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Displaying items by tag: Scotland

#Surfing - “It was just… nothing. There is only blackness.”

That’s how Scottish surfer Matthew Bryce describes his terrifying ordeal adrift on his board in the North Channel for 32 hours.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the 23-year-old recently returned to Campbelltown in Argyll a month after what was supposed to be a morning riding the waves turned into a nightmare.

The young man was finally rescued from the sea off Northern Ireland on 1 May, more than a day after getting pulled away from the shore, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Bryce expressed his appreciation to the local RNLI and coastguard teams, who worked with their counterparts in Northern Ireland to search the sea by boat and air.

He also appealed to anyone else going surfing to avoid the mistakes he made in surfing alone, without GPS or means to contact anyone on shore.

The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#Missing - RNLI lifeboats from Bangor and Donaghadee have joined the search for a speedboat with two men missing off the Scottish coast, as BBC News reports.

Coastguard volunteers from Bangor are also part of the emergency operation launched last night (Saturday 6 May) when the two men failed to return to Port Logan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Searches for the missing vessel, thought to be an 18ft black Fletcher speedboat, are concentrated off the Mull of Galloway for the time being.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Portrush RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew got an early callout yesterday morning (Sunday 5 March) on reports of a cruiser with three on board that had got into difficulties 33 miles offshore just south-east of the island of Islay in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides.

Weather conditions were described as ‘perfect’ with a bright morning pagers went off at 10.10am, and the crew were quickly underway at full speed due the favourable sea conditions.

When the lifeboat crew reached the vessel, a towline was quickly attached to the cruiser and it was taken under tow to Portrush at a slow and steady rate of six knots. The lifeboat crew returned to base by 4.30pm, six hours after launch.

Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: “This was a textbook exercise for the crew, and something they train for all year round. The good weather conditions assisted the recovery and good progress was made for home.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#OilRig - Tugboats from Smit Salvage have tugged the 17,000-tonne Transocean Winner free during high water levels and will be taken Broad Bay on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland until it can be transported to a repair facility.

 
The Transocean Winner ran aground on the Isle of Lewis off Scotland’s west coast on August 8, after breaking its tow lines in high winds during transportation from Norway to Malta.
 
The Smit Salvage teams tugged the boat free during high water levels on Monday night.
 
The 17,000-tonne semi-submersible rig will be towed to Broad Bay on Lewis and will remain there until it is in a stable and fit condition to be towed or transported to a suitable repair facility.
 
For much more on the efforts to refloat the oil platform, click here
Published in News Update

#OilRig - BBC News reports that a 17,000-tonne oil rig has run aground at Scotland's Outer Hebrides after storm-force winds battered the area on Monday (8 August).

The drilling platform Transocean Winner was under tow when it was blown onto the beach at Dalmore in the north of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Western Isles, more than 300km north of Malin Head.

No personnel were on board the rig at the time, but due to the presence of significant quantities of diesel on board, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is keeping watch for any potential pollution hazard.

BBC News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Coastguard - Five people were rescued as their boat sank under them between Ailsa Craig and Girvan in the Firth of Clyde last night (Saturday 6 August).

Belfast Coastguard received 999 calls just after 6.40pm from the men on the small boat, reporting they were sinking but only an approximate location on the coast.

The coastguard rescue helicopter from Prestwick and Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to search, while Girvan and Campbeltown RNLI lifeboats were requested.

Coastguard co-ordinators at Belfast also received help from the Irish Coast Guard, who tracked a precise location for the position of the casualty’s mobile phone.

The coastguard helicopter arrived on scene and prioritised winching two people from the vessel who weren’t wearing life jackets.

At this point the vessel sank in rough water, and the three others were rescued from the water and winched into the helicopter.

The five men were landed nearby and met by Girvan Coastguard Rescue Team, who found them to be safe and uninjured.

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

#Search - Two bodies have been found in the search for the missing crew of a fishing vessel that sank off Scotland's Western Isles early yesterday (Saturday 9 April).

One crew member was taken to hospital by helicopter as UK Coastguard teams from Stornaway and Prestwick joined the Barra RNLI lifeboat, local fishing vessels and Police Scotland in the search and rescue operation for three missing crewmates, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

One fisherman remains missing after two bodies were recovered yesterday afternoon off Mingulay. Next of kin are aware and police officers are in contact with the families.

Mark Rodaway, national maritime operations commander for the UK Coastguard, said: “Despite an intensive search including the helicopters, lifeboat and other fishing vessels in the area, we have been unable to locate the missing fisherman. Our thoughts are with all those involved.”

Chief Inspector Alastair Garrow of Police Scotland said: "At this time we can confirm that the bodies of two men have been recovered. A third man was rescued and was taken to hospital at Stornoway. He is not seriously injured.

"A fourth man was on the boat and is still missing. The next of kin of all the men have been informed.

Chief Insp Garrow added: "An investigation will be carried out in parallel with the police and the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch (MAIB) and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

"This has been a tragic incident which will impact on the local community. Our thoughts are with the families affected."

The search has now been scaled back pending further information.

Published in Rescue

#Search - One crew member from a fishing vessel has been rescued as the search continues for three others after the boat sank off Scotland's Western Isles in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 9 April).

The UK Coastguard received a distress alert just before 3:45am when the fishing vessel with four crew on board has its emergency positioning beacon (EPIRB) activated near Mingulay.

The coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Stornoway has since been searching the area along with the Barra RNLI lifeboat.

One crew member has been taken to hospital by the helicopter. The lifeboat remains in the area and the coastguard helicopter from Prestwick has taken over so the search can continue.

Published in Rescue

#Tourism - A new report from the Scottish government says the marine tourism sector is worth £3.7 billion (€4.7 billion) annually.

And more than a third of that spend is on water-based activities from sailing and surfing to kayaking, angling and marine wildlife watching, according to BBC News.

Businesses in the sector who contributed to the Scottish Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey say they are optimistic about growth over the next five years, coinciding with the industry's five-year action plan as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

As such, the Irish marine sector will be watching with interest to see how Scotland's strategy could inspire a boost in this country's burgeoning aquatic tourism industry – much in the same way Ireland's sailing tourism sector inspired the Scots five years ago.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#MCIB - Protocols for SAR helicopter rescues and the use of emergency portable pumps should be included in safety training for fishing vessels.

Those were among the recommendations from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board's (MCIB) report on the sinking of the trawler Iúda Naofa off Scotland a year ago.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Aran Islands registered trawler sank suddenly off the Outer Hebrides on 20 January 2015 after it began taking on water.

The boat's five crew were rescued immediately by an accompanying vessel and the UK coastguard, and none required medical attention, according to the MCIB.

But the board's report into the incident highlighted the lack of knowhow regarding hi-line protocols for helicopter operations among the crew, with only one fisherman on board having any prior knowledge.

As a result the crew were unable to release the emergency pump dropped from the helicopter from its standard clasp, nor determine how to operate it despite the instructions being included – though in this particular situation the flooding was too great for the pump to be of use.

The MCIB was unable to determine the cause of the water ingress without physical evidence from the trawler, which could not be recovered.

It was noted that the vessel had adequate stability for normal working conditions, and that the crew made every effort to save the vessel – but were hampered by flooding in the compartment with the pumps and generators, which rendered them useless.

Also noted was that the while the crew were not all wearing lifejackets or fully zipped up in survival suits, after expressing difficulty working on rescuing their boat with them on, they evacuated the vessel without panic and looked after each other.

The release of the report coincides with a new campaign by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to encourage all in the fishing industry to wear personal flotation devices – or PFDs – where appropriate, according to The Irish Times.

BIM's statistics show that more than half of all fishermen in Ireland do not wear a lifejacket or PFD while at sea, despite the availability of free safety gear on subsidised training courses.

It's also despite 36% of fishermen reporting that the know of a colleague who has died at sea.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in MCIB
Page 3 of 10

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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