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Displaying items by tag: drowning

RTÉ News reports that an 18-year-old man has died by drowning off the island of Arranmore (Árainn Mhór) in Co Donegal after getting into difficulty while swimming.

The incident occurred on Monday afternoon 3 January at the beach at Leabgarrow (An Leadbh Gharbh) shortly before 3pm, according to the Donegal News.

Despite the best efforts of emergency personnel, the casualty was pronounced dead at the scene and the body has been taken to Letterkenny University Hospital pending a post-mortem.

Published in Island News
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In the lead-up to the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Minister of State in the Department of Transport has issued an appeal to anybody engaging in coastal or water-based activity to pay close attention to their personal safety.

Today’s (Tuesday 27 July) water safety appeal by Minister Hildegarde Naughton alongside staff and volunteers of the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI comes in the wake of more than seven water tragedies in seven days.

The latest of these occurred yesterday, Monday 26 July, when a 14-year-old boy recovered from Hollywood Lake in Co Monaghan on Sunday died in Dublin’s Temple Street Children’s Hospital, according to the Irish Mirror.

Also on Sunday 25 July, as The Irish Times reports, a man in his 60s was recovered from the water at Tramore in Co Waterford and was later pronounced dead in hospital.

“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of those we have lost at sea on their heartbreaking and untimely loss,” the minister said. “This loss of lives in as many days provides a stark reminder to us all as to how quickly serious accidents can happen.

“This Bank Holiday weekend we can all make personal decisions which will go a long way towards staying safe in the water, such as ensuring that swimmers are accompanied, not using inflatables and letting friends or family know your planned return time.”

The August Bank Holiday weekend is by tradition the peak holiday period, and with many people holidaying at home this summer it is likely that even greater numbers will avail of coastal and water-based activities.

The Marine Safety Communications group, which is coordinated by the Department of Transport, has identified three key safety areas:

  1. Inflatable toys should never be used on the beach or inland waterways.
  2. Swimmers should always ensure that they are accompanied or that their activity is being monitored by a colleague ashore. Open-water swimmers and.or longer-distance swimmers should wear a high visibility swim cap and use a tow float to ensure that they are visible at all times. Only swim in lifeguarded beaches or on beaches that are in regular use, be alert to local safety warnings and always ensure that somebody is aware of your planned return time.
  3. Users of Jet Skis and personal watercraft are asked to be mindful of swimmers by avoiding swimming areas and by observing local bye laws.

The Irish Coast Guard says it has seen a major growth in demand for assistance this year and to date has coordinated responses to a total of 1,763 incidents, an increase of 400 for the same period last year and 150 more than any year over the last five years.

Minister Naughton reminded anybody engaged in outdoor activities to always check the weather forecast and tide times and local conditions.

In addition to familiarising ourselves with tides we should also be mindful of the risk posed by local currents and in particular rip currents. These most typically form at low spots or breaks in sandbars, and near structures such as jetties, piers and the speeds under certain tide and beach profiles can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the water.

The minister also appealed to coastal walkers to avoid any areas with which they are not familiar and stay away from coastal and cliff edges. It is important to dress appropriately for the conditions, to wear a high-factor sunscreen, carry a fully charged, water-protected mobile phone and to bring enough food and water for the planned trip. (See below for a guide to safe coastal walking.)

Minister Naughton added: “I recently attended a meeting of the Search and Rescue Stakeholders Forum where I saw constructive engagement between the Maritime community, SAR coordinators and SAR providers I want to thank all those at the frontline of Search and Rescue in particular the three Coast Guard Coordination centres at Malin, Valentia and MRCC Dublin, coastguard and RNLI Volunteers, coastguard Helicopter crews and Community Inshore Rescue crews, as well as support provided by Navy and Air Corps resources.”

She concluded by encouraging everybody to attend to their personal safety, stating: “Remember, water will win if we do not observe basic water safety measures.”

Safety Guidelines for Coastal Walking

  • Stay in Contact — Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back, it is always best to be accompanied.
  • Tides — Pay attention to local tidal times and local conditions. Be alert to the danger of getting stranded or cut off. www.Safetyonthewater.gov.ie
  • Weather — Check the weather forecast.
  • Route — Familiarise yourself with your planned route and any associated hazards. Seek local knowledge if you are unsure of the area.
  • Phone — Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting out and carry it in a water proof container.
  • Sunset — To avoid walking in darkness, be aware of the time the sun sets. If you know both this and the expected duration of the walk, you’ll have an optimum start time to set off.
  • Sun Protection — Wear a hat. Wear a high factor sun protection.
  • Safety Signage — Pay attention to any safety signage identifying hazards.
  • Clothing — Dress appropriately and wear suitable walking footwear. Be visible: aim to wear at least one item of bright colour such as red or orange so that you remain visible to the people in your party or rescue services if needs be.
  • Food and Water — Bring enough food and water for your journey and some extra rations in case your excursion goes on for longer than expected.
  • Children — Ensure children are always supervised, keeping small children close to parents or adults during any coastal walking activity.
  • Coastal and Cliff Terrain — Stay away from exposed coastal and cliff edges.
  • Sea Conditions — Do not underestimate the unpredictable nature of sea conditions where swell or wave activity can change dramatically and sweep a person without warning from a rock edge into the sea. Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry.
  • Dogs — Keep dogs under control and do not enter the water to rescue animals. Ring 999/112 for assistance.

For more information on how to stay safe this summer, visit www.gov.ie/summerready

Published in Water Safety
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The number of drowning tragedies around Ireland this week has risen to six after the deaths of a man in his 60s and a teenage boy.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the man was recovered unconscious from the water at Dollymount Strand in north Dublin yesterday afternoon (Friday 23 July).

Despite the vest efforts of lifeguards and off-duty medical personnel, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Elsewhere, a 15-year-old boy rescued after getting into difficulty in Lough Sheelin on Tuesday (20 July) died in hospital on Thursday evening (22 July).

Their deaths bring the toll of drownings this week on the island of Ireland to five, following incidents in counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh and Down, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in News Update

Four people have drowned in separate tragedies around the island of Ireland yesterday, Wednesday 21 July, as the Irish Independent reports.

In Co Cavan, a woman in her late 20s died after entering the water at Loch Gowna to rescue her nine-year-old son who had got into difficulties.

Separately in Co Leitrim, the body of a man in his 70s was recovered from Spencer Harbour in Drumkeeran after he failed to return from snorkelling.

And a 55-year-old man died after entering the water in the Lough Melvin area in Co Fermanagh, just days after another Northern Ireland tragedy that took the life of a 13-year-old boy in a lake near Scarva in Co Down.

The Irish Independent has more HERE.

Published in News Update
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#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety, the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather.

On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight — and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water-based activities.

The joint appeal includes the following water safety advice to avoid summer tragedy:

  • Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Never swim alone.
  • Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap. This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
  • Supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys in open water. The recent multiple rescue off Fethard is testament to the dangers of using inflatables where a sudden current can put lives under threat.
  • Swim at lifeguarded waterways listed by Irish Water Safety, or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ring buoys present to conduct a safe rescue.

 If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:

  • Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
  • Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
  • Throw a ring buoy or any floating object, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Waterways Ireland is also running a campaign with Irish Water Safety to encourage the wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices on the Shannon Navigation during the 2018 summer boating season.

The awareness campaign will aim to emphasise the importance of wearing lifejackets at key focal points along the Shannon.

You may notice some new signage which will be erected at key locations – locks and marinas — encouraging water safety. Information leaflets will also be distributed to water users at these key locations on the water.

Waterways Ireland encourages the safe use of its waterways by all. The wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices is not only an effective way of enhancing water safety, it is also a legal requirement on all pleasure craft in Ireland.

Published in Water Safety
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#LoughErne - BelfastLive reports that a man has been charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in Lough Erne earlier this year.

Lu Na McKinney was recovered from the water by emergency services in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 35-year-old mother of two from Donegal was believed to have slipped from the deck of a boat while checking it was tied to the jetty.

Yesterday a PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a 41-year-old man had been charged with her murder and was due before Omagh Magistrates’ Court this morning (Tuesday 5 December).

The man is also charged with possession of a Class C controlled drug, a classification which includes a number of tranquilisers.

Published in News Update

#Shannon - Tributes have been paid to a Longford teen who drowned at a marina on the River Shannon yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 18 July), as RTÉ News reports.

Damola Adetosoye, 17, was among a group of 20 teenagers who were swimming at a marina near Termonbarry when he got into difficulty.

The tragedy comes less than a month after Irish Water Safety (IWS) issued its annual summer advisory to the public for National Water Safety Awareness Week (19-25 June).

IWS noted that the majority of drownings — some 62% — occur inland in Ireland’s lakes and rivers, while 80% happen within the victim’s home county.

“Such statistics reinforce the importance of learning how to stay safe in, on and around water,” said the water safety body.

Published in News Update
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#LoughErne - A Donegal woman drowned after a boating accident on Lough Erne late on Wednesday night, as RTÉ News reports.

The woman is believed to have fallen overboard from a hired vessel she and her husband and children has been using for the Easter holidays.

It’s thought the 35-year-old slipped from the deck while checking the boat was tied to the jetty at Devenish Island, near Enniskillen, in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

The Belfast Telegraph adds that the woman’s husband dived into the lough to attempt a rescue after hearing a splash but could not find her in the dark.

Her body was recovered by emergency services 40 minutes later just metres from the stern of the boat. CPR was attempted at dockside but she was later died in hospital.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Drowning - A post-mortem was expected today (Monday 11 July) on the body of a woman who drowned off the Co Clare coast yesterday morning.

RTÉ News reports that the 53-year-old woman from Eastern Europe but living in Co Tipperary was with a fishing group at Ballyreen when a wave swept her into the sea.

She was recovered some time later around 1km from the spot where she was washed in.

Despite best efforts by volunteers and Irish Coast Guard crew to save her, she was pronounced dead after she was flown to University Hospital Galway.

Published in News Update
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#Galway - BreakingNews.ie reports that two people are dead after separate drowning incidents in Galway city yesterday afternoon (Saturday 11 June).

North of the city, the body of a 19-year-old man was recovered from the River Corrib near NUI Galway around 2pm.

At the same time, the body of a woman thought to be in her 40s or 50s was discovered in Galway Docks. BreakingNews.ie has more HERE.

Published in News Update
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

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

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Afloat 2020

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