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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire

#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a yacht with one man onboard on Saturday afternoon (30 June) when the skipper’s engine failed just outside Bray Head.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were called into action at 16.24pm following a report from the Irish Coast Guard.

The yacht was on passage from Arklow when engine trouble flared just outside Bray Head.

As the country is experiencing a heatwave, weather conditions were near perfect with clear blue skies and good visibility.

The lifeboat crew quickly arrived on scene and successfully towed the yacht and skipper, who was uninjured, safely back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI coxswain Kieran Colley said: “The skipper of the vessel indeed made a good decision in calling for assistance. He was also wearing a lifejacket, which I’m always glad to see. I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear one.”

Later that same day, Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist a family of five on a 25ft cruiser with engine failure in Youghal Bay, off Garrykennedy on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.

Winds were northerly Force 1/2 and visibility was very good when the lifeboat launched at 6.47pm, arriving on scene just four minutes later.

The lifeboat crew — helm Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey and Joe O’Donoghue — found the two adults and three children on board to be safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets. The skipper of the cruiser had dropped anchor to prevent drift.

The cruiser had engine failure that required specialist attention and so the lifeboat volunteer took the casualty vessel under tow to Garrykennedy Harbour, where it was safely tied alongside at 7.13pm.

#CruiseLiners - A boutique yacht-like cruiseship just shy of 10,000 tonnes docked in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning as the first of just three callers this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The inaugural caller, Star Pride operated by US based Windstar Cruises with 208 guests had sailed from La Pallice, neighbouring La Rochelle on the French coast lining the Bay of Biscay.

On arrival to the south Dublin Bay harbour in the early hours, the former Seabourn Cruise Line vessel berthed at Carlisle Pier. This is where the considerably larger freight ro-ro Stena Carrier as previously reported had initially called first for survey work before again anchoring offshore. Surprisingly, the ship returned to port to enable crew rest until departing earlier this month. 

Guests of the high-end luxury Star Pride are pampered in facilities among them lounges, a club, casino, screening room, computer room and library. As far as leisure facilities are concerned, there is a spa, two whirlpools, a swimming pool and a fitness centre.  Accommodation comprises of 106 suites, all outside with ocean views.

Star Pride given its small size of 134m long, 19m (beam) wide and 5m draft, has the advantage of calling to destinations involving smaller harbours and secluded coves.

The next caller will be a fleetmate, Star Breeze also a sister which is scheduled but not until September with two calls. As both ships are small, there will be no anchorage callers in Dublin Bay to where considerably larger vessels did so of recent years, though last year the season attracted almost thrice the number of callers with 8 ships and all entering the harbour. Of those only one ship was not operated by Windstar, the expedition cruiseship Serenissima of Noble Caledonia, carrying a mere 85 passengers. 

The third and final Windstar sister that visited Dun Laoghaire last year was Star Legend. The Seattle based operator also has a trio of sail-assisted ships, sisters Wind Star and Wind Spirit with four masts each. In addition the larger and impressive Wind Surf featuring five-masts that during calls to Dun Laoghaire has drawn much admiring attention in recent years. 

The 310 guest capacity Wind Surf has became the most frequent to since the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company made a concerted effort to attract the sector back in 2011, three years before the Stena HSS fastferry service to Holyhead closed. 

 

 

#Flugtag - The long-awaited return of the Red Bull Flugtag to Dun Laoghaire Harbour is just two days away.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the event this Sunday 20 May will see over 50 teams attempt to push the limits of human flight as they launch their handcrafted flying machines in front of over 40,000 spectators.

The National Yacht Club invites its members to enjoy the spectacle “from your club’s best vantage point” with a barbecue as well as live music and entertainment from 1pm to 5pm.

Members should also be aware that there will be an exclusion zone in the Carlisle Basin with two patrol RIBs from the club to help channel the traffic.

It is also advised not bring your boat alongside the pontoons, as masts or high cabins would impede the view of the show.

The NYC’s launch service is not affected by the Flugtag, but there will be no renting of club boats this weekend.

For further details on the event, including road closures, parking and public transport, see the official Red Bull Flugtag event guide.

#Coastguard - Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard was alerted at 10am yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 May) to respond to a woman and her dog who were cut off by the tide on Merrion Strand, near the seaward side of the Dublin incinerator area.

Dublin Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) activated a procedure with consent to ping the location of the casualty’s phone to give co-ordinates to the responding emergency services.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI and the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 responded to the area and were directed in by the Dun Laoghaire coastguard team.

Rescue 116 proceeded to land on the sand bank while Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat stood by to assist. A Dublin Fire Brigade RIB from Dublin Port also responded.

The casualty and her dog were airlifted from the sand bank to awaiting coastguard personal on the beach. After checks by Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics, they were taken back from the beach to land.

Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard noted yesterday’s “very fast” spring tide which caught this dog walker unawares. Tide times for Dublin can be found online HERE.

#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out twice in quick succession this afternoon (Wednesday 9 May) to two separate vessels fouled on fishing pots.

The volunteer crew of Dun Laoghaire launched to assist one boat that had been fouled by pots.

Once safely ashore, the crew’s pagers sounded again with a call to assist a yacht that had also become fouled on pots, and towed it into harbour.

The recent vote by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) effectively recommends that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport dissolve the Harbour Company and transfer its assets to the County Council. The right to do this is given to the Minister under Article 28 of the Harbours Act 2015, and, importantly, this action is strongly supported by the Nationals Ports Policy.

The debate in the Council Chambers showed that there is an appetite to bring the harbour under the auspices of the County Council, not only amongst the Councillors but also at senior management level. In recommending this course of action, Philomena Poole, DLR’s CEO, addressing the council, stated that this was an “opportunity to use government policy for the betterment of the county and to ensure the integration at a policy and development level of the harbour”.

However, there is the small question of who pays for the works that would put the harbour into a “taking in charge” condition, essentially that state where no capital works are required to prevent further deterioration of the infrastructure. Consultants employed by the County Council estimate this to be €33m, of which approximately €7m covers the outer piers and €8m is for repairing berth no 1 on the East Pier. Councillors were unanimous that the €33m was not something that the county council could or should underwrite and this hot potato was very firmly hurled towards national government. Ironically, recent damage to East Pier during Storm Emma highlighted how DLHC is unsustainable an entity.

There were strong opinions expressed during the debate about the role of the Harbour Company, none of them positive, not only concerning the Harbour Company’s recent progress or lack of it, but also about the non–cooperation with the consultants as they endeavoured to calculate the liabilities. Several referred to the “dysfunctionality” of the Harbour Company while Councillor John Bailey was particularly scathing of the Harbour’s approach noting that the Harbour Company “is dead, not even on life support.” He was to the forefront amongst Councillors concerned that the ‘snapshot’ provided by the consultants through the risk report fell short of the information that would be available in a due diligence report.

A number of motions were withdrawn before the final vote in the interest of getting the principal motion passed. One of these suggested that the Minister effectively impose a “cease and desist” order on the Harbour Company to restrict, inter alia, any transfer of assets and new leases or rental agreements. At present the Harbour Company are actively seeking expressions of interest in the Carlisle Pier regeneration, conducting a “market consultation” on the provision of a national watersport centre and entering a procurement process for the provision of floating homes in the Coal Harbour.

Another motion that was withdrawn was a proposal to create a Harbour Stakeholder’s Committee.

The activity in the Council Chamber begs the question where next? Those who were seeking to engage with the Harbour Company on current projects must be concerned about the longer term viability. With the future governance of the harbour in doubt, where do the current planning applications for developments on harbour lands fit in?

While the County Council vote is indicative of the intent of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, it is perhaps only the beginning of the end and maybe even back to the drawing board for a new master plan for the harbour.

The council meeting heard that the decision to transfer is wholly reserved to the Minister for Transport. 

Is it a bright new future or same old same old for the 200–year–old harbour?

Clearly the ball is now firmly in the Minister’s court.

Read also: Without a Harbour Czar, Dun Laoghaire’s All at Sea

#Property - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has now launched the procurement process for its plans to develop ‘floating homes’ on the waterfront, as promised in January.

The tender published to the State’s eTenders website is “seeking proposals for the development and operation of affordable floating homes within the harbour” by Thursday 12 April.

The concession notice for the estimated €15 million development stipulates that some 60% of the Coal Harbour area has been earmarked for the plan, which is expected to comprise around “50 single-storey affordable floating homes for rental by the candidate.”

The harbour company adds: “It is important that any development is high quality and sensitive to the site’s high profile waterside location.”

Full details on the tender are available HERE.

#RNLI - Comedian, radio host and TV personality PJ Gallagher is to hold a night of fun and laughter with some of Ireland’s top comedians to raise funds for the RNLI.

The one-off event is being staged at Dun Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre on Sunday 4 March, where PJ will be joined by friends Deirdre O’Kane, Eric Lalor, Joanne McNally and more.

Funds raised on the night will go to help the charity with their work in saving lives at sea and prevention.

PJ became aware of the work of the RNLI in Dun Laoghaire when he was passing the station and lifeboat mechanic Kieran ‘Colley’ O’Connell invited him in to look around.

The pair struck up a friendship, and PJ has been a regular visitor at the station since then. When he heard about he work of the RNLI he made up his mind to do an event to raise funds.

Speaking about his decision to hold the comedy night and to ask some of his famous friends to support it, PJ said: “I live near the lifeboat station and was aware of the work of the RNLI but it was only when I met Colley that I really learned what it was all about. These men and women are volunteers and they leave their jobs and lives to come and help those in trouble at sea.

“We have a big beautiful lifeboat on view in Dun Laoghaire Harbour but when it’s gone, sometimes in the middle of the night, that’s when they are doing their amazing work. I asked some friends if they’d help with a fundraiser and they jumped at the chance. In fairness, you never know when this lot might need rescuing.”

Kieran added: “We are really thrilled that PJ and his friends are holding this night for us. We get a lot of visitors into the station and they are always delighted to hear about the work we do and you hope it stays with them but PJ has stayed in contact and become a firm friend of the station.

“I just hope he knows what he is letting himself in for as most of the crew will be attending and if their pagers go off there could be a lot of people running for the doors suddenly. I hope they won’t take it personally.”

The gig is selling fast, with only a small number of tickets remaining. Tickets are priced at €24 and are available from the box office directly at www.paviliontheatre.ie or 01 231 2929.

Night at the Oskars

Elsewhere, members of Clogherhead RNLI have been overwhelmed with the local support for ‘The Night at the Oskars’, a special night being staged to raise funds for the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat due in 2019.

Taking place on Saturday 3 March at the TLT in Drogheda, the evening will see local people star in seven short films recreating some of the most well-known and successful blockbusters over the last few years.

The red-carpet event is formal or black-tie dress and tickets are priced at €30.

Last June Clogherhead RNLI launched a €150,000 fundraising appeal at the Drogheada Maritime Festival towards the cost of the new Shannon Lifeboat, which is expected to total some €2.5 million.

The majority of the funding will be provided through an Irish legacy, and Clogherhead RNLI and affiliated branches in Meath and Monahan are making a commitment to raise €150,000 towards the cost of the project through a community appeal.

Tickets can be obtained at the Clogherhead Lifeboat Station each Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm until 3 March or through phoning Tomas on 086 809 4690.

#UrbanBeach - A funding dispute over the proposed ‘urban beach’ development for Dun Laoghaire is going to the High Court.

According to Fora, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) is taking legal action against the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to annul the contract between the two parties, alleging lack of progress on a project that was put on hold ‘pending organisational restructure’ in late 2016.

Modelled along the lines of Berlin’s Badeschiff, the development comprising an artificial beach and floating swimming pool barge along the East Pier has been stalled a number of times since first mooted as part of a series of regeneration plans for the harbour.

Up to €1.5 million of the €3 million costs of the project were expected to be funded by DLRCoCo, which has already reportedly paid thousands in arbitration fees over the dispute.

Ownership of the harbour company is supposed to transfer to the local authority, but a year ago county councillors expressed concern over the potential financial liabilities involved, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

A risk assessment due later this month is expected to shed more light on the situation. Fora has more on the story HERE.

Tagged under

#Property - Plans to develop “floating homes” in Dun Laoghaire Harbour — and refocus the area on accommodation as well as leisure — have moved a step forward as a formal procurement process is set to begin.

Last September, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company sought expressions of interest for plans comprising “a cluster of floating affordable homes” moored in the harbour.

“About two years ago we looked at the notion of a floating hotel,” Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company chief Gerry Dunne told the Sunday Independent. “This concept is the same — to utilise the water space for residential purposes, rather than just leaving it for leisure pursuits.”

The precise specification of the final homes has get to be determined, though a retail price of up to €350,000 is to be expected.

Dunne also expects that if the procurement process is completed in the first quarter of this year, “we could have the floating homes project up and running in 2019.”

The Sunday Independent has more on the story HERE.

Page 7 of 47

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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