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The RYA is the national body in the UK for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, ribs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and narrowboats, and personal watercraft.

What we do:

Lobbying – Protecting the interest of boaters
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RYA Training Courses – RYA training courses and books - the best in the world.
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Growing the Sport – Getting people involved.
Safety – Helping to keep you safe on the water
RYA Publications – One of the great things about being on the water is that you never stop learning.
RYA Voucher Schemd – Ideal gift for friends and family.

Royal Yachting Association (RYA), RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Hants SO31 4YA, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 2380 604 100

Published in Organisations

History (to 1984)

Carrickfergus Rowing Club, founded in 1866 by Charles H. Crawford, is the oldest sporting club in Carrickfergus and one of the earliest rowing clubs to be established in Ireland. By early 1867 membership had reached thirty and a four-oared racing gig had been delivered by Matt Taylor, boat builder of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at a cost of £35. Crews from Carrickfergus competed with great enthusiasm in many northern Regattas, achieving their first win at a local event in 1870.

Prior to the completion, in 1874, of the first Clubhouse boats were stored in premises belonging to the Antrim Artillery, on the site of the present Town Hall, and carried across the rough shingle beach for launching. This Clubhouse, a wooden structure supported on piles, was erected behind the East Pier with the consent of the Carrickfergus Harbour Commissioners. Work was supervised by Paul Rodgers of the shipyard, at that time a member of the Club, and cost approximately £150. The building was replaced in 1888 and again in 1902 following storm damage.

Until the establishment in 1891 of the Carrickfergus Sailing Club the Rowing Club’s Annual Regatta included sailing and swimming events as well as rowing. Judging by the Secretary’s remarks in his Annual Report the introduction, on the occasion of the coronation in 1911, of Ladies Rowing Races was not universally welcomed and it was not until 1921 that ladies were admitted to Club membership. Tennis was then introduced and in 1922 the Rowing and Sailing Clubs amalgamated. The Club, then known as "Carrickfergus Amateur Rowing Club incorporating Carrickfergus Sailing Club", continued to promote rowing, sailing, swimming and tennis. Membership however continued to decline and it was not until 1934 that the Annual Regatta was again held. This year also saw the launching of a new Clinker Four named Fairey II and the beginnings of the Open Eighteen Foot Centre Board Class. Crews from Carrickfergus continued to enjoy considerable success at Regattas until the early fifties when competitive rowing ceased. The last Clinker Four to be purchased arrived in 1950. Named "Castle Dobbs" it was little used and remains in the Club’s possession to this day. Tennis also faded out after the Second World War and Snipes took the place of the old eighteen footers.

The building in 1957 of three flying fifteens by members of the Club introduced a class which is still popular today with up to twenty boats competing. GP Fourteens and Optimists were raced for some years before being superceded by Scorpions and Mirror Dinghys. A strong Mirror fleet still exists but Scorpions are no longer raced as a class.

In 1966, the Club’s Centenary Year, an ambitious project involving the construction of a two storey extension and improvements to the interior layout of the building was completed. The provision of a bar in 1968 was the last major alteration to be carried out on the East Pier site.

Although cruising boats had from time to time been owned by members of the Club it was not until the mid-nineteen seventies that cruisers began to appear in any number in the Club’s handicap series. The cruising fleet has grown rapidly over the past decade both in size and number with upwards of twenty boats now competing in the IOR, SL and Ruffian 8.5 Classes.

Lack of finance, small membership and the frequent need for repairs to the building and supporting structure have caused successive Committees concern since the earliest days of the Club. In 1980 with repairs to the front platform urgently needed and further development on the East Pier site to meet our requirements not possible the Committee again considered the alternatives and at the Annual General Meeting of the Club in March 1981 recommended the acceptance of a 2.2 acre site offered by Carrickfergus Borough Council on reclaimed ground adjacent to the West Pier. The Members unanimously agreed and construction began in early May. Three years later with the Council’s Yacht Harbour taking shape alongside our new premises the future of the Club and of Carrickfergus as a major boating centre seems assured.

G.J.E. ALCORN, Hon. Secretary

Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Rodger's Quay, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim BT38 8BE. Tel: +44 28 93351402, fax: +44 44 870 7066157, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs

Our History

meteireannhq.jpg Operational Meteorology might be said to have begun in Ireland on 8 October 1860, when the first 'real time' weather observation was transmitted from Valentia Island in Co. Kerry. Valentia Observatory, as it came to be known, was one of a network of weather stations established around the Irish and British coastlines, by the naval authorities in London, to enable storm warnings to be provided for ships at sea.

For many years after Independence Ireland's needs, as far as weather matters were concerned, continued to be met by the British Meteorological Office. By the mid-1930's, however, it was clear that a new and exciting customer was on the way. It was the requirement to provide accurate weather information for transatlantic aviation that led to the formal establishment of an Irish Meteorological Service in 1936.

The first Director, Austen H. Nagle, was appointed in December of that year, and installed himself in the small offices in St. Andrew's Street in Dublin, which became the first Headquarters of the new Service. In April 1937, the administration of the existing observing network was taken over from the British Authorities; it comprised 4 telegraphic stations (at Malin Head, Blacksod Point, Roches Point and Birr), 18 climatological stations, 172 rainfall stations, and Valentia Observatory, which was the only station at the time to be manned by official personnel.

In its early stages, the new Service received continuing help from the British Authorities. This assistance was in the form of staff seconded from London to work at Foynes, in Co. Limerick, from where flying boats had just begun to operate. Included in their number were several who were later to become well known internationally; notably Hubert Lamb, the climatologist and Arthur Davies, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation for nearly 30 years. By 1941, however, the Service's own recruits had been fully trained, and the organisation was able to begin satisfying the increasing demands for weather information from its own resources.

Forecasting for aviation, first at Foynes and later at Shannon and Dublin Airports, was the major preoccupation of the early years. By the late 1940's, however, the Service had broadened its activities. In 1948, for the first time, it assumed responsibility for the weather forecasts broadcast by Radio Éireann, which had been provided from London in the interim. In 1952 it began to supply forecasts to the daily newspapers and 1961 saw the opening of the new Central Analysis and Forecast Office in the Headquarters premises, now housed at 44 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin. Live presentation by Met Éireann forecasters of the weather on Teilifis Eireann commenced in early 1962.

valoldbuildc1900.jpg Radar Antenna at Shannon AirportThe late 1940's and the 1950's were a time of rapid expansion for the Service. This period saw the establishment of a balanced nation-wide network of observing stations, manned on a full-time basis by Meteorological Service personnel. The climatological and rainfall observing networks were greatly enhanced, thanks largely to the willing co-operation of the Garda authorities around the country and the assistance of other Government Departments and State-sponsored bodies. At Valentia Observatory, which had moved to a mainland site near Cahirciveen in 1892, upper air radiosonde measurements began and a wide range of geophysical measurements and environmental monitoring activities was introduced.

Meanwhile, the Service offered an expanding range of forecast and climatological information to the public and to specialised interests. A notable development was the inauguration of tape recorded telephone forecasts during the 1960's, the precursor of today's Weatherdial. The reception of satellite images began in the late 1960's at Shannon Airport and in the 1970's, the Meteorological Service might be said to have come of age by entering the computer era. Initially, the new machines were employed for communication purposes, but shortly afterwards the computers were used for the relatively new technique of numerical weather prediction.

Throughout its history, the Meteorological Service and its staff played an active role in the development of meteorology on the international scene. Ireland became a full member of the World Meteorological Organisation shortly after its establishment in the early 1950's and was later a founder member of both the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts and the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation, EUMETSAT. More recently, the Service has been active in the formation of other co-operative agencies like EUMETNET and ECOMET. Particularly beneficial to the organisation has been its membership since 1989 of HIRLAM, a co-operative venture between the Scandinavian countries and several other European Meteorological Services for the development of a numerical model for short-range forecasting.

Met eireann Headquarters ImageThe modern era of the Meteorological Service might be said to date from its occupation of the new Headquarters Building in Glasnevin in 1979, a development which for the first time allowed all the Dublin based Divisions to be housed under the same roof. It was around this time too, that the Service reached its peak in terms of staffing, with a total of 342 in 1980. The intervening years have seen a gradual reduction in staff numbers to the present level of 230, a development brought about mainly by the introduction of automated methods for many repetitive tasks, and by on-going review of our priorities with regard to weather observations.

Since the 1990s, in common with its sister organisations in most other European countries, the service has adopted a more commercial approach to the provision of services to its customers,in an effort to try to increase revenue and thus lighten the financial burden on the tax-payer. This spirit of commercial awareness, however, has been combined with an enhancement of the Service's public service role in areas where this has seemed desirable, most notably perhaps by the introduction of Severe Weather Alerts and by co-operation in the monitoring of stratospheric and tropospheric ozone

In March of 1996, its 60th year of operation, the Meteorological Service adopted the new title Met Éireann, with the aim of establishing a well-focused corporate identity in the public mind. Proud of its record of public service, its development of the national meteorological infrastructure and its contribution to the science of meteorology, Met Éireann looks forward with confident optimism to the challenges that lie ahead.

Directors of Met Éireann, 1936-present
1936-1948 Austen H. Nagle
1948-1964 Mariano Doporto
1965-1978 P.M. Austin Bourke
1978-1981 P. Kilian Rohan
1981-1988 Donal L. Linehan
1989-present Declan J. Murphy

Met Éireann Headquarters, Glasnevin Hill, Dublin 9

Tel: +353-1-8064200
Fax: +353-1-8064247
 
General Forecasting Division
Tel: +353-1- 8064255
Fax: +353-1- 8064275
Note: Provision of forecasts is subject to a fee.
 
Climate Enquiries Office
Tel: +353-1- 8064260
Fax: +353-1- 8064216
Note: Provision of services is subject to a fee.
 
Commercial Division
Tel: +353-1-8064244
Fax: +353-1-8064247
 
Freedom of Information Officer
Tel: +353-1-8064295
Fax: +353-1-8064275

Met Éireann Aviation Services, Shannon Airport Co. Clare
Tel: +353-61-712958
Fax: +353-61-712960
 
Met Éireann Valentia Observatory, Cahirciveen Co. Kerry
Tel: +353-66-9473460
Fax: +353-67-9472242

 

Met Eireann: Irish Meteorological Service, Glasnevin Hill, Dublin 9

Published in Organisations
14th July 2009

Skerries Sailing Club

skerries-l.jpg

Overlooking scenic island-studded waters, Skerries is a vibrant and fast growing dinghy and cruiser club for adults and children. Racing (May-December) three times weekly in high season. Adult, children, newcomers to sailing and family members are especially welcomed. The bar has remarkable sea views. Slipway, car/boat park and punt service to moorings. We offer ISA Dinghy courses for children from beginners to Advanced Boat Handling and Racing 1 as well as ISA Dinghy courses for adults from beginners to Improving Skills plus Powerboat and Safetyboat courses.

SSC prides itself on its friendly atmosphere. Newcomers to sailing are warmly welcomed. A small fleet of adult and junior dinghies is available to newcomers at nominal rates to help them improve their sailing. Friendly coaching is also available. In 2008, SSC celebrated the 75th anniversary of its foundation in 1933.

In addition we are hosting three regional, national and international events for Optimists, Mirrors and Wayfarers. For details of events click the appropriate button on the left.

The affairs of Skerries Sailing Club are governed by its officers and a committee, totalling 12. The committee is chaired by a Commodore elected directly by the membership at the club's Annual General Meeting. The membership also approves the committee on an annual basis. The officers and committee are listed on the Committee page. The notice for the latest Annual General Meeting is provided on the AGM page.

Administration of the club is guided by its constitution. The text of the Constitution is available on the Constitution page of the website.

 

Skerries Sailing Club, Harbour Road, Skerries, Co. Dublin. Tel: +353 1 849 1233, email: [email protected]

or c/o Siobhan Boylan, Bayview, 15 Harbour Road, Skerries 

 

Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved

 

Published in Clubs
21st October 2009

Rolex Middle Sea Race

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney–Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a 'must do' race. The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2007 was the 28th Edition. Save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually attracting 25–30 yachts. In recent years, the number of entries has rissen sharply to 68 boats thanks to a new Organising Committee who managed to bring Rolex on board as title sponsor for the Middle Sea Race.

The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions. Equally, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands, which form marks of the course. Ted Turner described the MSR as "the most beautiful race course in the world".

Apart from Turner, famous competitors have included Eric Tabarly, Cino Ricci, Herbert von Karajan, Jim Dolan, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Francis Chichester (fresh from his round the world adventure). High profile boats from the world's top designers take part, most in pursuit of line honours and the record – competing yachts include the extreme Open 60s, Riviera di Rimini and Shining; the maxis, Mistress Quickly, Zephyrus IV and Sagamore; and the pocket rockets such as the 41-foot J-125 Strait Dealer and the DK46, Fidessa Fastwave.

In 2006, Mike Sanderson and Seb Josse on board ABN Amro, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, the super Maxis; Alfa Romeo and Maximus and the 2006 Rolex Middle Sea Race overall winner, Hasso Platner on board his MaxZ86, Morning Glory.

George David on board Rambler (ex-Alfa Romeo) managed a new course record in 2007 and in 2008, Thierry Bouchard on Spirit of Ad Hoc won the Rolex Middle Sea Race on board a Beneteau 40.7

The largest number of entries was 78 established in 2008.

 

History

IN THE BEGINNING

The Middle Sea Race was conceived as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Paul and John Ripard and an Englishman residing in Malta called Jimmy White, all members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. In the early fifties, it was mainly British servicemen stationed in Malta who competitively raced. Even the boats had a military connection, since they were old German training boats captured by the British during the war. At the time, the RMYC only had a few Maltese members, amongst who were Paul and John Ripard.

So it was in the early sixties that Paul and Jimmy, together with a mutual friend, Alan Green (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), set out to map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in Maltese coastal waters. They also decided the course would be slightly longer than the RORC's longest race, the Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today.

Ted Turner, CEO of Turner Communications (CNN) has written that the Middle Sea Race "must be the most beautiful race course in the world. What other event has an active volcano as a mark of the course?"

In all of its editions since it was first run in 1968 – won by Paul Ripard's brother John, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has attracted many prestigious names in yachting. Some of these have gone on to greater things in life and have actually left their imprint on the world at large. Amongst these one finds the late Raul Gardini who won line honours in 1979 on Rumegal, and who spearheaded the 1992 Italian Challenge for the America's Cup with Moro di Venezia.

Another former line honours winner (1971) who has passed away since was Frenchman Eric Tabarly winner of round the world and transatlantic races on Penduik. Before his death, he was in Malta again for the novel Around Europe Open UAP Race involving monohulls, catamarans and trimarans. The guest list for the Middle Sea Race has included VIP's of the likes of Sir Francis Chichester, who in 1966 was the first man to sail around the world single-handedly, making only one stop.

The list of top yachting names includes many Italians. It is, after all a premier race around their largest island. These include Navy Admiral Tino Straulino, Olympic gold medallist in the star class and Cino Ricci, well known yachting TV commentator. And it is also an Italian who in 1999 finally beat the course record set by Mistress Quickly in 1978. Top racing skipper Andrea Scarabelli beat it so resoundingly, he knocked off over six hours from the time that had stood unbeaten for 20 years.

World famous round the world race winners with a Middle Sea Race connection include yachting journalist Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Les Williams, both from the UK.

The Maxi Class has long had a long and loving relationship with the Middle Sea Race. Right from the early days personalities such as Germany's Herbert Von Karajan, famous orchestra conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philarmoniker, competing with his maxi Helisara IV. Later came Marvin Greene Jr, CEO of Reeves Communications Corporation and owner of the well known Nirvana (line honours in 1982) and Jim Dolan, CEO of Cablevision, whose Sagamore was back in 1999 to try and emulate the line honours she won in 1997.

 

THE COURSE RECORD

The course record was held by the San Francisco based, Robert McNeil on board his Maxi Turbo Sled Zephyrus IV when in 2000, he smashed the Course record which now stands at 64 hrs 49 mins 57 secs. Zephyrus IV is a Rechiel-Pugh design. In recent years, various maxis such as Alfa Romeo, Nokia, Maximus and Morning Glory have all tried to break this course record, but the wind Gods have never played along. Even the VOR winner, ABN AMro tried, but all failed in 2006.

However, George David came along on board Rambler in 2007 and demolished the course record established by Zephyrus IV in 2000. This now stands at 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.

 

IN RECENT YEARS

In 2001,a new Committee was elected and injected new blood and ideas into the Middle Sea Race organising Committee.  Innovative marketing ideas were introduced and the search for a title sponsor was initiated. In 2002, Rolex SA came on board as the title sponsor. Since 2002, the event has witnessed a record number of entries every year and has also seen amazing growth in the quality of entries. Although bigger boats regularly participate with new tecnological inprovements such as code zeros, canting keels and forward canards, the Course Record remained unbeaten for seven years. One used to wonder when this will ever be broken – 64 hrs, 49 mins and 57 seconds was the time to beat...

In 2006, a record fleet of 68 yachts was on the start line, ranging from some of the largest and fastest racing monohulls on the planet, including Alfa Romeo, Morning Glory, ABN Amro 1 and Maximus, to some of the best sailed cruiser-racers around. The finish was a nailbiter, with Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory taking in pole position amongst the larger yachts, but having to wait two days until two of the smallest boats had arrived home before the victory could be confirmed. As it was, the double-handed crew of Shaun Murphy & Ric Searle on the J-105 Slingshot and the young crew on Lee Satariano's J-109 Artie came close, but not quite close enough finishing third and second overall respectively just over 2 hours outside the winner's time.

The record number of participants till 2006 stood at a staggering 68 entries.

In 2007 Massive storms bashed through the fleet on the northern side of Sicily. Tens of boats retired during the first night out and were forced to take shelter in various ports along the Eastern shore of Sicily.  Loki also lost their rudder and had to abondon her. We also saw George David on board Rambler set a new course record of 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.

2008 saw a record number of entries. Seventy-eight boats started the race and was characterised by light winds in the beginning of the race and thunder storms during the second part of the race. Thierry Bouchard, on board Spirit of Ad Hoc won in a Beneteau 40.7. He also won the ORC division, claiming the Boccale del Mediterraneao Trophy.

The above information courtesy of Rolex Middle Sea Race 

 

Published in Middle Sea

Irish Water Safety is the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland. Their role is to educate people in water safety best practices. They develop public awareness campaigns to promote necessary attitudes, rescue skills and behaviour to prevent drownings and water related accidents. Activities include:

Teaching swimming and lifesaving courses to children and adults. Recipients build skills in swimming, water confidence, safety, survival, rescue skills and resuscitation. Participants can progress to qualify as Pool and Beach Lifeguards, there are 27 qualifications that are internationally recognized and are available to children and adults nationwide.

Lectures and demonstrations to members of the Public and other interested parties.

Publishing literature to promote water safety and target at-risk groups. Popular posters include safe boating, safe swimming, and lifejacket posters. A Cold shock/hypothermia leaflet is also available as are many other publications.

Volunteers carry out Risk Assessments on all Bathing Areas nationwide, free of charge in order to make them safer by the erection of ring buoys, signage and other necessary action. The Local Authorities are most helpful in this regard.

Advise and assist Local Authorities on all matters relating to water safety.

The Nation’s Beach Lifeguards are tested by IWS examiners for the local authorities, free of charge prior to the annual summer season.

A programme exists in which National School teachers are coached in teaching water safety principles to their pupils.

Training all the boats crews for the Inshore Rescue Boat Service nationwide. The IWS also train and examine the Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Boats crews.

Promoting water safety along with other members of the Marine Safety Working Group and the Irish Marine Search and Rescue Committee.

National and local media actively communicates IWS safety messages to the public.

Issuing advice on all aspects of water safety. Press Releases are available all year round, which target the seasonal hazards on Irish waterways.

Organising the Annual National Lifesaving Championships; some members thn go on to compete in international events each year.

Awarding the ‘Just in Time’ Rescue Award to rescuers nationwide; other awards recognise work promoting Water Safety in Ireland.

The IWS develop a partnership approach with private sponsors to deliver safety messages to the public.

Providers of information on the locations of Lifeguarded beaches in Ireland.

History of Irish Water Safety

Before 1945, life-guarding was confined to a few counties in Ireland – that is, in Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Dublin and Clare. Indeed, the teaching of swimming and water safety as we know it was done on an ad hoc basis around the country, but mostly in the cities of Dublin and Cork where indoor swimming pools were available. It was only when a member of An Garda Síochána, Mr Harry Gillespie (who was Chairman of a small Water Safety Committee in County Clare) decided to approach the Irish Red Cross Society in May 1945 that Water Safety was established in Ireland on a formal basis.

Under the auspices of the Irish Red Cross Society, local Area Water Safety Committees were established in all of the counties of Ireland. Naturally, there was very little expertise in this country in the matter of water safety and swimming rescue, so it was decided that the American Red Cross should be approached as they had an excellent Water Safety Service running in the USA for many years. From them came the necessary approach to teaching water safety, then generally known as swimming rescue. Their booklets were also used as the basis for the first water safety manuals published by the Irish Red Cross Society (Water Safety Service).

It is worthy of note that several present members are recipients of the ‘Service Medal of Honour’ being founding members of the Water Safety Organisation in Ireland. For twenty-six years, Water Safety operated under the auspices of the Irish Red Cross Society and it was during this period that the structure of Examiners, Instructors and other voluntary (non-technical) personnel was established. During those early days, there were few indoor swimming pools in this country for the teaching of swimming and lifesaving. Much of the work was done during the Summer months at piers, quays, beaches, on riverbanks, and at lake sides. It was also during those first twenty-six years that we saw the increase in the use of lifeguards around the coast of Ireland during the summer. It must be remembered that few people could swim and fewer still could swim and save a life. Indeed, in many of the coastal towns and villages, particularly where their livelihood was derived from the sea, there was an old superstition, that it was better not to learn how to swim as it only prolonged the agony in the water when in difficulty.

Change was slow due to a lack of resources, but voluntary commitment was strong among the members, as it is to day. With time, improvements followed and a more conscious awareness of water safety began to unfold throughout the country, particularly as the seventies approached and the work of the Water Safety Service expand to every county throughout the country. The leading light at that time was a man called Plunkett Walsh, an employee of the Irish Red Cross Society with special responsibility for Water Safety. His great enthusiasm was an inspiration to all involved in the Water Safety Service to promote water safety awareness. However, his untimely and sudden death left a great void within the organisation.

Following this, in 1971 an approach was made to the Minister of Local Government who agreed to the establishment of the Irish Water Safety Association under the auspices of the Department of Local Government. This move was universally welcomed, albeit tinged with certain sadness on leaving the Irish Red Cross, with whom water safety had been for twenty-five years. The first Chairman of the Irish Water Safety Association was Mr Desmond Kenny who was from Galway.

With the establishment of the Irish Water Safety Association came an upsurge in membership, to meet the growing demand for swimming and lifesaving instruction throughout the country. In turn, this demand led to the construction of many indoor swimming pools and improved bathing facilities in many parts of Ireland. Shortly after the establishment of the Irish Water Safety Association, it was invited to join both Federation International De Sauvetage and World Life Saving, both international bodies dealing with water safety and rescue.

In 1987, a Government decision was made resulting in the IWSA being amalgamated with fire and road safety under the auspices of the National Safety Council. The members continued to give exceptional time and effort on a voluntary basis to ensure that swimming and lifesaving was taught nationwide and Water Safety went from strength to strength and the number of voluntary members involved continued to grow. Certificates issued for swimming and lifesaving increased annually, and the ‘Water Safety Awareness’ campaign was promulgated nationwide. With the encouragement of the National Safety Council, water safety personnel played an active role in the formation of the new International Life Saving Federation, which was established in 1994.

1995 was the 50th anniversary of the formation of Water Safety under the auspices of the Irish Red Cross, the Irish Water Safety Association and the National Safety Council. To mark this occasion, a suitable medal was struck to honour those who had given long and valued service throughout those fifty years. In November 1996 at a meeting of the Board of the National Safety Council, it was agreed that Water Safety be known as Water Safety Ireland. In the National Budget of 1998, it was announced that the Government had set a side the necessary finance to re-establish Water Safety as a singular organisation. The effect of this decision being that Water Safety was to leave the National Safety Council. The decision to establish Water Safety as the Irish Water Safety Association with its Headquarters in Galway took effect in November 1999. A Council of 12 persons was appointed with Mr Frank Nolan (a retired member of An Garda Siochana) being appointed as Chairman. The functions of the new body are similar to those that have been traditionally carried out over the past fifty-five years.

The new Association, which is the Statutory Water Safety Body for Ireland, is financed by Government, Local Authorities, fund-raising and sponsorship. The Association continues to be actively involved with International Life Saving (the world body) and co-operates with the other national organisations involved in water safety and rescue.

On the 25th August 2000, in front of a large audience, Minister of State, Mr Robert Molloy, TD, opened the new Headquarters of Irish Water Safety close to the Spanish Arch in Galway City. Irish Water Safety is governed by the Council, which is appointed by the Government for three years, supported by a full-time permanent staff. The functions of the Association are supported nationwide on a voluntary basis through 28 area Water Safety Committees and two special Committees (one within the Irish Police Force and the other within the Defence Forces). Persons who give exceptional Service over 25 to 50 years receive the ‘Medal of Honour with Bar’. Persons outside the Association, who have been supportive of Irish Water Safety over a number of years, can be honoured with a Life Governorship of the Association. Ten persons so far have been conferred with this honour.

The Irish Water Safety Motto: 'Every Person a Swimmer and Every Swimmer a Lifesaver' 

Irish Water Safety (IWS), The Long Walk, Galway. Tel: 1890 420202, Fax: 091 564700, Email: [email protected]

 

Other IWS Afloat posts here:

Summer Rain adds to danger

Published in Organisations

It has been confirmed that Ireland will have a second entry in the Volvo Ocean Race. Fastnet winner, twice Afloat sailor of the year, and national offshore-sprint hero Ger O’Rourke will use the title-holding boat, ABN Amro 1 (aka Black Betty) to take on the new generation of VO70s. Let speculation commence, says Markham Nolan.

Page 9 of 10

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