Displaying items by tag: Wicklow
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched at 5.32am yesterday morning (Wednesday 7 September) after the Irish Coast Guard received a call for assistance from a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow coast.
The 10m British ketch, with two people on board, was on passage from Cornwall to Scotland when it developed steering problems, and its crew were having difficulty maintaining their course.
The lifeboat crew located the vessel in fog eight miles east of Wicklow Harbour at 6.10am. Conditions in the area had a southwest Force 3 with moderate sea and poor visibility.
The yacht was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and was secured safely alongside the south quay at 7.45am.
The RNLI lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh, was alongside the stricken vessel 18 minutes after launching.
After a quick assessment, the 12m whelk trawler with three crew was found to have gearbox failure and unable to motor back to port.
Weather conditions in the area at the time saw a sea state slight with rain and fair visibility.
Once a towline was established, the trawler was taken back to Wicklow Harbour, where the volunteer crew secured the fishing vessel safely alongside the south quay by 8.40am.
Deputy second coxswain Dave O’Leary has been awarded the crewman’s Long Service Badge for meritorious service to the RNLI.
O'Leary joined the volunteer crew in May 1996 and was appointed an inshore lifeboat helm in 2002. He was put on the coxswains plan in 2007 and became a deputy second coxswain in 2008, the year his sister Lisa became third mechanic.
In 2010, he took over and overhauled the inshore lifeboat crew training plan, and he is now an integral part of the station personnel.
Meanwhile, lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt was awarded inscribed binoculars for his service to the RNLI.
Davitt joined the RNLI Wicklow committee in 1993, becoming vice chairman in 1995 and taking charge of all fundraising for the branch with support from the Ladies Guild.
Davitt was chairman of the appeal committee who raised funds for the provision of a new inshore lifeboat and an extension to the boathouse to house the new lifeboat in 1996.
In 2001, he was awarded the bronze badge for his services to fundraising. Three years later, he took over the new position of lifeboat operations manager – formerly honorary secretary – from the retiring Kevin Desmond.
Fundraising then became separate from operations and Phylis Whyte took over the running of all fundraising activities.
As lifeboat operations manager, Davitt is responsible for all operational activities at the station and authorises the launch of the boat when a launch request is received from the Irish Coast Guard.
The crew began an immediate search of the area in case there might be casualties in the water.
Weather conditions in the area were described as wind direction south Force 4 with a moderate sea state, and visibility was good.
During the search by both lifeboats, a call was received from the coastguard to say two people had been taken from the capsized boat by a sailing club tender and were landed safely at Greystones.
The tender then made its way back out to recover the overturned yacht. The inshore lifeboat crew assisted with righting the capsized boat and escorted the tender and the Laser yacht into Greystones before returning to Wicklow.
A marine VHF radio distress signal was received by the Irish Coast Guard from the French sailor on passage from France to Norway, when the twin rudder of his yacht suffered damaged and he was unable to steer the vessel.
The lifeboat was alongside the casualty 30 minutes after launch. Rescue 116, the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter was also tasked to the incident, remaining overhead while lifeboat volunteer Ciaran Doyle was transferred onto the yacht to assist the sailor with hauling an anchor and preparing a towline.
Weather conditions at the time had a rough sea state with a southerly Force 5-6 wind and good visibility.
With a towline established, the 10m yacht was taken back to Wicklow Harbour. Due to the conditions at the time, the journey took over 90 minutes as the line parted on three occasions.
The yacht was safely alongside the south quay at 5pm on Sunday evening.
Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: "Our coxswain Nick Keogh displayed great boat handling skills this afternoon in challenging conditions, while safely transferring a crewmember onto the yacht to assist the lone sailor."
This was the second callout over the weekend. On Saturday morning (18 June), during the Round Ireland Yacht Race, Wicklow RNLI helm Vinnie Mulvihill was busy preparing the inshore lifeboat for exercise when he heard shouts that someone was in the water near the East Pier.
Quick-thinking Mulvihill left the boat and entered the water to assist the woman after she slipped and fell in while going ashore from a moored boat.
Woman rescued by Wicklow RNLI after she slipped into the harbour (Photo: RNLI/Milo Vanbeck)
He brought the women alongside a nearby boat and with the help of the occupants, she was taken out of the water and assessed at the lifeboat station by first aider Carol Flahive.
No further medical assistance was required and the woman left the station none the worse from her ordeal after a cup of tea and changing into dry clothes.
#RoundIreland - The 19th Round Ireland Yacht Race got off to a dramatic start from Wicklow at 1pm today. Although American maxi Rambler was prevented from making her spectacular committee boat start by smaller competitors blocking her lane, it was not long before one of the fastest monohulls in the world was streaking ahead of the fleet at Wicklow Head. See start sequence photos of Rambler 88 here.
The committee vessel was lying to the strong south going tide and as the record fleet lined up it was clear the 3–knot tide was bringing them to the line early, too early in some cases.
The large monohull fleet of 52 boats started on time at 1pm but there was a delay starting the multihulls ten minutes later because of an individual recall for boats in the main fleet who had started prematurely. Boats were recalled over the VHF radio by the race committee and were required to start again. Double race winner Cavatina from Royal Cork YC, ironically one of the slowest in the fleet, was one of three boats obliged to restart.
There was some congested waters at the committee boat end of the starting line too as boats clearing the line on starboard tack (including the maxi Rambler) and heading out to sea were confronted by spectator craft in their path.
Adelie (IRL9631) and Euro Car Parks (IRLII41) port tack the fleet at the start of the Round Ireland race 2016
As expected, the three MOD70s multihulls started ten minutes later and streaked ahead soon after the biggest boats in the record–breaking 63–boat fleet passed Wicklow Head.
Conditions were as forecast with a light southerly wind of eight to ten knots and south going tide making for one of the first upwind starts in many years.
Fleet bragging rights for the first boat to Wicklow Head was of course Rambler, second was RORC entry Katsu. It was an impressive start under the gaze of hundred of shoreside spectators and a flotilla of boats on the water but as everyone knows, this is not a sprint but a full ocean marathon race of 700–miles duration.
Rambler 88 powers by Wicklow Head
The Navy vessel LE Aisling, as the official starting vessel, sent the fleet on its way. The fastest boats could be back by Monday and a number of Round Ireland records yet could be broken but the overall winner on handicap may not be know till much later in the week, possibly as late as next Friday.
A number of boats hit hit the line at precisely the right moment, aided by a strong tide, prompting some on the shoreline to query just how many boats were over.
As forecast by Afloat.ie's Mike Broughton, a ridge of high pressure over Wicklow brought a light sea breeze off Wicklow Head, and there were near perfect sailing conditions off the Wicklow coast of 8-10-knot winds from the south bright sunshine and a relatively flat sea state.
The 64-boat fleet cleared Wicklow Bay and Wicklow Head Lighthouse under a two-knot ebb tide, pushing them down along the Wexford coastline.
J109 Euro Car Parks steered by Olympian Mark Mansfield, one of 63 boats in today's Round Ireland fleet
However, as forecast, the fleet are expected to have stronger winds tonight as they approach Tuskar Rock. South westerly winds increasing 12-17 knots by early evening, giving a beat south towards Tuskar Rock. Then we have unsettled conditions from midnight as the first of possibly seven fronts to pass the fleet over the next four days. The first warm front will bring light rain and SW winds of 9-15 knots – still giving a beat along the south coast.
The 700-mile race is anticipated to take up to five days to complete, with the biggest boats expected home sometime on Monday.
Follow our race updates all in one handy link here
Read WM Nixon's Round Ireland Race 2016 Preview
The cruiser, with five people on board, was on passage from Dun Laoghaire to Pembroke when it developed mechanical problems four miles south of Wicklow Harbour.
Just 15 minutes later, the lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh, was alongside the drifting cruiser. A towline was established and the volunteer crew brought the cruiser back to Wicklow.
This was the second callout out of the week for the Wicklow RNLI crew. On Wednesday morning, the all-weather lifeboat launched to assist a French yacht with three people on board that had its propeller fouled by a rope.
The crew of the yacht managed to free the rope obstruction and the lifeboat stood by until the yacht was able to resume its passage south.
Anyone who owns a lifejacket is encouraged to bring it along for a free check. Advice will also be available with tips on how to choose, fit and maintain your lifejacket.
A member of the public contacted the Irish Coast Guard after seeing the men bailing water out of the vessel.
The motor cruiser was located about a half-mile northeast of Wicklow Head a short time later.
Weather conditions on scene were described as having a moderate sea state with north-easterly Force 3 winds and good visibility.
The boat was taken in tow by the all-weather lifeboat back to Wicklow Harbour, where the two occupants were taken ashore safe and well by the inshore lifeboat crew.
Earlier this month UPI reported on the antics of Sammy the seal, who's grown notorious for his habit of flopping across the road from the River Vartry to beg for scraps from a local fishmonger.
In his latest appearance, Broadsheet.ie reader Kevin O'Farrell videoed the flustered staff of The Fishman trying to halt Sammy from crossing what can be a busy road before throwing him his meal – one of three every day at high tide.
And as the onlooker adds, it's only been getting worse since a new lady seal came into Sammy's life, promoting the juvenile grey seal to show off his remarkable skills of persuasion.
Here's more on Sammy and his fishmonger friends in Wicklow from RTÉ News Now:
The volunteer lifeboat crews quickly located the 20m fishing boat, which had run aground on the Wolf Rock near the beach at Brittas Bay.
Weather conditions in the area at the time were described as blowing north-easterly with Force 4-5 winds and rough seas.
Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crews observed that no one was in immediate danger. No leaks or damage were found during an inspection of the hull.
Towlines were quickly established between the casualty vessel using Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat. The vessel was re-floated by the all-weather lifeboats from both stations and the vessel was towed clear of the rock and onward to Wicklow Harbour, where she was safely secured alongside the East Pier shortly before 11am.
Speaking following the callout, Wicklow RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: "Our lifeboat and shore crews had an early call this morning but we were delighted to help and bring this vessel safely to shore.
"The callout was a real team effort this morning where ours crews from both Wicklow and Arklow were able to put their skills and joint training to good use in assisting the fishermen to Wicklow Harbour."