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Displaying items by tag: Wexford

#MarineWildlife - The skeleton of a blue whale beached on the Wexford coast in the late 19th century has now taken pride of place at London’s Natural History Museum.

As previously reported on, the museum paid the equivalent of €30,000 for the carcass of the giant marine mammal that washed up in Wexford Harbour in 1891.

The specimen was subsequently rendered at the museum’s own ‘whale pit’, which operated till the 1940s, and its skeleton was put into storage for decades.

That’s until the museum’s directors decided that a new display in its grand entrance hall would help reposition the institution as one that puts first the conservation of today’s natural world, according to the Guardian.

In short, that meant saying goodbye to Dippy, the famous diplodocus skeleton that is actually a cast of a dinosaur fossil found in the United States — and welcoming a more local but more importantly awe-inspiring and authentic example of life that exists on this planet today.

Hanging the new attraction was no mean feat, however, as The Telegraph reports how a crucial bolt was sheared off in the middle of hoisting the 4.5 tonne beast in the museum’s Hintze Hall.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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#RNLI - Two volunteer lifeboat crew with Wexford RNLI have received the charity’s Excellence in Volunteering Award in recognition for their hard work and dedication to lifesaving.

Lorraine Galvin and David Maguire were presented with their framed certificates during the Wexford Maritime Festival, the hugely popular event the pair helped set up, over the weekend of 1-2 July.

In a citation from the RNLI’s chief executive Paul Boissier, he explained the award was in recognition for David and Lorraine’s “vision in founding the Wexford Maritime Festival back in 2012” and their “drive and energy in continuing to manage and run the festival”. 

Boissier went on to praise them for the building of links with other rescue and blue light organisations and for raising awareness of the work of the RNLI.

Welcoming the award, Wexford RNLI lifeboat operations manager Nick Bowie said: “We are very proud of Lorraine and David at the lifeboat station. They take their lifesaving role in the community very seriously and their enthusiasm is infectious. 

“Volunteering to be on the lifeboat crew is a huge commitment but to then go on and set up the festival to promote water safety and bring visitors to our town is incredible.”
The Wexford Maritime Event promotes having fun on the water safely and raises funds for the work of the RNLI. It has become one of the largest annual events held in the South East.

RNLI area lifesaving manager Owen Medland commented: “David and Lorraine have demonstrated the very highest level of volunteering both operationally and with their involvement with the Wexford Maritime Festival since its inception. Their energy, enthusiasm and professionalism is contagious.

“Both volunteers are fully deserving of this recognition and we are truly grateful for all they contribute to the saving of lives.”

Declan Geoghegan, SAR operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard, added: “In the many SAR incidents Lorraine and David have been involved in, they have been known for their dedication and dependability in all aspects. They are professional in all aspects of their work.

"The coastguard would like to congratulate Lorraine and David on this well deserved reward.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Angling - It was double gold for Ireland’s men and women at the World Shore Angling Championships in Wexford this week, as the Irish Examiner reports.

And it’s a result that’s put the sport of shore angling firmly “back on the map” in Ireland, according to the Irish Federation of Sea Angling’s Brian Reidy.

Top prize for the men’s team saw them leap up two spots from their bronze-medal finish at last year’s event in Portugal’s Algarve, their best placed finish since winning in 2010 (they also came third in 2012).

But it was an even more impressive outing by the Irish women’s team, who were competing for the first time ever at top level and held on to their early lead for the full week’s fishing.

The Belfast Telegraph profiled the team ahead of the competition, noting that it was a family affair: mother and daughter Janet Snoddy and Lisa Gormley cast their lines as part of the six-women squad, while Lisa’s father — and Janet’s husband — Jim Gormley served as team manager.

Published in Angling

#Missing - The search was set to resume this morning for a fisherman missing after going overboard from a three-man fishing vessel off the Wicklow-Wexford border yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 November).

As The Irish Times reports, RNLI lifeboats from Rosslare and Wicklow were tasked along with the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and later Rescue 116 from Dublin Airport to the incident some 6km east of Kilmichael Point in Co Wexford.

It's understood that the missing man is in his late 40s or eary 50s, according to

Published in News Update

#RNLI - A visiting yacht which ran aground on the way into Wexford Harbour was rescued by Wexford RNLI on Thursday afternoon (7 July) in what was the third callout for the volunteer crew this week.

The previous evening, the lifeboat launched at 8.15pm to reports of a walker on rocks near Wexford Bridge by members of Wexford Marinewatch who were concerned for their safety.

The lifeboat made its way to the wall which immerses in high tide and stood by until the individual was safely back on dry land.

On Tuesday (6 July) the lifeboat launched to reports of a possible sighting in the water, described as a white object that was splashing near Ferrycarrig Hotel. An extensive search of the area was carried out with nothing found.

Speaking after the week’s missions, Wexford RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Lorraine Galvin said: "All our volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and typically launch the lifeboat under 10 minutes of a 999 call.

"With at least two training exercises a week, the volunteers commit a great amount of time to providing rescue cover from Killurin Bridge to Curracloe Beach.

"We would also like to thank the fundraisers, who are all volunteers for their recent Flag Day collection and all those who donate to the RNLI to keep the service going allowing us to continue to saves lives at sea."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Four local towns went head-to-head at a recent quiz night in a bid to raise funds for Fethard RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat appeal.

Some 62 tables took on the challenge in four venues in Fethard on-Sea, Duncannon, Campile and New Ross last Friday (1 April) to determine which village or town would take the ‘Don’t be a fool on April Fool’s Day’ crown.

The honours went to New Ross on the night, with the winning team represented by Luke Grennan, Dan Meaney, Pat Kenny and Denis North.

Speaking following the event, Fethard RNLI fundraising chair Oonagh Hearne said: "Around 248 people enjoyed a great family evening with 62 tables participating and helping us to raise €3,000 towards our new inshore lifeboat appeal.

"Thank you to everyone who supported the event including The Brandon House Hotel, Neville’s Bar, Dunphy’s Bar and the Strand Tavern. Thanks to everyone who took part, the companies who donated prizes and all who helped organise the event. The community spirit was incredible."

Fethard RNLI hopes to raise €65,000 in their 18-month fundraising appeal which will go towards the cost of a new D class lifeboat due to arrive at the station late next year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two fishermen have been brought to safety this afternoon by the RNLI after they got into difficulty off the Wexford coast.

Wexford RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 12.08pm following a report that a fishing vessel with two people on board was experiencing mechanical difficulty a mile and a half south east of Blackwater Head.

The lifeboat helmed by Frank O’Brien launched and made its way to the scene. Wexford RNLI then requested the assistance of Rosslare Harbour RNLI due to the location of the fishing vessel some 12 miles north of Rosslare Harbour. It was the fourth call out in a week for the volunteer lifeboat crew from Rosslare.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke and with eight volunteer crew members on board launched at 12.29pm and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were described as overcast but good. The men had been razor fishing when their boat got caught in lobster pots.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that no one was in immediate danger and began to work with the fishermen to establish a towline.

The vessel was then taken under tow and brought to the bar of Wexford escorted all the time by Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat. Once there, Wexford RNLI took over and brought the vessel to shore at 4pm with the assistance of another fishing vessel which was in the area at the time. Having only finished a routine exercise when they were requested to launch at midday, this meant the volunteers from Wexford had spent some six hours at sea.

Meanwhile, yesterday (Saturday 12 March) Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Keith Miller launched in thick fog at 7am after a fishing boat with three people on board was reported to have lost its rudder just off Rosslare. The lifeboat once on scene took the boat under tow and brought it to Blackrock where it was met by Kilmore Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat which towed it into Kilmore Quay.

Meanwhile, at 6.30am on Thursday, the lifeboat launched under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke to go the assistance of a fishing boat which had broke from her moorings overnight and blew ashore due to a change in the weather conditions. On this occasion the lifeboat crew established a tow before the vessel was brought alongside the fishermen’s wall in the harbour.

Speaking following today’s call out, David Maloney, Rosslare Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The fishermen did the right thing this afternoon and raised the alarm when they began to experience some difficulty. Our volunteers both from Rosslare Harbour and Wexford responded rapidly and worked well together to bring the fishermen safely to shore. It has been a busy week for our volunteers but they are always ready and delighted to help anyone in need at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Wexford RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew rescued a man within a minute of him entering the water near Wexford Bridge on Wednesday afternoon (28 October).

The boat was just about to launch for an assessment of two prospective crew members when shore crew and tractor driver David Dempsey spotted something falling into the water out of the corner of his eye.

The lifeboat continued to launch at 2:33pm and was on scene within one minute. In the meantime a member of the public had thrown a lifebouy into the water and the casualty was able to hold onto it.

He was quickly recovered into the lifeboat at 2.34pm and the boat was back at the lifeboat station at 2.35pm, where the casualty was treated for mild hypothermia. Ambulance personnel provided further treatment and brought him to hospital.

Wexford RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Lorraine Galvin said: "The fact that the lifeboat was ready to launch and was there within a minute of the man falling into the water saved his life, [not to mention] the fast response by a member of the public who threw a ringbouy into the water.

"The two volunteer lifeboat crew who were on assessment at the time had the opportunity to put their training to the test in a real rescue scenario."

The lifeboat crew involved in this rescue were helm Frank O'Brien and Fintan O'Donoghue, trainee crew Ger Doran and Marcin Maksimiuk, and tractor driver David Dempsey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - At a special ceremony held yesterday (Saturday 26 September), Wexford RNLI officially named its new D class lifeboat, Alfred William Newman, at its lifeboat station in the town, adjacent to Wexford Bridge and the Quays.

As previously reported on, the lifeboat, which went on service on the 25 June this year, was funded by the late Alfred William Newman from Birmingham who, through a bequest in his will, provided the D class lifeboat to enable crews to continue Wexford RNLI’s lifesaving service.

Welcoming guests at the ceremony Wexford RNLI lifeboat operations manager Nick Bowie said the naming ceremony and service of dedication was a special occasion in the history of the Wexford lifeboat station.

He also welcomed members of the Booth family, who funded Wexford RNLI’s last lifeboat in memory of their beloved son and brother Philip. During its time on service, the Philip Robert Booth launched 112 times, saved eight lives and rescued 86 people.

The honour of naming the new lifeboat went to Yvonne Shields, chief executive at the Commissioners of Irish Lights, an organisation which has for many years enjoyed strong links with the RNLI.

Speaking at the event, she said Irish Lights had a deep admiration for the RNLI and the wonderful work the charity did around the coast.

"It is a remarkable organisation powered by a remarkable network of volunteers, who together are hugely dedicated and committed to the safety of all. At Irish Lights our role is also focused safety at sea through the provision of aids to navigation to ensure safety passage for all.

"We regard ourselves and the RNLI as part of the same family of organisations dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of mariners around the coast and indeed there are many Irish Lights people directly involved in the RNLI. This close and heartfelt relationship between our two organisations is why I was delighted to be asked to participate in today’s ceremony."

RNLI Irish Council member Niamh McCutcheon accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing her over into the care of Wexford Lifeboat Station.

McCutcheon said the demand for the lifeboat service showed no sign of slowing down. "Here in Wexford over the past five years, the volunteer lifeboat crew have launched on average 11 times each year, rescuing a total of 47 people," she said.

"That is an incredible achievement, and I would like to pay a particular tribute to every crew member, shore crew, station manager and fundraiser who has made every one of those launches possible. Each and every one of you had a vital role in that rescue."

Since the new lifeboat went on service in Wexford there have been six callouts and many training exercises.

Accepting the new lifeboat, Bowie said: "Part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. Through the Irish Coast Guard I have the volunteers paged, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible and prepare for a launch.

"When they arrive, and get kitted up, and head out to sea, I’ll have peace of mind because I know this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others. So, on behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank the donors and their family. Your generosity has given Wexford Town a lifesaver."

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named, with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony for a demonstration.

Also among the platform party were Cllr Ger Carty, Mayor of Wexford, who opened proceedings; Owen Medland, RNLI divisional operations manager, who described the lifeboat and her capabilities during the ceremony; Jack Higginbotham, lifeboat boathouse manager, who delivered the vote of thanks; and Sophie Gulliver, daughter of volunteer crew member Simon Gulliver.

Father Aodhan Marken and Canon Arthur Minion lead the Service of Dedication, with music provided by the Wexford Male Voice Choir.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new D class lifeboat for Wexford RNLI is to be officially named Alfred William Newman during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the town centre at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 26 September. The lifeboat which went on service in June was funded by Alfred William Newman who, through a bequest in his Will, provided the D class lifeboat to enable crews to continue Wexford RNLI’s lifesaving service.

The RNLI which has strong links throughout Ireland with the Commissioner of Irish Lights has asked Chief Executive Yvonne Shields, to have the honour of naming the new lifeboat at the station during tomorrow’s event.

Nick Bowie, Wexford RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is looking forward to the naming ceremony. He said: ‘As the Operations Manager here, it’s a proud and satisfying moment to see the crew get such a capable rescue water craft. As well as celebrating the naming of this lifeboat, this event gives us the chance to say a warm thank you to the donor, Alfred William Newman whose generous bequest funded the lifeboat.’

The RNLI formally established a lifeboat station in Wexford in 2002 but its lifeboating history goes back some 77 years prior to that.

The original Wexford Lifeboat Station, located at the Fort at the mouth of Wexford Harbour was opened in 1838. It had two lifeboats on station, one for the offshore waters and a smaller lifeboat for the shallower waters of the harbour. Severe storms decimated the Fort village and its linking causeway in 1925 and the larger lifeboat had to be temporarily stationed at Wexford Quay. She was eventually permanently re-stationed at Rosslare Harbour, leaving the local boating community in Wexford to deal with emergencies within their harbour.

Many years later in 1993, following the tragic drowning of Paddy Busher, a local group was mustered to establish Wexford Harbour Inshore Rescue as a declared maritime emergency resource for Wexford Harbour and their lifeboat was named Paddy Busher. In 2002 this service formally became part of the RNLI.

The D class lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI’s lifesaving service for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable but robust; highly manoeuvrable and capable of operating much closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

First introduced to the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version was introduced in 2003. As with all D class lifeboats, the Alfred William Newman has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. Onboard equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radios, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit, including oxygen.

The 5m lifeboat is tractor launched and has a 25knot maximum speed. It can carry up to three lifeboat crew and five survivors.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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