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Displaying items by tag: Wexford

#RNLI - Two men who embarked on the first RNLI Station to Station challenge between Bundoran and Arranmore last Saturday (6 April) completed the job in just under 12 hours - raising over €2,000 for both lifeboat stations in the process.

As per their plan reported previously on Afloat.ie, Niall Clancy and James McIntyre both set off from Bundoran Lifeboat Station just after 6am on Saturday morning – Clancy running and McIntyre cycling.

Clancy's route took him through Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal town, Mountcharles, Frosses, Glenties, Gweebarra Bridge, Lettermacaward, Dungloe, Burtonport and finally Arranmore Island via a treadmill on the ferry!

He was joined on various legs of the journey by members of the Tir Chonaill Athletic Club who kept his spirits up on the 100km journey from station to station.

Meanwhile, McIntyre and his team from Mullaghmore Triathlon Club and Donegal Bay Cycling Club took off at the same time cycling as far as Lough Eske, where James then made the lonesome journey himself across the Bluestack Mountains, constantly keeping organisers informed of his progress via text message.

Down into Glenties and from there by bike to Portnoo where, with Bundoran RNLI crewman Killian O’Kelly, he kayaked the remaining 22km to Arranmore Island, where both he and Clancy were greeted by the lifeboat crew and the Arranmore Pipe Band.

Speaking on completion of the challenge at Arranmore RNLI Lifeboat Station, Clancy said: "It’s been a long but great day. The weather conditions couldn’t have been any better for both myself and James – though it was very cold this morning leaving Bundoran!

"I’m looking forward to a few weeks off training before I get back into it for the Athlone Half Ironman in August."

McIntyre added: "We’d both like to express our gratitude to everyone who supported us ahead of the challenge and today – particularly those who sponsored us and those who ran and cycled with us today, our support teams, our chefs, the RNLI crews and sponsors Ormston’s Mace Ballyshannon and All Sports Donegal Town."

Shane Smith, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Bundoran RNLI, said: "We are thrilled at the success of the challenge and delighted that over €2,000 has been raised for both stations.

"We are indebted to James and Niall for their selfless support of our charity and would like to thank them sincerely on behalf of both crews."

Elsewhere, a Wexford family who organised a sponsored swim in memory of a loved one and former volunteer have raised a whopping €5,000 for Kilmore Quay RNLI.

The Hayes family presented the cheque to the RNLI at Kilmore Quay lifeboat station recently, funded by a sponsored swim on St Stephen’s Day organised by the family in memory of the late Paddy Hayes, who was a volunteer with the lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat was tasked yesterday (7 April) to assist two windsurfers in difficulty near Duncannon in Waterford Harbour.

In rough conditions yesterday afternoon, with south-east winds force 6/7 blowing, coxswain Pauly Daniels reached the casualties' position within 30 minutes. 

By this stage one of the surfers had made it ashore safely at Duncannon. The Dunmore East lifeboat quickly located the other windsurfer a quarter of a mile north of Duncannon. The casualty was safely recovered from the water and landed ashore nearby.

Neither casualty was injured and did not need medical attention.

Nearby in Wexford, five teenagers were rescued from a small speedboat after it suffered engine failure and ran aground on the River Slaney around 1.20pm yesterday.

According to Lorraine Galvin, volunteer press officer at Wexford RNLI, the teens' "fast call for help to the coastguard greatly helped in ensuring their speedy rescue in cold, rough weather conditions".

At the time of the rescue there were wind speeds of force 5 south-easterly and a rough sea state. All of the passengers were starting to suffer from the cold and were treated for mild hypothermia.

Meanwhile, on Upper Lough Erne last Friday the volunteer lifeboat at Enniskillen RNLI (Carrybridge) launched to reports of a vessel that had run aground.

The RNLI lifeboat and rescue water craft were both launched and proceeded to the casualty's last known location 2.5 miles upstream from Carrybridge at Innishmore viaduct.

On route to the scene at the Innishmore viaduct, the volunteer crew got further information that the vessel had managed to refloat and was currently at Killygowan Island.

A full inspection was carried out and none of the crew on the casualty vessel were found to be in need of medical attention.

It was decided with the owner's permission that the volunteer crew would escort their vessel back to Carrybridge with the lifeboat leading and rescue water craft following as the navigation lights were not working.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#maritimefestival – The organisers of the John Barry Maritime Festival are expecting crowds of over 50,000 to visit Wexford in June. The second John Barry Maritime Festival, which is one of three Gathering flagship events, takes place this year from Thursday 20th until Sunday 23rd June in Wexford and promises to be bigger and better than the inaugural festival in 2012, which saw crowds of 35000 over the two day event.

The idea originated in January last year after a lifeboat visit to the Waterford Coast Guard Helicopter base. The three RNLI volunteers David Maguire, Frank O Brien and Lorraine Galvin were discussing plans to celebrate Wexford Lifeboat Station 10 year anniversary. "..ideas for fun on the quay developed into an idea for a maritime festival" says Lorraine, " with maritime activities, races, childrens activities, live music and entertainment, exhibitions, cultural events and the hugely successful Wexford food familys food village". It was wonderful to see so many children on the quay enjoying kayaking and boating, arts and crafts, science experiments, the funfair and my own little toddler dancing away at the Kindermusik sessions".

As well as family fun, the festival also celebrates Wexford man Commodore John Barry, father of the US Navy. In September last year the festival directors invited over two US Navy Rear Admirals to Wexford and discussed plans for this years festival and forming links with the US Navy. "...The Rear Admirals had great admiration for John Barry and were very interested in learning more of his heritage and home town told by historian Bernard Brown" said Frank O Brien.

David Maguire saif that the festival success was down to great community support and invovlement.." Wexford has such a great maritime heritage and we want to show it off, we are working with great local groups and the best of Wexford food producers, it will be a real Wexford showcase".

The three have been busy already securing the festival as a flagship gathering event and are actively inviting international visitors to Wexford for the festival. "There are so many wonderful events in the planning, Wexford Quay is such an amazing amphitheatre for a festival and what better view than Wexford Harbour!"  The festival is non profit organisation with fundraising proceeds towards Wexford RNLI Lifeboat. Any interested groups are invited to contact the team at [email protected] or through the website www.jbmf.ie

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Kilmore Quay RNLI in Co Wexford responded to an 11-hour callout yesterday morning (Sunday 10 March) involving a 23-metre fishing vessel that had got into difficulty 40 miles south of the harbour. See video of the operation below.

With a biting easterly wind, the lifeboat crew made their way just after 8am to the vessel, which had suffered machinery failure, and arrived on scene at 10.40am. 

Establishing a tow between the lifeboat and the fishing vessel with five crew onboard, the two vessels made slow progress back to shore in worsening conditions.



Commenting on the long callout, Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member Aidan Bates said: “It was a bad day for a callout yesterday but the fishing vessel needed our assistance and the weather was worsening by the hour. By the time we were returning with the boat under tow the winds were blowing gale force seven to eight and it was choppy enough.

"Thankfully everyone was safe and the lifeboat crew were able to return home after a long day at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Arklow RNLI came to the assistance of three fishermen whose vessel got into difficulty off the Wexford coast yesterday (6 March).

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted shortly before 1.30pm following a report that a fishing vessel was adrift four miles east of Courtown Harbour.

The all-weather lifeboat, the Ger Tigchleaar, was launched within minutes and proceeded to the scene where the vessel, the MFV Telstar, had lost steering power.

Having located the casualty, the crew members established a tow and began the journey back to Arklow. All three crew members who remained on board the MFV Telstar were returned safely ashore.

Speaking ashore, the vessel’s skipper James Russell, himself an Arklow RNLI volunteer crew member and experienced seaman, paid tribute to his fellow lifeboat crew members Eamon Kavanagh, Matt Heaney, Scottie Heaney, Michael Fitzgerald, Andy Loughlin and David Lee who came to his crew’s assistance.

"I thought we were well prepared for situations which might happen at sea but knowing the lifeboat is there when needed is a great help," he said. "When anyone gets in to difficulty they should have no hesitation in calling for help as I did today."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#CoastalRowing - The East Coast Rowing Council has announced its list of coastal rowing regatta fixtures in Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford for the 2013 season.

Commencing with the Greystones Regatta on 26 May, the schedule also includes events in Arklow (2 June) and Dalkey (9 June), the Stella Maria Regatta in Ringsend on 16 June and the Bray Regatta on 30 June.

July will see two events, the St Patrick's Regatta in Dublin's Docklands on 14 July and St Michael's Regatta off Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire on 28 July, while the Wicklow Regatta will mark the end of 2013's summer events on 5 August.

Locations of the various regattas and suggested viewing points are available HERE.

Published in Coastal Rowing

#MarineWildlife - The Gorey Guardian reports that three seal carcasses were found washed up on Duncannon beach in Co Wexford this past Tuesday (22 January).

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is presently awaiting lab results to determine the seals' cause of death, a situation conservation ranger Tony Murray describes as "quite unusual".

He added that the carcasses of the three marine mammals were freshly dead and found to have no external injuries

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Seal Sanctuary last month called for immediate action after a total of 12 seal carcasses were found dead on beaches in Wexford and Waterford in the span of a single week.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The whale watching season is well under way off the coast of Wexford, as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reported its first sightings of 2013 this week.

Just an hour into the maiden cetacean spotting voyage of the IWDG's new research vessel Celtic Mist at the weekend, members of the group were treated to the sight of fin whales and minke whales feeding south of Hook Head - not to mention some of the 'superpod' of dolphins seen last week in the Irish Sea.

And as World Irish reports, local wildlife ranger Tony Murray spotted the first humpback whale of the year in the same area.

Murray suggested that "a large herring haul going on in the southeast at the moment" is the main attraction for the ocean giants and their smaller, more plentiful companions.

The IWDG's Facebook page has a photo gallery containing some stunning snapshots of the day's excursion HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has raised concerns after eight seals were found dead in Wexford and Waterford in recent days, as RTÉ News reports.

A shocking total of six carcasses were discovered near Fethard-on-Sea alone, while one apiece were found near Dunmore East and in Tramore - the latter reportedly decapitated.

The news comes just a few months after Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary warned of a "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier this year.

The most horrific of these incidents was the grisly scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle wildlife sanctuary, accompanied by graffiti daubed in red paint reading 'RIP Cull' - presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

More recently, reports from Castlerock in Co Derry suggested that a dead seal found on the beach suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

All seals in Ireland are protected under national and EU law.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch an investigation into these latest incidents, and is appealing to the public for information on these or other seal deaths.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#ANGLING - Bitterly cold weather and some hungry marine mammals kept the bass away from the inaugural Hook Bass Angling Festival in Wexford last weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The angling went on regardless, however, with Mark Baker from Co Meath hooking a 1.5kg 'schoolie' of a flounder to take top prize of a five-day holiday at Grangecourt Holiday Homs and a day's fishing with Jim Foley.

All taking part enjoyed the weekend despite the absence of the titular fish, and promised to return next year - for which the dos and don'ts will be ironed out, according to Cathy Howlin of Hook Tourism.

Meanwhile, the weekend also featured an evening talk by Dr Ed Fahy who discussed the threat to Ireland's sea bass should the fishery be opened to commercial interests, and argued the case for bass angling tourism as a greater boon for the economy.

Published in Angling
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