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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

Dunmore East RNLI’s Shannon Class lifeboat 13-41 ‘William and Agnes Wray’ officially went on service today (Saturday 6 November 2021). The Shannon class lifeboat arrived in Dunmore East Harbour on Sunday 26th September, and since then the volunteer lifeboat crew have trained tirelessly, becoming familiar with the new electronic technology and jet propulsion system of the vessel. The €2.4 million all-weather vessel is the first state of the art Shannon class lifeboat to be based in the south-east.

The Irish Coast Guard was informed by the RNLI that the ‘William and Agnes Wray’ is officially on service from 6 pm Saturday 6, November, replacing the station’s Trent class lifeboat.

"The €2.4m vessel is the first state of the art Shannon class lifeboat to be based in the south-east"

It’s a bittersweet moment for the lifeboat crew and fundraisers at Dunmore East RNLI, as the introduction of the Shannon class lifeboat signals the end of an era for the station’s current Trent class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Ronald, which has now departed Dunmore East harbour for the last time under the watchful eyes of a crowd who came to pay their respects and say goodbye. The lifeboat has been saving lives at sea there since October 1996.

Thankfully, it is not the end for Elizabeth and Ronald, as she will get an electronics upgrade and will go into the Trent class relief fleet for Ireland where she will continue to save lives at sea when and where ever she is needed.

Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said ‘This week our crew were put through their paces by RNLI assessors where they demonstrated their ability to operate the new lifeboat effectively and safely. Everyone at the station is now ready and fully trained to operate this new lifeboat.’

‘The Shannon Class lifeboat is the most advanced lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet, it means we can get to a casualty safer and faster than ever before. I am immensely proud of our volunteer crew who put in a huge effort by giving up their time and being away from their families to complete the training to enable the ‘William and Agnes Wray’ to go on service.’

"The Elizabeth and Ronald has served us well here in Dunmore East and she will be dearly missed"

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the Shannon class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers but it's the first time an Irish river has been chosen and was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Coxswain Abrahamsson continued ‘The Elizabeth and Ronald has served us well here in Dunmore East and she will be dearly missed, she is a fine lifeboat, and I am glad she will continue to save lives and serve the people of Ireland in the relief fleet’.

End of an era - the Waterford Harbour station’s current Trent class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Ronald has now departed Dunmore East harbour End of an era - the Waterford Harbour station’s current Trent class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Ronald has now departed Dunmore East harbour

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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out on Friday evening at 5.45 pm, to go to the immediate aid of a lone Kayaker that was spotted in trouble off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry All Weather Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of 6 were away quickly from their moorings, when Valentia Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre bleeped for immediate action after golfers on the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links saw a person in trouble near the rocks on the western side of the Lighthouse.

The Kayaker had left The Speckled Door pier earlier in the afternoon and came through the passage at Hole-Open and was attempting to round the Lighthouse when the weather worsened and he was thrown off the Kayak and was unable to remount because of high swells. Thankfully the Golfers immediately called the rescue services and the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat and its voluntary crew were away within minutes. Reaching the area at 6.14 pm, two members of the crew, Ken Cashman and Donal Young used the Lifeboat’s small inflatable boat to traverse into the rocky inlet under the Lighthouse and pluck the causality from the water and brought him back to the main Lifeboat where he was assessed and warmed up after a very frightening ordeal.

Unfortunately, the Kayak could not be recovered and all his belongings including his mobile phone and keys were left to the mercy of the sea. The conditions at sea yesterday evening were 4 metre swells and a strong westerly wind.

The causality was then brought by the Lifeboat to the safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry Pontoon and he was mighty glad to be on safe lands again. Crew and Station officers assessed him further at the Station House and provided him with a change of clothes and hot drinks before Station officers were able to take him back to meet his friends who came from North Cork to meet him. Also tasked in today’s Callout was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford and the Old Head / Seven Heads Coast Guard unit.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer said “We are all so relieved that the Kayaker was rescued so quickly in rough seas off the Old Head this evening and praised the Golfers on the Old Head for making that quick 999 call when they realised something was amiss”, he also thanked the voluntary crew at the Lifeboat Station who quickly assembled and with great skill that they regularly train for, prevented a very serious incident at sea.

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Achill Island RNLI was involved in the medical evacuation of a female patient from Clare Island this afternoon (Tuesday, 7 September) following a request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 1.15 pm under Coxswain Dave Curtis and with six crew members onboard. It followed a request to assist the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo, due to foggy weather conditions on the island at the time.

Weather conditions improved during the call out and the crew were able to secure a zone for the helicopter to successfully land and take the patient onboard the aircraft. The patient was then transferred to Mayo University Hospital and the all-weather lifeboat, The Sam and Ada Moody, and her crew returned to Achill Island at 3pm.

Speaking following the call out, Dave Curtis, Coxswain said: ‘This is another example of good inter-agency teamwork between our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard and our volunteer crew. We wish the patient well for a speedy recovery.’

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The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI lifeboat was requested to assist with a medical evacuation from Tullan Strand, Bundoran this morning (Saturday, 4th September).

Shortly before 1 am a request was received from the National Ambulance Service via Malin Head Coast Guard for assistance from shore crew to extract a casualty who had fallen. While the lifeboat was not launched on this occasion, a number of volunteer crew attended to assist with extraction to the waiting ambulance where the casualty was transferred to Sligo University Hospital. The crew are trained in casualty care with a number of them qualified advanced paramedics.

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Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched yesterday (Wednesday, August 4) to a report of a 12-metre fishing vessel with two people on-board, that had broken down 17 miles South West of Dunmore East.

At 5:00 pm the lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard, making best speed, the Trent Class Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat ‘Elizabeth and Ronald’ and her volunteer crew arrived on scene at 6:10 pm, assessed the situation and took the stricken vessel under tow and arrived back to the safety of Dunmore East harbour at 9:30 pm.

Roy Abrahamsson, Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘Weather conditions were good at the time and our volunteer crew train hard for missions like this which made for a very smooth operation. Thankfully all went well and the fishermen are now safely back in port’.

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Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched shortly after 11 pm tonight (Friday 23 July) following a Coast Guard pager alert, to investigate reports of a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat located the yacht twenty-five minutes later, four miles north of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force three.

The yacht with two crew had suffered engine failure while heading north off the coast and was unable to make its way safely into Wicklow harbour. An assessment was carried out and a towline was established with the yacht.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Ciaran Doyle said:’ We transferred one of our crew onto the yacht to assist the two sailors during the tow back to Wicklow harbour’.

The yacht was brought alongside the South Quay at Wicklow harbour at 00:30 am on Saturday morning and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

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As Afloat reported earlier Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch following a Mayday call to assist five people on board a 38ft cruiser on fire, by Castle Harbour, Portumna, at the most northern end of Lough Derg.

When the lifeboat crew assembled at the station, Valentia Coast Guard was informed that three people had been safely evacuated from the vessel.

At 12.16 pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Keith Brennan, crew Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was calm and visibility was excellent.

Aoife Kennedy, Lough Derg RNLI Deputy Launching Authority relayed information from Valentia Coast Guard that the remaining two people had been safely evacuated from the burning vessel. Valentia Coast Guard contacted the lifeboat to request that volunteers check the wellbeing of the casualties.

Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter based at Shannon was also in attendance, as was the Killaloe Coast Guard Search and Rescue Boat, based at Killaloe.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12.35 pm. The fire on the casualty vessel had taken hold and fire firefighters from Portumna Fire Service were working to extinguish the fire. All four other casualties were safe and unharmed and were being attended to by ambulance crew at Castle Harbour.

As there was a significant risk to the many boat users close by with fuel onboard the vessel, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat and the Killaloe Coast Guard boat to monitor the scene and request that all vessels maintain a safe distance.

At 1.30 pm, firefighters had managed to put out the main fire, however, the vessel was still smouldering and billowing smoke. The anchor line had burned and the vessel was now drifting into the main navigation channel.

At 2.14 pm, the casualty vessel was relocated to Carrigahorig Bay, where firefighters continued to pump water and foam to ensure the fire was fully out.

Aoife Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘always be alert to the dangers of fire on a boat and always carry a means of communication so that you can call the emergency services for help’.

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Yesterday evening (Friday 16 June) at 9.08 pm Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat, the Austin Lidbury was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard to report a boat on fire in the bay between Knockadoon and Ballycotton island.

Conditions were very calm with clear visibility.

Ballycotton RNLI’s volunteer crew launched the lifeboat immediately under Duty Coxswain Michael Hallahan with six crew members on board.

Conditions were calm with clear visibility.

Youghal RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and Youghal Coast Guard were also tasked. Following several searches of the area at 10.30 pm all rescue teams were stood down and the call-out was treated as a false alarm with good intent.

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The Union Hall  RNLI volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, by the Irish Coast Guard at 3.50pm today (Friday 9th July) to reports of two people in difficulty in the small sound, an area north of Rabbit Island, just west of Glandore Harbour.

The lifeboat helmed by Tim Forde with crew Charlie Deasy, Stephen Hurley and Richie O’Mahony made its way to the small sound and met the casualty vessel. The two crew were rowing towards shore as they had engine difficulty, but they were happy enough to not require assistance. They were wearing lifejackets and conditions were favourable with sea conditions calm.

First call-out - The Union Hall RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat crew (from left to right) Richie O’Mahony, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Charlie Deasy, Sean Walsh and Jim MoloneyFirst call-out - The Union Hall RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat crew (from left to right) Richie O’Mahony, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Charlie Deasy, Sean Walsh and Jim Moloney

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Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched shortly before 5:30 pm this evening following reports of two swimmers in difficulties on an inflatable toy off the Silver Strand beach south of Wicklow Head.

The Inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 5:38 pm and located four people on rocks near the beach. Two men who were on the beach with their families were concerned about the two young swimmer’s safety and entered the water to help them. They managed to get them up onto rocks near the beach.

Conditions at the scene were wind north-easterly force four with a moderate sea. The inshore lifeboat crew took the four people from the rocks and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat which was standing by offshore. ‘Rescue 116’ stood by overhead as the casualties were transferred to the lifeboat.

The winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to carry out a medical assessment of the four casualties. The two young girls were then transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter and flown to Dublin Airport, where they were met by an Ambulance crew and brought for further medical attention.

The two men, who had rescued the two girls did not require any further medical assistance and were brought back to Wicklow harbour for a well-deserved hot drink at the lifeboat station after their quick intervention to help the young girls.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said, ‘The quick actions of the two swimmers who went to the aid of the young girls resulted in a positive outcome this afternoon and we would urge people not to use inflatable toys on the beach.’

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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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