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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: castletownbere

Castletownbere RNLI has recovered a British adventurer’s transatlantic boat which was abandoned in a hurricane some 400 miles west of Portugal.

In what was their first call out of 2016, the volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to go the assistance of a boat yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 5 January) which was reported to be floating about 500m from the shore in Dunmanus Bay.

The lifeboat launched in Force Seven winds at 2.50pm and made its way amid a large sea swell to the scene, arriving at 3.27pm.

On arrival the crew noted that the boat Happy Socks was unmanned. The lifeboat crew proceeded to take the vessel under tow and bring her safely to Castletownbere.

Speaking following the call out, Paul Stevens, Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘It transpired that this boat had been abandoned two months ago 400 miles west of Portugal by a lone oarswoman who was rowing from Cape Cod to London. She abandoned the boat in a hurricane and was picked up by a Canadian vessel.’

The British adventurer Sarah Outen MBE successfully completed her London2London expedition in November having set out from Tower Bridge in April 2011. Her goal via the world expedition was to row, bike and kayak the northern hemisphere, inspiring children and fundraising for charities. In her four and a half year adventure which saw her cover 25,000 miles, Sara overcame huge obstacles and endured extreme conditions in remote environments, including the hurricane on the Atlantic last year which forced a pre-emptive evacuation after 143 days at sea.

On hearing the good news about Happy Socks, Sarah phoned Castletownbere lifeboat station and tweeted last night: ‘Today I got that wonderful sort of news that makes your tummy turn and tears flow and rocks your happy socks off. Happy Socks is safe. We are making plans to go and retrieve her from SW Ireland where the @RNLI crew in Castletownbere found her today, just 500m from shore. A big and very grateful shoutout to the @RNLI crew at Castletownbere for bringing her in and letting us know. Go Happy Socks!’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Two members of Castletownbere’s RNLI lifeboat crew were honoured at Irish Water Safety’s national award ceremony in Dublin Castle this week.

Lifeboat mechanic Martin O’Donoghue and crewmember and Garda Dave Fenton, together with his colleague Garda Caroline Guest, were among 35 people honoured at the ceremony on 18 November.

Irish Water Safety says the actions of these 35 people saved the lives of 22 people who got into difficulty. Last year there were 91 drownings in Ireland, the lowest since 1936.



On 4 May last at The Pier in Castletownbere, Gardaí Fenton and Guest were on patrol when they received a call that a man had fallen into the water.

They rushed to the scene where Garda Guest threw a lifebuoy to the man while Garda Fenton secured a rope ladder to the pier and climbed down into the water to the casualty. He managed to get the man to hold onto the ladder while using the ringbuoy as a buoyancy aid. 

Garda Guest telephoned O’Donoghue to assist them.

While Garda Guest reassured and waited with the casualty, Garda Fenton and O’Donoghue launched a boat and were able to get alongside the casualty and pull him out of the water.

They then brought him to safety and waited with him until emergency services arrived. The man subsequently made a full recovery.

Tony O’Sullivan, lifeboat operations manager at Castletownbere Lifeboat Station congratulated the award recipients, saying: "The comprehensive and rigorous training undertaken by crewmembers in the RNLI was most certainly a factor in this successful rescue."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#castletownbere – The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised that a wave measuring device has been installed on the seabed, adjacent to the Walter Scott Rock, at co-ordinates Latitude 51° 38' 33.6"N, Longitude 009° 54' 20.4"W. A yellow floating marker buoy with a special mark beacon has been installed to indicate the location of the device.

The wave study is being carried out by the Marine Engineering Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine. The study is expected to be on-going until late March 2015, weather permitting.

For safety reasons, mariners are requested to keep a sharp lookout and to proceed slowly and with extreme caution in the vicinity of the Walter Scott Rock.

For safety reasons, fishermen are requested to avoid dredging at the co-ordinates mentioned above. Fisherman should take great care when dredging near this location and keep a wide berth from the device which is located on the seabed.

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under

#MCIB - A poorly positioned lobster pot hauler and failure to maintain a working PFD have been identified among the main contributing factors in the death of a retired schoolteacher and recreational fisherman off West Cork two years ago.

That's according to the Marine Casualty Investigation Board's (MCIB) report on the incident off the Beara Peninsula on 17 August 2012, in which 66-year-old Pearse Lyne drowned after his fishing boat capsized.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Lyne's death was the second tragedy to befall the Castletownbere area in mid August 2012, occurring just days after farmer and poet John O'Leary drowned off Cod's Head.

The MCIB report established that Lyne had set out to sea on the morning of 17 August 2012 in a hurry to retrieve his lobster pots as that year's fishing season closed out.

Though Met Éireann's reports on the day's weather conditions were favourable, anecdotal evidence from local mariners at the time suggest a heavy swell in the area.

Investigators also found that Lyne's unregistered boat, while in sound working order, had its lobster pot hauler fitted on the starboard stern quarter, not in the usual forward position, which may have made affected the boat's stability – although it is unclear exactly what caused the capsize.

In addition, Lyne was found not to be wearing a lifejacket or PFD when his body was removed from the water, though there is evidence he was attempting to access one from the forward locker when he was overcome by the situation.

But even if he had, the PFD found on board his vessel was determined to be defective, with its gas cartridge already expended.

The report recommends that a Marine Notice be issued recommending all mariners inspect their PFDs for defects such as expired or expended gas inflation cylinders.

The complete MCIB report can be downloaded as a PDF below.

Published in MCIB

#cablecar – Lehanmore Community Co-Op at Garnish on the Beara Peninsula are planning a re-enactment of what they describe as "the first-ever cable car journey to an island in Ireland." writes Tom MacSweeney.

It will be held at Crow Head on Saturday, September 6 and will involve Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, Castletownbere Coast Guard and Castletownbere RNLI according to Paul O'Shea, the Co-op Chairman,

"The first cable car crossing was by a cable rigged up by a prominent farmer Tadgh Roger O'Sullivan from Scrivogue, Garnish, between the mainland and one of the islands to transport his sheep," Lynette Dewhurst, one of those organising the event, said.

"Tadhg's idea gave the impetus and led to the Dursey cable car, unique in Ireland and which is very well-known today. The re-enactment which we are planning will also be a joint training session between the rescue services. The actual setting-up of the re-enactment will be extremely interesting as ropes will be fired hundreds of feet above the Atlantic to then be moored between the mainland and an island. Members of the rescue service will then travel via the cable."

Shuttle buses will transport spectators from Lehanmore Centre to the demonstration site. As the viewing area is in close proximity to the sea, stewards will guide everybody.

"We are asking spectators to be prepared for all weathers as it is an exposed area and donation buckets will raise funds for Kerry Mountain Rescue. A series of talks will be held at Lehanmore Community Centre hosted by the rescue services, where there will be food and refreshments available throughout the day and the evening, with live music from 7pm till late."

Published in Island News

#rnli – Lifeboat crew with Castletownbere RNLI launched yesterday (30 July 2014) to help a couple who had become injured when the 40 ft yacht they were sailing on, at Lawrence Cove, got into difficultly. On arriving at the scene, the lifeboat crew had to board the vessel and treat the injured woman before bringing the couple to safety at Castletownbere harbour in Cork.

The call for help was raised at 1.28pm, with the lifeboat arriving on scene fifteen minutes later. A local passenger vessel had been passing when the couple got into trouble and was able to offer assistance.

When the lifeboat came alongside the yacht, three of the volunteer lifeboat crew boarded the vessel and administered first aid to the couple. They did not wish to move the woman as she had received injuries to her back, so the lifeboat crew stayed onboard the yacht and returned with it to the shore. On arrival they were transferred to Cork University Hospital.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI crewmember Paul Stevens said, 'Thankfully conditions were calm and we were able to reach the couple quickly. It was also fortunate to have the assistance of the local ferry when the lifeboat crew arrived and we are very grateful to them. The couple had sustained injuries when their yacht had got into difficulty and our priority was to get them back to shore as quickly and comfortably as possible. We wish them both a speedy recovery.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#fishing – Following a conviction at Cork Circuit Court, today, Friday 28th February, the Master of a Spanish fishing vessel was fined a total of €2,500 and forfeited €80,000, being the assessed value of his catch and a further €12,500 for the fishing gear onboard. Jesus Ramon Rea Rosales, Master of the fishing vessel Armaven Dos, pleaded guilty to the under-recording of monkfish in the vessel's EU logbook. The case arose during the course of a routine inspection of the Armaven Dos on the 5th August 2013, at Castletownbere, Co Cork, by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers inspected the vessel's onboard catch and when compared to its fishing logbook they discovered approximately 13 tonnes of monkfish retained onboard of which almost seven tonnes were unrecorded. In addition to the under-recording of monkfish, a substantial quantity of Megrim was also found to be unrecorded. The under-recording of catch is contrary to European Community Regulations as fishermen are required to keep an accurate record in the vessel's logbook of the fish they have onboard so that the catch limits and quotas imposed to protect these fish stocks are respected.

Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA welcomed the outcome of the case and said: ""It is essential that all fishermen play their part in the rebuilding of damaged fish stocks such as monkfish if fishing is to be sustainable and profitable into the future. The requirement for fishermen to accurately record their catches and to keep within quota limits is a cornerstone of measures to rebuild damaged fish stocks and to share the burden of this stock recovery fairly among fishermen. The SFPA's inspection programme is intended to detect illegally caught fish and to protect the livelihoods of the many fishermen who respect the rules in place that safeguard the sustainable exploitation of valuable fish stocks. Stock recovery is good news for fishermen and ultimately leads to better fishing possibilities for the sector as well as improved market supply for consumers."

Published in Fishing

#castletownbere –The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised that construction works will commence at Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre, Co. Cork on or around 30th January 2014, weather permitting. The works will involve the installation of new piles, pontoons and gangway at Barrack Quay and on the Mainland Quay at the western end adjacent to the slipway.

A workboat will be used to move the pontoons and a mobile crane will be operating from the shore to install the piles, pontoons and gangways.

For safety reasons, mariners are requested to proceed slowly and with caution in the approach to the Barrack Quay and the western end of the mainland Quay of the Fishery Harbour Centre and to give the works a wide berth. Wave-wash from vessels should be avoided.

These works are expected to be on-going until mid March 2014, weather permitting.

For further information, contact Castletownbere Harbourmaster's Office Tel: + 353 (0)27 70220

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under

#RNLI - The Castletownbere RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew have aided in the recovery of the body of a man from the sea some 2.4km off Travarra on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.



The lifeboat launched at 1.35pm yesterday afternoon (Monday 22 July) and was joined by Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, Derrynane inshore rescue and the Castletownbere coastguard.

A man believed to be in his earl 20s was sighted in the water at Travarra at around 2.30pm and recovered by a local vessel before being transferred onto the RNLI lifeboat and returned to Castletownbere. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor.



Commenting on the call-out, Castletownbere RNLI deputy coxswain Paul Stevens said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we extend our sympathies to the young man’s family and friends.” 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MCIB - Marine investigators have reiterated the importance of boaters informing people ashore of planned trips in their report into the drowning of a dinghy sailor in West Cork last autumn.

As reported last August on Afloat.ie, an afternoon sail by a father and son from the Beara Peninsula ended in tragedy after their Enterprise sailing dinghy capsized.

The body of John O'Leary from Allihies was found around 1.30am on Tuesday 14 August, just hours after he and his 18-year-son Christy had abandoned their overturned vessel to attempt the swim to shore.

The official report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found that the two had been sailing without incident in the area between Cod's Head and the Cullogh Rock for an hour or so before a gust of wind flipped their dinghy.

Unable to right the vessel, the O'Learys rested on the upturned hull to await assistance. But after many hours had passed and suspecting that the hull was starting to sink, they decided to swim to the shoreline some 800 metres away.

With 200 metres to go, John O'Leary encouraged his son to swim ahead to raise the alarm, which he did minutes later. But in the interim John went missing.

Some time into the search operation launched immediately by Castletownbere RNLI and assisted by the Irish Coast Guard from Allihies, John O'Leary's lifejacket was found in the water, and his body was located shortly after.

The MCIB report found that the Enterprise dinghy the O'Learys were sailing is of a kind notorious for its difficulty to right after capsizing. It was also noted that the craft had an insufficient buoyancy bags, which made it even more difficult to bail out once overturned.

But more importantly, the report found that John O'Leary, as skipper of the dinghy, had not arranged a return time or sailing area with anyone on shore prior to the trip.

"If he had done this, the rescue may have occurred before they decided to enter the water," the report said.

Neither man was wearing a wetsuit, exposing them to "the cold and stresses from the cold" which may have "impaired their decision making process" and prompted their decision to swim from the vessel, it added.

In its recommendations, the MCIB advises all sailors to inform a responsible person ashore of their itinerary, and to stay with their vessel as long as possible in the event of any incident on the water.

The full report into the dinghy capsize is available to download below.

Published in MCIB
Page 4 of 6

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