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A trio of French Naval mine-route survey craft are to sail upriver of the River Lee this Friday and are to berth in the Port of Cork at the North Custom House Quay, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The craft BRS Antarès (M 770), BRS Altaïr (M 771) and BRS Aldébaran (M 772) represent all of the three-ship Antarès-class which are based in the Breton naval base of Brest. At 28m long the rather stout-looking craft (photo) weigh some 250 tonnes displacement and have a crew of 23.

Leadship of the class BRS Antarès entered service in 1993 and was followed by the remaining pair which too were built by Chantier (Socarenam) in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

In March the BRS Altaïr accompanied the minehunter CMT Cassiopée (M642) to Dublin for a four-day visit during the St. Patrick's Day festival.

Published in Navy
Pale bellied Brent Geese, Oystercatchers and pure yellow sand. Island life on one of Dublin's islands is described in detail in the Irish Indepdendent newspaper this weekend and its hard to believe that marine wildlife adventures such as this can be had in the heart of a capital city. Christoper Somerville describes a Dublin Bay walk on North Bull Island complete with a lovely illustration. Worth a read here.
Published in Island News
Members of the publuc are invited to attend a major flood evacuation training exercise this Saturday at Broadmeadow Esturary in Swords, Co Dublin.
Rescue and boat rescue crews from the Irish Coast Guard are sceduled to join teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Civil Defence Fire Service and Gardaí in the exercise, which will simulate the rescue of a group of people stranded after a flash flood.
The crews will test water rescue and river search procedures, with an emphasis on general water safety and providing assistance to other search and rescue agencies.
The excercise will begin at 11am on Saturday 16 April and will last for one hour. Members of the public are welcome to observe must must obey any instructions and must not interefere with the exercise.
For more information contact Bill Powderly, assistant chief Civil Defence officer with responsibility for the Fingal Area, at [email protected] or 086 380 5197.

Members of the public are invited to attend a major flood evacuation training exercise this Saturday at Broadmeadow Esturary in Swords, Co Dublin.

Rescue and boat rescue crews from the Irish Coast Guard are sceduled to join teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Civil Defence Fire Service and Gardaí in the exercise, which will simulate the rescue of a group of people stranded after a flash flood.

The crews will test water rescue and river search procedures, with an emphasis on general water safety and providing assistance to other search and rescue agencies.

The excercise will begin at 11am on Saturday 16 April and will last for one hour. Members of the public are welcome to observe must must obey any instructions and must not interefere with the exercise.

For more information contact Bill Powderly, assistant chief Civil Defence officer with responsibility for the Fingal Area, at [email protected] or 086 380 5197.

Published in Rescue
The search for two fishermen missing off the north Co Dublin coast has resumed this morning.
The Irish Times reports that the two men, believed to be in their 20s and 40s, were on a small open fishing boat that departed Skerries harbour around 11am yesterday (Friday 1 April). The alarm was raised at 6.30pm when they failed to return to port.
A Dublin Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed that items and debris believed to be from the missing boat were discovered during the initial search yesterday evening.
The search, involving three coastguard units, three lifeboats and a number of local vessels, was scheduled to resume at 7am this morning.
RTÉ News has more on the story - including video - HERE.

The lifeboat and Coastguard search for two fishermen missing off the north Co Dublin coast has resumed this morning.

The Irish Times reports that the two men, believed to be in their 20s and 40s, were on a small open fishing boat that departed Skerries harbour around 11am yesterday (Friday 1 April). The alarm was raised at 6.30pm when they failed to return to port.

A Dublin Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed that items and debris believed to be from the missing boat were discovered during the initial search yesterday evening.

The search, involving three coastguard units, three lifeboats and a number of local vessels, was scheduled to resume at 7am this morning.

RTÉ News has more on the story - including video - HERE.

Published in Rescue

Dubin's Lord Mayor opened a Tall Ship and Youth Sail Training Workshop with an agenda to seek a solution to the current Irish Sail Training impasse caused by the loss of sailing's Asgard II and Lord Rank.

Over 70 delegtes including many of the 'top brass' of the Irish Tall Ship commuunity attended the meeting held at the offices of Dublin Port Company on Saturday (26th March). The meeting inlcuded members of Coiste an Asgard, port companies, education, tourism and other sailing interests.

The meeting was formally opened by Dublin Lord Mayor and Port Admiral, Gerry Breen who introduced the chairman Lord Glentoran and the Facilitator Michael Counahan.

Tallshipschairmen

From (Left to right)  Seamus McLoughlin, Dublin Port Head of Operations,  Enda Connellan, Chairman Tall Ships Dublin 2012, Des Whelan, Chair Tall Ships Waterford 2011,  Lord Glentoran (Robin Dixon) Chair Tall Ships Belfast 1992,  Dr. Gerard O'Hare, Chair Tall Ships Belfast 2009,  Ted Crosbie, Tall Ships Cork and  Enda O'Coineen, LetsdoitGlobal.

Des Whelan gave an excellent talk and presentation on Tall Ships Waterford which was followed by a discussion on the massive economic benefits of bringing Tall Ships Festivals To Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Chairman of Tall Ships Dublin 2012 Enda Connellan and Ted Crosbie of Tall Ships Cork and Dr. Gerard O' Hare of Tall Ships Belfast discussed the incredible success stories from their respective ports festivals.
Several presentations and discussions followed regarding the role of Tall Ships in Sail Training, the connection between a vessel for Ireland and running events here. The question of who are the stakeholders and how can benefits be quantified was also discussed.
The meeting was hosted by Dublin Port Company who provided a warm welcome, excellent facilities, refreshments and a wonderful lunch with senior management attending to everyone's needs.
After lunch there were further discussions on what is the most suitable vessel, who should run the organisation and what would work best for Ireland.

Jimmy Tyrrell gave a short, eloquent and emotional account of Asgard II and the realisation of his father's dream which was fulfilled beyond all expectation by that legendary vessel and those who were privileged to sail on her. He affirmed his own belief that the way forward was with an All-Ireland Tall Ship and even suggested that she be called Spirit of Ireland. There were other suggestions for a name inlcuding 'Ireland's Call'.

A view was also expressed that politics and religion have no place in Sail Trail Training and the future lay in an All-Ireland Commercial/Charitable Trust Venture.

The prohibitive nature of current legislation and the total lack of awareness of the maritime sector by the Government was mentioned several times.

Ocean Youth Club NI provided four young sail trainees to address the gathering on the benefits of Sail Training from their perspective and representatives from education, tourism Tall Ships International and "Association Of Tall Ships Organisations" also contributed.

The general consensus was the need to develop and promote, as a matter of urgency, a plan for a Tall Ship For Ireland linking Youth, Maritime Education, Business and Tourism.

Another workshop will be held in Belfast in April and the collective input of both meetings will be considered going forward.

A Tall Order for Ireland? HERE

Regular updates on Irish Tall Ship sailing news HERE

More on Asgard II HERE

Published in Tall Ships

Should Ireland be represented at the Tall Ships Races at Waterford 2011 and Dublin 2012? We want your vote on our Facebook Poll HERE.

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships
The Government news service MerrionStreet.ie recently paid a visit to the Howth Coast Guard unit to see some of its 24 volunteers train on the water and cliffs.
Cliff rescue forms a major part of the work done by the Howth unit, so regular searches of the coves around the coast on Howth Head and training of new volunteers are are a must.
Their work is co-ordinated by staff at the new National Coast Guard Centre at the Department of Transport, which manages nearly 1,000 volunteers across 54 units nationwide.
MerrionStreet.ie has more on the story HERE.

The Government news service MerrionStreet.ie recently paid a visit to the Howth Coast Guard unit to see some of its 24 volunteers train on the water and cliffs.

Cliff rescue forms a major part of the work done by the Howth unit, so regular searches of the coves around the coast on Howth Head and training of new volunteers are are a must.

Their work is co-ordinated by staff at the new National Coast Guard Centre at the Department of Transport, which manages nearly 1,000 volunteers across 54 units nationwide.

MerrionStreet.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows lie fourth overall at the halfway stage of the Star class Bacardi Cup in Miami today having posted a 7, 2 and 5 in the 93-boat fleet. Promisingly for the Cork-Dublin duo their top results have also been achieved across the wind range, a fact that must bode well for the remaining three races of the series on Biscayne Bay. Full Results HERE. A podcast with Olympic team manager James O'Callaghan is below:

slideshowmaster

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows - fourth at the half way stage of the Bacardi Cup. Photo: Ingrid Abery. More HERE

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012

If you fancy a rummage through a Bosun's locker then boat Jumble sales on three consecutive weekends and at three separate locations will satisfy all bargain hunters when the Irish boating season kicks off in a fortnight's time.

Each show is offering a range of boating, sailing and water sports equipment and accessories. There are new and used pitches and some familiar trade names in addition to second hand boats/dinghies and nautical “car boot” items.

The first opens on March 27th – the weekend when the clocks go forward – and it takes place on the Carlisle Pier in Dun Laoghaire Harbour from 10am to 4pm.

The next is across Dublin Bay when the RNLI stage a boat jumble at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday 2nd April from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

The last show is at Carrickfergus on Belfast Lough and this 'Irish Boat Jumble' is being promoted as the 'biggest' in Ireland. The Antrim show will be on Sunday 10th April starting at 10am.

All are offering economical rates and friends are being encouraged to team up and pool their surplus gear and share the selling task!


Published in Marine Trade

Here's a unique glimpse of a post World War One Dun Laoghaire Regatta in rare newsreel recently archived by British Pathe (below). The shots taken on August 2nd 1926 show a mixture of long shots of yachts sailing across Dublin bay. There's definitely lovely shots of Dublin Bay 21s enjoying a tight race, a brave gybe by a Dublin Bay 25 at the harbour mouth plus shots of some Howth 17s.

There's panning shots of in harbour rowing races and high angled shots of men diving off the side of a boat and into the harbour. The swimmers race the length of an area cordoned off by rowing boats with spectators watching from the boats. There is also a shot of women's swimming race and some diving too.

We'd like your observations on these shots, particularly any details of the large committee boat dresssed overall. Leave your comments below. Enjoy.

Scroll down for the clip.

Published in Volvo Regatta
Page 9 of 12

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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