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Displaying items by tag: Cork

#CruiseLiners - Cruise liner visits are worth more than €40 million annually to the Cork economy, it has emerged.

According to TheCorkNews.ie, the economic boost comes with a 50% in cruise visitor numbers last year, with 88,000 passengers coming to the city on 57 liners.

"Figures from the Port of Cork suggest that cruise liner passengers contribute €40.9 million and 197 full time equivalent jobs to the regional economy." said Jerry Buttimer, Fine Gael TD for Cork South Central.

Buttimer also commented that while the cruise industry "is not a lucrative source of revenue for port companies themselves, it provides considerable benefit for the local and wider regional economy."

By the end of this month alone, the Port of Cork is expected to have welcomed 21 cruise liners carrying up to 30,000 passengers, towards a projected total of more than 60 for the 2013 season.

And expansion of this cruise business west of Cork Harbour is also on the minds of Cork County Council, with Bantry Bay being groomed as a destination for the new generation of luxury ships.

TheCorkNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Tagged under

#Astrid - The ship's bell and compass are among the items stolen in a dastardly raid on the wreck of the tall ship Astrid near Kinsale, as The Irish Times reports.

Owner of the near-century-old brig Pieter De Kam said that while he is "eternally grateful to the Irish people" for the rescue of all 30 crew on board when the ship struck rocks last Wednesday (24 July), he is "not grateful to whatever Irish people have gone aboard my ship and stolen my compass, my bell and my binnacle".

Breaking the exclusion zone set up around the tall ship - which went down after striking rocks and taking on water in strong winds and heavy seas while taking part in The Gathering Cruise - it appears the thieves slipped in by nightfall at low tide last Friday night (26 July) to grab their ill-gotten loot.

Though the 42-metre sail training vessel remains mostly intact, despite her ordeal, in the water near the Sovereign Islands off Ballymacus Point, it is unlikely that she will sail again due to the severity of damage to her hull.

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - Four RNLI lifeboats were involved in the rescue of 30 crew from the tall ship Astrid, which sank off the Cork coast earlier today (Wednesday 24 July).

The 42m Dutch training vessel reportedly hit rocks inside the Sovereign Islands at Ballymacus Point, near Kinsale.

All on board were brought to safety when the Kinsale lifeboat transferred the casualties from the sinking ship onto the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat and a local vessel. They were then taken to Kinsale.

Both Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboats were called out at 12 noon today to go to the immediate aid of the sail training vessel that had got into difficulties on the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour in Cork.

Ballycotton and Crosshaven RNLI were also launched, though the Kinsale RNLI lifeboat was first on scene. There was a 2m swell and winds were force five to six.

The training vessel had lost power and was apparently driven on to rocks by a strong southerly wind at the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour. The grounded vessel was taking on water and a crewmember from Kinsale RNLI was put onboard.

Eighteen of the casualties were taken off the Astrid by Kinsale RNLI lifeboat and transferred to Courtmacsherry lifeboa, before being brought to safety. The remaining 12 were put onto a liferaft deployed by the Astrid’s crew, which was towed to safety by the Kinsale lifeboat and picked up by a local vessel.

The people on board the liferaft were then taken to Kinsale harbour and assessed by medical teams.

Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon were also on scene along with ambulances and medical crews from Cork.

Speaking about the call-out, Courtmacsherry RNLI coxswain Sean O’Farrell said: “Everyone was very fortunate. I want to praise the quick thinking of the skipper and the crew from the Astrid. They kept calm and did everything we asked them to do. We were able to get them to safety quickly and a major tragedy was averted. To be able to recover 30 people safely was a great day for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Sailing Association has issued the following media statement on behalf of the tall ship Astrid:

Tall Ship Astrid was on a voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg calling in to Kinsale. On board were 23 trainees from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK and Spain. The crew were from Belgium and the captain, Pieter de Kam was from the Netherlands.

As the Astrid was leaving Oysterhaven, as part of The Gathering Cruise parade of sail to Kinsale, the vessel experienced engine failure. They notified a nearby RIB which was being helmed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) CEO Harry Hermon.

The RIB attempted to take a line from Astrid. However, due to the onshore winds and swell this was not possible. Captain de Kam issued a May Day.

The ISA RIB and the yachts in The Gathering Cruise flotilla stood by until the RNLI arrived. There was a safe rescue of all 30 crew who were brought to Kinsale on board the yacht Spirit of Oysterhaven and the lifeboat. All crew were brought to Kinsale Yacht Club where they were provided with showers, food and dry clothing. They were all medically checked and are in good health.

Sail Training Ireland and Kinsale Yacht Club are working together to make arrangements for accommodation and for returning the crew to their homes.

Commenting on the rescue, Captain Pieter de Kam of the Tall Ship Astrid stated: “I would like to thank the lifeboat and the coastguard for the safe rescue of all my crew. We very much appreciate their outstanding work.”

Harry Hermon, CEO of the Irish Sailing Association, commented: “It is thanks to the rescue services that all crew were rescued quickly and safely without injury. I would also like to thank all the sailors from the Gathering Cruise who stood by Astrid providing support to the crew.

"Kinsale Yacht Club has also been fantastic providing food and clothing and helping Sail Training Ireland find accommodation for all the crew”.

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - RTÉ News is reporting on a major rescue operation off the Cork coast involving the tall ship Astrid, which has hit rocks and is taking on water.

As of 1pm, some 12 of the 30 people on board the training vessel had been taken off to nearby Kinsale as the ship lists in the waters at Oysterhaven.

Afloat.ie will have more on this breaking story as it emerges.

Update 1.18pm: RTÉ News is now reporting that all 30 people on board the Astrid have been rescued from the vessel, which is taking on water amid strong winds.

Update 6.15pm: The latest news from Oysterhaven is that the tall ship Astrid has sunk, and RTÉ News has photos and video from the scene. Is is still unclear how the Dutch training vessel came to hit rocks and take on water.

Update 6.20pm: Karl Grabe has posted the above video showing the capsized Astrid being overwhelmed by heavy seas.

Update 6.55pm: Afloat.ie has posted news of the RNLI's rescue of the Astrid's 30-strong crew in an operation involving four lifeboats - plus a statement on behalf of the sunken vessel.

Published in Tall Ships
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - Rosslare RNLI has given credit to the quick-thinking member of the public who raised the alarm over what they believed to be a swimmer in difficulty - even though the call-out turned out to be a false alarm.

Lifeboats from Rosslare Harbour and Wexford RNLI were involved in the sea search on Friday evening (19 July) after a swimmer was reported to be in difficulty off Curracloe beach in Co Wexford.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and two local fishing vessels were also involved in the search, which was stood down after an hour and 45 minutes upon coastguard request as no one was reported missing.

Speaking after the call-out, Rosslare RNLI deputy launching authority Dave Maloney said: "The member of the public who raised the alarm this evening deserves credit for doing so."

He added: "We would always encourage the public to alert the emergency services if they see anyone they believe to be in trouble or any signs of danger."

The message is particularly important in a fortnight that has seen a shocking 10 drownings around the island of Ireland - resulting in a big rise in emergency call-outs over the 2012 mid-summer period.

Elsewhere on the same day, the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat was requested to help search the water off Ballinamona Strand in Ballycotton Bay, Co Cork, for a missing five-year-old girl.

The little girl was playing on the strand when her family lost sight of her.  Emergency services were alerted and a search of the area commenced, but thankfully a short while later the little girl was located safe and well.

In other water safety news, the Irish Coast Guard has issued a public appeal for help locating a training mannequin that was lost in Galway Bay during an exercise off Blackhead in North Clare last week.

The Connacht Tribune reports that five coastguard mannequins were placed in the water to acts as people who jumped overboard from a ship fire - but only four were recovered afterwards.

Published in Water Safety

#Oil - Providence Resources have plugged and abandoned an exploration well at the Dunquin North prospect off the Cork coast after striking more water than oil, as OilVoice reports.

The company's technical director John O'Sullivan confirmed the presence of "a potential residual oil column" which may indicate that any oil that was once in the reservoir has since leaked - though such weaknesses have been discovered elsewhere over the prospect.

"Notably, the separate Dunquin South build-up appears to have a thicker sea and lacks the significant fluid escape features seen further to the north," he said.

Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly added that data from the southern explorations are encouraging "for the basin in general and are likely to intensify the already growing industry focus on this emerging hydrocarbon exploration arena."

According to The Irish Times, Providence shares fell the most in over a year of Dublin trading at news of the Dunquin North disappointment.

Published in Coastal Notes

#IrishRowingChampionships: Alan Martin won his eighth senior fours title as Gráinne Mhaol laid down a marker for the senior eights on the first day of the the Irish Rowing Championships in Cork today. The experienced crew of Martin, Dave Mannion, Cormac Folan and James Wall were quickly joined by another Gráinne Mhaol winner in Niall Kenny, taking his second successive title in the lightweight single sculls.

Trinity brought their tally of wins up to three when the men’s novice eight and women’s intermediate eight added to the earlier win by the women’s intermediate pair. Three Castles matched their surprise win in the men’s senior double with a more predictable victory in the women’s double by Eimear Moran and Helen Walshe.

Skibbereen’s junior women’s four gave them their only Championship win of the day, while St Joseph’s of Galway took the junior men’s eight – their third in-a-row.

Irish Rowing Championships, National Rowing Centre, Farran Woods, Day One (Selected Results; Finals)

Men

Eight, Junior: 1 St Joseph’s 6:49, 2 Portora 6:54, 3 Neptune 6:58. Novice: 1 Trinity 6:50, 2 UCD 6:56, 3 UCC 7:01.

Four – Senior: 1 Grainne Mhaol (D Mannion, A Martin, C Folan, J Wall) 6:51, 2 St Michael’s 6:59, 3 UCD 7:00.

Intermediate, coxed: 1 UCC 7:14, 2 NUIG A 7:20, 3 Trinity A 7:22.

Sculling, Double – Senior: 1 Three Castles (R Corcoran, E Grigalius) 7:09.86, 3 Commercial 7:17.43, 3 Skibbereen 7:17.51.

Single – Senior Lightweight: 1 Grainne Mhaol (N Kenny) 8:09, 2 Clonmel (A Prendergast) 8:19, 3 Skibbereen (A Burns) 8:30.

Junior 18: 1 Shannon (C Carmody) 8:43, 2 St Michael’s (O’Malley) 8:48, 3 Belfast BC (McKillan) 9:05.

Women

Eight, Intermediate: 1 Trinity 7:47, 2 Galway RC 7:49, 3 UCD A 7:50.

Four – Senior: 1 Cork/NUIG (F Judge, M O’Neill, A Wickham, L Dilleen) 7:33.22, 2 Skibbereen/Killorglin 7:33.52, 3 St Michael’s 7:25.21. Novice, coxed: 1 Commercial 8:11, 2 NUIG 8:14, 3 Queen’s 8:24. Junior: 1 Skibbereen 8:18, 2 Cork BC 8:29, 3 St Michael’s 8:40.

Pair – Intermediate: 1 Trinity (G Crowe, S O’Brien) 9:22, 2 St Michael’s 9:42, 3 Commercial 9:47.

Sculling, Double – Senior: 1 Three Castles (H Walshe, E Moran) 8:13, 2 St Michael’s 8:25.

Junior: 1 Belfast BC (J English, B Jacques) 8:21, 2 Cork BC 8:32, 3 Castleconnell 8:41.

Published in Rowing

#IrishRowingChampionships: The first session of senior finals at the Irish Rowing Championships started with a tremendous win for the women’s four of Frances Judge, Marie O’Neill, Anna Wickham and Lisa Dilleen from NUIG/Cork Boat Club. The Skibbereen/Killorglin four headed them in the middle stages of the race but Cork/NUIG fought back into the headwind and pipped their rivals by .3 of a second.

In very warm and clear conditions at the National Rowing Centre in Cork, the titles were spread widely. Shannon’s Conor Carmody won the men’s junior single sculls, seeing off a good fight by David O’Malley of St Michael’s; Bridget Jacques and Jasmine English of Belfast Boat Club were clear winners of the junior double sculls; Gill Crowe and Sally O’Brien, who are lightweights, brought the women’s intermediate pair to Trinity with plenty to spare; UCC and Commercial had good wins in the men’s intermediate coxed four and the women’s novice coxed four respectively.

Amongst the most impressive winners were Eimantas Grigalius (27) and Ryan Corcoran (35) of Three Castles. They powered well clear of Commercial and Skibbereen by the finis to win the first Irish Championship for both of them. 

Irish Rowing Championships, National Rowing Centre, Farran Woods, Day One (Selected Results; Finals)

Men

Four – Intermediate, coxed: 1 UCC 7:14, 2 NUIG A 7:20, 3 Trinity A 7:22.

Sculling, Double – Senior: 1 Three Castles (R Corcoran, E Grigalius) 7:09.86, 2 Commercial 7:17.43, 3 Skibbereen 7:17.51.

Single – Junior 18: 1 Shannon (C Carmody) 8:43, 2 St Michael’s (D O’Malley) 8:48, 3 Belfast BC (G McKillan) 9:05.

Women

Four – Senior: 1 Cork/NUIG (F Judge, M O’Neill, A Wickham, L Dilleen) 7:33.22, 2 Skibbereen/Killorglin 7:33.52, 3 St Michael’s 7:25.21. Novice, coxed: 1 Commercial 8:11, 2 NUIG 8:14, 3 Queen’s 8:24.

Pair – Intermediate: 1 Trinity (G Crowe, S O’Brien) 9:22, 2 St Michael’s 9:42, 3 Commercial 9:47.

Sculling, Double – Junior: 1 Belfast BC (J English, B Jacques) 8:21, 2 Cork BC 8:32, 3 Castleconnell 8:41.

Published in Rowing

#Offshore - BBC News reports that a sailor who went missing last week during a solo voyage from Plymouth to Portugal has been located and airlifted to hospital after falling overboard.

The 66-year-old man set off last Monday 10 June but apparently suffered chest injuries during the first night.

Falmouth Coastguard has difficulty contacting the man to determine his position but he was eventually found some 225km off the Isles of Scilly. He was later transported by helicopter to Cork for treatment.

Published in Offshore

#Drowning - Three drownings over the weekend have underlined the importance of safety on the water during the current sunny spell.

In Galway, residents of Moycullen were mourning the loss of a Lithuanian man who drowned while swimming with friends in Ballyquirke Lake on Saturday evening 8 June, according to Galway Bay FM.

And RTÉ News reports of a similar incident in Cork in the early hours of this morning 10 June, in which a 21-year-old man drowned after getting into difficulties in the River Lee near Ballincollig.

The young man is also believed to have been swimming with friends after another hot day across the country, according to The Irish Times.

Elsewhere in Cork, RTÉ News says a 17-year-old has died after drowning in the River Blackwater.

Earlier it was reported that the teen was in a serious condition after getting into difficulties while swimming with friends at a bathing spit known locally as Lisheen Bridge, and had been in the water for some time before he was recovered.

Published in Water Safety
Page 10 of 26

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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