might not have ended so well.

“In recent weeks there has been a lot of rescues all around our coastline of people from small inflatable boats and toys.

“We’d like to remind people of the real risk of drowning when you go to sea on vessels of this nature, even on the calmest days these types of boats and toys are not fit for the conditions you will experience along our coastline.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.

The yacht was intercepted just north of the Arklow Bank amid swells of up to five metres, and its crew were suffering from fatigue and sea sickness.

Worsening conditions meant the yacht was not able to make headway either by sail or its own engine tower, so it was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Wicklow Harbour as the safest and shortest option — eventually arriving at 1.15am, more than six hours after launch.

Lifeboat coxswain Brendan Dillon commented: “Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Irish port of Arklow has beaten Wicklow to become the future operations and maintenance base for SSE Renewables' planned expansion of Ireland's first operating wind farm.

An industry source said, reports Independent.ie, that Arklow had won out chiefly because it was closer to the site than Wicklow Port, while Belfast Port was the most likely construction hub for the project, the source added.

In a joint announcement, SSE and Wicklow County Council said Arklow's south dock will be redeveloped as the base for supporting future operations of Arklow Bank. They expect 80 full-time jobs at the facility once the second phase is completed in 2025.

The existing seven-turbine farm at Arklow Bank - built in 2004 as an early test of offshore technology - currently is Ireland's only offshore wind farm and generates 25 megawatts. That is one-fortieth of one gigawatt, the goal set by the State for Ireland's offshore wind generation by 2025.

The second phase, using more powerful turbines, is designed to generate 520 megawatts using 80 to 100 turbines at the site along a swathe of the Irish Sea some 7 kilometres to 13 kilometres offshore.

However, SSE first must identify a construction hub for assembling the massive turbines. No Republic of Ireland port currently has the capacity to host these operations, which require 80-tonne cranes, reinforced quaysides and large warehouses.

An industry source said Belfast Port was most likely to be the construction hub, although a final decision will be made nearer the planned start of construction in 2023.

For further reading click the newspaper's report here.

Published in Power From the Sea

Arklow RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew assisted two kayakers who got into difficulty on a trip to Arklow Bank Wind Park on Saturday afternoon (30 May).

The all-weather lifeboat, under coxswain Ned Dillon and crew Brendan Dillon, Geoff Kearnes, Eddie McElheron, Leigh Downey and Matt Heaney, were paged at 3.20pm and launched immediately.

Upon arrival at the scene some two miles east of Arklow, one of the kayakers and his boat were transferred to the lifeboat, while the other was escorted back to Arklow South Beach.

Speaking following the callout, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI’s community safety officer, said: “Thankfully we were able to assist these kayakers safely back to shore.

“Given the good weather and the relaxation of some the Covid-19 protocols, there are a lot more people around and on the water, we would like to reiterate our message that if you are going on or in the water.

“Always carry a means of calling for help, always wear a lifejacket and other appropriate protection, always check the weather and tides before going to sea and please Respect The Water.

“Arklow RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if and when our community need us.”

The RNLI has issued advice with the Irish Coast Guard to ask people to avoid using the water for exercise while restrictions are in place. This is to minimise the risk to search and rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other frontline emergency services of being unintentionally exposed to the coronavirus.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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While the community was shining a light in support of frontline workers this past Easter weekend, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were making their way to the lifeboat station following reports of a distress flare being sighted off the coast.

Pagers were activated at 10.20pm on Saturday night (11 April) and within a few minutes Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr was launched and under way.

Initial reports suggested the sighting was south of Arklow. With a number of fishing vessels working in the area, the lifeboat crew checked with them; none were in distress but they reported a sighting further north.

The Arklow lifeboat proceeded on a track north with full beam searchlights and all hands searching the darkness. With nothing yet located it was decided to deploy two white illumination flares to aid in location of any potential casualty vessel or persons.

Later in the search, the lifeboat crew were joined by Rescue 117, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, who had been on scene at an incident in Wexford Harbour immediately prior, as well as coastguard shore crews from Arklow and Courtown.

Following a lengthy search by all involved and with nothing located, the operation was stood down and all hands returned safely.

Following the search, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI press officer and community safety officer, said: “As always our volunteers responded quickly to the reported flare sighting. I’d like to pay tribute to all who responded and were involved in this search.

“Despite the current restrictions, all of our volunteers are continuing to put themselves on the frontline.

“This sighting may have been a Chinese lantern or indeed someone letting off a flare in good faith and while this would have been done with good intent, we would ask people to refrain from this to avoid further false alarms and the need for our volunteers to be put at risk.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteers from Arklow RNLI were called to the scene where two people were injured after a wave swept them from the upper deck of a pier in the Co Wicklow town yesterday (Sunday 22 December).

As TheJournal.ie reports, it’s understood that a large wave crashed against the harbour wall and washed two people from the top of the pier 15 feet to the lower deck.

Neither individual was washed into the sea but both were hospitalised for treatment. Community safety officer Mark Corcoran reminded the public to ‘stay back, stay high and stay dry’ when walking near the coast.

The incident came just hours after the lifeboat charity and the Irish Coast Guard issued their annual safety message for the Christmas and New Year period.

Published in Rescue
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#Rowing: Ireland’s Sionna Healy placed seventh in the women’s solo at the World Coastal Championships in Hong Kong this morning. In tough, choppy, conditions, the Arklow woman clung on to sixth for most of a race which was won by Diana Dymchenko of Ukraine. Mette Petersen of Denmark finished fastest of the entire field and took sixth, while Castletownbere’s Miriam Sheehan also finished well to take eighth.

 The best-placed men’s crews for Ireland were Myross, who took tenth in the men’s coxed quadruple, and Bantry’s Andrew Hurley, who was 13th in the men’s solo.

 Belfast Boat Club’s women’s coxed quad took 11th in their A Final.  

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong – Day Three  (Ireland crews)

Men

Quadruple coxed – A Final: 10 Myross 24 minutes 45.44 seconds. B Final (18th to 31st): 4 Galley Flash/Kilmacsimon 17:24.36.

Double – A Final:  13 Arklow (J Whooley, A Goodison) 27:01.10.

Solo – A Final: 13 Bantry (A Hurley) 30:52.53; 16 Galley Flash (J Harrington) 32.20.18.

Women

Quadruple, coxed – A Final: 11 Belfast BC 28:06.90; 15 Castletownbere/Myross (Ireland Two) 28:45.75.

Double – B Final (17th to 29th): 1 Castletownshend 20:46.01; 4 Arklow (Kinsella, Kinsella) 22:03.93, 5 Arklow (Jordan, Reid) 22:21.76.  

Solo – A Final: 7 Arklow (S Healy) 32:45.91, 8 Castletownbere (M Sheehan) 32:53.20; 12 Arklow (X Jordan) 33:25.40; 14 Galley Flash (N Hayes) 34:03.40; 16 Arkow (MA Kent) 37:22.22.

Mixed

Double – B Final (17th to 32nd): 11 Kilmacsimon 21:04.85.

Published in Coastal Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland will have crews in five A Finals at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Hong Kong on Sunday. Men’s crews came through well on Saturday, qualifying two solo scullers and Myross in the coxed quadruple. The Arklow double of Alan Goodison and John Whooley had made it through as a fastest loser in the double in Friday’s session. Two women’s coxed quadruples and four women’s solo scullers had also made it through on Friday.  

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong, Day Two (Ireland crews)

Men

Quadruple, coxed – First Eight to A Final; rest to B Final: Heat One: 7 Myross 16:22.17; 11 Galley Flash/Kilmacsimon 17:34.57.

Double – B Final: 7 Kilmacsimon/Ring 19:35.10; 13 Courtmacsherry 21:05.76; 14 St Michael’s, Dublin 21:41.30.

Solo – First Five to A Final; 7 plus to B Final; 11 plus B Final or eliminated: Heat Two: 13 Portmagee 23:14.19. Heat Three: 3 Bantry (A Hurley) 20:02.92; 5 Galley Flash (J Harrington) 20:40.77; 13 Myross 25:21.83.   

Women

Double - First Eight to A Final; rest to B Final – Heat Two: 9 Castletownshend  20:36.64; 11 Arklow (Kinsella/Kinsella) 21:47.40; 13 Arklow (Jordan/Reid) 22:54.85.

Mixed

Double – Heat One – 7 to 10 to B Final: 10 Kilmacsimon 19:21.81

Published in Coastal Rowing

#Rowing: Five Ireland entrants in the women’s solo single made it through heats into Sunday’s A Final of the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Hong Kong. Miriam Sheehan of Castletownbere placed best, taking third in the first heat, one place ahead of Sionna Healy. The Arklow sculler was one of three from her club to make it to the A Final in this class. Both women’s coxed quadruples, from Belfast and a composite of Castletownbere and Myross, also qualified for the A Final.  

 The Ireland men’s crews found the going tougher. Only the top five in the heats of the men’s double were guaranteed places in the A Final. John Whooley and Alan Goodison finished sixth in their heat - making it through. The three other Ireland crews missed out.

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong – Day One, Heats (Ireland crews)

Men

Double (Five to A Final) – Heat One: 6 Arklow 19:04.39; 10 St Michael’s, Dublin 21:28.54.

Heat Three: 8 Kilmacsimon/Ring 21:15.37; 11 Courtmacsherry 22:53.45.  

Women

Quadruple, coxed (Eight to A Final) – Heat One: 7 Belfast BC 19:33.28.

Heat Two: 7 Castletownbere/Myross 20:40.31.

Solo (Eight to Final) – Heat One: 3 Castletownbere (M Sheehan) 22:07.48; 4 Arklow (S Healy) 22:16.07; 7 Galley Flash (N Hayes) 23:13.68; 8 Arklow (MA Kent) 24:41.77.

Heat Two: 6 Arklow (X Jordan) 24:02.30.

Published in Coastal Rowing

Arklow RNLI launched twice on Wednesday (21 August), first to go the aid of three onboard a broken down boat and later to search for a kayaker reported missing.

The volunteer crew were first requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 1pm on Wednesday, Arklow RNLI says.

The Ger Tigchelaar was launched to reports of a fishing vessel with three aboard which had lost propulsion and was adrift one mile north-east of Arklow Harbour.

In south-westerly Force 4-5 winds and with moderate worsening sea conditions, the casualty vessel was located and, once on scene, Arklow RNLI volunteers secured a rescue towline and proceeded to tow the fishing vessel back into Arklow where all hands came ashore safely.

The second call out came later that evening at 6.20pm when reports had come in that a person was missing on a kayak somewhere north of Arklow.

The crew launched the lifeboat immediately and commenced a search. As they proceeded north along the coast, further reports came in that a kayak had been sighted on or near the beach at Ennereilly Strand, north of Arklow.

The lifeboat continued the search north as it headed for the reported position at Ennereilly.

In the meantime, some of Arklow RNLI’s volunteers had commenced a shoreline search to see if the person had managed to get ashore separate from the kayak.

A short time later, another volunteer located the owner of the kayak who had made his way ashore quite safely and was en route back to Ennereilly Strand to pick up his kayak.

The search was then stood down and the lifeboat returned to station.

Following the callouts, Arklow RNLI press officer Mark Corcoran said: “Thankfully, we were able to bring three people safely back to shore and given the worsening conditions and with the casualty vessel adrift near the rocks this could easily have had a much worse ending.

“Our second launch in more challenging conditions followed a report of a missing kayaker — thankfully he had made it back to shore safely and was en-route back to collect his beached kayak when he was located on shore.

“Thanks to the members of the public who made the report and all of our volunteers for their time in challenging conditions and a special thanks and congratulations to Sinead Myler on completing her first call out today.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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