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Video Memory of Mariners' Memorial Service in Galway Released

19th May 2023
Over 200 people on sea and shore participated in the Galway Bay Sailing Club memorial to fishers, rescuers, sailors, and all those lost at sea
Over 200 people on sea and shore participated in the Galway Bay Sailing Club memorial to fishers, rescuers, sailors, and all those lost at sea. See the video below

Flowers on the water and burgees and flags flying from a fleet of mixed vessels are reflected in a sensitively filmed recording of the mariners’ memorial service hosted by Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) earlier this month.

The video (below) was made by Conor Lyons and Elana Torrent from Valencia, Spain, and has been described as a “lovely memory” by GBSC founding member Pierce Purcell, who planned the event.

Over 200 people on sea and shore participated in the memorial to fishers, rescuers, sailors, and all those lost at sea, along with their families and those who support them.

The special programme recorded a list of names of those who have passed, including the late Caitriona Lucas of Doolin Coast Guard, and the Rescue 116 search and rescue helicopter crew, Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, winch crew Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby.

Representation from the local fishing fleet was led by the Oliver and Bailey families, and up to 30 boats arrived at Renville harbour to take a salute by Minister of State and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton, when she fired the GBSC canon.

Purcell and GBSC commodore Johnny Shorten have paid tribute to all those who supported the memorial - including CHC chief pilot Andrew Rees who facilitated a flyover by the Irish Coast Guard Shannon-based rescue helicopter flown by Capt Cathal Oakes, along with representatives of the RNLI, Civil Defence, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit.

Brian Corcoran of the Oranmore coastal search unit recorded drone footage which contributed to the film made by Lyons and Torrent.

Purcell said the Oranmore search unit provided everything from parking support to food for over 100 people in the clubhouse, while a florist contributed flowers and local taxi companies assisted with transport to keep traffic moving.

Representatives of Galway Sub Aqua Club, City Sailing Club, the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Badoirí an Cladaigh, the Irish Sailing Association, and Oranmore Garda station were also involved, along with ten past GBSC commodores and members.

“The event reminded me of the early enthusiasm when the club had started, and now with younger crew on board the club is growing at a pace both on and off the water,” Purcell said.

Published in Galway Harbour Team

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020