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Displaying items by tag: US Coast Guard

An apparent coastguard vessel from the United States has washed up in the Aran Islands today (Tuesday 3 September).

In a post on their Facebook page, the Doolin Ferry Company reported spotting an object in the water on the way to Inis Oírr that turned out to be an upturned boat.

With the help of a local fishing boat and a number of islanders, the red boat was brought onto the beach and investigated for clues — the biggest being its serial number.

That identified the vessel as “Fast Military Rescue Boat”.

It’s not yet clear how long the boat has been in the water, and how it came to drift to Ireland’s shores.

But the ferry company’s appeal for more information has potentially identified it as boat built in 2015 for use in gunnery training by the US Navy.

David K Hunt of Alabama-based Silver Ships says the vessel is a “foam collar boat” used for target practice.

“We do air collar boats that are intended to sink, not float to Ireland,” he added.

Published in Coastal Notes

#RNLI - Crosshaven RNLI launched to reports of a man overboard from a visiting US Coast Guard cutter off Cork Harbour yesterday morning (Tuesday 24 May).

According to the station's Facebook page, the Crosshaven lifeboat was tasked alongside the local Irish Coast Guard unit and the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 after the crewman fell overboard from the vessel conformed by gCaptain as the sail training barque Eagle.

However the operation was stood down shortly after launch as the tall ship mounted its own successful rescue of the casualty.

Eagle, which previously visited Irish waters in 2011, is expected in Dublin later this week before sailing to Britain and Portugal next month.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MISSING SAILORS - The US Coast Guard last night suspended its search for four yacht crew members - including two Irish sailors - who went missing after what's being described as San Francisco's worst ever sailing accident, Fox News reports.

Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield told the Associated Press: "There's a window of survivability and we searched well beyond that window."

Boats and aircraft had combed over 5,000 square miles of ocean in a marathon 30-hour operation before the search was halted at sunset last night. It is not expected to resume.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the missing include Irish yachtsmen Alan Cahill, originally from Blarney in Co Cork, and his friend Elmer Morrissey, who had moved to the US for work only last year, according to friends and colleagues on Facebook.

The two men, along with fellow crew Jordan Fromm, Alexis Busch and Marc Kasanin, were thrown into the frigid water after their 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase ran aground at the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in northern California.

Three other crewmembers, including the boat's owner and skipper James Bradford, were rescued from the rocks shortly after the incident. The body of Kasanin, 45, was recovered from the water hours later.

The boat had been competing in the Full Crew Farallones Race with 40 other yachts between San Francisco and the islands when the tragedy occurred.

Known for its rough conditions with 14-foot swells and winds of up to 20 knots, the near-century old tradition has "never been for the faint of heart".

Published in News Update

#RESCUE - A Donegal-born skipper joined in the dramatic rescue of a fishing trawler crew in Alaska recently, the Donegal Democrat reports.

Seamus Hayden Jr, who captains the fishing vessel Clyde, was berthed in Lazy Bay at the southern end of the Kodiak peninsula when he responded to a call from fellow vessel the Tuxedni to assist the stricken Heritage, which was sinking a mile east of nearby Tanner Head.

“I rousted my crew and fired our main engine to join the Tuxedni in the search," he said. "I did not know at that time if the Heritage crew had abandoned ship.

“I informed everyone onboard my vessel to dress for extreme weather and to use utmost caution and a buddy system at all times around the vessel."

Visibility was low due to ice fog and the darkness of the Alaskan winter nights, and as they got closer to the Heritage's location - where the US Coast Guard was attemping a helicopter rescue - conditions were "horrendous", with ice-cold winds of 60 knots.

I was very worried for the safety of all involved, including our own," said Hayden.

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
The US Coast Guard has called off the search for an Irishman who was swept out to sea in Maine last Friday.
The Irish Independent named the man as Thomas Clarke, originally from Kilnaleck in Co Cavan.
The 32-year-old was reportedly knocked into the water on Friday afternoon by a huge wave near Monhegan Island, 12 miles off the Maine coast.
He was apparently attemping to take pictures of the waves swollen by the passing Hurricane Katia when he was struck and pulled out in a riptide.
Four friends tried to rescue him to no avail, with one needing to be rescued from rocks by helicopter.
According to WABI TV, rescue crews spent nearly two days scouring 600 miles of coastline before calling off the search on Saturday night.
Clarke had been in the area with friends sightseeing before a wedding. A long time resident of the US, he had returned more than a year ago after several years in Ireland.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

The US Coast Guard has called off the search for an Irishman who was swept out to sea in Maine last Friday.

The Irish Independent named the man as Thomas Clarke, originally from Kilnaleck in Co Cavan.

The 32-year-old was reportedly knocked into the water on Friday afternoon by a huge wave near Monhegan Island, 12 miles off the Maine coast.

He was apparently attemping to take pictures of the waves swollen by the passing Hurricane Katia when he was struck and pulled out in a riptide.

Four friends tried to rescue him to no avail, with one needing to be rescued from rocks by helicopter.

According to WABI TV, rescue crews spent nearly two days scouring 600 miles of coastline before calling off the search on Saturday night.

Clarke had been in the area with friends sightseeing before a wedding. A long time resident of the US, he had returned more than a year ago after several years in Ireland.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
The US Coast Guard's training barque Eagle returned to her home port of New London, Connecticut last week after a summer-long voyage to Europe.
Last May the ship and its crew paid a visit to Waterford ahead of this year's Tall Shps Races, where it met a contingent of Connecticut residents, before sailing on towards Hanover, Germany where she was first constructed 75 years ago.
Other ports of call included London, Reykjavik, Halifax in Nova Scotia and a final stop in New York City.
"The cadets had an incredible chance to sail the Atlantic as it was meant to be sailed," Captain Eric Jones told Connecticut's The Day.
The captain noted that it was also a voyage of remembrance, referencing the history of the ship - which the US received in reparations after the Second World War - and the laying of a wreath to memorialise the Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton, torpedoed by a German U-boat off the Icelandic coast in January 1942.
The Day has much more on the story HERE.

The US Coast Guard's training barque Eagle returned to her home port of New London, Connecticut last week after a summer-long voyage to Europe.

Last May the ship and its crew paid a visit to Waterford ahead of this year's Tall Ships Races, where it met a contingent of Connecticut residents, before sailing on towards Hanover, Germany where she was first constructed 75 years ago.

Other ports of call included London, Reykjavik, Halifax in Nova Scotia and a final stop in New York City.

"The cadets had an incredible chance to sail the Atlantic as it was meant to be sailed," Captain Eric Jones told Connecticut's The Day.

The captain noted that it was also a voyage of remembrance, referencing the history of the ship - which the US received in reparations after the Second World War - and the laying of a wreath to memorialise the Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton, torpedoed by a German U-boat off the Icelandic coast in January 1942.

The Day has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
The crew of the US Coast Guard clipper Eagle have taken home a taste for porridge oats following their visit to Waterford ahead of the Tall Ships Races.
Irish Central reports that the 140-plus crew of the training vessel took on a consignment of Flahavan's Irish Oats for their summer voyage throughout Europe and back across the Atlantic to New York on 5 August.
John Noonan of Flahavan's said the porridge oats "should certainly help keep their energy levels up as they complete the rest of their voyage. As we know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether you're on land or sea."
Irish Central has more on the story HERE.

The crew of the US Coast Guard clipper Eagle have taken home a taste for porridge oats following their visit to Waterford ahead of the Tall Ships Races.

Irish Central reports that the 140-plus crew of the training vessel took on a consignment of Flahavan's Irish Oats for their summer voyage throughout Europe and back across the Atlantic to New York on 5 August.

John Noonan of Flahavan's said the porridge oats "should certainly help keep their energy levels up as they complete the rest of their voyage. As we know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether you're on land or sea."

Irish Central has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
This week's edition of Seascapes on RTÉ Radio 1 features accounts of two very different voyages across the Atlantic.
Presenter Marcus Connaughton hears from Pat Hanafin who is currently crossing the pond on board the US Coast Guard clipper Eagle, which as previously reported on Afloat.ie is due to call at Waterford on 27 May.
The show also features news of a group of sailors hoping to retread the route of St Brendan's famous voyage.
A crew of "mariners, poets and musicians" will set sail from Dingle on 16 May - St Brendan's Day - on the 45ft vessel An Seachrán, heading up the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland towards Iceland.
The latest edition of Seascapes is available to listen HERE.

This week's edition of Seascapes on RTÉ Radio 1 features accounts of two very different voyages across the Atlantic.

Presenter Marcus Connaughton hears from Pat Hanafin who is currently crossing the pond on board the US Coast Guard clipper Eagle, which as previously reported on Afloat.ie is due to call at Waterford on 27 May ahead of the Tall Ships Races.

The show also features news of a group of sailors hoping to retread the route of St Brendan's famous voyage.

A crew of "mariners, poets and musicians" will set sail from Dingle on 16 May - St Brendan's Day - on the 45ft vessel An Seachrán, heading up the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland towards Iceland.

The latest edition of Seascapes is available to listen HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

Watch some video of the Eagle in action:

 

Published in Tall Ships
The US Coast Guard has shown concern at the number of distress calls made from yachts that do not include GPS position information to aid rescuers in their location.
Already in the US, all newly installed VHF radios are required to have digital selective calling, which transmits distress calls to search and rescue services with the yacht's MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity), a unique identifier for the yacht that includes its name, home port and owner's name. The new units are also connectable to onboard GPS systems.
But most yacht owners do not connect their radios to GPS, it's argued, and many have not registered their MMSI.
Sail World reports comments from US Coast Guard Rear Admiral RE Day, who said: "Of the roughly 100 digital selective calling distress alerts we are now receiving each month, about nine out of 10 do not have position information."
He added: "There's little the Coast Guard can do after receiving a distress alert with no position information, using an unregistered MMSI and having no follow-up voice communications."
Afloat.ie asks: Are yacht owners in Ireland more safety conscious than their US counterparts? Or do we need to take more care to provide the right info to search and rescue services? Have your say in the comments below or at the Afloat.ie forum!

The US Coast Guard has shown concern at the number of distress calls made from yachts that do not include GPS position information to aid rescuers in their location.

Already in the US, all newly installed VHF radios are required to have digital selective calling, which transmits distress calls to search and rescue services with the yacht's MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity), a unique identifier for the yacht that includes its name, home port and owner's name. The new units are also connectable to onboard GPS systems.

But most yacht owners do not connect their radios to GPS, it's argued, and many have not registered their MMSI.

Sail World reports comments from US Coast Guard Rear Admiral RE Day, who said: "Of the roughly 100 digital selective calling distress alerts we are now receiving each month, about nine out of 10 do not have position information."

He added: "There's little the Coast Guard can do after receiving a distress alert with no position information, using an unregistered MMSI and having no follow-up voice communications."

Afloat.ie asks: Are yacht owners in Ireland more safety conscious than their US counterparts? Or do we need to take more care to provide the right info to search and rescue services? Have your say in the comments below or at the Afloat.ie forum!

Published in Water Safety

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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