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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Clogherhead

The volunteer crew from Clogherhead RNLI in Mid Louth were called to rescue a lone fisherman and his boat in calm conditions as the sun went down on Saturday evening (10 September).

The fisherman himself had requested help from the Irish Coast Guard who tasked Clogherhead RNLI to come to his aid as his fishing boat was drifting after the propellor became tangled in some lobster pots.

The all-weather Shannon class lifeboat launched under coxswain Gerard Sharkey at 7.11pm and headed to the fishing boat’s confirmed position two miles north of Dunany Point.

The lifeboat reached the drifting vessel at 7.40pm and the crew found the fisherman to be fine himself but anxious because the boat had continued drifting.

The crew assessed the situation before a decision was made to attach a tow rope to the drifting vessel and make the journey back to the nearest safe port at Clogherhead Harbour. The lifeboat, with fishing boat and the fisherman in tow, arrived safely at 9.30pm.

Speaking after the callout, Sharkey said: “The RNLI always advises anyone who needs help at sea to call 999 and ask for the coastguard which is what this fisherman did. Happily, we reached him before anything happened and we had a positive outcome for the fisherman and his boat.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteers at Skerries RNLI raced into action on Friday afternoon (10 June) around 1pm following a 999 call reporting two children being blown out to sea on an inflatable from Bettystown beach.

The crew encountered heavy squalls heading north to the location in their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, and with the increased risk to the casualties they requested that Clogherhead RNLI in Co Louth assist in the search.

As the team from Clogherhead were making their way south in their all-weather lifeboat, Skerries RNLI located the casualty vessel — which turned out to be a yellow kayak containing personal belongings but no one on board or in the water nearby.

Dublin Coast Guard issued a Mayday before tasking the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 as well as the Drogheda Coast Guard land unit.

The lifeboat from Skerries immediately began a search pattern in the area, while Clogherhead RNLI commenced a parallel search of the shore from the mouth of the Boyne heading south.

Shortly after the search patterns had begun, Rescue 116 requested Clogherhead RNLI to divert from their course to investigate an object in the water near Gormanstown beach.

However, as they were making their way to the coordinates given, Dublin Coast Guard reported that the owners of the kayak had made contact and confirmed that they were ashore in Bettystown and were safe and well.

The Mayday was cancelled and all units were stood down and returned to their respective bases.

Conditions at the time has a Force 4-5 westerly wind with slight swells and good visibility. There were occasional strong squalls with winds increasing to Force 6 and visibility reduced to poor.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “There were two black back supports in the kayak so it’s very easy to see how the person who dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard genuinely believed that someone was in difficulty.

“Thankfully in this case it was a false alarm, but they did exactly what we want people to do when they see someone in trouble.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI crews from Kilkeel in Co Down and Clogherhead in Co Louth launched to the aid of seven people and a dog last week after their 80ft tall ship ran aground in Carlingford Lough.

The lifeboat volunteers launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats at 3.30pm on last Tuesday 24 May following a report that a vessel had run aground on a falling tide earlier in the day close to Narrow Water Castle while on passage from Newry to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland’s North Antrim coast.

Greenore Coast Guard and Kilkeel Coastguard were also tasked. But with no one in immediate danger, a decision was made to hold off on launching the lifeboats to assist until the tide came up.

With the rising tide, the ship began to take on water quickly so upon arrival, lifeboat crew transferred on board with two salvage pumps to take the ingress out.

The seven crew of the tall ship and the dog were transferred onto their smaller inflatable tender which was safely escorted to Warrenpoint Harbour by Clogherhead RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat.

Meanwhile, two more pumps were put aboard the vessel and after two-and-a-half hours the ship became level with the sea again. Subsequently the tall ship was towed into the channel where it was able to continue under its own steam to the nearest safe port at Warrenpoint Harbour escorted by both lifeboats.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel RNLI helm Gary Young said: “Thankfully, no one was in any immediate danger, but the ship’s crew safely moved to their tender once the vessel began to take on a lot of water as the tide rose.

“There was great teamwork between ourselves and our colleagues from Clogherhead RNLI and Greenore Coast Guard. We had to work quickly to get the salvage pumps on and to remove the ingress of water which we were delighted to see working in order to save the vessel.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The lifeboat crew at Clogherhead RNLI rescued a lone kayaker over the weekend (Saturday 6 March) after they capsized near the local headland and were unable to get back on their craft due to the sea conditions. A local fishing vessel stood-by as the lifeboat crew made their way to the scene.

The Coast Guard requested the Louth based lifeboat to launch at 1.45 pm and directed them a short distance from the lifeboat station to the local headland, where a lone kayaker had capsized and was struggling to get back on their kayak, due to sea conditions. A local fishing vessel was nearby keeping watch until help arrived, unable to offer assistance as the casualty was dangerously close to the rocks.

On arrival at the scene, the All-Weather lifeboat was manoeuvred into position by the Coxswain and the kayaker was rescued from the water. Conditions were a little challenging with an onshore wind, blowing a force four to five. After taking him onboard, the lifeboat crew brought the kayaker to shore at Port Oriel harbour where they were met by Clogherhead Coast Guard shore-based unit and paramedics.

Commenting on the callout Clogherhead RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Jim Kirk said, ‘Thankfully this was a successful callout that ended well. The kayaker was wearing a lifejacket and had all the correct equipment. With the fishing vessel crew keeping a close eye on him and his short distance from the lifeboat station, the crew were able to reach him quickly and bring him safely ashore. The nearby rocks presented a challenge in reaching him safely but the lifeboat crew train for all types of rescues.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It is the end of an era at Clogherhead RNLI as long-serving lifeboat crewmember and station mechanic, Padraig Rath, affectionally known as ‘Pops’ has handed in his pager and officially retired from saving lives at sea this week. After four decades with the lifeboat charity, Pops took part in his last exercise on the lifeboat, which was witnessed by a large turnout made up of lifeboat crew personnel and fundraisers past and present, neighbouring lifeboat crew members along with family, friends, and supporters. It was a fitting send-off for the much-loved lifeboat mechanic who has been a constant and dedicated presence at Clogherhead lifeboat station for many years.

Born into a fishing family, Pops first went to sea as a young student in the summer of 1972. Losing his father at a young age, Pops went into fishing full time on completing his Leaving Cert before joining the Clogherhead lifeboat crew in 1982. He took on the role of Second Mechanic at the lifeboat station in 1991, becoming the Station Mechanic and Deputy 2nd Coxswain in 2000, on the retirement of Paddy Levins. With a young family to rear, Pops relished the role which would keep him in the community and doing what he loved. He was responsible for looking after the engines on the station’s Mersey class lifeboat Doris Bleasdale, making sure the lifeboat was ready to go to sea, night, or day and in any weather.

Last one - Pops (centre) on his last exercise with Clogherhead RNLI Photo:  Thomas CaffreyLast one - Pops (centre) on his last exercise with Clogherhead RNLI Photo: Thomas Caffrey

His years as lifeboat crew have seen many changes and, in his time, the station has had three classes of lifeboats. When he joined the Oakley class was on station, which was followed by the Mersey class, before the latest Shannon class arrived in 2019. The Oakley lifeboat did 8 knots, the Mersey’s speed increased to 16 knots, while the Shannon reaches speeds of 25 knots. Each lifeboat bringing big changes and demands.

Pops has been on many callouts during his time on the lifeboat but the callout that stands out is the one he didn’t make. On holidays with his family in 1999, he rang home for the result of a local match when his mother told him about the Dunany tragedy, where four people drowned and four were rescued, when the boat they were in capsized. It was an enormous tragedy for the community. There was also a callout in 2011, where a group of primary school children who went kayaking, capsized, and ended up in the freezing water, not far from the lifeboat station. The large group were rescued by the lifeboat crew and taken to hospital, after being spotted in the water by the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager. One of the parents keeps in touch to this day.

Pops has no plans to leave the RNLI behind. He is the station’s GAA Ambassador, a volunteer role for the partnership between the charity and the GAA, which sees the RNLI talking to clubs and supporters locally about water safety. He is also a passionate fundraiser for the lifeboat. While he will now relish the time he can spend with family and the extended breaks he can take time away from the station now that he is not on call.

Commenting on his retirement Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Declan Levins said, ‘I don’t think there are enough words to do justice to Pop’s legacy. The respect and affection the lifeboat crew and fundraisers have for him is clear and he has been the heart of this station for many years. He is so passionate about lifeboating and his enthusiasm for it was infectious. We are indebted to him for all his service, and I’m delighted he is staying involved with fundraising and the GAA/RNLI water safety work.’

Reflecting on his retirement Pops said, ‘I’ve had an amazing time being part of this incredible lifeboat crew and remarkable station. With each new class of lifeboat came new challenges. We were doing twice the speed and I was thinking twice as fast, but I loved it. It was a huge responsibility to make sure that the lifeboat would always bring the crew out to sea and always bring them and all casualties home safe. I’m proud of that. I’ll miss being out on the water but I’m leaving it in the very best of hands. I wish the very best of luck to the Crews, all involved with the station, their families and my successor Barry Sharkey and his family. May they always be safe when answering the “call” and return safely to their families.’

‘The Clogherhead lifeboat doesn’t belong to any one person, it’s the community’s lifeboat. They own it and every time we launch, we do it because they support us, and I hope they are proud of what we do.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lifeboat crew with Clogherhead RNLI had an early morning call out today (Wednesday 2 March) when they were requested to launch by Dublin Coast Guard to a 16m fishing vessel with five people onboard, that had suffered machinery issues a mile and half from Clogherhead.

Conditions were good with a force five to six onshore breeze. The volunteer crew launched the lifeboat at approximately 6.30 am and were quickly on scene. After making an assessment on the safest course of action, they took the vessel under tow and brought it to the nearest safe port at Port Oriel. They were back at the lifeboat station in under an hour, having brought the vessel to safety.

Commenting on the call out, Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Declan Levins said, ‘this was an early shout for the lifeboat crew and I’m grateful to them for getting the lifeboat launched so quickly to help the fishing crew. Thankfully conditions were not too bad out there but with the fishing vessel losing power, we needed to get them back to the safety of the shore as soon as possible.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A busy mother of two young children is among five new volunteers who will be carrying pagers and on call for the first time this Christmas at Sligo Bay RNLI.

As the charity continues its Christmas Appeal, Rachel Wirtz is preparing to swap turkey and pudding and run to the lifeboat station should her pager go off.

She is urging people across Sligo to help her crew, and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

Rachel joined the crew over a year ago but due to the pandemic and restrictions, she couldn’t work on completing her assessments face-to-face until this year. While she has been involved in callouts as shore crew, she hasn’t yet made a lifeboat callout to sea.

“The standard and extent of the training has been excellent, and I am learning terrific new skills,” says the mum-of-three who lives in Rosses Point. “There was a rush of adrenaline and excitement rather than apprehension for my first call out. I am excited about being able to contribute and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.”

Among the other new lifeboat crew members at Sligo Bay RNLI are Reece Meldrum and Aisling Murphy, while Noah Canham and Caroline Collery have joined the shore crew. Yvette Carter, meanwhile, will be spending her first Christmas as a lifeboat helm.

Like Rachel, each RNLI crew member signs up to save every one from drowning — it has been the charity’s mission since 1824.

Rachel adds: “This is my first Christmas on call, and I know even over the festive period, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water. At this time of year, the weather can be at its worst and lives can be on the line.

“We know that every time our crews go out, they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case. We hope that this year’s Christmas appeal will show people just how tough it can be, but also that with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.”

The four men taking on new roles with Clogherhead RNLI this ChristmasThe four men taking on new roles with Clogherhead RNLI this Christmas

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Clogherhead RNLI have appointed four people to new lifesaving roles as this Christmas the station stands ready to launch at a moment’s notice to save lives at sea.

Sean Flanagan, a pilot boat coxswain at Dublin Port, and Denis Levins, an officer with P&O Ferries, have been passed out as lifeboat coxswains, while Raymond Butterly has joined the station to become shore crew for launching the station’s impressive Shannon class lifeboat.

Barry Sharkey has also been appointed as the new full-time mechanic for the station, taking over from the retiring Padraig Rath.

The four men helped the charity launch its Christmas appeal at the Co Louth-based lifeboat station and are calling on the public to support the RNLI’s lifesaving work this Christmas, as they remain on call and ready to launch.

“We know that every time our crews go out, they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case,” says Barry, who comes from a well-known local fishing family. “Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifeboat crews from Skerries and Clogherhead launched yesterday (Monday 25 May) to retrieve a number of adults and children who had become stranded on rocks near Mornington Beach, east of Drogheda.

The lifeboats were launched shortly before 3pm after Dublin Coast Guard received emergency calls about the group’s welfare.

Also tasked were the Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116, the Drogheda Coast Guard boat, and a coastguard land unit, with all arriving on scene within minutes.

Two women, a man and three children were located on the breakwater on the Mornington side of the River Boyne. It’s understood that the women and children had managed to climb up onto the rocks after they were pulled out to sea by a strong current, and the man had come to their assistance.

Working together, Skerries RNLI and Drogheda Coast Guard used their inshore boats to transfer the woman and one of the children to Clogherhead’s all-weather lifeboat for a possible transfer to the helicopter.

However, after consultation with the woman and Rescue 116, it was decided to bring them to a waiting ambulance on Mornington pier to be assessed and treated for their injuries.

The two inshore boats then recovered the remaining casualties from the rocks and brought them to be checked out by ambulance paramedics.

Subsequently the lifeboat crew were informed that another child had also been in the water and had suffered cuts and bruises.

However, they had made it back to shore with assistance from one of the adults. That child was picked up from the beach with another adult and brought for assessment by the ambulance crews.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning, said: “Any incident involving multiple casualties has the potential to be serious.

“This was another great example of how well our volunteers work alongside our colleagues from our flank stations, from the coastguard and indeed all the emergency services.

“We hope all the casualties involved make a full and speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Mirror reports that two people were rescued from a beach in Co Louth on Saturday afternoon (23 May) after getting into difficulty in the water.

Clogherhead RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard were tasked to the scene at Priests’ Beach in Blackrock, south of Dundalk,

And it’s understood the two individuals, who were surfers, were airlifted to hospital in Drogheda for treatment by the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 116.

Published in Rescue

Clogherhead locals are set to welcome the latest RNLI lifeboat in Ireland to the Co Louth town this Sunday 2 June.

The Shannon class lifeboat Michael O’Brien lifeboat is due to arrive in Clogherhead at exactly 13.31 which is also its operation number.

This lifeboat is unique in the RNLI’s fleet as it has been funded by an Irish legacy, named after an Irish lifeboat volunteer, designed by an Irish engineer and is of the first class to be called after an Irish river.

Its arrival also marks the start of a new chapter in the story of search and rescue in the North East.

A significant proportion of Clogherhead lifeboat’s funding (apart from local fundraising appeals) has been provided through a generous legacy by a Wexford farmer, Mr Henry Tomkins, who was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI.

Henry stipulated that a lifeboat be named for his longtime friend, former Arklow RNLI coxswain Michael O’Brien.

The arrival of the station’s new Shannon lifeboat will take place in front of the beach beside the lifeboat station in full view of the public.

'It is the most technologically advanced lifeboat in the fleet, and it will proudly serve the east coast for many years to come'

It will also be the first time in Ireland that the RNLI will use a SLARS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System) to launch and recover a lifeboat in Ireland.

The SLARS acts as a mobile slipway for the lifeboat, which can be driven directly onto the beach for recovery. It has a unique turntable cradle, which can rotate the lifeboat 180 degrees, ready to be launched again within 10 minutes.

Clogherhead RNLI coxswain Tomás Whelahan said: “We want the people of Clogherhead and the surrounding areas to come to welcome the new lifeboat home.

“The station has been preparing for this day for a long time and there is huge excitement for it. The past few weeks and months have been spent in preparation and training by all the crew and shore crew, to receive this incredible piece of kit from the RNLI.

“It is the most technologically advanced lifeboat in the fleet, and it will proudly serve the east coast for many years to come.

“We are incredibly honoured to receive it and we are grateful to our donor Henry Tomkins and to the local communities, who by their generosity, have made this day possible. We hope to bring many loved ones safely home in this new lifeboat.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

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