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Displaying items by tag: Atlantic

#COASTAL NOTES - Oil exploration company Petrel Resources has identified a number of new targets off the southwest coast of Ireland as it seeks bigger partners for its venture.

The Irish Times reports that the Dublin-based firm was awarded licensing options over 1,400 sq km of the Porcupine Basin or Porcupine Blight in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Dursey Island in Co Kerry.

It has since completed two phases of work in the area, and says technical studies of its blocks in the northern and eastern parts of the basin, where is is testing for the presence of reservoir sands, were "encouraging".

The announcement comes following the success of Providence Resources' prospect in the Celtic Sea off the south coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Barryroe field may deliver in excess of 2 billion barrels of oil, a flow expected to be worth billions of euro to the Irish economy in future years.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#TITANIC - To mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, JOE.ie sat down with the first Irishman to dive the historic wreckage.

In 2000, Rory Golden descended two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic to witness the Titanic's watery gravesite.

“When I first cast my eyes on the wreck," he says, "for me it was just an incredibly exciting and equally humbling and incredibly poignant moment and you have all these emotions all at once because you are looking at something very few people in the world have seen.”

Amazingly, the self-avowed Titanic expert wasn't originally a part of the dive team for the expedition.

"My role at the time was to be the dive safety supervisor, but that whole role changed over the course of the expedition," he says. “There was no guarantee of me going down there because I was very low in the pecking order."

But a memorial plaque he brought with him from Cobh ended up being Golden's ticket to the TItanic, joining the crew aboard an 18-tonne Russian submarine.

And he came back with more than memories, too, as a glint in the corner of his eye turned out to be the remains of the ship's wheel.

"I was the first person to touch the wheel of the ship since it went down in 1912 and probably the last person to hold it before it went down was Captain Smith.”

JOE.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#ISLAND NEWS - Writing in the Boston Globe recently, Cork native Thomas Breathnach extols the virtues of the Aran Islands as "a bastion of native culture".

"The country’s roughest seas and 1,000 miles of ancient stone walls have successfully preserved Celtic tradition within their spellbinding shores," he writes of those western isles referred to as "the stepping stones to the Atlantic".

Traversing the archipelago by foot, bicycle and plane, Breathnach sees the sights and greets the characters that make the Aran Islands such an attraction for tourists the world over.

The Boston Globe has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#SURFING - Conor Conlon of CMP has produced this wonderful video of top professional surfers taking on the Atlantic swells of the west coast this winter.

Setting up his gear on the shore during a window of clean swell, Conlon captured the likes of Aaron Dees, Conor Maguire, Easkey Britton and newly signed Ripcurl rider Noah Cohen catching the waves (more photos and video HERE).

Published in Surfing
#ROWING – Irishmen have played a big part in the revival of Atlantic rowing in recent years, and Dubliner Aodhan Kelly will step up the mark in January. The 26-year-old is part of a six-man team which hopes to break the record for the fastest Atlantic row.

Kelly is now based in Reading, but he cut his rowing teeth with Neptune Rowing Club in Dublin, and won eight national rowing titles. He was also selected on Ireland teams.  Neptune are staging a race-night fundraiser for him in the club on November 12th.

http://atlantic2012.com/2011/11/01/race-night-fundraiser/

Published in Rowing
New evidence is indicating that wild salmon are adapting to climate change by feeding in colder waters, The Irish Times reports.
According to salmon expert Dr Ken Whelan, wild salmon are now diving as far as 800m below the surface - normally the preserve of the sperm whale - to feed for periods of up to 24 hours during winter months.
They are also travelling closer to the polar ice fields, in response to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean.
The change in behaviour was noted at a salmon summit in France attended by more than 100 fishery managers and scientists from across Europe, which was convened to discuss the threat of climate change to wild salmon stocks at sea.
Plankton levels are particularly affected by the changing wind and ocean currents, said Dr Whelan of findings from the EU-funded Salsea programme, which he led.
“Surviving the first winter at sea seems to be the key challenge for these stocks, and the salmon in the northern states like Norway and Russia, seems to be less affected,” he said.
But the recent return of wild salmon to the Tolka in Dublin, as well as healthy returns along other inland waterways, highlighted that the news was not all doom and gloom.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

New evidence is indicating that wild salmon are adapting to climate change by feeding in colder waters, The Irish Times reports.

According to salmon expert Dr Ken Whelan, wild salmon are now diving as far as 800m below the surface - normally the preserve of the sperm whale - to feed for periods of up to 24 hours during winter months.

They are also travelling closer to the polar ice fields, in response to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean.

The change in behaviour was noted at a salmon summit in France attended by more than 100 fishery managers and scientists from across Europe, which was convened to discuss the threat of climate change to wild salmon stocks at sea.

Plankton levels are particularly affected by the changing wind and ocean currents, said Dr Whelan of findings from the EU-funded Salsea programme, which he led.

“Surviving the first winter at sea seems to be the key challenge for these stocks, and the salmon in the northern states like Norway and Russia, seems to be less affected,” he said.

But the recent return of wild salmon to the Tolka in Dublin, as well as healthy numbers along other inland waterways, highlighted that the news was not all doom and gloom.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Pat Rabbitte T.D. today announced the award of thirteen new Licensing Options in the Irish offshore. Making the announcement this morning at the opening of a major petroleum research conference in Dublin Minister Rabbitte said that he was pleased that the international exploration industry had responded positively to the invitation to participate in the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. A total of fifteen applications were received by the closing date and following the evaluation of these applications thirteen Licensing Options are to be awarded. The Options are for a two-year period during which time the exploration companies will have to complete an agreed work programme.

A total of twelve companies are involved in the thirteen awards. The companies involved include both new entrants to Ireland, together with companies already active in the Irish offshore. The seven new companies that will be offered acreage are: Antrim Energy; Bluestack Energy; Europa Oil & Gas; First Oil Expro; Petrel Resources; Repsol Exploration; and Two Seas Oil & Gas Ltd. The five companies already active in Ireland are: Providence Resources Plc; Chrysaor; Serica Energy; Sosina Exploration and San Leon Energy.

In welcoming the interest shown Minister Rabbitte said "Ireland needs to see an increase in exploration activity and exploration drilling in particular, if the petroleum potential of our offshore is to be realised. The positive outcome of the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round will help bring a new momentum to the level of exploration activity in our offshore. Ireland must continue to communicate the message to international exploration companies that Ireland is open for business and that the Irish offshore has real potential."

Published in Power From the Sea
Tagged under
Ships off Ireland's south and west coasts have been asked by the French coastguard to keep a lookout for a yachtsman who has gone missing on a transatlantic voyage.
In a report that has echoes of missing yacht The Golden Eagle - which sailed into Kerry after an Atlantic crossing from Bermuda many days after schedule - RTE News says that the 12-metre yacht La Galatee left French Guiana on 5 August sailing for St Malo in France, but the French coastguard has lost contact with the vessel.
No air and sea searches are being considered at this time, but Irish Guard stations are broadcasting alerts and requests for sightings of the yacht.

Ships off Ireland's south and west coasts have been asked by the French coastguard to keep a lookout for a yachtsman who has gone missing on a transatlantic voyage.

In a report that has echoes of missing yacht The Golden Eagle - which sailed into Kerry after an Atlantic crossing from Bermuda many days after schedule - RTÉ News says that the 12-metre yacht La Galatee left French Guiana on 5 August sailing for St Malo in France, but the French coastguard has lost contact with the vessel.

No air and sea searches are being considered at this time, but Irish Coast Guard stations are broadcasting alerts and requests for sightings of the yacht.

Published in Coastguard
A yacht that was reported missing in the Atlantic between Bermuda and Ireland sailed safely into port in Co Kerry this afternoon.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Golden Eagle has been at the centre of an air and sea search operation since failing to arrive at its expected destination of Crookhaven in Co Cork on 15 September.
The yacht - crewed by a 69-year-old Norwegian and a 60-year-old New Zealander - had been out of radio contact since leaving Bermuda in mid August.
But a spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard revealed that the men had intentionally turned off their handheld VHF radio to save battery power until they were close to port.
The boat dropped anchor in Portmagee, Co Kerry at 3pm this afternoon, reporting only minor damage to its sails and rigging due to adverse weather which slowed their progress.

A yacht that was reported missing in the Atlantic between Bermuda and Ireland sailed safely into port in Co Kerry this afternoon.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Golden Eagle has been at the centre of an air and sea search operation since failing to arrive at its expected destination of Crookhaven in Co Cork on 15 September.

The yacht - crewed by a 69-year-old Norwegian and a 60-year-old New Zealander - had been out of radio contact since leaving Bermuda in mid August.

But a spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard has since revealed that the men intentionally turned off their handheld VHF radio to save battery power until they were close to port.

The boat dropped anchor in Portmagee, Co Kerry at 3pm this afternoon, reporting only minor damage to its sails and rigging due to adverse weather which slowed their progress.

More from RTE here.


Published in Coastguard
This year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), starting from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on November 20, promises to be one of the biggest ever, as up to 200 crews are planning the 2,700 mile transatlantic crossing to Rodney Bay, St Lucia.
Published in Cruising
Tagged under
Page 5 of 7

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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