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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Wicklow

Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat Johanna and Henry Williams under the command of Alan Goucher on his first ‘Shout’ as Coxswain, towed an eight-metre motor cruiser with three people on board to safety this afternoon (Sunday, 23 January) after the vessel developed mechanical problems.

The volunteer crew were paged just before 3 pm after the Coast Guard received a call from the owner of the motor cruiser, to say their vessel had suffered mechanical failure and they were drifting north of Brittas Bay.

Wicklow lifeboat slipped its moorings at the South quay shortly after 3 pm and proceeded south to the vessel's last reported position.

The lifeboat was alongside the motor cruiser at 3:30 pm about four miles off Jack’s Hole near Brittas Bay. Conditions on scene were wind south-easterly force three with good visibility. Coxswain Goucher carried out a risk assessment and a towline was quickly established with the motor cruiser.

Coxswain Alan GoucherCoxswain Alan Goucher

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Goucher said: ‘For the first hour the tow was slow due to the tide and swell, but as we got closer to Wicklow head, conditions improved, and we were able to increase the speed.’

The motor cruiser and its three occupants were landed safely ashore at the East pier as darkness fell shortly before 5:30 pm this evening.

Alan Goucher joined Wicklow RNLI in 2011 and was appointed a Coxswain in April 2021 after completing rigorous training. Today was his first callout as Coxswain on the all-weather lifeboat, we are all very proud of his commitment to saving lives at sea.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Alan Goucher, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Lisa O’ Leary, Dean Mulvihill, John Stapleton and Stephen Kenny.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI Inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 10:30 am this morning (Sunday 16 January) after a concerned member of the public contacted the Coast Guard to report a lone kayaker in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour.

The Inshore lifeboat crew proceeded south towards Wicklow Head and began an immediate search of the area. Weather conditions at the scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force four with good visibility.

At 10:55 am the crew located a kayaker about two miles off the Silver Strand beach. He was not in any difficulty and required no further assistance.

"A lone kayaker was in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour"

Speaking after his first callout as a Helm, Paul Sillery said: ‘We were alongside the kayaker just before 11 am and carried out a quick assessment. The kayak was well kitted out with safety equipment including a marine VHF radio. The man said he was on a training exercise and did not require any assistance, so we contacted the Coast Guard to say he was ok and wished to continue his passage south.’

Paul SilleryPaul Sillery

The lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to the station.

While the kayaker was well equipped for the journey today. It is essential to carry a communications device, such as a VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a mobile phone every time you go out on the water. Carry it on your person and in a waterproof pouch on a lanyard, so you can’t drop it if your hands get cold. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

The crew on the callout were: Helm Paul Sillery, Alan Goucher, Peter Byrne, and Stephen Kenny.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A busy mother of one is among five new volunteer crew members who will be on call for the first time this Christmas at Lough Derg RNLI.

Polish native Ania Skrzypczynska is preparing to swap traditional festivities for the cold waters of the December lake, should the call for help come in.

And as the RNLI continues its Christmas Appeal, Ania is urging the public to help her crew, and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

Ania says she joined the RNLI “because I wanted to become part of the community after moving to Dromineer. After the first few training sessions on the lifeboat, I had got to meet really nice, friendly people and found it to be a great experience.

“Then after passing my first assessment and being allowed to go on the lifeboat, it was like the beginning of an adventure for me.

“Being a mum of a small and very busy boy, I am restricted with the amount of time I have to spare between my full-time job and family life. However, I know that in the future I will be able to get more involved in the life of the station.

“I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified crew member. I like new challenges and I want to channel it towards learning how to help others. And by living so close to Lough Derg, I want to learn more about the lake, its beauty and, its dangers.”

Among the other new crew members at Lough Derg RNLI are Richard Nolan, Ciara Lynch, Eimear Kelly and Ciara Moylan.

For Richard, his knowledge from youth of the work the RNLI did on the lake was a major influence in his decision to join the crew, but he also found that having lived away from home in London for almost 10 years, it was a good opportunity to reintegrate into his community.

Richard says: ‘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.”

From left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLIFrom left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLI

Elsewhere, Wicklow RNLI have passed out three volunteer lifeboat crew into new lifesaving roles at the station.

Graham Fitzgerald is a new station coxswain, Paul Sillery is a new helm on the station’s inshore lifeboat and John Stapleton is a new mechanic on the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat.

Graham has been a volunteer lifeboat crewmember since 2009, becoming a helm on the inshore lifeboat back in 2013. He has a strong family connection to the station, with his grandfather Billy Kilbride a former lifeboat volunteer.

From a strong seafaring background and working in Dublin Port, the sea is in his veins, and he was involved in the rescue of two children who were blown out to sea on an inflatable earlier this year.

“I like the challenge of going out on a rescue and not knowing what we may face; I’ve been on a few challenging ones and it’s so rewarding to bring people home safe, something that sadly not every family have experienced,” he says.

“As a helm and now a coxswain, I feel a huge responsibility to the crew and the station, thanks to the support of the public we have the kit and the equipment to ensure we can save lives at sea whenever and wherever we are needed.”

Paul Sillery joined the lifeboat crew back in 2009 and has recently passed out as a helm on the station’s D class lifeboat. Like Graham, Paul has a strong lifeboating tradition in his family: his great uncle Parker Keogh was coxswain and his uncle David Sillery was a crew member.

“I knew I was always going to join the lifeboat crew and the minute I turned 17 I was at the door of the station,” Paul says. “People recognise the crew in the street as they see us going out to train and see us leaving for a shout. It’s so humbling to have that kind of community support behind us.

John Stapleton has been recently passed out as a mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat. Born and raised in Dublin, John moved to Wicklow 11 years ago and joined the lifeboat crew in 2015.

“There is a role for everyone in the RNLI and if you have an interest in something you can develop it and train up,” John says. “We have navigators, launching authorities and shore crew — everyone does the role that suits them, and it all works together. The resources the RNLI puts into the training and the kit is incredible.:

John adds: “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

Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched at 10 pm on Sunday (22 August) after a sailor was reported missing from a container ship 16 miles off the Wicklow coast.

The lifeboat arrived in the search area before 10.45 pm and began an immediate search. The Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to join the search.

During the sector search the casualty was located just after 11 pm by the lifeboat crew. The Rescue 116 Paramedic winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to assess the casualty, before being winched onto the Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital in Dublin.

Speaking after the callout Coxswain Nick Keogh said: ‘We located the casualty 5 miles northeast of the Codling Buoy during a sector search, weather conditions in the area were calm at the time with good visibility.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Tommy Murphy, Tommy MacAulay, Alan Goucher, John Stapleton, and Peter Byrne.

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Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched shortly after 11 pm tonight (Friday 23 July) following a Coast Guard pager alert, to investigate reports of a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat located the yacht twenty-five minutes later, four miles north of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force three.

The yacht with two crew had suffered engine failure while heading north off the coast and was unable to make its way safely into Wicklow harbour. An assessment was carried out and a towline was established with the yacht.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Ciaran Doyle said:’ We transferred one of our crew onto the yacht to assist the two sailors during the tow back to Wicklow harbour’.

The yacht was brought alongside the South Quay at Wicklow harbour at 00:30 am on Saturday morning and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

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Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 3pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July) following a report of a man climbing down a cliff to rescue his dog.

The lifeboat volunteers located the man and his dog five minutes later near the water edge south of Travelahawk Beach.

Lifeboat Helm, Alan Goucher said: “It was too dangerous for the owner to climb back up the cliff with his dog. So, we transferred them onto the lifeboat and returned to the station.”

The owner and family pet were landed safely ashore at 3.14pm. Both were uninjured and none the worst after their ordeal.

The RNLI’s key safety advice is for the public is to remember to keep dogs on leads if they are walking close to cliff edges, and that the best thing to do if your pet gets into trouble at the coast is not to enter the water or attempt to rescue them yourself — instead dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

The crew on this callout were helm Alan Goucher, Brid Seoighe and Peter Byrne.

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Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched shortly before 5:30 pm this evening following reports of two swimmers in difficulties on an inflatable toy off the Silver Strand beach south of Wicklow Head.

The Inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 5:38 pm and located four people on rocks near the beach. Two men who were on the beach with their families were concerned about the two young swimmer’s safety and entered the water to help them. They managed to get them up onto rocks near the beach.

Conditions at the scene were wind north-easterly force four with a moderate sea. The inshore lifeboat crew took the four people from the rocks and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat which was standing by offshore. ‘Rescue 116’ stood by overhead as the casualties were transferred to the lifeboat.

The winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to carry out a medical assessment of the four casualties. The two young girls were then transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter and flown to Dublin Airport, where they were met by an Ambulance crew and brought for further medical attention.

The two men, who had rescued the two girls did not require any further medical assistance and were brought back to Wicklow harbour for a well-deserved hot drink at the lifeboat station after their quick intervention to help the young girls.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said, ‘The quick actions of the two swimmers who went to the aid of the young girls resulted in a positive outcome this afternoon and we would urge people not to use inflatable toys on the beach.’

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The main route onto one of Co Wicklow’s most popular beaches has sold at auction for more than three times the asking price.

And as The Irish Times reports, Wicklow County Council was outbid for the 21-acre site above Magheramore Beach which went for a whopping €700,000.

As previously noted on Afloat.ie, it’s feared that public access to the beach could be interrupted by the sale of the overlooking lands.

The sale has been “the most talked about story in Co Wicklow”, said Local auctioneer Catherine O’Reilly, who also failed to assuage fears with her belief that “the right of way is not registered”.

However, local TD John Brady said any attempt to restrict public access to the beach “will not be tolerated and will be bitterly opposed”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Shortly after 11 pm this Saturday evening, Wicklow RNLI volunteers were assembling at the lifeboat Station following a Coast Guard pager alert.

Ten minutes later at 11:13 pm Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat slipped its moorings at the south quay and proceeded north to investigate reports of a yacht experiencing difficulties south of Greystones.

The yacht with three people on board was located four miles south of Greystones at 11:45 pm. Weather conditions at the scene were good with calm sea and light airs.

An assessment was carried out and the yacht was found to have a rope fouled in the propeller, efforts were made by the lifeboat crew to free the obstruction, but some rope remained tangled in the propeller shaft. This prevented the engine from being started and the yacht from making its own way to port. 

Coxswain Keogh made the decision that undertaking a tow to Greystones harbour was necessary and the safest way to assist the sailors. The yacht was brought alongside Greystones Marina at 00:45 am on Sunday morning and the three sailors landed safely ashore.

The Lifeboat crew then proceeded back to Wicklow harbour arriving back on station at 1:30 am

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘This was the first callout by the all-weather lifeboat crew using the new towing equipment.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Tommy Murphy, Graham Fitzgerald, Paul Sillery, John Stapleton and Ian Thompson.

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Public access to one of Co Wicklow’s most popular beaches could be interrupted by the sale of overlooking lands, as The Irish Times reports.

A 21-acre site that serves as the route onto Magheramore Beach, north of Brittas Bay on the Wicklow coast, has previously changed hands a number of times and is once again up for sale, with an online auction scheduled to begin in 25 June.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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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