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Displaying items by tag: Aran Islands

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to two medical emergencies on a busy Bank Holiday Monday (1 August).

The first call came at 3.42am when the crew on Inis Mór were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard to go the aid of a man on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin who was in need of further medical attention.

Under coxswain John O’Donnell, the all-weather lifeboat launched and headed straight for Inis Meáin where the patient was safely transferred aboard the lifeboat and brought to the mainland at Ros an Mhíl. Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and good visibility.

The next call was at 10.39pm on Monday night when a patient on Inis Mór was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour, the lifeboat launched under O’Donnell and a full crew for the mainland and transfer to a waiting ambulance.

Conditions at sea this time were challenging, with poor visibility and a Force 5 southwesterly wind blowing.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “It has been a busy weekend for our volunteers and they didn’t hesitate to respond to their pagers. We would like to wish both patients a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland has opened its doors on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, to raise vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The new shop which is located inside Aran Islands RNLI’s lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, is quickly becoming a key attraction for both the islanders and the many visitors who come each year. The shop means visitors can leave Inis Mór with a memory of their time on the island while supporting the charity.

The shop launched last Tuesday, and volunteers plan to have it open seven days a week during the tourist season (Easter through to Autumn) with opening times coinciding with the ferry arrival and departure times.

The shop offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts.The shop offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts.

The shop crew include volunteers Amy Williamson, Breda O’Donnell, Daniel and Lena O’Connell, David Terry, Margaret Jackie Gill, Shane Dirrane, Siobhán McGuinness and Treasa Ni Bhraonain, all of whom are looking forward to a busy summer after an exceptional first week serving local islanders and visiting tourists.

Speaking following the first week of trading, Brian Wilson, RNLI Community Manager, shares the shop team’s excitement: ‘We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the rich heritage of lifeboat station shops in the RNLI. This is the second RNLI shop on the west coast of Ireland, along with Sligo Bay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The response in the first week has more than exceeded our expectations. We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and I want to thank the team here for their efforts in getting us to this point as well as thanking everyone who has visited and shown their support since the opening last week.

‘RNLI shops started 100 years ago as cake stands before they expanded into selling commemorative souvenirs and cards, and now we offer an excellent range of RNLI products with all profits helping to save lives at sea. So, we are all thrilled that this piece of RNLI heritage has reached Inis Mór and that the proceeds raised can now help to power the lifesaving work of the volunteer crew on the Aran Islands.’

The shop team at Aran Islands RNLI are looking for more volunteers. If you think you can give some time to help out, please call into the shop for more information.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aran Islands RNLI on Inis Mór were called on to assist a local woman in need of medical attention on Wednesday evening, 22 June.

The woman was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat by the volunteer crew shortly after 6.15pm and the vessel, under coxswain John O’Donnell with a full crew, headed straight for Ros an Mhíl harbour where an ambulance was waiting.

Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and clear visibility.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “The volunteer crew responded to their pagers as soon as they went off so we were able to get the patient on her way to the hospital quickly. We would like to wish her a speedy recovery.

“As we head into the summer months, we would like to advise all beachgoers, and anyone heading to sea, to heed all safety advice and guidelines.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has today announced the awarding of a new €4.9 million air service contract for the Aran Islands.

The PSO contract — which comes into effect on Tuesday 7 June — will run for four years until 2026 and will ensure essential mainland connectivity for the island communities. It’s also expected to significantly boost tourism, the department adds.

In addition, the new contract ensures for the first time the provision of a direct service from the mainland to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, which will mean a faster service for those smaller islands.

The contract with Galway Aviation Services Limited, trading as Aer Arann Islands, follows extensive consultation with island stakeholders and a full procurement process.

The air route has most recently been operated by Aer Arann Islands on an interim contractual basis. This came after the operator announced the termination of its PSO arrangement in mid 2018, citing profitability concerns.

Announcing the decision today, Minister Humphreys said: “This contract gives certainly to the communities of Oileáin Árainn. It ensures they can continue to avail of a year round, reliable and affordable air service to and from Aerfort Chonamara.

“And for the first time, we will now have direct flights to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr – two wonderful island communities that are so steeped in history, culture and folklore.

“This is a fantastic development for these island communities. And it also sends a huge signal out ahead of the summer tourism season.”

The contract will provide 68,274 PSO seats annually to the three islands and will operate from Aerfort Chonamara at Inverin, which was purchased by the State in 2019.

The contract will also see the introduction of a flexible scheduling scheme that will allow operator to better respond to local service demands, such as island festivals and events.

Ad-hoc and scheduled non-PSO flights will also be provided by the operator to meet any demand above the agreed PSO seating allocation, the department says.

Published in Island News
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ESB Networks says it is investigating the cause of a power blackout which affected almost 800 Aran islanders last week.

The southern Aran island of Inis Oírr was most severely affected, with no electricity for 26 hours – resulting in substantial losses to businesses and households relying on freezers.

The break occurred when a contractor hit an underground cable on Inis Oírr at about 2 pm last Tuesday. Retired island co-op manager Paddy Crowe says the driver had been asked to stop working by several residents before the cable was hit.

Power went down on all three islands, but ESB Networks says it was able to restore supplies to Inis Mór and Inis Meáin less than an hour after the fault occurred.

However, Inis Oírr had no supply restored until 4.30 pm on Wednesday, some 26 hours later. ESB Network crews arrived at 10.30 am that morning and repaired the cable in six hours.

“Third-party damage occurs on our network from time to time,” a spokesman for ESB Networks said.

“ The overriding priority is always one of safety, and thankfully we are not aware of injuries on this occasion,” the spokesman said.

“Third-party incidents are unfortunately a feature of any electricity network, and we’d take every opportunity to remind those in construction of these dangers,” the spokesman said.

“In this case, we are in the process of establishing the precise cause, ”the spokesman said. He said he understood work was being undertaken on behalf of Galway County Council in the area where the fault occurred, and this was being followed up locally.

ESB Networks said it wished to “apologise to all customers impacted, particularly those on Inis Oírr who were without power overnight, for the disruption caused”.

“The incident serves as a timely reminder to all those involved in construction to ‘dial before you dig’ on 1800 928 960,” the spokesman said.

Published in Island News
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Following their two callouts on Monday, the volunteer lifeboat crew of Aran Islands RNLI were tasked again on Tuesday evening (31 May) to a woman in need of medical attention.

The Severn class all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain in charge Sean Curtin and a full crew and headed straight from Inis Mór for the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Conditions at the time of launch were good, with a northwesterly Force 3-4 wind blowing.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was transferred safely aboard and under the supervision of the volunteer crew, the lifeboat headed straight for Ros an Mhíl harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, Curtin said: “The volunteer crew responded quickly to the call and we got the patient safely on her way to the medical attention needed. we would like to wish her a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew were twice requested to launch on Monday (30 May).

The first callout came from the Irish Coast Guard at 2pm following a report of a small inflatable boat broken down off Doolin.

The volunteer crew under coxswain Sean Curtin were ready to launch the all-weather Severn class lifeboat when the call came through that the inflatable had made its way safely ashore.

The second callout came at 10.05pm when a man visiting the islands overnight was in need of medical assistance.

With the patient transferred safely aboard, the lifeboat launched under Curtin and a full crew and proceeded straight for Ros and Mhíl’s harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking later, Curtin said: “We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery. On both occasions the volunteer crew turned up without hesitation.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI on Inis Mór were requested on Tuesday evening (3 May) to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat to go to the aid of a patient on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Under coxswain John O'Donnell with a full crew onboard, the lifeboat launched for the medevac around 6pm in good weather conditions, with a southwesterly Force 3-4 wind, calm seas and good visibility.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was brought safely aboard the lifeboat by the crew and then transferred directly to Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance on the mainland.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “This was a great response time from the volunteer crew who are always there to help anyone in need. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.

“With the summer season fast approaching and the weather improving, we would advise anyone heading to the coast to heed all weather and safety advice.

“If you are planning a trip to sea, always wear a lifejacket or suitable floatation device for your activity, always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back.

“Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Companies throughout Galway have been promoted to more than 50 top tour operators and travel agents from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland at a trade workshop held recently in Scandinavia.

Moycullen-based North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland and Aran Island Ferries (incl. Cliffs of Moher) took part along with 23 other businesses at Tourism Ireland’s 2022 Nordic trade workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At the event, Irish businesses met with Nordic travel professionals, to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time in their brochures and programmes.

The key message was that Ireland is open for business again, and cannot wait to welcome back Nordic visitors.

Asides the Galway City Docks-Aran Islands (Inishmore) route, Afloat highlights those available from Rossaveel, Connemara and from Doolin in Co. Clare. At Doolin Pier there are other ferry operators also connecting to all three Aran Islands of Inishmore, Inishmean and Inisheer.

In addition running out of Doolin, coastal excursions head along to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. 

More from Galway Daily on the tourist trade promotion.  

Published in Galway Harbour

Doolin Ferry Company has set sail for the summer season, with their state-of-the-art ferries operating once again from Doolin Pier to the Aran Islands. Passengers can also opt to board a Cliffs of Moher cruise, or the Seafari experience, which was introduced in 2021.

With the popularity of the Aran Islands continuing to increase year on year, the family-run business now offers up to 20 sailings per day between Inis Óirr, Inis Mór and Inis Meáin.

As a top destination in the West of Ireland, the Aran Islands offer visitors the chance to step back in time and experience Irish culture in its truest and most traditional forms.

The Doolin Ferry Co. Seafari Launch The Doolin Ferry Co. Seafari Launch

Doolin Ferry Co. holds the largest and fastest ferry fleet operating on the Wild Atlantic Way. Doolin Ferry Co’s one of a kind ‘Seafari’ experience takes place onboard an exclusive, private 10 seater rib.

The rib is designed to allow you unrivalled, close up views of the entire Clare Coast while sheltering you from the elements with an optional canopy if the need arises.

Doolin Ferry Co’s private charters allow you to dictate the itinerary so no two journeys onboard are ever the same.

Published in Ferry
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Page 1 of 20

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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