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A newly restored tall ship dating from the 19th century has been sunk after a collision with a container ship near Hamburg in Germany.

The Guardian reports that six adults and two children were injured among the 43 passengers rescued from the schooner Elbe No 5 after a failed tack put it on a collision course in the shipping lane with the Cyprus-flagged Astrosprinter on the River Elbe on Saturday (8 June).

The tall ship, which was originally built in 1883, had been restored in a €1.5 million project over the last nine months and had only resumed taking passengers on trips around Hamburg’s harbour at the end of May.

But it has now been lost as it sank while rescuers were towing it to shore.

“If we hadn’t been in the vicinity there could have been fatalities,” said one fire service official of the calamity.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#Rowing: Ireland’s Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished second in their semi-final and will compete in the A Final of the double sculls at the European Junior Rowing Championships in Krefeld in Germany. The Skibbereen/Lee combination were just .31 of a second off winners Denmark in their race and had the second-fastest time overall as they head into the A Final.

Three other crews – the men’s pair and quadruple and the women’s pair – finished outside the A Final places.

European Junior Championships, Krefeld, Germany (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Semi-Final B: 6 Ireland (A Johnston, R Corrigan) 7:17.95.

Sculling, Quadruple – Semi-Final B: 5 Ireland (J Quinlan, J Keating, M Dundon, B O’Flynn) 6:20.31.

Women

Pair – Semi-Final A: 4 Ireland (G McGill, E O’Reilly) 7:51.31.

Sculling, Double – Semi-Final B: 2 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:26.83.

Published in Rowing

#Lighthouse - German journalists were recently taken on a tour of Loop Head Lighthouse to give our European neighbours a taste of Ireland's maritime heritage.

The group - including writers from the likes of respected news magazine Der Spiegel - visited the 19th-century landmark in Co Clare which opened to visitors at weekends earlier this month, and will be open seven days a week from the June Bank Holiday over the summer season for the third year running.

Before then, it will welcome visitors during the National Famine Commemoration programme from 3-12 May.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the lighthouse at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary has proven a major tourism draw, with its 11-week trial opening in 2011 estimated to be worth €400,000 to the local economy.

Published in Lighthouses

#CANOEING - The Irish Times reports that Eoin Rheinisch and Ciarán Heurteau have secured their canoe slalom qualification spots for London 2012 after last weekend's selection races in Lucan.

Three places were up for grabs in the men's K1, with the third yet to be confirmed after fourth-placed Patrick Hynes contested a touch on a gate by third-place finisher Sam Curtis.

Canoeing Ireland's recently appointed general manager Karl Dunne said the objection is currently being considered.

Meanwhile, in the women's K1, the qualifying spots went go Hannah Craig, Helen Barnes and Aisling Conlon.

The qualifiers will be part of the European Championships in Augusburg, Germany from 10-13 May, where Olympic spots are available for boats from two countries not already qualified.

Published in Canoeing

#SURFING - One of Germany's top surfers was in Ireland last week to sample some of Ireland's biggest waves, InsideIreland.ie reports.

Sebastian Steudtner was in Sligo to films a series of online views for Tourism Ireland in Frankfurt to pique the interest of German surfers and holidaymakers.

As well as mountain biking at Knocknarea and Union Woods, Steudtner took on the monster swells at Mullaghmore Head - made popular among the world's big wave surfers by the Tow-In Surf Session that's now in its second year.

The 'teaser' videos for a larger TV and online project will be premiered next week at the Berlin International Film Festival before hitting the web later in spring.

Kristina Gauges of Tourism Ireland said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the world-class surfing and adventure product available in this part of Ireland to a niche audience in Germany."

InsideIreland.com has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Eoin Rheinisch joins four other canoeists representing Ireland at the Canoe Slalom World Cup today.
Ciarán Heurteau, Patrick Hynes, Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlan round out the squad competing in Leipzig, Germany.
Rheinish told The Irish Times that he was "shattered" after a week of hard training in Bratislava, aiming for the World Championships and Olympic qualification there in September.
"But they are the kind of sessions I need to be getting intermittently,” he said.

Eoin Rheinisch joins four others representing Ireland at the Canoe Slalom World Cup today. 

Ciarán Heurteau, Patrick Hynes, Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlan round out the squad competing in Leipzig, Germany.

Rheinisch told The Irish Times that he was "shattered" after a week of hard training in Bratislava, aiming for the World Championships and Olympic qualification there in September. 

"But they are the kind of sessions I need to be getting intermittently,” he said.

Published in Canoeing
The US Coast Guard cutter Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.
Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.
Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.
Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

The US Coast Guard cutter Tall Ship Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.

Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.

Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.

Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

Watch some video of the Eagle in action:

 

Published in Tall Ships

Billed as the world's greatest Port Festival, five of the world's largest and most beautiful tall ships – and at least one, the Mir, is also entered for the Tall Ships race in Waterford in June – have announced their presence at Hamburg next month.

Also coming to Hamburg is the Dar Mlodziezy, the Kruzenshtern, the Mir, the Sedov and the Sea Cloud. Each of these classic sailing ships, at home on the oceans of the world, is more than 100 metres in length, and captures the romance of maritime life.

The HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG has a thing or two to show off about given its large fleet of boats and Tall Ships that are gathering this year for the 822nd time. It's an opportunity to for Irish port festivals aiming to exploit the marine leisure resources around the Irish coastline.

The Sea Cloud, built in Kiel in 1931, and the largest private yacht in the world at the time, will be present at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG for the first time, back in Hamburg for the first time in 33 years.

In Hamburg, there will be tall ships and cruise vessels, naval ships and emergency service boats, heritage and museum ships, sailing and motor yachts, dragon boats, and even a Roman galley. Altogether more than 300 vessels from the seven seas will be taking part, on display in their element before the fantastic backdrop of Hamburg's Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) from 6 to 8 May at the world's greatest Port Festival.

The port is more lively than ever on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG", says Captain Jörg Pollmann, in eager anticipation. "All those different ships and displays on the Elbe combine to form a unique celebration, which brings more than a million visitors to the Port of Hamburg every year." The guests from Germany and abroad can look forward to a superlative programme on the water, starting with the Grand Arrival Parade from 16:30 on Friday 6 May, and ending with the Grand Departure Parade at 17:30 on Sunday 8 May. There are also plenty of maritime attractions at the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour and at the HafenCity traditional maritime harbour.

Meeting of the luxury liners
Visitors are warned that watching the six cruise ships arriving and departing on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG may cause itchy feet and severe travelitis! The AIDAcara, AIDAblu and Mein Schiff 2 will be arriving on the Friday, the Amadea and the Fram, an expedition ship from Norway, will follow on the Saturday. And to top it all, the Queen Mary 2 will call in Hamburg on the Sunday. Costa Crociere, Europe's largest cruise ship operator, has just chosen Hamburg as the new home port for its cruise ship Costa Magica, and will join in the celebrations, sponsoring the great Costa Cruises Firework Display at 22:30 on Saturday 7 May, lighting up the night sky over the Elbe.

International navy visit and maritime adventurer from Norway
The world's greatest Port Festival traditionally brings a large naval contingent from Germany and elsewhere to Hamburg. From Germany there will be the frigate Sachsen, the fast patrol boat Hermelin and the mine hunters Homburg and Hameln. Norway, the partner country of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, will be represented by the frigate Otto Sverdrup, and Belgium by the mine hunters Crocus and Primula.
Norway, the partner country for this year's HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, is also sending vessels of various designs and uses to visit Hamburg. The Arctic sailing ship Berntine will welcome visitors on board in the HafenCity Traditional Harbour. She was built at the Tromsøer shipyard in 1890 and restored several times since then. Sjøkurs is a training ship, built by the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss in 1956 as the Postal Vessel Ragnvald Jarl. Today she accommodates 60 cadets on board, and travels around Norway and to other countries about ten weeks per year. The Fram, an expedition ship, will moor at the Hamburg Cruise Center in HafenCity. She is the latest addition to the Hurtigruten fleet and was christened by Norway's Crown Princess Mette Marit on 16 May 2007.

On duty for safety and security
The challenges of work on the high seas will be demonstrated by a range of modern working vessels from the fire services, fisheries protection, THW emergency services, the waterways police and the customs. The rescue cruiser John T. Essberger, owned by the German Lifeboat Institution DGzRS, will make its final appearance at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG before decommissioning. It will then start on its final voyage to the Technical Museum of Speyer, where it will in future be moored as a museum vessel.

Dancing tug boats and heritage ships
One of the traditional highlights of the maritime programme is the unique Tug Boat Ballet at 17:00 on the Saturday, when the 5000 hp working tugboats perform their pirouettes on the Elbe.
A fleet of classic steamships will give a special birthday greeting from the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour when they pass the Landing Stage at 16:00 on the Saturday, "full steam ahead" – not only puffing out clouds of smoke from their chimneys, but also releasing balloons from their decks.

On-board visits
Many of the vessels at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, including the tall ships and naval units, will hold Open Days for visitors to look around on board. Many of the launches and passenger ships also invite visitors to HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG to go on board and join in the Parades, or to tour the vessel.

 

Published in Tall Ships

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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