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Marine Craft Advised of ‘Serious Safety Risks’ Around Planned Russian Military Drills Off Cork Coast

27th January 2022
Map showing the area where Russia plans to conduct military manoeuvres
Map showing the area (in red) where Russia plans to conduct military manoeuvres from next week

The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport advises of “serious safety risks” for vessels” around plans by the Russian military to conduct live-fire exercises off the Cork coast from next week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, concerns have been raised over what’s been termed as a “major” military exercise by the Russian navy and air force in international waters in the Atlantic, some 240km off Co Cork but within Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Marine Notice No 06 of 2022 — which is attached below — provides coordinates of the area where the naval manoeuvres will be conducted between next Thursday 3 and Tuesday 8 February.

“The Russian Federation has indicated that the exercises will include the use of naval artillery and launching of rockets,” the notice emphasises.

“Given the nature of the planned exercises and the presence of naval forces, vessels and crew are advised of serious safety risks in the operational area. Masters should navigate their vessel to ensure safety at all times.”

The notice comes as the Irish fishing fleet have been assured that their fishing grounds will not be affected by the military exercise.

As the Irish Examiner reports, fishing industry representatives met Russian ambassador Yury Filatov upon his invitation to discuss the planned naval and air force drills and it was agreed that there will be a “buffer zone” in place between Russian vessels and fishing trawlers, pending approval from Moscow.

Brendan Byrne of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association said following the meeting: “It has been a very good day for the Irish fishing industry.”

Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation chief Patrick Murphy added that it was up to individual fishing trawlers as to whether they will fish the affected grounds, which open on 1 February.

Concerns have also been expressed about the potential impact on marine wildlife in the area, including vulnerable deep-water whale species. Afloat.ie has more HERE.

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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