Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Wexford

A Wexford woman living on the Hook Peninsula has been inspired to create a new fundraising initiative for the RNLI, which also promotes the benefits of being by the sea.

Local artist Helen Mason, who is married to a local fisherman, started to raise funds for the lifeboat charity after experiencing losing someone close to her to drowning and seeing first-hand the work of the lifeboat volunteers in her area.

Be by the Sea is asking people to organise a gathering in their own community during the summer months, to fundraise in aid of the charity that saves lives at sea.

People can organise to meet for a swim, a walk or a hike or they may choose to meditate, fly kites, or build sandcastles. They can even just sit together enjoying a coffee and having the craic.

Commenting on the fundraiser, Helen said: “I had the idea to do this for some time before I finally approached the RNLI and asked them if I could do it myself and see where it goes.

“I have been raising money for my local lifeboat station in Fethard over the years and I have seen first-hand the work they do and know how important the lifeboats are for coastal communities. The volunteers who go out when others come home are incredible people and I want to help them continue their work, saving lives at sea.

“I’m married to a fisherman and sadly we have lost people close to us. I want the Be by the Sea fundraiser to be open to everyone and to be fully inclusive. We know that people love spending time near the water and that the sea is very good for us, so how about raising funds for the RNLI at the same time.”

Be by the Sea, is a ‘Fundraising In Aid of’ event for the RNLI and those interested to learn more can visit the initiative’s JustGiving page where they can also register their event with the RNLI. Once onboard, people can choose to share their photos and videos of their event to Instagram.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The National Opera House in Wexford is set to host a once-in-a-lifetime event, RNLI 200: A Celebration of Volunteers, Their Families and the Community on Thursday 23 May.

This special commemorative event marks the 200-year legacy of the RNLI and pays tribute to the brave volunteers who crew the boats, their families who make sacrifices and the communities that support them.

RNLI 200 promises to be an unforgettable journey through history, showcasing the courage and dedication of RNLI volunteers.

The one-night-only spectacular will feature a diverse range of performances, including song, dance, spoken word and video presentations.

Audiences will be treated to stories ranging from the foundation of the RNLI to epic rescues carried out by lifeboat crews along the South-East of Ireland, namely Courtown, Wexford, Rosslare Harbour, Kilmore Quay and Fethard RNLI.

Local talents such as George Lawlor, Tony Carthy, Chris Currid, The Craic Pots, Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts and Dara Pierce Ballet Academy will grace the stage alongside nationally recognised artists like pipe player Mark Redmond and tenor Glenn Murphy.

Under the baton of composer Liam Bates, the evening promises to be a symphony of emotion and celebration. Adding to the star-studded line-up, Celtic Thunder’s Ryan Kelly, Celtic Woman star Chloe Agnew and, fresh from their sellout performance at the National Concert Hall, The Sea of Change Choir will make a special guest appearance, with more surprise guests to be announced in the coming weeks.

Produced by Wexford-based Seanchai Productions Ltd, known for their events such as Wexford Virtual St Patrick's Day and The Green Light Sessions in 2021, RNLI 200 is set to captivate audiences with its blend of entertainment and heartfelt tribute.

RNLI 200 organisers say the event would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors PTSB, the EPA, Kent Stainless and The Talbot Collection.

Proceeds from the event will go to the RNLI. Tickets are priced at €30 each and are available from www.nationaloperahouse.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A marker buoy that washed ashore in Co Wexford this week has been traced to as far away as the US state of Louisiana.

The large metal buoy was found on Wednesday (3 April) on the coast at Ballymoney near Gorey by local man Owen J Dunbar, who discovered that despite its dilapidated condition it still bore the name of its manufacturer, Wet Tech.

Dunbar contacted the company by email and received a swift reply from operations manager Todd Carl, who not only confirmed the marker buoy was one of theirs but also provided more details about its origins.

The buoy was manufactured in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region of the US, and had been moored in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico as a marker on an oil platform downed by the storm.

Carl believes the buoy broke its moorings in 2007 as it was recorded as missing during a regular service check, and as it was not fitted with a GPS transmitter its whereabouts were unknown.

It’s now presumed that over the last 17 years, the buoy drifted out of the gulf into the Atlantic and was caught in the Gulf Stream — indeed, it may have circled the North Atlantic more than once over the years before it beached in Wexford this week.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

Wexford RNLI launched to the aid of a casualty who got cut off by the tide while walking near the Ferrybank area on Sunday evening (26 November).

The casualty alerted his family members of his whereabouts and they contacted the Irish Coast Guard who coordinated the rescue.

Curracloe Coast Guard unit assembled and were on scene at 5pm. Despite the darkness, they were able to locate the man who was in the water and unable to get ashore.

Wexford RNLI then launched their inshore lifeboat to assist at 5.37pm and were on scene 5.55pm. With assistance from the shore-based coastguard unit, the lifeboat crew led by helm Ger Doran quickly located the casualty and took him onboard the lifeboat.

The casualty was swiftly returned to the lifeboat station. He was found to be slightly cold and wet but otherwise in good spirits. After being warmed up in the station, he went home with his family.

Speaking after the rescue, Dave Dempsey, Wexford RNLI’s deputy launching authority said: “It was a good result with great teamwork between ourselves and our colleagues in the coastguard ensuring the casualty was brought back safely to his family.

“The casualty did the right thing in carrying a mobile phone while walking near the shoreline and we would like to commend him for that as it meant he was able to raise the alarm when he knew he was in difficulty.”

Wexford RNLI's volunteer crew on this call-out included helm Ger Doran, John Michael Murphy, Dave Marskell and Andy Ennis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat had a busy Sunday afternoon (13 August) with two back-to-back rescue efforts.

Lifeboat helm Damien Foley and volunteer crew Ger Doran and Donal Troddyn were first tasked with assisting two people whose boat suffered engine failure inside Wexford harbour at 1.08pm.

The lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 1.18pm and after assessing the situation, they decided the safest option was to secure a tow to the casualty vessel and bring the people safely ashore.

At 1.53pm, just as the lifeboat was a few hundred metres from shore, the Irish Coast Guard tasked them to reports of two girls in the water off Rosslare Strand.

The lifeboat crew were able to bring the people ashore before turning around en route to Rosslare, within minutes of the tasking.

Conditions at the time were good, with a south-westerly Force 3 wind and rising tide. Rosslare Harbour RNLI were also tasked to the incident.

While their lifeboat was on the way to Rosslare Point, Wexford RNLI were informed that another paddleboard user had assisted in the rescue and the girls were safely ashore.

Rosslare Harbour’s lifeboat was asked to search and recover the lost paddleboard in case it was spotted later and reported again.

Speaking following the call-out, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “Both incidents resulted in good outcomes. If anyone sees a person in difficulty on or near the water, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Shore crew for Wexford RNLI on Sunday afternoon was Simon Gulliver and the launch authority was Dave Dempsey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Wexford RNLI rescued two people on Saturday night (15 July) after their boat was seen drifting.

The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 11.53pm and were quickly on scene to assess the situation.

With a fallen tide and the boat going aground, fast action was taken to tow the vessel with two people onboard to deeper waters.

The people onboard were monitored closely by the crew and brought safety ashore at 12.35am.

Speaking after the incident, Wexford RNLI helm Lorraine Galvin commended the crew who are all newly trained volunteers.

“Night-time call-outs add extra hazards and all three volunteer crew members, Kevin Fitzharris, Dave Murray and Kenneth Fox, worked tirelessly in reassuring the people onboard, establishing the tow and keeping a close watch until the people were safely ashore — well done,” she said.

“If anyone sees anyone in difficulty on or near the water, ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Shore crew for this call-out were Peter Scallan, Damian Lynch and Dave Dempsey while the launching authority was David Sherwood.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Wexford RNLI rescued two people on Tuesday night (20 June) after their boat ran aground on rocks.

The volunteer crew were just completing a routine training exercise when they were requested by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.30pm to go to the aid of two people on a motorboat that had grounded on rocks that form part of a tidal defence wall, known as the North Training wall.

Helmed by Lorraine Galvin and with crew members Ger Doran, Dave Murray and Kevin Fitzharris onboard, the inshore lifeboat was quickly on scene at 9.35pm and the crew assessed the situation.

Both onboard the casualty vessel were found to be safe and well.

There was a strong tidal flow which required the lifeboat crew to make careful calculations to pass a tow while avoiding damage to the lifeboat itself by the rocks.

The tow was established at 9.50pm and the vessel was safely removed from the rocks and towed to the nearby boat club.

Weather conditions at the time were good, with a Force 3 southeasterly wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call-out, Lorraine Galvin, Wexford RNLI lifeboat press officer said: “A strong tide made getting safely near the boat challenging but all the crew did a great job in assessing the options and successfully getting the crew and their vessel to safety.

“If anyone sees anyone in difficulty on or near the water, ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Shore crew on Tuesday night was Dermot Whelan while the deputy Launching authority was Damien Lynch.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A kitesurfer who sustained serious injuries in an incident in Co Wexford on Sunday (28 May) is expected to make a full recovery.

As the Wexford People reports, the casualty had been kitesurfing on Lady’s Island Lake south of Rosslare around lunchtime when it’s understood he collided with rocks.

Ambulance crew who attended the scene called on the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 to airlift the casualty from the scene for further treatment.

Published in Rescue

The volunteer crews of Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescued four people after their boat suffered engine failure outside of Wexford Harbour shortly after 5pm on Tuesday (9 May).

Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, under coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke and four other crew members onboard, was first on scene — locating the casualty vessel with assistance from the Kilmore Quay Harbour Master.

Having assessed the situation, the decision was made to tow the boat into safe waters. Wexford RNLI then took over the tow to navigate the casualty over Wexford bar and through the sandbanks of Wexford Harbour. The four people were safely brought ashore just before 7pm.

Weather conditions at the time were reasonably good, with a Force 3 westerly wind and good visibility with some showers.

Speaking following the callout, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “The casualties did the right thing and contacted the coastguard when they were in difficulty. All four were also wearing lifejackets. This callout was well executed between ourselves and our colleagues in Rosslare Harbour.

“We would remind people that if you see anyone in difficulty on or near the water to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Wexford RNLI’s crew included helm Damien Foley, Sinead Casey, James Flood and Dave Murray. Deputy launching authority was David Sherwood and shore crew was Dermot Foley. Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s crew included coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke, mechanic Keith Morris, Peter Carr, Paul McCormack and Seamus McDonald.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A group of sea urchins which died together on the seafloor almost 350 million years ago have been found in fossilised form at Hook Head, Co Wexford, by a team of scientists.

"Experts from University of Galway’s school of natural scientists led the team which recorded the fine, described as “one of the most important in Irish palaeontology in recent times”.

Sea urchins, or echinoids, are a group of marine animals, related to starfish, the scientists explain.

They have globular plated bodies covered by numerous defensive spines, which fall away after the urchin dies.

The scientists say that over 200 complete fossil echinoids are preserved in exquisite detail on a limestone surface, in an area of just one square metre.

Detailed view of fossil sea urchins, with their spines still attached, preserved on limestone surface at Hook Head, Wexford (2 Euro coin for scale). Image courtesy of the Royal Irish AcademyDetailed view of fossil sea urchins, with their spines still attached, preserved on limestone surface at Hook Head, Wexford (2 Euro coin for scale). Photo: courtesy of the Royal Irish Academy

“All of the Hook Head specimens have their spines still attached, and they apparently died together on the seafloor almost 350 million years ago - a dramatic moment now frozen in time on the rock surface on the coast of south-east Ireland,” they say.

“The limestone layer containing the fossil urchins was in danger of being lost to coastal erosion, so the scientific team mounted a rescue operation to save it,” they state.

Lead author in the study, palaeontologist Dr Nidia Álvarez-Armada, said she initially discovered the fossil sea urchins on a rocky coastal outcrop when surveying the geology of Hook Head peninsula for her undergraduate Bachelor of Science thesis at University of Galway.

“ When I first noticed the echinoids on the limestone surface, I was completely astonished by both the sheer number of fossil specimens present and also their exceptional preservation,” she said.

“The significance of the find was instantly apparent, and I immediately began mapping and recording the shape, size and position of each individual urchin on the rock surface,” she said.

“ This work took several weeks to complete, but it was important to carefully document the fossil find in as much detail as possible.”

As the Hook Head is protected under law, approval for the recovery was granted by several State agencies and the local landowner.

 Rescue and recovery of the limestone slab containing the fossil sea urchins at Hook Head, Wexford. Credit: Dr Sarah Gatley, Geological Survey Ireland Rescue and recovery of the limestone slab containing the fossil sea urchins at Hook Head, Wexford. Photos: Dr Sarah Gatley, Geological Survey Ireland

Following successful removal, the team said it “immediately entrusted the fossil-bearing slab to the National Museum of Ireland for conservation and further study”.

The discovery and recovery of the hundreds of fossil sea urchins were recently reported in the Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, published by the Royal Irish Academy.

The Hook Head fossil find is said to have the potential to reveal important information about the nature of seafloor communities during the Carboniferous - a time period that occurred “long before dinosaurs ever walked on land, when the marine realm was very different to today”.

University of Galway school of natural scientists expert Dr John Murray, who co-authored the paper and supervised the original project, said that is “quite exceptional to find Carboniferous fossil sea urchins so perfectly preserved and in such large numbers like this”.

“In life, these particular echinoids had very flexible plated bodies, covered with many spines, which usually disarticulated and dispersed rapidly after death, leaving little trace of them behind,” he said.

“ The Hook Head urchins must have been buried quite quickly after they died, with little or no post-mortem disturbance; however, it remains unclear why they congregated in such large numbers at this location on that ancient seafloor,” he said.

“The significance of this discovery was such that all of the members of the rescue team willingly volunteered their time and expertise to travel to Hook Head to help salvage the fossil-bearing slab,”Dr Murray added.

“We consciously chose to leave this important fossil find in the care of the National Museum of Ireland immediately - I guess it was our way of giving this piece of priceless geoheritage back to the people of Ireland,” he said.

The full study in The Irish Journal of Earth Sciences can be read here

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under
Page 1 of 10

Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.