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Displaying items by tag: Bundoran

#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI rescued a teenager who fell from a capsized jet ski on Thursday afternoon (9 April).

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 1.24pm following a report that a jet ski had capsized a short distance from Bundoran Pier.

The lifeboat, helmed by Daimon Fergus and with crew members James Cassidy and Elliot Kearns on board, launched and made its way to the scene just a couple of hundred yards from the shore. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with the sun shining and the sea flat calm.

On arrival, the crew observed two males, one of whom had managed to get back on to the jet ski and a second who was still in the water.

The lifeboat crew pulled the teenager from the water and brought him back to shore where he was treated for hypothermia and the effects of having swallowed some sea water. He was subsequently transferred to Sligo General Hospital via ambulance as a precautionary measure.

"Thankfully, the lifeboat crew were able to assist this afternoon and bring this young man to safety," said Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tony McGowan after the callout.

McGowan also encouraged anyone taking to the water "to enjoy themselves but be mindful that while the sun is shining and the weather is warm, sea temperatures are still very cold and it is important to dress appropriately bearing that in mind."

Bundoran's lifeboat crew were tasked again on Friday night (10 April) to reports of a red flare spotted over Rossnowlagh.

Following a call to Malin Head Coast Guard, the crew were paged just after 9pm and launched a short time later under cover of darkness, arriving at Rossnowlagh just before 9.30pm to commence a search of the area near Smugglers Creek. They were also joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter.

The search continued for approximately one hour before both crews were stood down and returned to base having found nothing.

Speaking on their return to the lifeboat station, volunteer helm Elliot Kearns said: "We would class this a false alarm with good intent and the member of the public who made the call was exactly right to call the coastguard. We would always rather be called to something that somebody was unsure about rather than a life be lost."

However, Kearns also urged anyone setting off Chinese lantern or lighting fires near the coast "to call the coastguard in advance to advise them. Of course if you see anyone in trouble at the coast please dial 999 or 112 immediately."

The callout was the third in a week for the Bundoran station, beginning with the rescue of a surfer in difficulty off Tullan Strand on Monday 6 April.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Surfing - No stranger to lists of the world's top surfing destinations, Bundoran has been cited yet again as a spot no waverider worth their salt will want to miss.

This time the Donegal surfing mecca – set to attract the cream of Europe's surf talent to the Sea Sessions this coming June – is included in All Day's list of 'The Amazing Waves All Surfers Want To Ride'.

"Hardcore surfing enthusiasts don’t let the cold Irish waters stop them from surfing the green waves," says the social news site, which lists Bundoran alongside lesser known sites such as Cloud Nine in the Philippines and Cornwall's Watergate Bay.

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#Lifeboats - Yesterday evening (Monday 6 April), the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head to launch to a surfer in difficulty.

Shortly after 8pm, a passer-by noticed a female surfer in difficulty off Tullan Strand in Bundoran and immediately dialled 999.

Moments later the lifeboat crew were paged and within four minutes the Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched from the pier, arriving on scene in under three minutes.

The crew brought the surfer and her surfboard on to the lifeboat and performed a quick medical check finding she was shaken but uninjured. The crew then returned to the station. 

Speaking after their return, lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said: "We are thankful to the member of the public who did the right thing by calling the coastguard.

"Darkness was beginning to fall and had it been any later the situation may have turned more dangerous. Thankfully the surfer is OK.

"As the weather is getting better, we want people to enjoy themselves but we would urge water users to exercise common sense and heed basic water safety principles.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI's lifeboat received the Emergency Response Team of the Year award at a ceremony on Saturday night (24 January).

The 2015 Community and Council Awards celebrated by LAMA (Local Authority Members Association) took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, North Dublin and saw community groups from all over the country recognised for their achievements in the past year.

The lifeboat crew from the popular Donegal surfing haunt, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary, were nominated by Donegal County Councillor Barry O’Neill.

"What this crew do is of upmost importance not just to Bundoran but to the whole region and they are carrying on a legacy for the people who had the vision to establish the service in the first place," he said.

Accepting the award on behalf of the crew at the ceremony, volunteer press officer Shane Smyth, along with senior helm Elliot Kearns, said: "We are thrilled to be here tonight to accept this award for the volunteer crew which is a testament to their commitment to the RNLI ethos of saving lives at sea.

"Each one of our crew, be they on the boat or not, volunteers their time and skills all year round in order to keep our coastline safer and I know they will be delighted with this accolade tonight."

RNLI divisional operations manager Darren Byers added: "This is a great honour for Bundoran RNLI. Every one of our lifeboat stations operates to the highest standards.

"What many people will not know is that behind the big rescues and stories, there is a dedicated group of people who train all year round and who are always ready to drop everything to ensure the lifeboat launches to help those in trouble.

"From the lifeboat crew to the shore crew and station management to the dedicated fundraisers, they all work together on behalf of their community to rescue, to serve, to raise awareness and to educate. Well done to everyone at Bundoran RNLI."

The award came less than a week ahead of the crew’s 40th annual fundraising dinner dance with music from country star Johnny Brady, which takes place at the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran this Friday 30 January.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Sunday 23 November) to assist a fishing vessel with mechanical problems seven miles north of Wicklow Harbour.

The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ciaran Doyle, located the 10-metre vessel with three fishermen on board shortly after 10am near the Breaches Buoy.

Weather conditions in the area were slight sea with westerly wind force two.

A towline was established and the fishing boat was taken in tow back to Wicklow. The lifeboat arrived back in the harbour at 11.20am and secured the fishing vessel with three crew safely alongside the south quay.

The crew on this callout were Doyle, mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Kevin Rahill, John Vize, Alan Goucher and Peter McCann.

Elsewhere over weekend, the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were launched on Saturday evening (22 November) to reports of a surfer in difficulty at the town's Main Beach.

As darkness was beginning to fall, the crew were paged at 4.06pm by Malin Head Coast Guard and launched within minutes in rough conditions, making their way to beach. But on approach they were advised that the surfer had made his way ashore and were stood down.

Speaking on their return to the station, volunteer crewman Brian Faulkner said: "We are thankful that this is another callout that had a happy ending.

"As we head into the winter, the sea is getting rougher and evenings are getting shorter – conditions can change at a moments notice and we would always urge water users to be mindful of this."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were called out twice over the weekend to two different incidents, both of which ended well.

On Saturday afternoon (27 September) just after 1.40pm, the crew received a report that a boat’s propeller had become entangled in the rope of an old lobster pot just off Mountcharles.

Making their way across the bay to the scene, the volunteer crew found that the boat had indeed become entangled and was unable to move.

The experienced skipper had dropped anchor to ensure that the craft was stabilised, which eased the work of the RNLI crewman who went under the boat in order to cut the rope from the propeller.

Within minutes, the thankful skipper was underway and the lifeboat returned the station in Bundoran.

Just after 6pm on Sunday evening (28 September) the pagers sounded again as Malin Head Coast Guard had been alerted to a surfer who was in difficulty in the water at Rossnowlagh.

Within six minutes the lifeboat was in the water and speeding towards the scene with shore crew also tasked to the scene. The Irish Coast Guard's Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 was also tasked. 

However, as the lifeboat passed Kildoney Point the crew were informed that the surfer was ashore and they were stood down.

The deputy launching authority at Bundoran RNLI commented later: "Thankfully these callouts ended well. We would as usual always remind members of the public that if they see anyone in difficulty on the coast to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI has urged anyone planning on setting off fireworks or anything similar that could be mistaken for a distress flare to inform the coastguard in advance after a false alarm on Saturday night (6 September).

At 10.40pm the Bundoran volunteer lifeboat crew were asked to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard to reports of a red flare being sighted somewhere in Donegal Bay.

A red flare is universally known as a distress signal, and when an emergency call was made by a member of the public from Ballyshannon, the watch officers at Malin Head immediately requested the launch of Bundoran RNLI, as well as tasking the Killybegs coastguard boat.

As the caller was unsure of the precise location of the flare, sighting it somewhere between Ballyshannon and St John’s Point, both boats commenced searches of the area. looking for a vessel that may have signalled an emergency.

As the searches were underway, information was received that fireworks had been set off on the coastline in the bay around the time of the emergency call to 999.

Even though it was determined that this was the most likely cause of the red flare sighting, both boats continued to search the area until the coastguard was satisfied that no vessel was in trouble. Both units were then stood down after one hour.

Speaking on their return to the lifeboat station around midnight, Karol McNern, who helmed the Bundoran lifeboat, said: "Thankfully this was just a false alarm and we are, as always, happy to launch to something that people may be unsure of rather than not be launched at all.

"We would however urge anybody who is planning on setting off fireworks, Chinese lanterns or anything that could be mistaken for a distress flare, near the coast, to please inform the coastguard in advance of the approximate time and location so that search and rescue assets need not be unnecessarily launched."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - A surfer got into difficulty on Saturday evening (9 August) at Tullan Strand in Bundoran and was being swept out to sea when a member of the public spotted the situation and called the emergency services.

Two other surfers went to his aid while the pagers of the volunteer crew of the Bundoran lifeboat were set off at 6.05pm, five minutes later the lifeboat was in the water proceeding at full speed to the scene.

Arriving at Tullan Strand, the three surfers from Dublin were quickly located with the help of RNLI shore crew who had been deployed by land. The lifeboat took all three on board and proceeded back to the lifeboat station.

The casualty had taken on a lot of water and had oxygen administered to him on his return to the lifeboat station, where a waiting ambulance transferred him to Sligo General Hospital for further observation.

Bundoran RNLI volunteer crewman Brian Faulkner said: "Once again we are thankful to a member of the public who called the coastguard and made the alert.

"A lot more people are using the water in these good weather conditions and we’d like to remind everyone to be safe in the knowledge that if they do get into trouble in the water that we are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if you see anyone in difficulty in the water or on the coast."

Meanwhile, a boat at anchor caused the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI to launch again yesterday evening (10 August) just after 8.30pm.

The boat had been spotted near Mermaid’s Cove at Mullaghmore with nobody on board and had caused concern, prompting the lifeboat to launch and check it out.

On reaching the scene, the crew of the lifeboat found that another boat had commenced towing the anchored boat. However, the towing boat had fouled its prop and they themselves then required assistance to get back to the harbour.

The lifeboat crew duly obliged and took the boat under tow and the four persons on board back to the harbour. The initial boat was also tied up.

"We were in the right place at the right time," said volunteer RNLI helm Kealan McNulty. "There was no immediate danger but we were happy to be on hand and help out."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - The volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were paged by Malin Head Coastguard yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 6 August) to a family of four who were trapped on rocks near Tullan Strand at the Co Donegal town.

A member of the public who heard the family calling for help phoned 112 to alert the Irish Coast Guard, who quickly paged the lifeboat at 5.49pm.

Within minutes of the alert, the Bundoran lifeboat launched and was quickly on scene. However, the water was too shallow to bring the boat closer to the family.

Shortly afterwards the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 arrived, winching the family into the helicopter and lowering them onto the beach, where they were met by members of the RNLI shore crew.

"The situation may have been much worse had the member of the public not heard the shouts for help," said Bundoran RNLI helm Dessie Daly. 

"We are thankful that they made the quick decision to call the emergency services and get us launched."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI launched to an overturned jetski on Saturday afternoon (2 August).

Just after 4pm, the volunteer lifeboat crew was paged by Malin Head Coast Guard to four people in the water off Murvagh Beach following the capsize of their jetski.

In overcast conditions, the lifeboat William Henry Liddington launched within six minutes of the initial request and made their way across Donegal Bay to the scene on the Rossnowlagh side of Murvagh.

The Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 also launched to the scene.

Upon arrival, the RNLI crew found that the family of four from Northern Ireland had made their way safely to shore. A member of the crew went ashore to ensure that the family were okay.

"Thankfully the family were wearing lifejackets, otherwise this could have been a much more serious situation," said Bundoran RNLI helm Brian Gillespie.

"We would remind sea and water users to always wear a lifejacket when heading for the water and as always if a member of the public sees someone in danger on the water to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."

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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