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Displaying items by tag: drowning

#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety, the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather.

On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight — and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water-based activities.

The joint appeal includes the following water safety advice to avoid summer tragedy:

  • Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Never swim alone.
  • Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap. This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
  • Supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys in open water. The recent multiple rescue off Fethard is testament to the dangers of using inflatables where a sudden current can put lives under threat.
  • Swim at lifeguarded waterways listed by Irish Water Safety, or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ring buoys present to conduct a safe rescue.

 If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:

  • Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
  • Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
  • Throw a ring buoy or any floating object, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Waterways Ireland is also running a campaign with Irish Water Safety to encourage the wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices on the Shannon Navigation during the 2018 summer boating season.

The awareness campaign will aim to emphasise the importance of wearing lifejackets at key focal points along the Shannon.

You may notice some new signage which will be erected at key locations – locks and marinas — encouraging water safety. Information leaflets will also be distributed to water users at these key locations on the water.

Waterways Ireland encourages the safe use of its waterways by all. The wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices is not only an effective way of enhancing water safety, it is also a legal requirement on all pleasure craft in Ireland.

Published in Water Safety
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#LoughErne - BelfastLive reports that a man has been charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in Lough Erne earlier this year.

Lu Na McKinney was recovered from the water by emergency services in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 35-year-old mother of two from Donegal was believed to have slipped from the deck of a boat while checking it was tied to the jetty.

Yesterday a PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a 41-year-old man had been charged with her murder and was due before Omagh Magistrates’ Court this morning (Tuesday 5 December).

The man is also charged with possession of a Class C controlled drug, a classification which includes a number of tranquilisers.

Published in News Update

#Shannon - Tributes have been paid to a Longford teen who drowned at a marina on the River Shannon yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 18 July), as RTÉ News reports.

Damola Adetosoye, 17, was among a group of 20 teenagers who were swimming at a marina near Termonbarry when he got into difficulty.

The tragedy comes less than a month after Irish Water Safety (IWS) issued its annual summer advisory to the public for National Water Safety Awareness Week (19-25 June).

IWS noted that the majority of drownings — some 62% — occur inland in Ireland’s lakes and rivers, while 80% happen within the victim’s home county.

“Such statistics reinforce the importance of learning how to stay safe in, on and around water,” said the water safety body.

Published in News Update
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#LoughErne - A Donegal woman drowned after a boating accident on Lough Erne late on Wednesday night, as RTÉ News reports.

The woman is believed to have fallen overboard from a hired vessel she and her husband and children has been using for the Easter holidays.

It’s thought the 35-year-old slipped from the deck while checking the boat was tied to the jetty at Devenish Island, near Enniskillen, in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

The Belfast Telegraph adds that the woman’s husband dived into the lough to attempt a rescue after hearing a splash but could not find her in the dark.

Her body was recovered by emergency services 40 minutes later just metres from the stern of the boat. CPR was attempted at dockside but she was later died in hospital.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Drowning - A post-mortem was expected today (Monday 11 July) on the body of a woman who drowned off the Co Clare coast yesterday morning.

RTÉ News reports that the 53-year-old woman from Eastern Europe but living in Co Tipperary was with a fishing group at Ballyreen when a wave swept her into the sea.

She was recovered some time later around 1km from the spot where she was washed in.

Despite best efforts by volunteers and Irish Coast Guard crew to save her, she was pronounced dead after she was flown to University Hospital Galway.

Published in News Update
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#Galway - BreakingNews.ie reports that two people are dead after separate drowning incidents in Galway city yesterday afternoon (Saturday 11 June).

North of the city, the body of a 19-year-old man was recovered from the River Corrib near NUI Galway around 2pm.

At the same time, the body of a woman thought to be in her 40s or 50s was discovered in Galway Docks. BreakingNews.ie has more HERE.

Published in News Update

#Drowning - Newstalk FM reports that a teenage boy has died after drowning in the River Liffey near Dublin city centre yesterday afternoon (Saturday 14 May).

The body of the 13-year-old boy was recovered by the Garda Water Unit from the stretch of the Liffey between Islandbridge and Chapelizod.

Irish Water Safety has previously warned of the dangers of playing in, on or near the water, noting that 30 children aged 14 and under have drowned in the last decade.

Published in Water Safety
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#Baltimore - A verdict of accidental death was returned at Clonakilty courthouse today (Tuesday 26 April) in the deaths of a Penney's retail scion, his son and his son's girlfriend, all three of whom drowned off Baltimore in West Cork last summer.

According to RTÉ News, the inquest heard coroner Frank O'Connell describe Barry St John Ryan (51) as an "extremely brave and courageous man" for entering the water to attempt to rescue his son Barry Davis Ryan (20) and Niamh O'Connor (20) after they were swept into the sea from the rocks by an unexpected wave on 30 June last.

The bodies of Ryan Sr and O'Connor were recovered soon after, while Ryan Jr was found by divers 10 days later, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The court heard an emotional statement from Ryan Sr's daughter Charlotte, who was 12 years old at the time, and who recalled how an afternoon out fishing from the shore at a popular beauty spot suddenly turned to tragedy.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#Tragedy - A couple from Northern Ireland have drowned in South Africa just days after their wedding, as RTÉ News reports.

The bodies of 28-year-old John Rodgers and his 26-year-old wife Lynette from Holywood, Co Down were found on Friday evening (24 October) some 200 metres apart in shallow surf on a beach near Plettenberg Bay in South Africa's Western Cape province.

It's believed that they got into difficulty while swimming on what was the first day of their honeymoon. Strong rip currents are common in an area known for rough seas.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Tragedy - A descendent of the Penney's retail empire has been hailed as a hero after attempting to save the lives of his son and his son's girlfriend in a tragedy off West Cork yesterday (Tuesday 30 June).

As the Irish Independent reports, 51-year-old Barry Ryan dived into the sea off a popular Baltimore beauty spot to try to rescue his son Barry Davis Ryan (21) and his son's girlfriend Niamh O'Connor (20).

Davis Ryan had himself entered the water to save his partner after she was apparently swept out to sea from the rocks near Baltimore village yesterday evening around 6pm.

With all three in difficulty, Ryan called for his daughter Charlotte (14) on shore to raise the alarm, and Baltimore RNLI was on scene within 10 minutes.

However, despite the best efforts of lifeboat crews from Baltimore and Union Hall and local search and rescue units, the bodies of Ryan and O'Connor were soon recovered and pronounced dead shortly after being airlifted to Cork University Hospital.

The search for Davis Ryan was expected to resume at first light this morning after poor conditions hindered efforts last night. The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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