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#RNLI - Olympic gold medallist and son of Arklow, Ronnie Delaney, will be on hand this Friday 22 November for the official launch of a new book that charts the history of the Wexford town's lifeboat station.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, To the Banks & Beyond was written by local historian Jim Rees, who spent a number of years putting together the project that recounts the history of Arklow RNLI from 1826 to the present day in words and pictures.

A limited run of hardback editions has already sold out, but the paperback is still available priced at €15 (plus P&P) via Arklow RNLI Fundraising or the lifeboat station shop at 0402 32850 or [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers were involved in an unusual rescue yesterday (5 November) at Arklow Harbour's boat slipway when they came to the aid of a seal pup.

Lifeboat crew were alerted to the marine mammal's plight by a member of the fishing community who had spotted the seal in an exhausted condition near Arklow lifeboat station.

On arriving at the scene, Arklow RNLI lifeboat volunteer press officer Mark Corcoran made contact with the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group and the Irish Seal Sanctuary to ascertain the best course of action to assist the seal pup. Also on scene was Tommy Heffernan from Avondale Vets.

Arklow RNLI lifeboat crew members including Scott Heaney and other members of the public assisted by keeping onlookers and curious dogs away from the distressed seal, who was determined to be tired and dehydrates following consultations with experts.

It was then decided that it would be best to remove the baby seal - named Sammy by the crew - to the safety of Avondale Vets and, once he was stabilised, to move the seal onward to the Irish Seal Sanctuary.

The pup is now being cared for by the Irish Seal Sanctuary and will enjoy a diet of fresh fish until it reaches a healthy weight and can be released back into the wild.

"It was an amazing experience to get so close to a seal," said Corcoran after the call-out. "They’re really fantastic creatures, and it’s not an everyday occurrence.

"Thanks to the teamwork demonstrated by the different groups involved, the story had a happy ending and I’m really pleased that we could help."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The history of Arklow's lifeboat station from 1826 to the present is recounted in a new book to be published this coming November.

To the Banks & Beyond is written by renowned local writer and historian Jim Rees, who put the project together over a number of years.

A limited run of very collectable hardback copies of the book is being made available for booking prior to the launch, and Arklow RNLI's fundraising branch committee is now inviting presages.

Only 100 copies will be printed at a cost of €25 plus P&P, though a paperback edition (€15 plus P&P) will also be produced. Orders can be placed by contacting Arklow RNLI at [email protected] or via Facebook, or by calling Tony Fennell at 086 256 9787 or Tom Nolan at 086 161 2037.

The book will also be available from Dee-Jay Publications.


Published in Book Review
Tagged under

#WorldCoastalRowing: Three boats from Arklow Rowing Club competed in B Finals at the World Coastal Rowing Championships at Helsinborg in Sweden.

In the men’s single, Cormac Kelly placed fourth of 10, while in the women’s single Jeanne Ní Ghormáin also took fourth in her B Final. The women’s double of Jessica Lee and Deirdre Maghery were third, just 10 seconds behind the winners, Skovhoved Roklub of Denmark.

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Helisngborg, Sweden (Irish interest)

Men

Single – Heat Two (First 8 to A Final; Rest to B Final): 12 Arklow (C Kelly) 24 min 51 secs. B Final: 4 Arklow 23:50

Women

Double – Heat Two (First Six to A Final; Rest to B Final): 8 Arklow (J Lee, D Maghery) 29.38. B Final: 3 Arklow 24:05

Single – Heat Two (First Six to A Final; Rest to B Final): 9 Arklow (J Ní Ghormáin) 33.57. B Final: 3 Arklow 24:05

Published in Rowing

#RNLI - Two maritime legends finally met last bank holiday weekend at the Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival when Arklow RNLI lifeboat operations manager Jimmy Tyrell climbed aboard the new Shannon class lifeboat.

Jimmy, and his father before him, lobbied the life-saving charity for many years to call one of their lifeboat classes after an Irish river - and was finally rewarded when the Shannon class lifeboat was put into production last year.

Its arrival at this year’s Gathering of the Fleet in the Wicklow port town was one of the highlights of the event. 

The lifeboat is on a tour of RNLI stations to introduce volunteer lifeboat crews to the new vessel, and Jimmy Tyrell was given a warm welcome onboard and had a full tour of the lifeboat from its RNLI crew.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first all-weather lifeboat to be powered by twin water jets instead of propellers, making it more manoeuvrable and safer to operate in shallow water. It has a top speed of 25 knots and is due to replace the Mersey class lifeboat.

Just prior to the departure of the new Shannon class lifeboat, named Jock & Annie Slater, Arklow RNLI’s crew made a presentation to Jimmy Tyrell and the boat's coxswain to mark the visit and its importance to everyone at Arklow RNLI.

East Coast FM also broadcast their popular morning radio show with Declan Meehan live from the Arklow RNLI lifeboat station, with special guests Diarmuid Gavin and Shane Byrne joined by Arklow RNLI volunteers to get involved in the fun. 

The lifeboat crew gave their guests a warm welcome, but had taken the precaution of having a fully kitted-out crew on scene in case they received a call-out during the show.

The Gathering of the Fleet, held in aid of the RNLI, played host to vessels of all shapes and sizes over the August bank holiday weekend. 

Commenting on the festival, Arklow RNLI lifeboat press officer Mark Corcoran said: “This weekend was the fruition of months of hard work by the committee. Living on the east coast, the sea is such a big part of everyone’s lives and we wanted to celebrate our proud maritime history and traditions with this Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival. 

"Thanks to all the boat owners near and far and to the many people who have given their time and energy to make this year’s event something special.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#rnli – Two maritime legends finally met last bank holiday weekend at the Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival when Arklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Jimmy Tyrell climbed aboard the Shannon class lifeboat. Jimmy and his father before him lobbied the life-saving charity for many years to call one of their lifeboat classes after an Irish river and was finally rewarded when the Shannon class lifeboat was put into production last year.

Its arrival at this year's Arklow Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival was one of the highlights of the event. The lifeboat is on a tour of RNLI stations to introduce volunteer lifeboat crews to the new vessel. Jimmy was given a warm welcome onboard and had a full tour of the lifeboat from its RNLI crew.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first all weather lifeboat to be powered by twin waterjets instead of propellers, making it more manoeuvrable and safer to operate in shallow water. It has a top speed of 25 knots and is due to replace the Mersey class lifeboat.

The Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival which was held in aid of the RNLI, played host to vessels of all shapes and sizes over the August bank holiday weekend.
Just prior to the departure of the new Shannon Class Lifeboat "RNLB Jock & Annie Slater" Arklow RNLI's crew made a presentation to Jimmy and the boats Coxswain Tommy to mark the visit and its importance to Jimmy and indeed all at Arklow RNLI.

East Coast FM broadcast their popular morning radio show with Declan Meehan live from the Arklow RNLI lifeboat station with special guests Diarmuid Gavin and Shane Byrne and our own volunteers getting involved in the fun. The lifeboat crew gave their guests a warm welcome but had taken the precaution of having a fully kitted out crew on scene in case they received a callout during the show.

Commenting on the festival Arklow RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Mark Corcoran said, "This weekend is the fruition of months of hard work by the committee. Living on the east coast, the sea is such a big part of everyone's lives and we wanted to celebrate our proud maritime history and traditions with this Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival. Thanks to all the boat owners near and far and to the many people who have given their time and energy to make this year's event something special."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - New Zealand man Greg Murphy and his wife Anne have made an emotional journey to Arklow RNLI to visit the lifeboat station where more than a century ago the lifeboat crew set out in heavy seas and torrential rain to save the life of his grandfather.

In 1897 James Murphy was just a teenager when the schooner he was on ran aground and he was saved by Arklow RNLI lifeboat crew. 



The details of the call-out were recorded by then honorary secretary of the Arklow lifeboat, James Tyrell, and paint an extraordinary picture of a dramatic rescue which began at 9.45am on 28 March 1897.

James was on the schooner Express with his father, uncle and two crew en route to Wexford from Dublin when in strong winds and driving rain the vessel grounded off Arklow. The skipper was washed overboard and lost.

The Arklow lifeboat - Frances and Charlotte, a pulling and sailing lifeboat under the command of coxswain Richard Wadden - was launched and the lifeboat crew rowed through breaking seas to reach the stricken vessel.



The account goes on to detail how, on rounding the stern of the vessel, the lifeboat itself was filled by “a fearful sea” but emptied seconds later. 

The hull of the schooner was under water when the lifeboat neared her and four crew members, including young James Murphy, were clinging to the rigging. In difficult conditions the lifeboat crew cast a line and secured it to the rigging with the plan to get the men to fasten themselves to the rope together and jump overboard. 

However it is not known whether they did not hear or understand the instructions, but they only tied James to the rope and lowered him into the water. 

He was hauled toward the lifeboat but there was not enough slack to get him onboard and the lifeboat crew shouted to the men to let him go or he would drown. They did so and the lifeboat crew recovered the boy onboard almost lifeless.



Tragically the stranded men had cast off the line and all contact with the wreck was severed. Attempts were made to again throw a line to the men but it was without success. Ultimately the mast went over into the sea, taking the men clinging to the rigging with it and they were lost. The lifeboat crew tried to recover them but were unsuccessful. It was to be the last callout for coxswain Wadden, who retired a short time later.  



In subsequent months the Murphy family relocated to New Zealand. But they never forgot the story of the schooner Express and the actions of the Arklow lifeboat crew.



On visiting the lifeboat station more than 116 years later with his wife Anne and meeting with some of the present-day crew, Greg Murphy commented: “On behalf of myself and my very large family back in New Zealand, I want to say thank you for what you do. 

"Without the bravery of the men of the Arklow lifeboat back in 1897 myself and my family simply would not exist. Thank you all so very much.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI rescued a man and woman after their 12m yacht got into difficulty of the Wicklow coast yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 19 June).

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 12.23pm following a report that a vessel was in distress four miles north of Arklow.

The man and woman on board the stricken vessel had been travelling from Scotland and were Arklow-bound on their journey home to Kent when they got into difficulty. Weather at the time was good.

Arriving on scene, the crew on board the lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar - under coxswain Ned Dillon - assessed the situation and observed that the vessel’s propeller had been fouled.

The stricken yacht’s crew had made efforts to clear the fouled lines. A tow line was quickly established and the vessel was towed safely back to Arklow.

Speaking after the call-out, Arklow RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Mark Corcoran said: "The man and woman on board the yacht this afternoon came into the lifeboat station to express their appreciation to the crew who were delighted to assist and to be able to bring them and their vessel safely to shore."

Crew members on board the lifeboat included coxswain Ned Dillon, mechanic Michael Fitzgerald, Brendan Dillon, Roger Tyrell and Andy O’Loughlin.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI supporters are being asked to come out and walk or jog a midnight mile - four laps of the running track at Coral Leisure Centre - in Arklow this Friday 21 June.

The walk/run will take place on the Summer Solstice from 10pm. The event is free and all donations are welcome. Prize raffles will take place, and Stormy Stan and his lifeboat buddies will be on hand to cheer on the participants.

Participants are being asked to assemble at the Lake Coffee Shop in the leisure centre from 10pm, with the walk/jog commencing just before midnight. 

Full details are available from Mary at 086 304 5418.   

In other Arklow RNLI news, a former chairman of fundraising at the lifeboat unit was honoured recently by the charity for his trojan work recently.

Tommy Annesley, a local councillor, received the Bronze Award at the recent RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards at Trinity College Dublin.

A few days later, Annesley was again honoured, this time by his hometown and fellow councillors when he became Lord Mayor of Arklow.

All at Arklow RNLI including lifeboat crew, fundraisers and other volunteers extended their best wishes to Tommy Annesley for his tenure as Lord Mayor.

Meanwhile, at the recent RNLI AGM in London, Arklow RNLI operations manager Jimmy Tyrell made a presentation to current RNLI operations director Mike Vlasto to honour the relationship and friendship that has developed between them in their years in the RNLI.

  1. A unique handcrafted piece was made locally in Arklow for the presentation.

Both Tyrell and Vlasto are retiring from the RNLI over the next year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MaritimeFestivals - Stormy Stan sailed into Arklow aboard tall ship Ruth recently as part of the build up to Arklow RNLI’s Gathering of the Fleet Maritime Festival.

This August Bank Holiday weekend, Arklow RNLI and Arklow Harbour will play host to vessels of all shapes and sizes from tall ships such as Ruth to Naval Service vessels, vintage and prototype RNLI lifeboats, emergency service vessels and visiting boats from all around the UK, Ireland and further afield for the fundraising festival, which is now over 50 years old and continues to go from strength to strength.

Boat trips, kayaking and windsurfing opportunities will be up for grabs, as well as the special attraction of the Thundercat Experience, where visitors can head out on the water aboard a Thundercat racing boat.

There will be aerial attractions too, with a flying visit by the Garda Air Support Unit and the regular Air Sea Rescue Display with the Irish Coast Guard's Rescue 117 helicopter.

And that's not to mention the activities or landlubbers such as the carnival, food and craft stalls, live music, model boats, emergency service demonstrations and vintage vehicles.

Arklow RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Mark Corcoran said: "This weekend really is a must for maritime enthusiasts and all the family. Almost all of the events are free. This is our opportunity to put something back in our town.

"Without our communities continued support we couldn’t continue, so make sure to come down to Arklow this August Bank Holiday weekend for the Gathering of the Fleet-Arklow Maritime Festival."

He added: "There really is something for everybody, so put it in the calendar."

Full details of the festival will be available on the festival's Facebook page, where anyone with a vessel who wants to take part in the festival can make contact. There is also an opportunity for any novice or experienced sailors to arrive at the festival aboard a tall ship – e-mail [email protected] for further details.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Page 6 of 8

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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