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Displaying items by tag: Skerries

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI responded to reports of a car submerged on Gormanston beach yesterday afternoon (17 September) following an emergency call to the coastguard.

Shortly before 2.30pm, Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to investigate a submerged car on Gormanston beach after they received a 999 call from a concerned member of the public.

The lifeboat – with Joe May at the Helm and crewed by AJ Hughes, Laura Boylan and Ian Guildea – launched and made their way directly to Gormanston Beach. Conditions at the time were relatively calm with Force 3 westerly winds.

After arriving on scene, the crew located the car and were able to confirm that it was unoccupied.

As a precaution, Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 carried out a sweeping search of the coastline while the lifeboat carried out a search of the immediate area. Skerries Coast Guard unit also conducted a search of the shoreline.

Nothing was found and Gardaí later confirmed that the car had been reported as abandoned.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "This was a positive outcome as it turned out nobody was in danger. The member of the public did the right thing by dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched for their third callout within seven days yesterday (Saturday 04 July) following reports of a kayaker in distress off Gormanston beach.

The pagers sounded shortly after 11.30am this morning, with the lifeboat – launched with volunteer Joe May at the helm and crewed by volunteers Emma Wilson and Paddy Dillon – proceeding directly to Gormanston.

Once on scene it was established that the casualty had abandoned his vessel and his belongings and swam to shore. The crew located an inflatable kayak nearby and recovered it onto the boat to prevent any hazard to other vessels. Conditions at the time were fair with a Force 3-4 northerly wind.

On the previous Thursday evening (2 July), while on a scheduled training exercise, Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to investigate reports of a personal water craft in difficulty near Colt Island in Skerries.

The lifeboat was on scene very quickly as they were on exercise in the area. They located the casualty and took him on board the lifeboat, towing his vessel to the safety of Skerries Harbour. After a routine assessment he was deemed to require no further assistance.

Four days before that, Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety after their racing yacht was holed when they struck rocks near Colt Island, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety on Sunday afternoon (28 June) after their racing yacht began taking on water after striking rocks near one of the islands off Skerries.

Volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4pm when reports were received by Dublin Coast Guard that a yacht had struck rocks near Colt Island.


The lifeboat, with Philip Ferguson at the helm and crewed by Eoin Grimes, Simon Shiels and Emma Wilson, made its way directly to the area reported, where the casualty vessel was quickly located.

Having freed themselves from the rocks, the yacht and its crew were making their way towards Skerries Harbour, though water was leaking into the yacht through damage to the hull.

The lifeboat was positioned alongside and a crew member boarded, bringing the salvage pump carried aboard the lifeboat.The yacht was then taken under tow and brought to the safety of Skerries Harbour, where several more volunteer crew joined the others and assisted in getting the yacht on to a trailer and taken out of the water.


Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "The RNLI spends a lot of time and effort making sure that our volunteers have exactly the equipment they need to cater for any kind of emergency.

"In emergencies such as this, the salvage pump can be invaluable."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rtir – It's not the first time that Italian marine technical ace Giovanni Belgrano (he was the nuts-and-bolts man on the Italian America's Cup challenges) has surprised the fleets of modern boats on his adopted home waters of the Solent with an ace performance with his exquisitely-restored 1939 Laurent Giles 39ft centreboard sloop Whooper.

Nevertheless his overall win in Saturday's Round the Island Race was a sweet victory to be savoured with joy. Even more so, writes W M Nixon, when you realise it was all done with a boat from Skerries, County Dublin....

Yes indeed, folks. Through the 1960s and the early 1970s, Whooper was based in Skerries under the ownership of the great Christy Fox and his son Joe.

And here's the Lloyds entry from the register of 1970 to prove it:

who1.jpg
Lloyds Register of 1970, with Whooper at home in Skerries

They'd chosen this unusual boat because her centreboard configuration gave them the shallow draft needed to be able to berth her alongside Skerries pier, rather than having to keep her in that dreadful anchorage out in the open bay. Having been built by Woodnutt's, she was a quality job, full of character, and well able to give a reasonable account of her herself in local races when they were able to get enough of a crew together to make the best of her.

In time she was sold away. But then a couple of years ago the Classic Yacht Regattas in the Solent area started featuring a beautifully-restored Whooper scoring serious wins. It speaks volumes for her owner's joy in sailing that he's at the sharp end of technological development around advanced boats in the day job, yet in his spare time he goes sailing in a very interesting old boat on which he has clearly lavished much loving attention.

who2.jpg
Whooper's hull profile showing how the centreplate was incorporated into the hull without undue intrusion on the accommodation. In that same accommodation, many a boisterous party was held alongside Skerries pier, and in other ports too.

who3.jpg
Whooper's hull lines. She was conceived as a comfortable shoal draft cruise to provide reasonably good performance, but no-one could have imagined that 77 years after she was designed, she'd be overall winner of the Round the Island Race.

who4.jpg
Whooper's rig was an early version of the Laurent Giles "slutter". which could be both fractional and masthead, though during her time in Skerries she was always sailed as a masthead sloop. She also had one of the earliest Laurent Giles' versions of the new-fangled doghouse to give added headroom and better light in the aft part of the saloon.

In all, there were something like 14 boat with Irish links in the 1800-strong fleet which raced round the island, and it seems that the best-placed was Ben Daly's Quarter Tonner Cobh Pirate in 202nd place. That is, of course, if we don't just reclaim Whooper as one of our own.....

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI saved a man from drowning yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 22 April) as they responded to an emergency call on their pagers.

Volunteer crew member Stephen Crowley was giving one of his fellow volunteers, helm David Knight, a lift ashore from his own boat shortly after 5pm when the pagers were set off.

As they made their way to the slipway at the back of the harbour to get to the lifeboat station, they encountered a man in the water who had become separated from his personal watercraft and was struggling to stay afloat.

They managed to get a rope around the man and help him onto the side of their boat and began bringing the man to shore, where they were joined by two more volunteers, helm Philip Ferguson and crew member Emma Wilson, who were already fully suited up and preparing the boat for launch when they saw the situation unfolding from the lifeboat station.

The man was helped ashore and was assessed for any first aid requirement.

Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Fortunately our volunteers were on hand almost instantly. It is important to remember that whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#CoastalNotes - TheJournal.ie might not take the news entirely seriously, but it's true – Skerries has been named among the 10 most beautiful cities in Europe.

The North Co Dublin coastal town and fishing port might only have a population of 10,000, but Eating Europe Food Tours saw fit to include it alongside perennial continental favourites such as Amsterdam and Barcelona.

And TheJournal.ie has collected a few images that show exactly why Skerries is a jewel to be treasured, even if it isn't really a city!

Published in Coastal Notes
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI was requested for the first time in 2015 yesterday morning (Thursday 8 January) following a report of a swimmer in difficulty.

The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson at 11.30am following a call to Dublin Coast Guard from a concerned member of the public about a swimmer in the water off Red Island headland.

The lifeboat, with Joe May at the helm and crewed by David Knight, AJ Hughes and Stephen Crowley, launched and proceeded directly to the area indicated by the coastguard.

Arriving on scene, it was discovered there was a local swimming group ashore after returning from a swim. After speaking to the group, the volunteer crew were assured that everyone was accounted for.

The lifeboat performed a precautionary sweep of the area before being stood down and returning to station.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene and carried out a search before returning to base.

Speaking after the callout, Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, said: "Thankfully in this case our assistance wasn’t required. 

"However, the member of public had good intentions and we would always advise people to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they think they see someone in difficulty at sea."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI assisted three periwinkle pickers who were in danger of being completely cut off by the rising tide on their return from Shenick Island last Friday evening (24 October).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat Louis Simson at 6.30pm following reports to Dublin Coastguard from members of the public that several people appeared to be stranded on Shenick Island, just off the North Co Dublin town.

With David Knight at the Helm and crew Eoin Grimes, Peter Kennedy and Stephen Crowley, the lifeboat proceeded directly to  the island and carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters nearby.

Two crew members made their way ashore to assess the situation. The three periwinkle pickers were then assisted in wading through the water back to shore by the crew, with Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 providing illumination from its powerful search lights.

In addition, the Skerries Coast Guard unit was waiting ashore to offer any further assistance required.

Speaking after the callout, Knight said: "We would remind anyone planning on walking along the shore or around the coast to make sure that they check the local tidal information before setting off."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a motorboat with four people on board to safety on yesterday morning (Sunday 7 September) after they developed electrical problems and were unable to start their engine.

Shortly after 11am, Dublin Coast Guard requested the Skerries RNLI volunteer crew to launch their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson after receiving a report from another vessel of a motorboat in difficulty on the eastern side of Lambay Island.

The lifeboat, with Eoin Duff at the helm and crewed by Conor Walsh, Peter Kennedy and Rob Morgan, proceeded directly to the last known position of the craft to begin a search. At the time of the launch there was a Force 3 northeasterly wind with calm seas.

The motorboat was quickly located at anchor close to the island. A tow was established and the boat, with four people on board was brought safely to Rush Harbour. 



Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, things can go wrong at sea.

"Thankfully another boat spotted the danger and called the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a group of four adults and one child safely to shore after their motorboat developed engine difficulties.

Skerries RNLI volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 September) following reports to Dublin Coast Guard of a motorboat adrift near the Perch marker off Skerries.

The crew could see the casualty vessel almost immediately after exiting the launching trolley and proceeded directly to them.

Once alongside, it was discovered that the outboard engine would not start. A tow was established and the boat was returned safely to shore.



At the time of the launch there was a Force 1 easterly wind with calm seas. 



Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "This was a good result – most importantly, everybody on board was wearing a lifejacket and the alarm was raised quickly."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 9 of 14

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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