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Displaying items by tag: trawler

Dun Laoghaire RNLI rescued six fishermen in challenging weather conditions this morning after a 25m trawler was disabled off the coast of Dublin.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.50am following a request by the Irish Coast Guard that a 25m Beam trawler with six on board was in difficulty outside the Kish Bank. The crew had been fishing for scallop when a rope got caught in the vessel's propeller.

The lifeboat under Duty Coxswain David Branigan and with six crew members on board, launched shortly after 3am and made its way to the scene some 12 nautical miles south east of Howth Harbour.

In the darkness, the lifeboat crew were met by difficult weather conditions including a Force 9 strong gale and three to four metres waves.

The crew arrived on scene shortly before 4am where they assessed the situation and checked that the casualty's crew were safe. With no one in immediate danger, the lifeboat crew started working with the fishermen to set up a tow.

The high winds, poor visibility and difficult sea conditions made this task challenging and numerous attempts were made before a towline was successfully established.

In winds gusting up to 50 knots, the lifeboat began the long passage towards Howth Harbour. Despite a slow speed of two to three knots, the towline parted on three occasions along the passage.

Due to the winds and the size of the casualty vessel, Howth RNLI was requested to launch at 9.40am to provide assistance with bringing the vessel into the harbour.

The trawler and her crew were safely returned to shore at 10.40am.

Speaking following the call out, David Branigan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Duty Coxswain said: 'Our lifeboat crew deserve full credit for their efforts in the early hours of this morning which have seen us spend some eight hours at sea. We launched in the darkness and were met by difficult weather. The high winds and rough seas made this call out particularly challenging especially when establishing and keeping a tow but we persevered and thankfully were able to return the fishermen and their vessel safely to shore.'

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The Shannon Coast Guard helicopter has medevac'ed a Spanish crewman from a trawler 120 nautical miles SSW of Mizen Head, in County Cork, one of the extreme points of the island of Ireland. 

Published in Coastguard

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney yesterday chaired the first meeting of the Government Taskforce on allegations regarding the treatment of workers on Irish Fishing Trawlers. Minister of State Ged Nash at the Department of Jobs, Employment and Innovation also attended the meeting.

The decision to establish a high level inter-departmental taskforce to examine the wide range of issues identified in the recent Guardian newspaper report, was taken at a Cabinet meeting earlier this week. The meeting which considered the complex issues arising from the Guardian article and discussed the most appropriate cross Departmental response, included high level representatives from the Departments of Justice, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, Transport, Tourism and Sport and Agriculture, Food and Marine, the Attorney General’s office, An Garda Síochána, BIM, the Naval Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Coveney, said, “this is an issue that the Government is committed to resolving. Already a lot of work has been done on tackling work and safety related issues in the fishing industry. Today this Task Force committed to produce a co-ordinated cross Departmental response. The issues covered were information sharing, enforcement, permitting, licensing, exploitation, and trafficking.”

The Minister added “It is essential firstly to establish a full understanding of the complex issues involved and the meeting today has allowed all the State Authorities to share information on their individual remit and experiences. I want to see a joined up State response. Where appropriate we need to take robust and proportionate immediate actions. We also need to develop any medium term changes to the regulatory and enforcement frameworks of the State”

The next meeting has been arranged for Thursday 12th November and it is planned to invite the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), a Guardian journalist and the four Fishermen’s Producer Organisations, to make individual presentations to the meeting.

Published in Fishing
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#TrawlerFire - RTÉ News is reporting on a fire on a fishing trawler in Galway Harbour that's prompted the precautionary evacuation of buildings in the area.

Though the fire has been put out by emergency services, there is some concern about a container of gas used as fuel for welding work on board the vessel.

RTÉ News has much more on the story, including video, HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
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At the end of January 2013, over a one week period, 13 common dolphins were found dead along the Mayo coast. The situation was considered sufficiently unusual to warrant further investigation. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commissioned a specialist cetacean veterinarian team to carry out post-mortem examinations on five of the animals. This work was undertaken in Athlone at the Regional Veterinary Laboratories of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

There was evidence consistent with entanglement in fishing gear apparent in each animal and the post-mortem findings in all five animals are thought to be most consistent with accidental bycatch in trawl type fishery gear. Common dolphins are plentiful in Irish waters and the Celtic Sea, but are at risk of accidental bycatch by trawling, as they may feed on fish shoals very close to boats.

They are one of twenty four species of cetacean that occur in Ireland and are subject to strict protection under national and international legislation. Minister Deenihan said "I am concerned by any killing of these species, even where accidental. A meeting has been agreed between my officials and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to examine what further actions may be taken to minimise the risks to dolphins". Minister Coveney shared the concerns of Minister Deenihan and acknowledged "In addition to our own boats, many other European fleets operate in Irish waters, an area that is intensely fished. On the basis of these examinations, it is not possible to determine which of these fleets might have been involved in this incident. The results of these post mortems certainly remind us of the need to further our efforts to reduce incidental by-catch to the lowest possible level across all EU and third country fleets fishing in waters around Ireland".

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Fishing – THE MAN WHO SEARCHED FOR 60-FOOTERS

#islandnation – Can you imagine spending years searching for old 60-foot boats, travelling the country's coastline because of a 'bug' within your system?

Pat Nolan from Cork, who now lives in County Antrim, has done that, "a labour of love, meeting with many wonderful people" who sailed these iconic vessels.

Six years ago he began tracing the histories of all eighty-eight 50-foot fishing boats built by the State fisheries board, Bord Iascaigh Mhara between 1949 and 1970, a mammoth task which he completed in two years and published in a book called 'Sea Change'. Now he has six books about fishing boats to his credit, the latest called 'A Step Up' and which, logically enough perhaps, is a record of the BIM 56-footers which were regarded as a 'step up' when introduced to Irish waters for commercial fishing.

Understandably, Pat comes from a family steeped in commercial fishing activities, into which he was born in Baltimore in West Cork. A science graduate of University College, Cork, he worked in Nigeria for a number of years before returning to Ireland and settling in Ballycastle.

He has compiled individually-traced histories of all 39 BIM-built 56-footers, a huge contribution to the archive of Ireland's maritime history. Built at several boatyards around the coast, their construction provided great employment and underwrote the shipwright tradition in Ireland which has now, unfortunately, declined to the great loss of the marine industry. Tyrrells of Arklow designed their own 56-footers for BIM.

"That all 56-footers were not identical is beyond dispute, differences existed in detail, layout and even design, but the boats were readily recognisable, regardless of variations," says Pat. "All of the boats were well-built, efficient and regarded as 'small big boats' and first-class weather boats. Yet I'd have to say there are divided opinions as to how well they met the requirements of their era, even though they were iconic boats."

Safety – ALONE ON THE WATER

My report last week that the Coast Guard had tried to get the Marine Casualty Investigation Board to make a strong recommendation against going out on the water alone drew quite a reaction from readers, varying from "nannyism" to "why can't there be mandatory licences for boating."

"What does the Coast Guard know about single-handed sailing or good seamanship for that matter? It's the same as the priests giving marriage guidance courses," Emailed Gerry Burns.

Trudy McIntyre commented: "For driving a car you need a licence and mandatory driving classes, before you go at it alone!! Why can't there be the same for pleasure boating?"

barryhurley

Barry Hurley sailing to solo success in Dinah

Rory described the call as: "More dictatorship and nannyism!" while Tony O'Leary wrote that "the RNLI and Coast Guard are volunteers who at the end of the day are only trying to help people when they are in trouble. In most Lifeboat and Coast Guard crews there are people who have a vast amount of experience at sea" and Jerome Lordan wrote: "Lifeboat crews and Coastguards today do not for the most part have long-time experience at sea like they had in the past when these units were manned by experienced fishermen and ex-seafarers. They seem to think you can just train up and that is sufficient. You cannot buy or train long-time experience at sea!"

Obviously a topic that raises very different opinions, amongst which are the kayakers, canoeists and solo-rowers who told me that they venture out alone as part of their sport. It should be remembered also that Irish solo sailors have achieved success in racing internationally, such as Barry Hurley from Cobh and a member of the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire with his boat Dinah.

Shipping – IRAN'S FIRST TANKER

Having shown off its first, though somewhat unusual-looking submarine to the maritime world, as I reported a few months ago, Iran has now introduced the first oil tanker it has built. Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO), manufactured the ship which is 178 metres long, 32 metres wide and has a 9-metre draft according to ISOICO. Operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, it is reported to have cost US$30m. and to be capable of carrying 35,000 tons of oil products. Its maiden voyage has been undertaken in Persian Gulf waters.

Marine Environment – SEEN A SALP?

If anyone sees a salp in Irish waters, notify the authorities at once because these gelatinous sea creatures are another example of the alien species which are not welcome visitors. Last Spring they clogged intake pipes at California's Diablo Canyon nuclear-power plant which caused it to be shut down. Now they have shown up on the Washington coast, having somehow rounded the USA. Some fishermen have found them in nets and older fishermen can remember when they were last seen 30 years ago. Marine scientists have no idea why they are arriving in big numbers. "Weird," is one description.

salp

They look like a jellyfish, about the size of a human hand, with a hard head and a few tentacles. Scientists describe a salp as a pelagic tunicate which lives in the open ocean and has a tubelike body that pumps water for locomotion and to filter the plankton on which it feeds. Despite its translucent appearance, it is not closely related to jellyfish. It's a chordate, which means it has a spinal cord and is related to vertebrates. Salps can swim alone or in rope-like colonies. They have the ability to reproduce rapidly and can bloom when the plankton supply is rich. Marine scientists disagree as to whether their appearance is a sign of climate change in the sea.

Boats Wanted – DISCARDS AND SELECTIVITY

The State fisheries board, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, is going to carry out trials aimed at minimising discarding of fish and improving the use of fishing gear to avoid by-catches. Fishing vessel owners who would like to offer their vessels for use in the trials, as well as fishing gear and chandlery suppliers, are being invited to contact BIM, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin - Phone 01 2144100 Email:[email protected]

Oh No! – NO WAY TO PARK

Noisy parkers are a problem ashore, but if you have ever had trouble entering a marina, this video should be interesting.

Email: [email protected]

Regular news on Twitter: @Afloatmagazine @TomMacSweeney

Published in Island Nation

#RESCUE - RTÉ News reports that two fishermen have been rescued from a burning trawler off the Waterford coast this morning.

The two men abandoned ship to a liferaft when a fire started on board the herring boat Kingfisher some 10km off Dunmore East around 7.30am.

They were picked up by a passing fishing vessel shortly after while the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard's helicopter Rescue 117 attended the scene.

As of 11am this morning attempts to put out the fire on the Kingfisher have been unsuccessful.

More from RTE here

Published in Rescue

Simon Coveney, TD Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine today welcomed the publication of the 'Atlas of Irish Groundfish Trawl Surveys' which was presented to him by Dr Peter Heffernan, Chief Executive of the Marine Institute today (Thursday 24th May).

The Atlas shows the key results from the Irish scientific surveys of the whitefish and deepwater fish stocks in Ireland's 200 mile Exclusive Fisheries Zone. The Atlas provides an overview of the distribution and abundance of adult and juvenile fish species in the waters around Ireland. Thirty two species are described including the main whitefish, midwater fish (herring, mackerel) and shark species caught on the Marine Institute's Groundfish Survey programme. Each species is summarised in terms of its distribution, biological characteristics and temporal changes in abundance.

"Irish Scientists have presented trawl survey data in a visual and non technical format that enables a wider audience to see the biodiversity of fish in Irish waters. This publication has made great strides in illustrating how scientific data can be used to examine the health of our marine ecosystem. Mapping our fish community enables us to have a better understanding of their role in the marine ecosystem. I would like to express my appreciation of the work on the ground in terms of surveys together with the compilation of this user friendly guide by Dr Heffernan and his team in the Marine Institute" explained Minister Coveney.

The Atlas is aimed at those involved in fisheries, environmental policy and management, the fishing industry, environmental Non Government Organisations (NGO's), scientists and the general public. Minister Coveney congratulated the Marine Institute on the Survey Atlas, which is the fourth in the series. Two case studies in the publication illustrate the application of survey data to traditional fisheries advice and to the new form of ecosystem advice that is required by numerous international agreements and under new EU legislation such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. "The Common Fisheries Policy reform agenda is currently under discussion by the EU Fisheries Council and the EU Parliament and will continue into the Irish Presidency during the first six months of 2013. The Atlas series provides scientific information that we can all understand and will help inform the CFP debate as we strive to ensure stocks are fished in a sustainable manner." said Minister Simon Coveney.

Previously published atlases include: Commercial Fisheries around Ireland (2009); Atlas of demersal Discarding (2011); and the North Western Waters Atlas (2011).

Published in Fishing
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#RESCUE - A Donegal-born skipper joined in the dramatic rescue of a fishing trawler crew in Alaska recently, the Donegal Democrat reports.

Seamus Hayden Jr, who captains the fishing vessel Clyde, was berthed in Lazy Bay at the southern end of the Kodiak peninsula when he responded to a call from fellow vessel the Tuxedni to assist the stricken Heritage, which was sinking a mile east of nearby Tanner Head.

“I rousted my crew and fired our main engine to join the Tuxedni in the search," he said. "I did not know at that time if the Heritage crew had abandoned ship.

“I informed everyone onboard my vessel to dress for extreme weather and to use utmost caution and a buddy system at all times around the vessel."

Visibility was low due to ice fog and the darkness of the Alaskan winter nights, and as they got closer to the Heritage's location - where the US Coast Guard was attemping a helicopter rescue - conditions were "horrendous", with ice-cold winds of 60 knots.

I was very worried for the safety of all involved, including our own," said Hayden.

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#RESCUE - The Irish Times reports that the search has resumed for a fisherman who fell overboard from a trawler in the Irish Sea yesterday.

The crewman of the Kilkeel-registered fishing vessel Zenith was reported missing some nine miles (14.5km) off Clogherhead, Co Louth.

Yesterday afternoon the Irish Coast Guard and Clogherhead RNLI began an air and sea search and rescue effort, assisted by coastguard helicopter and other lifeboats and vessels in the area.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
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