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Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Sean Connick TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has signed an accord with their Newfoundland counterparts Minister Clyde Jackman and Deputy Minister Alastair O'Reilly welcoming the charter of the Irish national Research Vessel Celtic Explorer, by the Newfoundland Provincial Government, to undertake key surveys in Newfoundland waters in early 2011.

Minister Smith said "I am delighted to sign today a new Accord on Marine Research between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Irish Authorities.  The initiative involves a partnership approach between the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Ireland's Marine Institute including the charter of the state-of-the-art research vessel 'Celtic Explorer'.  Both Institutes have strong capabilities in ocean technology and research. Through this alliance, there is now an opportunity to bring the strengths of both Institutes to greater levels".

Minister of State Connick added that "The proposed EU Atlantic Strategy under the EU Integrated Maritime Policy and the support for a Joint Programming Initiative on Healthy Seas & Oceans recently announced by Ms. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, highlight the increasing importance of linking the scientific challenges on both sides of the Atlantic."

Welcoming the chartering of the RV Celtic Explorer, Mr Clyde Jackman, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture – Newfoundland said "It will enable our academic institutions to take their already world class research to the next level and support a state of the art fishing industry that is based on better science. This initiative will create many new opportunities for young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, as a result of a more vibrant fishing industry and in conducting fisheries science research".

"Thanks to the support of our Provincial Government, the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland is further positioned to play a vital role in the future of fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador. With the chartering the RV Celtic Explorer and the creation of our new Centre for Fisheries Ecosystem Research the Marine Institute is further positioned to play a vital role in fisheries science research in our province," said Glenn Blackwood, the Executive Director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

"Research lead by personnel from the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystem Research and conducted aboard the RV Celtic Explorer will help develop a better understanding of the state of Newfoundland and Labrador's fish stocks and the dynamics of its marine ecosystems, providing new information to support better decisions." he said.

"The strong alliance the Marine Institute, Ireland has with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland will enable transatlantic collaboration to support the rapidly expanding fisheries research programmes in Newfoundland waters" said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute.

"We are delighted with this opportunity to work with such a prominent team of fisheries scientists and we look forward to exploring with our Newfoundland colleagues how we can also build stronger links as part of a wider international ocean observation initiative to study the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift. This could link SMART technology to monitor climate change and environmental conditions in both Irish and Newfoundland waters and stimulate commercial spin off opportunities."

"Projects linking technologies, equipment and expertise on both sides of the Atlantic would therefore enhance Ireland and Newfoundland's capability to perform in the forefront of scientific endeavours as our strategic geographic location demands," he further added.

J0223830137

Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Sean Connick TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food signing an accord with their Newfoundland counterparts Minister Clyde Jackman and Deputy Minister Alastair O’Reilly In Agriculture House. 

Published in Marine Science

Two old seadogs are preparing to cross the Atlantic in a small sailing boat in aid of the world's poorest children.

Rudi Teichmann, a retired sea captain now living in Ballinspittle, Co. Cork and his friend Gerhard Meschter who lives in Germany are both seasoned sailors and they plan to set sail in their 40 year old boat "Mumpes" in November.

During a lifetime spent on the sea Rudi, who moved to Ireland 15 years ago and was once Captain of the sail training ship Fair Winds, has crossed the Atlantic under sail 14 times in both directions.

For years Gerhard has dreamt of sailing the Atlantic. One day he mentioned this dream to Rudi and the idea for this adventure began to take shape.

RudiGerhard

Rudy and Gerhard set for Transatlantic passage

Initially the two applied to join the famous Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) but their boat "Mumpes", at just 6 metres 45 centimeters in length, was considered too small by the organisers. Although disappointed initially Rudi and Gerhard decided to sail on their own. They are starting with the ARC fleet - though unofficially - and are taking the same route, so they can measure their performance against the much bigger boats inside the rally.

The two veteran sailors have been busy for some time preparing both "Mumpes" and themselves for the crossing. They recently conducted sea trials in Germany and are now happy that both boat and crew are fit for the voyage ahead. They will trailer the boat to Lagos port in Portugal on November 7 from where they will set sail to St. Lucia in the Caribbean shortly afterwards. They will first call at Madeira and then sail to Gran Canaria, from where the ARC starts.

They chose the children's development organisation Plan as the charity to benefit from their efforts because it has branches in their home countries, Ireland and Germany, and also across the Atlantic. Gerhard and his wife Gesa sponsor a child in Haiti and Rudi and his wife Berny one in Sudan.

Rudi says that he hopes that the sailing fraternities in Ireland, Germany, UK, Australia, the US and Canada will support their attempts to highlight the plight of children in the developing world.

"We want as many people as possible, particularly sailors and other marine enthusiasts, to support us by sponsoring impoverished children through Plan" said Rudi. "For the price of some stainless steel shackles or blocks and some yards of rope you can make a real difference to a child's life".

You can follow the progress of Rudi and Gerhard's "adventure for plan" on their website www.ocean-sailing-for-children.org where you can also sign up to sponsor a child through links to the sites of the various Plan country offices.

For more information about Plan Ireland and its work for children or to sponsor a child directly visit www.plan.ie

 

 

Published in Cruising

 

Atlantic Dolphins choose to eat high-energy fish to suit their energetic lifestyles, scientists have found.
A study of dolphins off the French coast shows that dolphins shy away from less calorie-dense prey in favour of high-energy food. This dispels a myth that dophins are opportunistic feeders that take any food that comes their way.
The study was carried out by Dr Jerome Spitz and other scientist at the University of La Rochelle in France, who looked at the eating habits of short-beaked common dolphins ( Delphinus delphis ).
This species are the most common type of dolphin in nearby Atlantic waters. The team studied the stomach contents of dolphins caught accidentally in tuna drift nets to see what they ate. They then compared what they found in the dolphins' stomachs with what surveys of trawling fish catches indicated as plentiful in the same waters.
What they found was that dolphins actively select their prey based on its energy density, preferring deep-sea species like lanternfish instead of fish that have lower energy densities.
The dolphins studied turned their noses up at fish with under 5kJ of energy per gram, and sought out rarer breeds of fish that had a higher energy rate.
Two favourites were less common species of  lantern fish, the Kroyer's lanternfish  and the Glacier lanternfish  which have 7.9kJ and 5.9kJ per gram respectively.

Atlantic Dolphins choose to eat high-energy fish to suit their energetic lifestyles, scientists have found.

A study of dolphins off the French coast shows that dolphins shy away from less calorie-dense prey in favour of high-energy food. This dispels a myth that dophins are opportunistic feeders that take any food that comes their way. 


The study was carried out by Dr Jerome Spitz and other scientist at the University of La Rochelle in France, who looked at the eating habits of short-beaked common dolphins.

This species are the most common type of dolphin in nearby Atlantic waters. The team studied the stomach contents of dolphins caught accidentally in tuna drift nets to see what they ate. They then compared what they found in the dolphins' stomachs with what surveys of trawling fish catches indicated as plentiful in the same waters.


What they found was that dolphins actively select their prey based on its energy density, preferring deep-sea species like lanternfish instead of fish that have lower energy densities.
The dolphins studied turned their noses up at fish with under 5kJ of energy per gram, and sought out rarer breeds of fish that had a higher energy rate.


Two favourites were less common species of  lantern fish, the Kroyer's lanternfish  and the Glacier lanternfish  which have 7.9kJ and 5.9kJ per gram respectively. Other less energetic predators, like sharks, are less fussy and take anything that's going.

 

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 7 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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