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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Rescue

#Coastguard - Two callouts on St Stephen's Day brought the Irish Coast Guard's total annual helicopter rescue missions to the 1,000 mark for the first time since the service began in 1991, as RTÉ News reports.

Sligo's Rescue 118 had its 343rd mission of the year on Saturday 26 December when it airlifted a young boy with leg injuries, while the Shannon-based Rescue 115 was involved in a medevac from the Aran Islands, taking a pregnant woman to Galway University Hospital for its 330th response.

In the East, the coastguard crew of Waterford's Rescue 117 saw 179 missions this year, while Dublin's Rescue 116 embarked on 148 since January as of yesterday (Sunday 27 December).

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#Rescue - An elderly man with a suspected broken ankle was rescued from one of Northern Ireland's most popular coastal walks at the weekend, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The injured man was on a part of the Causeway Coast Way not accessible by road, requiring coastguard teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine to attend and help him to a waiting ambulance.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#StormDesmond - Mike the donkey has a lot to be cheery about as volunteers for Animal Heaven Animal Rescue helped rescue him from floodwaters in Kilorglin, Co Kerry yesterday (Sunday 6 December).

As TheJournal.ie reports, Suzanne Gibbons from the animal rescuers put out an appeal on social media after she was altered to the fate of the donkey, who had bolted from his field after Storm Desmond blew the gate over and got trapped in a nearby flooded river.

It wasn't long before two local men brought a boat with a rope and life ring to help tow back onto dry land the grateful animal who's since been named after one of his rescuers.

Rising water levels across the country in the wake of Storm Desmond have prompted a marine notice from Waterways Ireland advising all masters and owners of vessels at public harbours, jetties or moorings against boating in extreme conditions such as storm-force winds and heavy rainfall.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Rescue - A 15-year-old girl who was one of two teens rescued of Hook Head yesterday (Sunday 6 December) was unconscious when she was taken out of the water, it has emerged.

As RTÉ News reports, the girl is one of four from a Dublin scouts group who were washed into the sea from the rocks by a surprise wave as the remnants of Storm Desmond passed over Ireland.

Two managed to swim to shore, but the others – the girl and a 15-year-old boy – got into difficulty in what the Irish Coast Guard described as "confused" heavy seas.

As of this morning (Monday 7 December) the girl was said to be in a critical condition at University Hospital Waterford. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - Two Irish Coast Guard helicopters battled Storm Desmond to evacuate a crewman from a container ship off the southwest coast yesterday (Friday 4 December).

As UTV News reports, Rescue 117 from Waterford was joined by Rescue 115 from Shannon in the medevac some 160km west of Fastnet Rock at the Swedish-registered MV Atlantic Cartier, where the long-range-specialist Sikorsky S-92 helicopters faced strong gales and heavy seas.

According to TheJournal.ie, the ill crewman, who was reporting chest pains, was airlifted to Cork Airport where he was transferred to an ambulance.

It marks the latest rescue operation for the coastguard helicopter network in a busy 2015, which has seen a record year for Sligo's Rescue 118 in particular.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - Kayakers paddled to the rescue of a man in his 60s spotted floating in the sea off Co Clare on Saturday morning (31 October).

According to The Irish Times, the man – thought to have fallen into the water from Seafield Pier near Quilty – was semi-conscious when he was retrieved by the kayakers.

The casualty was subsequently airlifted to hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, which was on a training exercise nearby.

The incident occurred just days after the body of local man Stephen Mungovan was recovered from the sea after what's believed to be an accidental fall late last Sunday night (25 October).

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - A woman is in stable condition in hospital after she was rescued from a sea cliff in Islandmagee on Tuesday (27 October) an operation that "wasn’t straightforward", as the News Letter reports.

It's believed the woman had been walking along the top coastal path when she got into difficulty late on Tuesday evening.

She was airlifted from the site by helicopter tasked from Scotland after being stabilised by paramedics.

The incident comes just weeks after emergency services rushed to the aid of an elderly man who fainted on the newly reopened Gobbins cliff walk in the same area.

The new cliff path has been hailed by the Guardian as "a reboot of a magnificent feat of engineering that originally opened in 1902", with local musical hero Michael Bradley of the Undertones writing about its heart-stopping mix of beauty and danger.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - The Connacht Tribune reports that 10 were rescued from a twin-mast sailing boat on Lough Corrib last night after the vessel hit rocks near the village of Cong in Co Mayo.

All 10 people on board, including four adults and six children, were brought to safety by the local Corrib/Mask rescue team, according to the Connacht Telegraph.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

This US Coast Guard video shows the stricken sailor riding several waves before jumping head first over the railing of a rescue ship. The yachtsman's dramatic leap, with his cat, to safety from his disabled yacht was made some 400 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska. 

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI rescued two people on Sunday evening (27 September) after a kayak was reported to have capsized at the mouth of the Colebrook River.

The volunteer lifeboat crew based on Upper Lough Erne at Carrybridge were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch both their inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft (RWC) at 5.52pm.

The man and woman who came off the kayak had managed to swim ashore, raise the alarm using their mobile phone and let the coastguard know they were on an island.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Chris Cathcart, launched immediately along with the RWC. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with light airs and good visibility.

Following a search, the lifeboat crew located the casualties on the northern side of Inishcorkish Island. They were both cold and the woman was shaking and showing signs of hypothermia.

The crew immediately transferred both people to the lifeboat and began to administer casualty care. They were then brought to the shore at Knockninny Marina where they were medically assessed and made comfortable. The RWC then recovered the vessel back to Knockninny Marina.

Speaking following the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Chris Cathcart said: "The water was cold yesterday and the casualties had been in the lough for about 15 minutes during their swim to the island.

"They had prepared for their trip by carrying a means of communication and thankfully they were able to raise the alarm using their mobile phone. We wish them both a speedy recovery from their ordeal."

As reported on Afloat.ie earlier today, HM Coastguard is co-ordinating an ongoing search for an overdue sea kayaker off Portmuck in Co Antrim, concentrating on the area around the Gobbins coastal path.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 9 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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