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Displaying items by tag: Kayaking

#Canoeing - A new survey that aims to gather information on the current level of awareness of invasive species and their negative impacts among canoeing, kayaking and other paddle sports enthusiasts was launched earlier this week.

The survey is being co-ordinated by Ronan Cooney, a scientist and avid paddler, and Dr Joe Caffrey in conjunction with Inland Fisheries Ireland and Canoeing Ireland.

Many invasive species can survive for long periods out of water, in damp conditions, and can easily be transferred from one watercourse to another as paddlers move around the country.

In Europe it is estimated that 7% of invasive species were introduced by leisure activities (hiking, angling, boating, SCUBA diving and rowing), with the aquaculture (24%), fisheries interests (11%) and the ornamental plant sectors (10%) being the major vectors.

“Invasive species are regarded as being the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction," says Dr Caffrey. "These invasive species can be seriously harmful to biodiversity and to ecosystem services in the country. The latter are estimated to be worth over €250 million per annum to Ireland.”

The risk posed to angling and waterways in general by invasive species is very significant. Angling in Ireland is estimated to be worth €755 million to the Irish economy. But a report published in 2013 estimates the cost of invasive species to the tourism and recreation sector to be in the region of €10 million. This sector employs 180,000 people and is worth €5 billion to the Irish economy.

Inland Fisheries Ireland and Canoeing Ireland, the national governing body of paddle sports in Ireland, have been collaborating proactively to reduce the potential spread of invasive species through paddle sports by producing guidelines for the disinfection of paddle sport equipment, the provision of wash-down facilities at major events, and workshops on raising awareness of invasive species.

It is recognised that recreational water users have the potential to be a vector for the spread of invasive species. According to a recent publication in the UK, the potential threat posed by canoeists and anglers for the spread of invasive species is growing.

As an example, some 78.5% of canoeists and 64% of anglers used their equipment in more than one watercourse within a fortnight, meaning that the potential for spread of these species on damp clothing or paddling equipment is high.

The data provided from the survey "will lead to the development of more effective operational practices and behaviours among paddlers and organising bodies, while also making water users aware of the potential negative effects that their activities could have on Irish aquatic ecosystems," says Dr Caffrey.

Dr Kieran McKevitt of Canoeing Ireland adds: “The survey will help us see how our work has improved awareness of invasive species since we started our collaboration with IFI over two years ago and see how paddlers have changed their habits in relation to gear and boat washing."

The survey can be found HERE. For more information on invasive species, visit the Inland Fisheries Ireland website. For more on the survey contact [email protected]

Published in Canoeing

#RNLI - The Volunteer lifeboat crew at Portaferry RNLI launched yesterday (Thursday 12 November) to the aid of three men in kayaks on Strangford Lough.

Portaferry's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 12.38pm having received a launch request from the coastguard concerning the three men who found themselves in some difficulty during their kayaking trip on the lough.

One of the men had lost his paddle, subsequently ending up in the water.

At the time there was a Force 7 south south-west wind close to a gale with rough sea conditions and fair visibility.

The volunteer crew were on scene northeast of Limestone Rock at 12.46pm where the three kayakers had formed a 'raft' with their vessels while waiting for the RNLI Lifeboat to arrive.

Coming alongside the trio, the lifeboat crew proceed to load them and their kayaks into the lifeboat before returning to the pontoons at Strangford in Co Down were all were put safely ashore.

Brian Bailie, lifeboat operations manager for Portaferry RNLI, said: "The hard work and dedication of our volunteers has once again resulted in the safe return to shore of three men who had got into some difficulty at sea.

"In what were very tricky weather conditions, the three men had acted promptly and correctly when they realised that they were in trouble.

"Once again we are all delighted with the outcome and urge anyone considering going on the water at this time of year to take all necessary precautions."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

This summer veteran kayakers Jon Hynes and Sean Cahill decided to challenge themselves with the ultimate Irish adventure. As Afloat.ie reported at the time the plucky pair committed to kayak 1500km around the entire island of Ireland. All the while battling atrocious winds, heavy swells and treacherous conditions in one of the worst Summers ireland has seen in years.

To help others planning their own adventure, a documentary was made of the journey which is now screening in The Rising Sons Brewery, Cork City on Monday tonight November 9th at 8pm.

At all screenings, they are holding a fundraiser for local charities. The people of Ireland made the journey possible and Jon and Sean would like to repay them in whatever way possible.

Published in Kayaking
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#Rescue - Kayakers paddled to the rescue of a man in his 60s spotted floating in the sea off Co Clare on Saturday morning (31 October).

According to The Irish Times, the man – thought to have fallen into the water from Seafield Pier near Quilty – was semi-conscious when he was retrieved by the kayakers.

The casualty was subsequently airlifted to hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, which was on a training exercise nearby.

The incident occurred just days after the body of local man Stephen Mungovan was recovered from the sea after what's believed to be an accidental fall late last Sunday night (25 October).

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Kayaking - Update: Police have now identified the deceased kayaker as Morgan Savage, 40, from Dublin, according to TheJournal.ie.

A possible 'Irish accent' is the only clue to the identity of a kayaker whose body was found on the Isle of Wight last month, as The Irish Times reports.

Hampshire Police have released an e-fit of the man they describe as "well built" with blue eyes and dark hair, who was last seen on 8 September at Brighton Canoes in Newhaven, Sussex where he rented an inflatable kayak later recovered from the sea.

Staff at the canoe shop "thought he sounded Irish", according to another employee, which so far is the only indication as to his possible identity. The man's death remains unexplained.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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#LiffeyDescent - The Irish Mirror has posted footage of a daring rescue of two kayakers stranded after their tandem canoe crashed into a bridge support during the recent Liffey Descent.

The incident occurred at Leixlip bridge on the Dublin/Kildare border during the annual canoe and kayak race on Saturday 26 September.

In the video, British kayakers Sam Weller and Steven Bush can clearly be seen fighting against the fast current after their boat crashes into the bridge and splits in two.

But volunteers from Dublin Scouts immediately raced into action from the bridge overhead, abseiling down to the water to ensure the men's safety.

Bush confirmed that their brush with danger "hasn't put us off kayaking and we can't wait to come back next year and hopefully complete the race."

Neil Fleming and Robin Koenders's K2 was the fastest vessel home at this year's Liffey Descent, the 56th running of the canoe and kayak race, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Kayaking

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI rescued two people on Sunday evening (27 September) after a kayak was reported to have capsized at the mouth of the Colebrook River.

The volunteer lifeboat crew based on Upper Lough Erne at Carrybridge were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch both their inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft (RWC) at 5.52pm.

The man and woman who came off the kayak had managed to swim ashore, raise the alarm using their mobile phone and let the coastguard know they were on an island.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Chris Cathcart, launched immediately along with the RWC. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with light airs and good visibility.

Following a search, the lifeboat crew located the casualties on the northern side of Inishcorkish Island. They were both cold and the woman was shaking and showing signs of hypothermia.

The crew immediately transferred both people to the lifeboat and began to administer casualty care. They were then brought to the shore at Knockninny Marina where they were medically assessed and made comfortable. The RWC then recovered the vessel back to Knockninny Marina.

Speaking following the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Chris Cathcart said: "The water was cold yesterday and the casualties had been in the lough for about 15 minutes during their swim to the island.

"They had prepared for their trip by carrying a means of communication and thankfully they were able to raise the alarm using their mobile phone. We wish them both a speedy recovery from their ordeal."

As reported on Afloat.ie earlier today, HM Coastguard is co-ordinating an ongoing search for an overdue sea kayaker off Portmuck in Co Antrim, concentrating on the area around the Gobbins coastal path.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Kayaking - It hasn't been the best summer for long-distance kayaking in Ireland, what with Manx duo Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw being forced to abandon their round-Ireland effort three weeks ago.

And that's not to mention exhaustion getting the better of pizza-oven maker Hendrik Lepel on the first leg of his voyage from Kinsale to Germany.

But two expeditions currently under way may have better chances as the weather improves.

The42.ie brings news of Jon Hynes and Sean Cahill's "once in a lifetime" kayaking trip round Ireland, which began on 16 June near the former's Kinsale home.

Taking a clockwise route around the island of Ireland, as of yesterday (Tuesday 30 June) the pair were taking shelter in Broadhaven Bay, Co Mayo awaiting a break in the weather to proceed to Donegal and on to the north coast and the half-way mark.

“It's definitely the pinnacle of expedition kayaking when you’re trying to get around Ireland in this type of weather!" said Hynes, who can boast of some 60 years of kayaking experience between him and Cahill.

However, ahead of them is an even more elite kayaker in the form of Waterford man Mick O'Meara, who as of yesterday was just four days shy of setting a brand new speed record for a solo circumnavigation of Ireland, as The Irish Times reports.

If O'Meara - a multiple-time Liffey Descent winner – reaches his hometown of Tramore by this Friday 3 July, he will have shaven two days off the record set by Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan on the 1,200km voyage in 2011.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Just days after embarking on an ambitious kayaking expedition from Kinsale to Germany, pizza oven company boss Hendrik Lepel was picked up by the RNLI after calling for help off Cornwall.

Padstow's volunteer lifeboat launched around 12am in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday 25 June) to rescue the German kayaker, who was suffering from fatigue after 30 hours at sea and unsure how to reach Padstow Harbour.

Quickly locating the four-metre kayak The Flying Northman, which was set up with an outrigger and sails, the crew took the tired casualty onboard and towed the kayak into Padstow where his support crew were waiting. 

"It was a beautifully calm and flat night, with very light winds," said deputy second coxswain and mechanic Michael England. "The chap had been at sea for 30 hours and was extremely tired.

"Although he was also equipped with an outboard engine, he’d used the fuel and under sail it would have been a long passage into Padstow.  Unfamiliar with the area, he was also unsure of the best way into the harbour.

"He did exactly the right thing to call for help, and although it was a late night for the crew, we didn’t get back to the station until 2.20am, we were happy to help him out."

Here's hoping Lepel – who admitted earlier to "not being experienced" at offshore kayaking – can resume his journey to Rostock in time to meet the tall ships without further incident!

Published in Kayaking
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#Kayaking - A German entrepreneur living in Cork is making his way home to meet the Tall Ships festival in an unique manner, as the Irish Examiner reports.

While Belfast Lough prepares to welcome the start of the Tall Ships Races next week, Hendrik Lepel is kayaking from Kinsale to his hometown of Rostock – via St George's Channel and around the English coast to Calais and onwards past the Low Countries to northern Germany and the Kiel Canal – in time to meet the tall ships after their race concludes in Denmark in mid August.

Despite "not being experienced" at offshore kayaking, Lepel left Kinsale on Saturday 20 June well prepared for nearly two months at sea, with the right provisions, safety and communications gear.

“I will stop every night when I can and get on to land, where possible," he said. "I can also put the kayak under sail if I need to."

Lepel, who runs a business manufacturing pizza ovens, will be padding in The Flying Northman, a sophisticated vessel that's more like a trimaran than a traditional kayak.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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