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Displaying items by tag: Arklow

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers gave the World Cup final the boot last night (Sunday 13 July) to respond to a pleasure craft in difficulty with three people on board.

Most of the lifeboat crew were settling down to watch the game at 8pm when the pager alert came in. The crew dropped what they were doing and made straight for the lifeboat station.

Within minutes of the alert, the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr was en route to the distressed vessel, which was a short distance from the Roadstone Jetty, south of Arklow Harbour.

Once on scene it was established that the pleasure craft was taking on water and the three crew members were evacuated to the lifeboat.

A tow line was set up and the small pleasure craft was towed back to Arklow lifeboat station, where the volunteers brought the vessel safely up on to the inner slipway.

The three crew of the stricken pleasure craft were brought ashore safely at the lifeboat station.

Following the shout, Arklow RNLI deputy launching authority Declan Smullen gave "thanks to all of our volunteers who drop everything in their personal lives when the pagers sound and go to sea in all weathers, 24/7, to save lives at sea."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Volunteers from Arklow RNLI in Co Wicklow are to feature in RTÉ's Irish language programme Abhainn.

The TV series features the rivers of Ireland, and this episode (to be broadcast in September) looks at the Avoca River from its source high up in Wicklow Mountains to the river mouth at Arklow.

An RTÉ film crew spent the afternoon and evening of Thursday 5 June filming at what is the oldest of the RNLI's lifeboat stations in Ireland.

During the day the film crew had the opportunity to experience firsthand and get a glimpse of the level of training required by the highly skilled and efficient RNLI volunteers in their lifesaving work, which can often be difficult and sometimes dangerous.

New station operations manager John Tyrrell said: "Filming with RTÉ was a great opportunity to showcase the commitment of volunteers not only in Arklow but in the many other coastal and inland water communities across Ireland."

He added that the RNLI wouldn’t exist without fundraising. The charity is totally reliant on the generosity of the public and indebted to the work of fundraisers at station branches as well as those raising money inland.

"It is because of the willingness and selfless nature of our volunteers, who will readily swap leisure, comfort and sleep for cold, wet and fatigue, that the charity can provide an on-call, 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service here," said Tyrrell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers were alerted by pager at 09:47am yesterday morning (Wednesday 4 June) to a call for help from a local fishing boat.

The vessel had suffered a fouled propeller and was adrift just south of Cahore Point, halfway between Arklow and Wexford.

The lifeboat Ger Tigchleaar and crew - consisting of coxswain Roger Tyrell, station mechanic Michael Fitzgerald, Andrew Loughlin, Jimmy Myler, Craig O’Reilly, David Lee and Scott Heaney - launched within minutes and proceeded to scene.

After locating the casualty vessel, the lifeboat crew established a tow line and proceeded with the long slow tow back to Arklow, arriving back at the station at 2.20pm.

All four crew aboard the fishing boat remained aboard during the tow home and all hands came ashore safely at Arklow.

Speaking following the incident, volunteer lifeboat press officer and sea safety officer Mark Corcoran said: "All people who take to the water whether for a living or for pleasure should always wear their lifejackets and have a means of raising the alarm."

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#RNLI - Arklow RNLI's lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr and its volunteer crew launched at first light yesterday morning (13 May) to go to the aid of a local fishing vessel.

Within minutes of the pager alert at 5.45am the lifeboat was making for the casualty vessel, which was approximately 16 miles south of Arklow, arriving on scene approximately 40 minutes later.

Once in position, the lifeboat crew secured a tow line to the casualty vessel, a 45ft local fishing vessel with four crew members aboard that had developed engine trouble and was adrift.

When the lifeboat crew made fast the towline, they proceeded to tow the casualty vessel back to Arklow. Upon arrival shortly after 9.30am, the casualty vessel was brought alongside where the crew came ashore safely.

Commenting later, Arklow RNLI lifeboat sea safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “Even experienced fishermen and sailors can be caught out while at sea, be prepared, never take chances and always wear a lifejacket.”

The volunteer crew for this shout were coxswain Ned Dillon, mechanic Michael Fitzgerald, Eddie McElheron, Andrew Loughlin, Jimmy Myler, Craig O’Reilly and James Russell.

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#isora – The arrival of three Howth Yacht Club boats onto the ISORA scene this season has produced immediate results with HYC entry Dux, an X302 yacht skippered by Anthony Gore-Grimes winning the first ISORA race from Dún Laoghaire to Arklow on Saturday. 

Although the strong winds and big seas cancelled most of the local inshore racing for Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), the 15–offshore yachts came to the line off Dun Laoghaire's East pier in what was some of the strongest breezes of the day. Dux followed by top performing J109 Ruth (Liam Shanahan of the National Yacht Club) made the best of the 40 – knot southerly winds that saw a number of retirals on the upwind leg along the Dublin and Wicklow coasts. Conditions dictated a shortened course to the Wicklow outfall buoy instead of North Arklow, a reduced distance of some 38 miles instead of 50 that produced an early (and welcome) high speed reaching leg back to Dublin Bay.

The provisional results for Race 1a - the Dún Laoghaire day race (incorporating the first Royal Alfred Yacht Club Coastal Series) is available to download below as a jpeg file.

In a move that has drawn the international support of ISAF's offshore working party, the ISORA crews are experimenting with iphone navigation during the race and 'virtual marks' to adjust the courses. 

In deploying the new mobile technology ISORA has teamed up with app developer 'Predict Wind Tracker'. 

Unfortunately on Saturday, ISORA did not get to use them to full effect. The weather was so awful that the basis of the course was to keep as close to land as possible but away from banks and headlands.

This, says Peter Ryan of ISORA, is a cost effective method of recording any offshore race that can be viewed live and also replayed after the event. ISAF's David Brunskill has offered to judge any issues surrounding the use of the virtual marks.

icra6 1

First race winner Dux sailed by seasoned campaigner Anthony Gore-Grimes'  Photo: Robert Bateman

Ryan adds that if the innovative approach to setting courses is successful, 'it will radically change offshore racing to the betterment of all', a sentiment supported by the world sailing body.

The next race is the Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire qualifying race on 10th May. This is followed by the return race from Dún Laoghaire to Holyhead on 24th May. One of the highlights of the ISORA series this year is the Midnight Race from Liverpool to Douglas on 6th June.

Published in ISORA

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar was launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 5 April) to a report of a sailing vessel in danger of sinking off the Wicklow coast.

With challenging seas and with visibility deteriorating, the lifeboat proceeded to the scene approximately four miles east of Arklow.

Upon arrival, two Arklow RNLI volunteers were put aboard the stricken 33ft vessel with salvage pumps in an effort to prevent the yacht from sinking.

After efforts to pump out the vessel proved unsuccessful, the yacht's crew of two were evacuated to the lifeboat.

During the rescue, the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel Granuaile and Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were been tasked to the scene.

With the stricken yacht almost beneath the surface, lines were passed to Granuaile from the yacht, which was then secured to the deck of the larger Granuaile.

And with additional salvage pumps put aboard, the yacht was then pumped out and the ingress of water was stemmed.

The lifeboat stood by and our volunteers tended to the two rescued men as the vessel was pumped out. The Granuaile's crew then handed the lines of the yacht back to the Arklow lifeboat crew and a towline was established before heading back to Arklow Harbour.

Arklow RNLI press officer and sea safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “The professionalism shown by Arklow RNLI’s volunteers, Commissioners of Irish Lights crew members and our coastguard colleagues overhead, not only helped save two lives today, [but] the dedication and bravery by all involved also helped us to save the sinking vessel and return her safely to Arklow.

"This shows how all of our training and exercising with the other agencies on our coast pays off.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s dedicated volunteers were delighted to be awarded the top prize at this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Arklow.

This year saw the highest number of parade entries for the Co Wicklow town, including three floats paraded by lifeboat volunteers and fundraisers alike - all of whom had an early start on the day!

Speaking yesterday, chair of fundraising Michael Mordaunt said: “I am simply delighted our St Patrick's Day parade crew have received this award.

"The St Patrick's Day parade is a great opportunity for ourselves as a charity to showcase some of the other events we hold throughout the year to a very large audience.

"As well as this, it is one of the best opportunities we have in the year to say thank you to all of our local supporters.”

The RNLI's next big fundraising drive will be its annual Mayday event in a little over a month from now.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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]

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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
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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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