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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Ireland's largest sailing school, the Irish National Sailing School on Dublin Bay, has welcomed this week's announcement of new pontoon facilities near its base at the West Pier of Dun Laoghaire Harbour

School Principal Alistair Rumball told Afloat "we have long campaigned on safety grounds for the installation of a pontoon to give the school and other users direct access to the harbour waters at the West Pier and it's great to see this now approved".

The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier.   The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier. Photo: Google Earth  

The €40,000 pontoon is one of a number of approved harbour works under a €38m government scheme as Afloat reported here

The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill, will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier.

Local TD Cormac Devlin has also welcomed the new pontoon as part of a number of improvement measures for Dublin Harbours

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a paddleboarder who got into difficulty after he could not get back to shore on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

The lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard by a member of the public who had sighted the paddleboarder in the water about 150 metres from shore at Blackrock on Dublin Bay.

The inshore lifeboat was launched by the lifeboat crew of three at 6.37 pm just minutes after the crew had been paged.

Weather conditions at the time were quite rough with a squall causing strong offshore wind gusts, along with a changing outward tide and choppy waters. Visibility at the time was okay with the crew being able to locate the casualty quickly with the help of Dun Laoghaire Coastguard Unit from shore.

On arrival at 6.47 pm the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted having tried to paddle and swim back to shore. The crew quickly came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was showing signs of hyperthermia due to a long period in the cold sea.

The lifeboat transferred the person to land as quickly as possible at the Martello tower in Blackrock with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard Unit. The casualty was then handed over to a waiting National Ambulance service crew for further medical care.

Speaking following the call-out, Alan Keville, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's inshore lifeboat Helm at the time said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy with the outcome of this evening’s callout having safely returned the casualty to shore and into the care of the National Ambulance service’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dublin harbours are set to receive over €8.4m in funding for harbours in Fingal (Loughshinny Harbour, Skerries and Balbriggan Harbours) with Howth Harbour receiving €8.2m for specific improvements and two harbours in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Dún Laoghaire Harbour and Coliemore).

As Afloat reported earlier, the allocation of €38.3 million by Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD is to repair, maintain and upgrade Ireland's publicly owned harbour network has been warmly welcomed.

Welcoming the announcement, Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson Cormac Devlin TD (Dún Laoghaire) noted that funding of €75,000 for Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey and an allocation of €63,750 to install a pontoon in the Coal Harbour and upgrade facilities for local fishermen at Trader's Wharf in Dún Laoghaire Harbour were especially welcome.

Commenting, Deputy Devlin said "Coliemore Harbour is one of Ireland's oldest harbours dating back to the 13th century, when it was the leading port on the East Coast. The harbour has been in continuous use for hundreds of years, but was damaged by a rockfall in August 2020 and has been partially closed since. This funding will enable Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council to carry out the estimated €100,000 works to repair and reopen the harbour."

Local Fianna Fáil councillor for Dalkey Justin Moylan commented "I am extremely grateful to my Party colleagues; Minister Charlie McConalogue and Deputy Cormac Devlin for their support for this important funding. Unfortunately having part of our harbour closed hampered the activities of local boatman, Ken The Ferryman as well as our award-winning Dalkey Rowing Club. Hopefully now with this funding they can all resume their activities for summer 2021"

The funding formed part of overall funding of €38.3m announced by Minister McConalogue who said, “This capital investment package in our 79 Local Authority owned piers and harbours around our coast which underlines the importance this Government places on the contribution of the wider seafood sector to Ireland’s economy and to rural coastal communities in particular.”

The Local Authority programme forms part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marines’ 2021 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, whereby the Department co-funds up to 75% of the total cost of approved projects with the Local Authority providing the balance.

In regard to the Local Authority scheme, the Minister stated, “It was important to me to place added importance on the Local Authority scheme this year and I am pleased to be to in a position to announce an enhanced €4.2 million programme in 2021 to assist Coastal Local Authorities in the repair and development of fishery and aquaculture linked marine infrastructures under their ownership. This year I have redirected savings due to Covid limitations on other projects to increase the monies available to the Local Authorities resulting in a 35% increase in 2020 allocations. Together with funding from Local Authorities, the total amount to be invested in local piers and harbours in 2021 under this scheme comes to €5.6 million.”

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s strategic location as an EU port in the middle of the Irish Sea may have been overlooked by commercial fishing fleets for years but since Brexit, it appears Belgian fishermen have been quick to see the advantage of the Dublin Bay port.

Not only did two Belgian trawlers take shelter from today’s forecasted south-easterly gale but both 38-metre boats also offloaded catch at the harbour’s number two-berth on the Carlisle Pier.

It brings to four the number of big Belgian vessels using the port this month, more than doubling the sporadic arrival of such visits last year.

Is it a possible positive Brexit spin-off for the Victorian harbour that is itself the subject of its regeneration plans?

The Jasmine alongside at Dun LaoghaireThe Jasmine alongside at Dun Laoghaire

The trawlers, that catch Whitefish, on Cardigan Bay off the Welsh coast used to land in Liverpool but current Brexit arrangements are causing difficulties leading to the requirement for deepwater alternatives.

The six-metre draft of the trawlers is just too deep for other east coast ports (other than Dublin) so Dun Laoghaire Harbour is proving a convenient and well-serviced location.

The Carlisle Pier provides easy access for trucks to take the catch to market. And it's not the only port the Belgians are accessing, they are also landing fish in Cork, according to local sources.

The main fishing grounds of the Belgians are the southern and central North Sea, accounting for 44 per cent of total catches. Other important fishing grounds are the English Channel (26 per cent), the Celtic Sea (18 per cent) and the Irish Sea (8 per cent).

July’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021 has been cancelled due to the ongoing "uncertainties" over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scrubbing of Ireland's biggest regatta, scheduled for the first two weekends of July, comes after careful consideration of the latest government announcement and discussion with event stakeholders at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The biennial event, which had attracted a bigger than expected fleet of 385 boats to date, will not now be sailed in 2021 but returns on schedule in July 2023.

"Despite the very positive news about the easing of government restrictions, we are still facing many uncertainties this summer, especially for an event the scale of VDLR, event chairman, Don O'Dowd said.

Dun Laoghaire's Don O'Dowd - too many uncertainties to proceed with VDLR 2021 RegattaDun Laoghaire's Don O'Dowd - too many uncertainties to proceed with VDLR 2021 Regatta

The government's new measures gave a green light for sailing last Friday but unfortunately, the scale of the Dun Laoghaire event means extra issues for organisers, especially ashore.

"Everyone believes it is important that the event should run safely and without compromise in the way we remember past regattas and with a full programme on and off the water. This year, sadly, that's not possible", he said.

"We want to thank everyone for their support and understanding. While it is disappointing, it is the safest thing to do in the community."

It's a testament to the regatta's successful formula that all our sponsors and supporters are already discussing the next edition. "We hope to see everyone again from July 6 to 9 2023, for a massive party!", O'Dowd added.

The regatta, now one of the biggest in Europe, is organised jointly by the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs (the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC), the National Yacht Club (NYC), the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and the Royal St George Yacht Club (RStGYC).

2021 entry fees will be fully refunded to competitors this month.

The regatta had, in anticipation of dealing with social distance measures, hatched a plan a year ago that included separating the event over two separate weekends in order to reduce numbers and also moved to stagger sailors coming ashore. 

The event was to host 11 separate national championships and feature a debut offshore doublehanded class.

Published in Volvo Regatta

Boating activity returned to Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday on Dublin Bay as fine April weather ushered in the start (officially or unofficially) of the 2021 boating season with a range of sailing and boating underway at the country's biggest boating centre. 

With lift-in completed a fortnight ago, more and more sailing cruisers are venturing out of the harbour for the first shakedown sail of the season. The yacht club forecourts are now filled with dinghies in anticipation of a return to racing both inshore and offshore, a pursuit attracting over a 1,000 yachts and dinghies in the summertime.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April. They plan to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population are vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

Single handed sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour (above and below) Single-handed sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

RS dinghy INSS

Dun Laoghaire's four waterfront clubs expect the country's biggest racing organisation, Dublin Bay Sailing Club will be able to start racing in May and DBSC is launching its race marks in anticipation of this. 

Likewise, coastal racing with ISORA whose counterparts on the other side of the Irish Sea at Pwllheli in North Wales, are already underway.

Yesterday's bright sunshine and perfect sailing breezes saw a special launch of the very latest in Flying Fifteen technology, up to a dozen Laser dinghies practising (what they have been learning online this month), along with sailing school activity all being carried out in a socially distant and compliant fashion. 

There were also over two dozen sailing cruisers out and about for day sails or sail testing in anticipation of next month's first races.

After three months of lockdown, numerous SUPs, kayakers, divers, snorkelers, jet skis, angling boats, RIBS, coastal rowers and a host of sea swimmers at the nearby Forty Foot all added to the positive healthy picture at the 250-acre harbour.

Kayakers out and about in Dun Laoghaire HarbourKayakers out and about in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

As Afloat reported previously, sailing and boating is not the enemy at the gate. On the contrary, it is a low risk, non-contact outdoors activity which is what boaters and clubs are keen for the Government's Sport Expert Group to be told. 

Such is the extent of the activity in fact it has prompted new owners of the harbour, the local County Council to trial a new Harbour Water Safety Patrol as Afloat reports here.

If the weekend is anything to go by, it certainly looks like that whenever the refurbished Baths site (that has small boat facilities) is complete and the harbour's National Waterports Campus plans are finalised, then there will be plenty of demand for these new waterside facilities. 

Work continues on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths at the back of Dun Laoghaire's East PierWork continues on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths at the back of Dun Laoghaire's East Pier

The busy sea swimming scene at Sandycove on Dublin BayThe busy sea swimming scene at Sandycove on Dublin Bay

Tagged under

The return of anti-social behaviour at Ireland's biggest recreational boating centre by some powered watercraft users has led Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to introduce a trial of a Harbour Water Safety Patrol service this weekend.

In an advisory letter to harbour users, Harbour Master Captain Simon Coate says the patrol will "involve a responsible adult in a RIB, providing an advisory and reporting service on the water within Dun Laoghaire Harbour between 14:00 and 20:00 This Saturday, Sunday and Monday"

The boat will be identifiable as it will be flying a yellow flag, with DLRCC branding. 

"in recent months there has been a significant increase in the number of kayakers and stand up paddleboarders using the Harbour, in groups along with individuals and families. Increasing participation in all water-based activities is something that DLRCC strongly supports", Captain Coate says. 

The patrol service will assist with the collection of marine-based litter from the Harbour water, a constant problem in the 250-acre enclosed area.

Tagged under

Saturday’s Lift-in of yachts and boats at the Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is an important milestone in the opening of the 2021 sailing season on Dublin Bay.

Despite the continuing lack of clarity surrounding the easing of lockdown measures, sailing is heading into its second season of adapting and coping with Covid 19.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April.

They plan to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population is vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

After the weekend lift-in, the summer sailing season is to commence on Dublin Bay with ISORA Golden Jubilee coastal racing sometime after April 26th and for DBSC to start its summer season sometime in Mid-May depending on Govt restrictions.

Read more here from WM Nixon on why Sailing in Ireland Looks to April 20th for Some Real Clarity

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer in difficulty yesterday (Tuesday 30 March) who could not get back to shore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard that a swimmer was believed to be in difficulty and finding it hard to get back to shore.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately by a crew of three at 3.21 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.26 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were described as having an easterly breeze causing a moderate sea state with a slight swell, visibility at the time was good.

On arrival the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted and holding on to rocks about 50 metres southeast of Forty Foot. After quickly assessing the situation, the crew came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was very cold from the long exposure to the cold sea temperature but otherwise in good health. The lifeboat transferred the person to land in Sandycove Harbour with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard unit and into the care of an awaiting National Ambulance service crew for a secondary medical assessment.

Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat CoxswainMark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain

Speaking following the call-out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy that the outcome of this call-out was a positive one as things in situations like that can change very fast for the worst. We are glad the person involved was brought back to shore safely and in good health'

'I would like to ask everyone planning on entering the water to check the weather and sea conditions at the time and to never underestimate the sea. The sun may be shining and air temperatures rising but the Irish sea temperature in our area is just above 7 degrees at this time of year. Please be aware that cold water shock is always a risk for people in Irish waters even as we come into the summer'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

One of the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat stations has urged the public to be water safety aware as they anticipate the increased demand for their services to continue. Lifeboat crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI have seen their launch requests significantly increase over the last twelve months as a number of factors have worked to raise demand on local lifeboat volunteers. The station, which operates two lifeboats out of the Dublin harbour has urged the public to be aware of the common causes for lifeboat callouts and to make sure they have the proper water safety advice to stay safe on or near the water.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat crew responded to launch requests more than 100 times in 2020, an increase of over a hundred per cent on 2019 and brought 101 people to safety. The increase is attributed in part to Covid related changes in peoples use of the sea and the surge in Stay-cations.

The introduction of the new cycle path and changes to local traffic systems under the Coastal Mobility Intervention have also impacted on volunteer crews’ response times. Lifeboat crews are paged by the Coast Guard and must make their way to the station through the busy town of Dun Laoghaire to launch the lifeboats and answer the call for help. Crew can have limited information before they launch and treat every callout as an emergency. The public can help by being water safety aware.

Common causes for Dun Laoghaire’s lifeboat launches in 2020 were to swimmers in trouble, people cut off by the tide on Sandymount and boaters in difficulty. The Station hopes that if people are aware of the issues and what to do if they get into trouble before they engage in their chosen activity, then lives will be saved.

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations ManagerStephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Photo: via Twitter

If going on a coastal walk check the tide times and always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you see someone in trouble on or near the water. For boaters always carry a means of calling for help and wear a lifejacket.

Advice for sea swimmers

  • Always check the weather forecast and tides.
  • Never swim alone and if possible, have somebody ashore who is familiar with your plans and can observe your progress.
  • Only swim in sheltered areas and swim parallel to the shore.
  • Be visible. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap or use a tow float to increase your visibility in the water.
  • Acclimatise to cold water slowly to reduce the risk of cold-water shock.
  • If in doubt, don’t go out!

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added, ‘There are always challenges for lifeboat crews when responding to emergencies and our lifeboat crew have been meeting those challenges for almost two centuries. Covid has certainly seen an increase in numbers of people visiting the coast and taking up new interests including water sports. Our lifeboat volunteers have also had to deal with the effects of a new traffic scheme in the area to facilitate the works carried out under the Coastal Mobility Intervention which has added time to their journey to the station, particularly at busy times during the day.’

‘We would like to remind the public of simple and effective safety advice which could save their life. Our lifeboat crews will always respond to calls for help but as we know, seconds count in a search and rescue scenario. We are extremely grateful to the general public for their continued support and we hope the busy summer months ahead will be safe and enjoyable for water users.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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National Watersports Campus, Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Stakeholders combined forces in 2019 to promote a project to improve the Harbour’s infrastructure resulting in improved access, job creation and greater tourism potential. 

A grant application to government made by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) assisted by stakeholders was successful with the announcement of a €400k feasibility study grant from the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) in January 2020.

It meant plans for the €8m National Watersports Campus at Dun Laoghaire Harbour got the green light from Government and came a step closer to reality.

The project recognises deficits in the current set up in the harbour, proposing the construction of an all-tide publicly-accessible slipway (none currently in the Greater Dublin Area) as well as a marine services facility, providing a much-needed home for the supporting industry. 

The campus also seeks to provide a marketing framework to make boating more accessible to the general public.

The benefits of such an increase might be obvious for the Dun Laoghaire waterfront but there are other spin-offs for the harbour town in the creation of the sort of jobs that cannot be shipped abroad.

Centre for Community Watersports activity and public slipway

  • High-Performance coaching centre
  • Flexible Event Space for hosting national and international events
  • Multipurpose Building
  • Campus Marketing and Promotional Centre
  • Accommodation for Irish Sailing and Irish Underwater Council
  • Shared NGB Facility
  • Education Centre for schools, community groups and clubs
  • Proposed site – Carlisle Pier

Watersports Campus FAQs

Similar to the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, the watersports campus will provide quality, public, recreational and high-performance facilities for the many watersports participants. The Campus will considerably enhance the services currently provided by more than 30 clubs and activity centres to over 50,000 annual users of the harbour.

The passing of control of the harbour to DLRCC, the public appetite for a community benefitting project and the capital funding for sports infrastructure in the Project 2040 National Plan have aligned to create an opportunity to deliver this proposal.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) and the Irish Sailing Association (Irish Sailing) are the project leads, endorsed by the National Governing Bodies of other Irish watersports and clubs and activity providers.

The National Sports Policy, published in 2018, established the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) to provide Exchequer support for sports facility projects. In some cases, these may be projects where the primary objective will be to increase active participation in sport. In other cases, these may be venues where the focus is more related to high-performance sport.

Government has allocated at least €100m over the term to 2027 to successful applicant projects.

The Watersports Campus was one of seven successful applicants for Stream 1 funding allowing planning to commence on the project design and feasibility. €442,000 has been granted in this phase.

NThe project will provide for a municipally-owned public access facility to include a small craft slipway that is accessible at all stages of the tide (currently none in public ownership in the greater Dublin area), storage and lock-up resources, watersports event management space, a high-performance centre and NGB accommodation.

The project aims to enhance the profile of Dun Laoghaire as a major international venue for maritime events, shows and conferences. Establish Dun Laoghaire as the 'go-to place' for anything marine – generating revenues Create employment in the county - attract businesses, visitors and events. Grow the market for watersports Promote the services of activity providers to the public. Complement the plan to develop Dun Laoghaire as a 'destination.'

As of January 1 2021, The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has approved the applicant project and DLRCC are expected to appoint a team to further advance the project.

©Afloat 2020

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