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Displaying items by tag: Rescue 115

Irish Coast Guard winchman Philip Wrenn has been presented with the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy at a ceremony in London this week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the crewman with the Shannon-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 was recognised in March for his role in the rescue two two Italian brothers who fell into the Atlantic two-and-a-half years ago.

Wrenn was lowered from the helicopter to pluck Giovanni and Ricardo Zanon from the waters after the incident at Poll na bPéist on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands in February 2019.

The brothers were reunited with Wrenn and winch operator Ciarán McHugh for a documentary that aired on TG4 last year.

More recently, Giovanni and Ricardo returned to Ireland with their family last month to thank Wrenn and the rest of the crew for their efforts.

Wrenn was conferred with the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy six months ago but coronavirus restrictions delayed the in-person presentation until this week, during a special ceremony at the Palace of Westminster yesterday (Tuesday 14 September).

The trophy is named in memory of late Bristow Helicopters winchman Billy Deacon, who died during a Maritime and Coastguard Agency search and rescue helicopter mission in 1997.

Speaking of Wrenn’s rescue efforts, award committee chair George Rawlinson MBE said: “During this service Phil Wrenn faced considerable personal risk. His calm determined professionalism, and quick-thinking selfless action undoubtably ensured a successful outcome.

“A very courageous and brave act indeed, in saving the lives of both casualties. Huge credit goes to the pilot and crew of the rescue helicopter, whose teamwork and communication skills were vital to ensuring a successful outcome for all.

“Phil’s actions exemplify the risks often faced by search and rescue helicopter crews, and other maritime emergency services, who are always ready to respond to the call for help, even in the most challenging and risky conditions.”

Wrenn also received an inscribed watch from sponsors Breitling at the Air League’s Honours and Awards Reception Ceremony hosted by the House of Commons.

Published in Coastguard

Two Italian brothers rescued after they were knocked into the sea in the Aran Islands have returned to meet the coastguard crew who saved them.

In February 2019, Giovanni and Ricardo Zanon were struck by an unexpected wave at Poll na bPéist on Inis Mór, falling 20 metres off the cliff into the cold Atlantic.

Despite sustaining serious injury — Ricardo Zanon broke his tibia and pelvis in the fall — the brothers survived to tell the tale thanks to the swift actions of the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Rescue 115’s winchman Philip Wrenn won a prestigious award earlier this year for his role in the rescue.

The Zanon brothers and their parents returned to Inis Mór today (Wednesday 11 August) for the first time since the incident to give thanks to Wrenn and the rest of the crew.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ricardo said of that fateful day: “I just remember a big, huge wave like a grey wall coming towards me and then it was completely dark and I thought I was going to die.”

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

The Air Corps was put on standby amid fears that an Irish Coast Guard helicopter would have to ditch in the sea, as The Irish Times reports.

Rescue 115 from Shannon was forced to leave one of its crew with an injured fisherman on a fishing vessel off the Co Kerry coast early yesterday morning, Sunday 4 July, when the helicopter’s systems warned of a mechanical issue.

The Sikorsky S-92 “diverted to land at the nearest suitable location” in line with standard procedure, according to a coastguard spokesperson, and the aircraft landed safely at Valentia half an hour later. The issue has since been confirmed to be a “hard fault” and the helicopter is now back in service.

Earlier today, as reported on Afloat.ie, Rescue 115's crew airlifted to hospital a surfer rescued from the sea off Co Clare.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

BreakingNews.ie reports that a surfer has died in hospital after he got into difficulty off the Co Clare coast this morning, Monday 5 July.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Kilkee unit and Rescue 115 helicopter from Shannon were among the emergency services to attend the scene at Lough Donnell in Quilty, where off-duty lifeguards in the area helped bring the surfer ashore.

The casualty was subsequently airlifted to University Hospital Limerick in critical condition.

This story was updated at 6.05pm on Monday 5 July.

Published in Rescue

The Irish Times reports that a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries after a diving incident in Co Cork yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 June).

It’s understood that the man was diving from rocks near Nohoval Cove, between Kinsale and Crosshaven, when his foot caught and he landed on rocks.

Kinsale RNLI and gardaí attended the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard, which airlifted the casualty on board the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to Cork University Hospital.

Elsewhere, the search resumed this morning for a five-year-old boy believed to have fallen from a dinghy on Lough Mask.

RTÉ News reports that gardaí and the coastguard are searching the west side of the lough near Toormakeady in Co Mayo.

Published in Rescue

The Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter launched to rescue two seriously injured crew from a Dutch supertrawler on Friday morning (6 March), as the Irish Examiner reports.

Rescue 115 was dispatched yesterday to the Zeeland, a 6,000-tonne fishing factory, following the incident overnight some 170 nautical miles west of Loop Head.

With winds reaching storm Force 8 at sea, the decision was made to bring the Zeeland closer to the Shannon Estuary to allow the coastguard helicopter to approach in improved weather conditions.

The Zeeland pictured in the Netherlands in 2015 (Photo: Moolen/Shipspotting)The Zeeland pictured in the Netherlands in 2015 | Photo: Moolen/Shipspotting

Both injured crew were assessed and treated on the vessel before being airlifted to University Hospital Limerick. Their condition is not known at this time.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

The Irish Coast Guard has warned over the dangers of laser pointers after a rescue helicopter was targeted during a training operation on Tuesday evening (28 May).

According to TheJournal.ie, Rescue 115 was conducting manoeuvres north of Doolin at around 10.18pm when the green laser light was flashed against the aircraft “multiple times”.

In this instance the flight was not interrupted, but gardaí are investigating and the coastguard has reiterated the dangers of flashing potentially blinding lights at any aircraft.

A recent spate of laser pointer incidents has been reported at Belfast International Airport. TheJournal.ie has more on that story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Castletownbere’s RNLI lifeboat sprang into action to help locate a tourist reported missing on Dursey Island in West Cork yesterday afternoon (Friday 17 May).

The lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Dean Hegarty, launched shortly after 2pm after Valentia Coast Guard radio received reports that a visitor to the island off the Beara Peninsula had gone missing.

Also tasked were the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, Derrynane Inshore Rescue Boat and the Naval Service vessel LÉ Ciara.

Once on scene, the lifeboat commenced a search of the area while Rescue 115 did a sweep of the island and spotted a person who fitted the description of the casualty.

The coastguard helicopter lowered a winchman and confirmed that the casualty was safe and well. All emergency services were then stood down.

Commenting on the callout, launching authority Paddy O’Connor said: “We are delighted at the very swift response of the crew and that the casualty was located safe and well.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Clare Herald reports on a helicopter medevac from the Queen Mary 2 off the Irish coast earlier this week.

Rescue 115 from the Irish Coast Guard was involved in the evacuation of an elderly woman to University Hospital Limerick from the luxury ocean liner on Monday afternoon (19 November).

The incident came just over a year after an elderly man with a suspected heart problem was evacuated from the same liner off West Cork.

Published in Coastguard

#Medevac - Shannon’s Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was involved in a medevac from the cruise liner Queen Mary 2 some 60 nautical miles off West Cork on Thursday morning (12 October), as BreakingNews.ie reports.

An elderly passenger understood to have a heart problem was treated by the ocean liner’s medical staff before transfer to the coastguard crew, who airlifted him to University Hospital Tralee.

Published in Coastguard
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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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