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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Baltimore

Baltimore RNLI were called out twice within 12 hours today (Saturday 4 September), firstly to provide assistance to two people when their vessel went aground, and secondly to provide assistance to a sailing boat that had capsized.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 6.16 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 50 foot converted trawler, with two people on board, which had run aground in the Ilen River, near Old Court in West Cork.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 6.45 am and Coxswain Aidan Bushe immediately assessed the situation. There was no obvious damage done to the trawler and given the fact the tide was falling and she was hard aground, the decision was made not to attempt to refloat her. Baltimore Lifeboat volunteer crew members launched their y-boat and crew members Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley made their way over to the casualty vessel and took two people off the vessel and brought them back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew then retrieved the y-boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, dropping the two people at the pier before returning to Baltimore lifeboat station at 8.07 am.

At high tide this afternoon the skipper of the casualty vessel managed to refloat the vessel without any further assistance from Baltimore RNLI.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat this morning, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Don O’Donovan, Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley. Conditions during the call were calm with a north easterly force 2-3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the Y boat  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the casualty dinghy  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

The volunteer lifeboat crew were also called to launch their all-weather lifeboat at approximately 4.18 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the immediate assistance of an 18ft sailing sloop, with three people on board, which was sinking in Baltimore Harbour.

When Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 4.24 pm the three people on board had been taken off by the Baltimore Sailing Club crash boat, and the vessel was full of water. The volunteer lifeboat crew immediately readied their onboard salvage pump and proceeded to pump the vessel dry. A local rib that was also in the vicinity at the time assisted in stabilising the casualty vessel whilst it was being pumped out. Once all the water was pumped out the assisting rib towed the casualty vessel back to its mooring within the harbour. Baltimore lifeboat then returned to station arriving at 4.54 pm.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during the second callout, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Jim Griffiths and Conor Harrington. Conditions within the harbour during the second call were calm with an easterly force 4 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI was launched earlier this evening (Thursday 5 August) following the activation of an alarm from a personal locator beacon within Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.54 pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to help locate an active Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) which was going off within the anchorage area of Baltimore Harbour.

Baltimore inshore lifeboat proceeded to the area using their onboard direction-finding equipment to locate where the beacon was going off. The equipment brought them to a yacht at anchor with people onboard.

Unbeknownst to the crew aboard the yacht, the PLB was active in one of their life jackets. Once the PLB was deactivated the lifeboat received confirmation from the Irish Coast Guard that they could return to the station.

They proceeded to Baltimore lifeboat station, arriving at 7.11 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Kieran O’Driscoll, Kieran Collins and Ryan O’Mahony. Assisting at the boathouse were Jerry Smith and Seamus O’Driscoll. Conditions within the harbour during the call were calm with a westerly force 5 wind and 0.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Thankfully the activation of the alarm today was not due to someone in danger, but this call does highlight how important a PLB is and how well the equipment onboard the lifeboat can accurately locate one that is activated. If you get into difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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Baltimore RNLI launched on back-to-back callouts in West Cork on Sunday evening (25 July), including a medevac and a motorboat taking on water.

The first launch was at 8.15pm to reports of a 23ft motorboat taking on water at Church Strand within Baltimore Harbour.

Arriving on scene just two minutes later, the all-weather lifeboat volunteers put crewman John Kearney was put aboard the casualty vessel to assess the situation.

The leak was plugged using a wooden dowel plug from the lifeboat, and the casualty vessel was able to make it own way to the pier in Baltimore under escort from the inshore lifeboat.

While the volunteer inshore lifeboat crew were still in the boathouse after that callout, a second request came from the Irish Coast Guard for a medevac from Cape Clear Island.

The all-weather lifeboat crew launched at 9.15pm and proceeded to Cape Clear’s North Harbour 25 minutes later to retrieve the patient, a girl who had been injured in an accident on the island.

Upon return to the station at 10.15pm, the lifeboat volunteers handed the girl over to the care of the waiting HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions at sea during both calls were flat calm with a south-westerly Force 2 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the callouts, press officer Kate Callanan said: “It was a busy evening for Baltimore RNLI and our volunteer crews with our inshore and all-weather lifeboats on back-to-back calls. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer crew were called out to reports of a boat on fire off Sherkin Island in West Cork yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July).

Under coxswain Aidan Bushe, the all-weather lifeboat launched at 3.34pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to attend the blaze on RIB in Horseshoe Harbour.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene five minutes later and found that the occupants of the RIB had already been removed to another vessel and all were safe.

Volunteers used their onboard fire hose on the burning vessel but unfortunately the RIB was beyond recovery and it sank a short time later.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI’s press officer Kate Callanan said: “There were a number of vessels in the immediate vicinity at the time this fire broke out and Baltimore RNLI would like to thank those who assisted in bringing the occupants of the RIB to safety.”

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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide assistance to three people on a yacht in difficulty just before midnight last night (Tuesday 29 June) off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11.32 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard in order to assess the situation of a 38-foot yacht, with three people on board, which had suffered engine failure 17.5 miles off Baltimore Harbour.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 00.31 am and Coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation and decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.

Volunteer crew members from the lifeboat passed a tow to the yacht and the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway by 00.46 am. The lifeboat then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, arriving at 3.31 am. Once the casualty vessel was secured at the pier in Baltimore Harbour, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 3.39 am.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Brendan Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Kieran Collins, Don O’Donovan and Brian McSweeney. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a northerly force 2 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation yesterday afternoon from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew, under Coxswain Aidan Bushe, launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.46 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation for a woman who was visiting the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 4.53 pm and transferred the casualty onboard the lifeboat. One of the trained volunteer lifeboat crew members administered casualty care and the lifeboat departed Sherkin Island at 4.57 pm. The lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore arriving at 5.07 pm and the casualty was handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew at 5.25 pm.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Jerry Smith, David Ryan, Simon Duggan, Jim Baker and Colin Whooley. Conditions at sea during the call out were calm with a south-westerly force 4-5 wind and no sea swell.

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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation in the early hours of this morning (Monday 3 May) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 00.28 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man living on the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 00.39 am. Three voluntary lifeboat crew members proceeded to the casualty’s location where they administered casualty care and then transferred him by stretcher back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Sherkin at 01.19 am and handed the casualty over to the HSE paramedics who were waiting at Baltimore lifeboat station.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Brian McSweeney, Jerry Smith and Don O’Donovan. Conditions in the harbour during the call out were calm with a south-westerly force 2-3 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork.

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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty in Baltimore harbour, West Cork this afternoon (Monday 3 May) in a second callout of the day.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 12.05 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide assistance to a yacht with two people on board that was in difficulty in strong wind and rough seas in Baltimore harbour.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 12.09 pm and discovered it had broken free from a mooring and was caught by its rudder on a line in the harbour. Voluntary lifeboat crew member David Ryan went aboard the casualty vessel to establish a tow. The Baltimore inshore lifeboat towed the vessel through rough conditions in the harbour and put the boat on a mooring in the shelter of Sherkin Island. An anchor was also dropped from the yacht for added security. The occupants of the yacht were then brought back to Baltimore, and the lifeboat returned to station, arriving at 12.43 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat O’Driscoll, David Ryan and Ian Lynch. Also assisting at the boathouse were Jerry and Rianne Smith. Conditions in the harbour during the call were very windy with a south-westerly force 7-8 wind and 1.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The crew of the yacht did the right thing in alerting the Irish Coast Guard as soon as they knew they were in trouble as it could have escalated very quickly in the poor weather conditions in the harbour at the time.

This is the second call of the day for Baltimore RNLI who were called out to a Medevac on Sherkin Island in the early hours of this morning. 

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The retirement of Kieran Cotter, after 45 years of distinguished service with the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat, puts the focus on a remarkable individual who combines a busy life afloat with solid community and commercial activity ashore in playing a key role towards the building of Baltimore's prosperity and vitality.

His lifeboat service, as revealed here is probably unrivalled in its variety, and it's no exaggeration to say that he is one of Ireland's best-known lifeboatmen.

His contribution has been augmented by his keen awareness of the lifeboat's larger role in every aspect of an enthusiastic maritime community like Baltimore, and it was during his time as cox'n that the Baltimore Lifeboat sent forth a racing crew which sailed to second place overall in the Inter-services Racing for the Beaufort Cup in Cork Week at Crosshaven.

Published in Sailor of the Month

Yesterday, Wednesday 30 December 2020, marked the end of an era for the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat with the retirement of Coxswain Kieran Cotter after 45 years of service.

At age 17, Kieran first became interested in Baltimore Lifeboat and he officially joined the crew on 1st January 1975. In the early years as a crew member Kieran was involved in the dramatic rescue of the 1979 Fastnet Race. Baltimore Lifeboat was the first lifeboat launched and spent the longest time at sea during the tragedy. At the time it was the biggest rescue operation since World War 2. Kieran and his brother Liam were also involved in the rescue of Charles J. Haughey in 1985.

Socially distanced and by a fishing rod, Kieran Cotter hands over the lifeboat keys to Baltimore RNLI’s new Coxswain Aidan Bushe Photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Socially distanced and by a fishing rod, Kieran Cotter hands over the lifeboat keys to Baltimore RNLI’s new Coxswain Aidan Bushe Photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Kieran held the position of second Coxswain for a number of years before becoming Coxswain following the retirement of Christy Collins in 1989. During his 45 years at the station Kieran has received multiple awards for his roles in many rescues. Most notably, in 1991 Kieran was awarded the Bronze Medal for gallantry and the Maud Smith award for the bravest act of life saving that year following the 26-hour rescue of the fishing vessel the Japonica and her 15 crew, who referred to Baltimore lifeboat and her crew as “The Mad Men in the small boat” and the rescue of the yacht Atlantis Adventure and her five crew. Coxswain Cotter and his crew also received recognition from the Swiss Embassy in 2008 for the outstanding bravery and commitment shown during the rescue of Swiss nationals in hazardous conditions and from the United States Congress for the rescue of the crew of Rambler during the 2011 Fastnet Yacht Race.

Kieran has seen many changes during his time at the station including the arrival of four different classes of all-weather lifeboats and the reconstruction of the lifeboat station and pen at Bull Point to accommodate the current Tamar Class all-weather lifeboat the Alan Massey and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat the Rita Daphne Smyth. In September 2019 Kieran accepted the 100th Anniversary Vellum on behalf of the crew, management and fundraising team at Baltimore station.

Long-serving Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Kieran Cotter and Crewmember Ronnie Carthy on their last call out in October 2020 – photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Long-serving Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Kieran Cotter and Crewmember Ronnie Carthy on their last call out in October 2020 Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Owen Medland, RNLI’s Lifesaving Lead Ireland, paid testimony to Kieran’s service. “It is true to say that the RNLI is built upon its people and in Kieran the team in Baltimore have had firm foundations. One of the longest serving Coxswains in the country entrusted with the safety of Baltimore’s lifeboats and crews since the late 80’s having joined as crew in 1975 Kieran has a remarkable record of lifesaving service and community commitment. As with every volunteer this service would not have been possible without the support of family and we are equally grateful for this support which has enabled Kieran to serve his community so well. We wish Kieran every health and happiness in his next chapter and he leaves the RNLI in Baltimore in good hands to continue their lifesaving work on the challenging coast of west Cork. Kieran has left a legacy of lives saved from the sea and witnessed the evolution of the RNLI’s service provision in the area over 5 decades for which he should be justifiably proud - thank you Kieran Cotter.”

Declan Tiernan, Chairperson of Baltimore Lifeboat, paid tribute to Kieran saying “Natural leadership is a rare gift which Kieran Cotter has in abundance. It is the ability to instill confidence and trust in the people around you, calmly dealing with new and unforeseen circumstances without raising your voice. The ability to assess a situation, come up with a plan that your crew will execute because they have the utmost confidence in their leader.

“Kieran is also a wonderful communicator; in dangerous situations, he can put people at ease, at other times journalists will want to go to Kieran for the most accurate report.

Napoleon Bonaparte famously said that he’d rather have lucky generals than good ones. Well, Kieran Cotter is not only a good leader but also brings luck with him.

“Kieran Cotter gave forty-five years of service to the Baltimore Lifeboat and when you think that in 2019 we celebrated the centenary of the first lifeboat arriving in Baltimore it really puts Kieran’s service into perspective.”

Tom Bushe, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, added “I first worked with Kieran when I stared as crew in the 1980s. Over the years his dedication and commitment to the Baltimore RNLI has been exceptional and his advice to me in my role has been invaluable. Fortunately, Kieran’s vast array of knowledge and experience will not be lost to Baltimore RNLI as he is going to continue to be involved by becoming a Deputy Launching Authority. I must also mention Ronnie Carthy, another long serving crew member who also retires this week. Ronnie was also an outstanding crewmember of the lifeboat for almost 30 years.”

Kieran is leaving the Alan Massey and her crew in good hands, with second Coxswain Aidan Bushe now taking over the role as station Coxswain. In these times of social distancing Baltimore Lifeboat Station are sadly unable to give Kieran the send off he deserves, but we look forward to celebrating with him sometime in the future.

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020