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Displaying items by tag: Rescue

#Rescue - Galway Bay FM reports that a man was recovering from hypothermia last night (Tuesday 13 September) after his boat sank off Connemara.

The man had set out from Clifden earlier in the day headed for Ardoileán, or High Island, off northwest Connemara, when the transom securing the engine to his vessel fell off.

Visitors walking near Cleggan heard his cries for help when he managed to swim the shore, and he was later transferred to hospital in Castlebar for treatment.

Published in Rescue
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#Rescue - The French sailor rescued from the hull of his upturned yacht off the Wexford coast this summer has again paid tribute to the Irish Coast Guard crew who came to his aid.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, yachtsman Jean Conchaudron was plucked from the sea after keel failure led to him capsizing en route from Cornwall to Dublin on the night of Tuesday 26 July.

Quick-thinking Conchaudron activated his personal locator beacon, or PLB, after scrambling out of the water onto the upturned hull.

That action immediately notified the UK coastguard, who alerted their Dublin-based counterparts who in turn sent the Wexford-based SAR helicopter Rescue 117 to his location.

It was winchman Adrian O'Hara who was the first to greet Conchaudron as he lifted him from the boat to safety, as the Irish Mirror reports.

And the experienced French solo sailor said it was literally a matter of life and death before O'Hara and his fellow Rescue 117 crew arrived.

“Thank you my friend! These are my first words, the only words that come to me," he said. "I have a friend, a true friend, someone who is ready to risk his life and those of his friends, every day for an ordinary guy like me.”

In other coastguard news, TheJournal.ie has an in-depth feature following a day in the life of Rescue 117's chief pilot Mark McDermott, who joined the Waterford-based crew after retiring fro the Royal Navy in 2005.

“Every job we do is challenging in a different way,” he says. "We could be on a mountain rescue, managing an effective hover in massive up and down drafts, or we could be out to sea evacuating a cardiac patient from a boat and getting them to hospital, or we could be carrying a child with meningitis to hospital.

"You never know what you’ll be doing."

Published in Rescue

#RNLI - Geraldine Donnelly paid a visit to Bangor RNLI earlier today (Thursday 25 August) just weeks after her rescue following a serious fall on Ballyholme beach.

On 7 June last, Donnelly fell more than two metres onto rocks and shingle from Ballyholme Esplanade after one of her two dogs pulled its leash and over-balanced her, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

After five weeks in the Ulster Hospital and another four receiving physiotherapy, Donnelly is now back on her feet, although full recovery could be a year away.

Today she met three of the lifeboat crew involved in her rescue – helm Mickey McKenna, John Bell and Richard McClinton. A fourth crew member, Ian Browne, sent his regards as he is currently working overseas.

"As soon as I fell, I knew it was serious, and if it wasn’t for the RNLI, I really don’t think I’d be alive today," she said today as she praised the Bangor RNLI crew for their actions, in particular "her angel" John Bell, who held her hand throughout her ordeal.

"Every day since the accident, I’ve wanted to thank you for your kind words and for holding my hand," she said. "It made such a difference, and kept me calm; something the doctors say prevented the injury being even worse."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rescue - Coastguard teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine were joined by Portrush RNLI in the rescue of a father and son who were cut off by the tide while fishing on the North Antrim coast at the weekend.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the two found themselves surrounded by the incoming tide while fishing on rocks at Portbraddon on Saturday evening (20 August).

"The tide can rise six or seven feet at Portbraddon, so if you don't know the area it is possible to get caught out quickly without realising it," said Belfast Coastguard officer Dawn Petrie, who added that rescuers used a specialised kayak to retrieve the father and son from the rocks.

The happy ending in this incident came amid a weekend of tragedy around the UK coast, as three men, two women and a child died in separate incidents in severe weather conditions. The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - Twelve kayakers rescued amid difficult weather conditions in Dublin Bay yesterday had only limited safety equipment and had not logged their trip with the coastguard, as The Irish Times reports.

The kayaking group were recovered by the Howth Coast Guard and lifeguards from nearby Dollymount after high winds and an outgoing tide started pushing them out into the bay off Red Rock in Sutton yesterday evening (Sunday 7 August).

It since emerged that the 12 paddlers had failed to observe the small craft warning issued ahead of yesterday's forecast high winds, on top of setting out without a marine VHF radio and failing to log their journey with the National Maritime Operations Centre.

Elsewhere, four people were rescued after a fire broke out on their cruiser on the River Shannon near Banagher in Co Offaly at the weekend.

According to The Irish Times, the four on board the White Lady raised the alarm on Saturday evening (6 August) after the fire started in the boat's engine system.

The skipper was able to motor the boat to Banagher Harbour where waiting fire service units brought the blaze under control.

Published in Rescue

#Coastguard - Five people were rescued as their boat sank under them between Ailsa Craig and Girvan in the Firth of Clyde last night (Saturday 6 August).

Belfast Coastguard received 999 calls just after 6.40pm from the men on the small boat, reporting they were sinking but only an approximate location on the coast.

The coastguard rescue helicopter from Prestwick and Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to search, while Girvan and Campbeltown RNLI lifeboats were requested.

Coastguard co-ordinators at Belfast also received help from the Irish Coast Guard, who tracked a precise location for the position of the casualty’s mobile phone.

The coastguard helicopter arrived on scene and prioritised winching two people from the vessel who weren’t wearing life jackets.

At this point the vessel sank in rough water, and the three others were rescued from the water and winched into the helicopter.

The five men were landed nearby and met by Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team, who found them to be safe and uninjured.

Published in Coastguard
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For many Afloat.ie readers, he was just a silhouetted figure sitting atop a boat waiting to be rescued when Afloat.ie published the story about a solo sailor's rescue off the Wexford coast. Like so many rescue video clips, there was little detail on what had caused the boat to capsize but French skipper Jean Conchaudron's subsequent thank you comment on Afloat.ie to the Irish rescue services shed a lot more light on his remarkable rescue from the Irish Sea.

Conchaudron was voyaging from Newlin, Cornwall to Dublin. His goal was to meet a friend who was coming to Dublin from Iceland. After a few days holidaying in Dublin they would come back with the two boats to Brittany (Perros Guirec).

mini 6.50 Jean conchaudron Jean Conchaudron's Mini 6.50 in happier times

But as we now know, none of this ever happened. As a result of 'mechanical failure' Conchaudron's keel fell off and he was capsized in seconds.

'Conditions were quite good, I was on deck, wind was about 15 knots, some swell. The boat capsized in about five seconds'.

'I had my PLB in my trousers, and my life jacket on. I triggered the PLB I have in my pocket. It then took to me about half an hour to be able to make a web of ropes to climb on to the hull, I was pushed up and down by the waves, and it took me a while to secure myself with the rope (the web of rope can be seen on the video). It was not possible to start my boat beacon because it was in the cabin and not accessible.

'I then waited to be rescued. The Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford saved me and I spent four days in Waterford Regional Hospital due to hypothermia. Thanks to the Irish recsue services, these guys are heroes'.

Conchaudron says he loves Mini 6.50 type sailing and prefers sailing alone. Despite what happened off Wexford, he believes his boat is 'very safe' and well equipped, as are all the boats of this class with a radio beacon and other safety measures. He participated in the "Mini Transat" in 1987, and other races in France. 

lifejacket Rescue 117Jean Conchaudron's all important lifejacket signed by his rescuers

As far as he knows, the boat is still adrift in the Irish Sea. Conchaudron says the Coastguard is 'keeping an eye on it.' It is his intention to try to get it back, depending on what his insurers say.

'I hope this experience will help other sailors', he wrote on the Rescue 117 Facebook page.

Conchaudron says he has learned an important lesson from the experience and wants to pass it on to other sailors in the hope that it can save other lives at sea: 'Have a PLB in your trousers's pocket, wear your life–jacket, stay afloat, don't sleep and be a warrior to survive'.

Published in Solo Sailing

#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard welcomed the successful rescue last night (Tuesday 26 July) of a lone yachtsman found on his overturned yacht 20 miles off the Co Wexford coast.

The yachtsman triggered his personal locator beacon (PLB) around 8pm last night, which alerted his position to the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin.

Waterford's coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 was immediately tasked to the location.

The lone yachtsman was spotted sitting on the hull of his upturned vessel and was subsequently winched to safety and transferred to Waterford Regional Hospital.

A coastguard spokesperson highlighted the importance of observing two important safety rules when going to sea: stay afloat if you do fall in the water, and have a means to communicate or raise the alarm.

Published in Coastguard

#Rescue - BreakingNews.ie reports on the rescue of a woman whose kayak capsized in Liscannor Bay this morning (Sunday 24 July).

The woman – one of a group of four – was unable to get back into her kayak, prompting her fellow paddlers to raise the alarm.

Emergency services were notified but the woman was shortly after rescued by the crew of a nearby fishing vessel and given the all clear back at Liscannor Harbour.

The incident came just says after a father and son were rescued from Galway Bay further north after their kayak capsized, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - A father and son were rescued on Thursday (21 July) by Kinvara beach lifeguards after being washed overboard from their kayak.

Lifeguards Mark Buckley and Niall Hanley contacted the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 3pm when they became concerned about two kayakers who had set out earlier from Traught beach.

Valentia Coast Guard immediately launched a search operation, tasking Galway Bay RNLI, the Shannon-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 and the Doolin Coast Guard unit.

Less than one hour after the alert was raised, Rescue 115 located the casualties. They were then recovered by Galway Bay lifeboat, who confirmed that casualties were safe and well.

The coastguard watch officers on duty in Valentia were highly complementary of the two local lifeguards, highlighting their vigilance, timeliness of their report and for piecing together information on the casualties.

Galway Bay RNLI were also complimented for the successful rescue.

Published in Rescue
Page 6 of 33

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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