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A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew. Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork. Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution. The book Surviving the Storms goes on sale today (Thursday 11 June) with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.

The Castletownbere RNLI rescue from 2018 is included with those of a Northern Ireland lifeboat mechanic who swam into a cave to rescue two teenage boys when they became trapped with a rising tide in dangerous conditions and lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people, moments away from drowning. This book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue.

In an extract from the book Dean Hegarty, who at 24-years old had been on the lifeboat crew for five years and was a recently appointed Coxswain on his second callout in charge, explains what he saw when he and his lifeboat crew came on scene.

‘Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene. What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack. The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion. There were huge swells reaching six metres, the height of a two-storey house, tossing the fishing boat around like a rag doll and pushing her ever closer to the sixty-metre cliffs to the west of the harbour mouth. The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.’

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives. Between them, they’ve helped so many people survive the storms and I’m proud of every one of them.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 2.10 pm this afternoon to go to the aid of swimmers who had got into difficulty off Virgin Mary’s Bank in Inchydoney Island, West Cork.

Under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of five, the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat was underway very quickly, under the Station’s new COVID-19 Launch protocols and immediately made its way at top speed to the area of the causalities. Also mobilised was the local Irish Coastguard Unit from Castlefreke, the Coastguard Rescue 115 Helicopter from Shannon and the Local HSE Ambulance. Four persons were swimming together when two got into difficulty. The others made the shoreline and raised the alarm by immediately contacting the rescue services.

Thankfully the two swimmers in difficulty were later able to get ashore where they were assessed by the rescue services, following a very traumatic ordeal. All four were hugely appreciative of the responses of the Rescue Services.

Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary LPO Vincent O Donovan thanked all the Lifeboat crewmembers and Station Officers for ensuring a safe callout today. He commented that “It was also vital that the call for help to the Rescue services was made as quickly as possible as vital minutes can be so important in all rescues”.

The crew on board this afternoon’s call out were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Tadgh McCarthy, Dara Gannon and Evin O Sullivan. Of note was that five other crewmembers were quickly at the station in order to give any help required. Attached is a picture of the Lifeboat crew after returning to base.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Olympic sailing silver medalist Annalise Murphy joined four Dun Laoghaire-based 29er sailors and their coach in their bid to ‘virtual cycle’ around Ireland in aid of the RNLI.

As Afloat reported earlier, Max Goodbody, Nathan van Steenberge, Sam Ledoux and Tim Norwood, along with coach Thomas Chaix, have taken on the epic route via every lighthouse around the island of Ireland — but covering the distance on stationary bikes in their own homes.

Last night the Irish sailing superstar from Rio 2016 joined the four boys for an 85 km stretch. Like everyone else, the National Yacht Club dinghy star is adapting to a new life with Coronavirus as Afloat reported previously here as she aims for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Since starting on Saturday 9 May, the 29er boys have already covered the distance from Dun Laoghaire to West Cork — and that’s around their home school commitments, too.

The team aims to complete the 2,000km route — with 14,000 metres of climbing — in 11 days while raising funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Annalise is not the only Tokyo Laser trialist to join in either. Howth's Aoife Hopkins has also been on the journey. Donaghadee's Finn campaigner Oisin McClelland was also on the route from Castletownbere with coaching staff tagging along too.

Already exceeding their initial target of €2,000, the team have so far raised over €5,000 to keep the RNLI afloat in uncertain waters.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Despite the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) hopes to provide a lifeguard service on around 30% of the beaches the charity usually covers this summer, if government guidance allows.

The rollout of the normal seasonal lifeguard service was paused at the end of March due to the measures put in place by the Government to control the spread of Coronavirus. In the anticipation that there may be changes to the lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks and months allowing the public to visit beaches around the UK and Channel Islands, the RNLI has been looking at plans to resume a lifeguard service where possible.

This needs to be consistent with government guidance but the plan is for the service to build in time so that lifeguard patrols reach 70 beaches across the UK by peak season. Beaches will be chosen based on risk and popularity. The RNLI will also look to achieve a geographical spread while making sure the service provided is flexible and sustainable enough to respond to what may be an ever-changing environment.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘The RNLI is incredibly proud of its highly skilled lifeguards who work alongside the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews, HM Coastguard and other emergency services. RNLI lifeguards are professional lifesavers and will be essential when the lockdown is lifted and people head to our coastlines and enjoy our beautiful beaches.

‘The current situation means that the operational logistics and training behind setting up a lifeguard service – normally in full swing at the moment – have had to stop. Re-establishing this infrastructure and distributing equipment to beaches will take time. And we must also make sure that conditions are safe for our lifeguards to provide an effective service – our priority remains the safety of our people and the public.

‘But despite these challenges, and given enough notice of lockdown lifting, we’re hoping to put lifeguard patrols on around 70 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands.

‘We are planning for a service that we can adapt to changes in Government guidelines and restrictions. We don’t know whether people will be allowed to visit beaches, what social distancing restrictions will be in place, or whether we’ll have periods where restrictions are relaxed and then reintroduced. We’re also looking at how we provide our lifeguard service – we may have a more agile service that can adapt to changing circumstances – so it may look a little different to previous years. And we’re working with local councils, landowners and partners to make sure the environment lifeguards return to is safe and appropriate precautions are in place.

‘While the main challenge of rolling out a lifeguard service will be logistical, as a charity we do also need to consider the financial challenge we currently face and our fall in income due to restrictions on how we can fundraise.

‘The reduced lifeguard service will continue to be supported by our lifeboat stations around the coast. Our lifeboat volunteers have been on call 24/7 to help those in trouble at sea throughout the coronavirus outbreak – and will continue to be so this summer. We will also be giving water safety advice throughout the summer. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have seen great examples of people coming together, so our focus is to work with the public to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit when restrictions are lifted.’

The RNLI is urging everyone to follow current Government instructions until these restrictions are lifted. The guidance is clear: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. While you are allowed outside for daily exercise, we do not recommend that this exercise is on or in the sea. If you are able to visit the coast for your daily exercise while adhering to Government advice, we urge you to remember the following RNLI safety advice:

  • Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire RNLI came to the aid of two people who got into difficulty on a kayak this morning.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 8.21 am following an initial report from the Irish Coast Guard that two men were in difficulty on a kayak somewhere between Dalkey Island and Coliemore Harbour.

The casualties used a mobile phone to raise the alarm when the kayak they were on began to drift out to sea.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Mark McGibney and with four crew members onboard launched immediately and made its way to the scene. Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard shore unit also attended.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a calm sea, light wind and good visibility.

On arrival south of Dalkey Island, the lifeboat crew observed that a fishing trawler that had arrived on scene first had taken the kayak in tow. The two kayakers who were safe and well were then transferred onto the lifeboat and brought back to Dun Laoghaire where no further medical attention was required.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The casualties did the right thing this morning and called for help once they knew they were in difficulty and that the vessel was drifting out to sea. We would like to wish them well and thank the fishing crew that was first on scene for their assistance this morning.

‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the Coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if people need us.’

The RNLI has issued advice with the Irish Coast Guard, to ask people to avoid using the water for exercise while restrictions are in place. This is to minimise the risk to search and rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other frontline emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to the coronavirus.

The charity meanwhile, has today launched its annual Mayday fundraising appeal. While crews around Ireland remain on call, the pandemic means that fundraising cannot take place as normal. The RNLI is instead asking people to consider fundraising at home to help save lives at sea. To find out more or to donate, log on to rnli.org/Mayday

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Lifesaving charity, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), is encouraging people to help save lives at sea and on inland waters by fundraising at home for its annual Mayday fundraising appeal. The RNLI’s Mayday campaign normally sees people taking part in group fundraising events around Ireland but, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the lifeboat charity is taking the campaign online. Broadcaster, comedian and Dun Laoghaire RNLI volunteer PJ Gallagher is backing the RNLI’s Mayday appeal and urging people to get creative for the lifeboats and raise funds from home.

Although the country is staying at home for now, the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are still on-call 24/7, ready to drop everything when their pager sounds, to save lives at sea and on inland waters. Irish lifeboat crews have been on rescue missions during the restrictions and are fully operational. The charity is calling on the public to help raise funds for its vital lifesaving service by getting active and joining a step count challenge, having a cuppa for the crew or taking the H2only challenge for its online Mayday appeal.

To get people in the mood, a Dublin RNLI volunteer crewmember is making the best of the lockdown which has seen his gym close, by throwing his weight behind Mayday. Howth RNLI crewmember and owner of Toned Fit gym, Ronan Murphy, is going to help members of the public get active and make their steps count for Mayday. The crewmember will be sharing his session online on Howth RNLI’s Facebook page with other stations being asked to join him in the challenge. He has also extended PJ an online fitness challenge to encourage others to get involved and to have a little fun for Mayday while they are stuck inside. Ronan’s gym normally holds a Mayday fundraiser to lift the weight of a RNLI all-weather lifeboat to raise funds.

Commenting on the RNLI’s Mayday campaign, PJ Gallagher said: ‘It is difficult for charities at the moment as the current restrictions mean that we can’t support them in the usual way. The RNLI is very close to my heart as I know first-hand the work they do and it is an incredible feeling to be able to save a life or help someone in trouble on the water, knowing that you have been provided with the proper kit and training to do it.’

‘The RNLI has had to move Mayday online and I hope that people will follow them there. There are plenty of ways to raise funds and I am going to take up Ronan’s fitness challenge, to show how easy it is to raise funds for the RNLI and keep fit in the process. The ‘Make Your Steps Count for Mayday’ is just one way to fundraise and rnli.org/mayday has more suggestions. If you don’t feel like getting active you can simply donate online at rnli.org/mayday and feel good about it.’

RNLI Fundraising Manager Danny Curran says: ‘Our Mayday fundraising campaign is a vital event in the RNLI calendar and given the current situation it is more important than ever. For years, our fantastic fundraisers have given their time and energy in May to help our lifesavers. But the welfare of our volunteers, staff and supporters is our priority, and the usual range of activities are now impossible. So, this year, Mayday will look a bit different.

‘While many fundraising events and gatherings have been cancelled, our lifeboat volunteers are still responding to their pagers and launching in lockdown. So, we are encouraging our supporters to take on fundraising challenges at home. That way they will be able to help protect our lifesavers, while also keeping themselves and others safe.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A diver has died in hospital after taking ill during a dive to fix a mooring at a popular yacht anchorage area in Cork Harbour this afternoon.

The Polish national, understood to be in his late 40s, was diving to fix a mooring at Drake’s Pool on the Owenabue Estuary, upstream of Crosshaven.

According to news reports including the Irish Times here, it’s understood that the diver was down around eight metres when he took ill and a rescue diver on standby went down and helped bring him to the surface.

The man had lost consciousness and the emergency services were alerted including HSE paramedics who were quickly on the scene.

Crosshaven RNLI assisted while the Irish Coastguard Rescue 117 helicopter from Waterford was initially tasked to assist but was stood down soon afterwards.

The man was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he underwent emergency treatment but he failed to regain consciousness.

The man, whom it’s understood was an experienced diver, was pronounced dead at the hospital and post-mortem will take place there today.

Gardaí say they are treating the death as a tragic accident and a file will be prepared on man’s death for an inquest at the South Cork Coroner’s Court.

RNLI Crosshaven adds:

The crew were paged at 4.08 pm to the diver in a position upriver from the lifeboat station.

Whilst preparing to launch the lifeboat, the vessel with the diver on board arrived at the lifeboat station. Our crew, consisting of paramedic Peter Lane and Aidan O’Connor Immediately began emergency care and continued until Rapid Response and a critical care doctor arrived and took over the care of the casualty. Crosshaven Coast Guard personnel also assisted with casualty care.

Other RNLI crew assisting were Ian Venner, Vince Fleming, Suzanne Deane, Georgia Keating, Molly Murphy and Claire Morgan.

Sadly, It has been reported that the male casualty was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Our thoughts are with the man’s family. RIP

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Swilly, Portrush and Arranmore RNLI volunteers spent almost 15 hours at sea in storm force conditions at the weekend to rescue five fishermen who got into difficulty off Fanad Head.

Lough Swilly and Portrush RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats by Belfast Coastguard at 2.15 pm on Saturday (14 December) following a Mayday alert from a 45ft fishing boat.

The five men who had been fishing for crab got into difficulty 20 miles north of Fanad Head. The boat lost power and encountered steering difficulties while violent waves smashed the wheelhouse windows in.

Lough Swilly RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat and started their 90-minute journey to the scene some 34 nautical miles from their station. Portrush RNLI meanwhile, had 50 nautical miles to travel. Weather conditions at the time were extremely challenging with the volunteers facing Force 9-10 gales and sea swells of 50ft. Arranmore RNLI was requested to launch shortly after at 4 pm.

Once on scene, Lough Swilly RNLI’s lifeboat crew assessed the situation and checked that the five crew were safe and well. The fishermen were cold, tired and shaken from the severity of the weather conditions but were otherwise in good health. Due to the challenging conditions, the decision was made to leave the crew on board their boat rather than transfer them to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew worked with the fishermen to establish a tow but despite attempts, the tow parted on three occasions in the storm. On arrival Arranmore RNLI’s lifeboat took over the tow and brought the vessel back into the mouth of Lough Swilly where the tow was transferred to Lough Swilly’s lifeboat to allow Arranmore’s RNLI’s crew make the three and half hour return trip back to their station in heavy seas.

Speaking following the call out, Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This was an extremely challenging call out for all the RNLI volunteers involved and we are delighted that the five fishermen were brought safely back to shore.

‘Our lifeboats launched in dangerous weather conditions on Saturday afternoon and our volunteers, 20 in all, spent almost 15 hours at sea, most of it in the hours of darkness. They faced gale-force conditions and 50ft swells but with great courage, selflessness and teamwork they successfully met and overcame those challenges to bring the fishermen to safety.

‘While challenging for our crews, this call out was a huge testament to the level of training RNLI volunteers undergo. Lifeboat crew members are highly trained and skilled to carry out such challenging work and thanks to the generosity of the public, we are provided with the best of equipment and technology to save lives at sea.’

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Lough Ree RNLI together with Athlone Sub Aqua Club have been honoured by the Municipal District of Athlone-Moate on behalf of Westmeath County Council.

The recognition was awarded to the volunteers of Lough Ree RNLI and Athlone Sub Aqua Club as a symbol of acknowledgement of their lifesaving contribution to the community.

Lough Ree RNLI has been operational since 2012 and to date has assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs.

"Assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs"

Speaking at the ceremony of recognition, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McCarth thanked the Council for this honour, together with the support they have shown over the years, most especially in providing a location for the Lifeboat Station to call home until the new boathouse is built.

He paid special tribute to his predecessor, Damien Delaney who undertook setting up the operation in Lough Ree. Tony closed his speech with a special word of appreciation for Derry McMahon from Athlone Sub Aqua Club for his many years of service in the community as a diver.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI was tasked at 11.58 am on Friday 8 November by the Coast Guard to help assist them in recovering a yacht that had gone aground at Harvey’s Dock after becoming loose from its moorings.

In calm and clear conditions, the volunteer crew of, Helm Liam Keogh, Alan Revins, Ivan Bryan and Noel Joyce launched the Atlantic 85, Inshore Lifeboat on the rising tide and reached the yacht within 2 minutes.

A tow line was established and as the yacht moved back onto the water it became submerged. The Lifeboat continued to tow the vessel until they reached a place where it could be secured. With the help of Youghal Coast Guard Unit the yacht was tied to the end of the pier. The lifeboat was then stood down and asked by the Coast Guard to return at low tide.

"The lifeboat was then stood down and asked by the Coast Guard to return at low tide"

Launching again at 9 pm in dark and cold conditions, the inshore lifeboat under the Helm of John Griffin Jr, Joe O’Connor, James Hanna and Thomas Brooks returned to the yacht to assist the Coast Guard in the water. Two volunteer crew members entered the water where they secured numerous buoys and barrels to the yacht to help to re-float it on the rising tide.

Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The success of the call outs today was due to the teamwork with our colleagues in the Youghal Coast Guard unit. Thankfully the yacht is now secure and drying out to relief of the owner. I would also like to thank all the volunteer shore and boat crew who assisted today’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Where is Dun Laoghaire Harbour located?

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre. 

What length are Dun Laoghaire's Piers?

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long 

What are is enclosed by Dun Laoghaire's Piers?

The enclosed area is 250 acres or one square kilometre

What width is Dun Laoghaire Harbour Entrance?

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier

What are the GPS Co-ordinates for Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

53.3024° N, 6.1264° W

What public facilities are on offer at Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

What organisations are based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution 
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs 
  • Sailing Schools 
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

What size is Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width. 

Who owns Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act. 

What is the history of Dun Laoghaire Harbour?

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977 - A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 

Is there a Dun Laoghaire Harbour Live webcam?

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are: 

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. Geroge Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

What are the main sailing events at Dun Laoghaire?

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021. 

Round Ireland Yacht Race 

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie hereThe race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. 

What recent International Sailing Fixtures have been Held in Dun Laoghaire?

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

• 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

• 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

• The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012
• Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
• Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

What is the role of Dun Laoghaire's Harbour Police?

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour. 

How many ship berths does Dun Laoghaire Harbour have?

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire: 

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

© Afloat 2020

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