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Displaying items by tag: Canada

Canadian boat owners could be liable to fines of up to €4 million under new legislation to tackle the scourge of abandoned vessels on the country’s coastlines, particularly in the western province of British Columbia.

International Boat Industry reports that the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act sets a prohibition on abandoning vessels while increasing owner responsibility for problem boats — and giving the Canadian government new powers to remove them.

Authorities in Ireland have similar powers under the Canal Act 1986 (Bye-Laws) 1988 to remove from inland waterways any non-permitted vessels, non-attended and apparently abandoned vessels, boats that are double-moored or causing an obstruction, or vessels deemed to be/likely to cause a hazard to navigation.

The new Canadian law can levy “penalties of up to $50,000 (CAD) for individuals and $250,000 for companies or corporations, while regulatory offence prosecution could result in a maximum fine of $1m for individuals and $6m for companies or corporations.”

It comes as part of a National Strategy to Address Canada’s Wrecked and Abandoned Vessels, which has included funding programmes to support coastal communities in the removal of smaller derelict vessels blighting their localities.

International Boat Industry has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#RNLI - Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat crew had an unusual callout on Monday evening (14 May) when they were launched to recover a runaway barge that had drifted to the Mayo coast across the Atlantic from Canada more than 3,000km away.

The large floating barge had broken from its moorings in Labrador in north-east Canada last November, and after six months at sea was spotted and reported by a passing fishing vessel earlier on Monday.

Ballyglass RNLI received the call to launch last night at 7.20pm. On arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew found a steel barge measuring 26 metres by 16 metres, which was unsecured and floating.

The lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the barge back to Ballyglass Harbour.

However, with no room to berth such a large barge safely, it was put on the lifeboat mooring before a more permanent solution could be found. The crew were not stood down until 2am this morning.

All in all, it took the lifeboat crew seven hours to secure the barge and and bring it safely to Ballyglass.

Commenting on the shout, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager Padraic Sheeran said: “We were not expecting this type of callout at all. You do hear of vessels and craft breaking free of moorings but it’s unusual to have one drift thousands of kilometres and have to be rescued by lifeboat.

“On a serious note though, it represented a major navigational danger to any vessel that it collided with and it was a relief to have it safely recovered.”

The callout will remind Afloat.ie readers of the houseboat that drifted from Newfoundland to the Mayo coast in November 2016.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#WhaleBoat - A nurse from Northern Ireland was among those who assisted survivors of the tragic whale boat capsize in Canada at the weekend, as BBC News reports.

Five people – all British – died and a sixth, an Australian national, is still missing after the whale-watching boat Leviathan II sank off Vancouver Island on Sunday.

Twenty-one others on the boat were rescued from the water thanks to the quick action of the local Ahousaht First Nation community, who were first to respond, along with fishing boats and other vessels in the area.

Also at a nearby dock to give comfort to the survivors as they came ashore was Sheila Simpson, originally from Strabane, Co Tyrone, who told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster: "I looked them in the eye and I put my hand to their back and I said 'you are alive, you have survived'."

The stability of the Leviathan II at the time of the incident in question as it's believed the passengers – none of whom were wearing lifejackets – were standing on the vessel's port side when an unexpected wave hit from starboard in what were reportedly calm conditions.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Shipwreck - "One of Canada's greatest mysteries has been solved," said that country's Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this month upon news that the wreck of one of two ships famously lost in a mid-19th-century Arctic expedition has likely been located.

National Geographic has details of the rediscovery of the remains of either the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, both of which disappeared in 1846 during an ill-fated expedition led by Sir John Franklin to map the Northwest Passage.

Sonar images captured by an ROV off King William Island in the northern Canadian province of Nunavut show the mostly intact hull of a ship – and according to maritime historian James Delgado, "there is no doubt" that it represents that final resting place of one of the lost vessels.

What's more, the ship's largely preserved condition means it could prove an invaluable "time capsule" to learn more about the people who embarked on that voyage some 170 years ago.

National Geographic has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Historic Boats

#Adventure - An Irish duo have returned home after crossing the world's largest frozen lake in Russia.

As RTÉ News reports, Mike O'Shea from Dingle and Clare O'Leary from Bandon traversed the 640km-long Lake Baikal in Siberia over 26 days, contending with temperatures 30 degrees below freezing.

The challenge was the second mission in the veteran adventurer pair's 'Ice Project', an attempt to cross the world's main ice caps before the end of 2016.

Their next adventure will be a crossing of either Iceland or Greenland - where another intrepid group of Irish adventurers are headed this summer, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Meanwhile, rower Paul Gleeson writes in The Irish Times about his own upcoming challenge, joining three other men in a 25ft rowing boat to travel the 2,000 miles of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic.

Limerick man Gleeson, who is now based in Canada, compares the trek to the infamous Franklin Expedition through the passage in the mid 1800s - a tragic mission with an Irish connection through its second-in-command Francis Crozier.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE - It took eight years to cross the Atlantic, but a message in a bottle sent by two girls from eastern Canada finally found a recipient - in Co Waterford.

As the Irish Independent reports, 10-year-old Oisin Millea found the letter encased in a 2-litre soft drink bottle more than a week ago among litter from the sea strewn across the beach at Passage East.

And thanks to the wonders of the internet, he was able to contact the girls who sent the message - and even see them on his computer screen via Skype.

RTÉ News says it got in touch with the two French-Canadians, who were aged 12 when they sent the bottle into the sea via the St Lawrence River in Quebec back in the summer of 2004.

Charlene Dalpé and Claudia Garneau, now 20 years old, told the Irish Independent that they have remained friends since, and described Oisin's discovery as "really exciting".

Published in News Update

# ROWING: Martin McElroy, who was the Ireland high performance director from 2009 to 2012, has been chosen as performance director for men’s rowing in Canada. The Galway native, who is 49, came to prominence when he guided the Britain men’s eight to gold in Sydney in 2000. He and his team had some success at under-23 level in Ireland, with the highlight being a silver medal for the lightweight men’s quadruple scull at  the 2010 World Under-23 Championships. However, at Olympic level, just one Irish athlete competed at London 2012. Sanita Puspure finished 13th in the women’s single scull.

Outgoing coach Mike Spracklen, who led the Canadian men's eight to wins at the 1992 and 2008 Olympic Games as well as a silver medal at the London 2012 Games, has not had his contract renewed. A controversy has erupted at the decision, with Spracklen speaking of a vendetta by oarsman Scott Frandsen, who has criticised his methods.

Published in Rowing

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Globe and Mail reports that Canada is keeping tabs on an EU plan to "manage" Europe's seal population amid growing controversy over the issue.

Last month the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Common Fisheries Policy that called for the European Commission to investigate the impact of "natural predators such as sea lions, seals and cormorants" on the reduction of fish stocks and draw up plans to regulate their numbers.

Canada's sealing industry claims this about-face in EU policy is hypocritical considering Europe's ban on commercial seal products three years ago, as well as its longstanding criticism of the Canadian seal hunt.

Already Scotland has approved a cull that has granted licences to kill over 1,000 seals on its coastline this year alone. And fishermen in Ireland, particularly on the west coast, are calling for the Irish authorities to take similar action.

Afloat.ie has previously reported on the tensions between fishermen and marine wildlife campaigners over the impact of protected seal populations on fish stocks.

Over the summer, the Dingle Seal Sanctuary claimed that a number of horrific reports of illegal seal killings committed by culprits unknown are part of a "swing in activity" since the start of the year - although the National Parks and Wildlife Service said it has not recorded any increase.

Fishermen in Kerry have come out in condemnation of these illegal killings, in particular the barbaric scene in which two baby seal heads were nailed to signs outside the Dingle sanctuary in early June.

However, they maintain that a cull of the local grey seal population is necessary, claiming they are "over-protected" and can consume as much as 10kg of fish each per day, resulting in depleted stocks of hake and haddock, as well as posing a threat to salmon conservation measures.

The Globe and Mail has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#TITANIC - Irreverent tech website Gizmodo has marked the 100th annversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a list of the 13 deadliest shipwrecks in history.

The list runs the gamut from well over a century ago, in the early days of passenger shipping - see the SS Sultana, a tragedy overshadowed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the American Civl War - to more recent events.

Included are such as sad tales as that of the Empress of Ireland, the worst disaster in Canadian maritime history in which more than 1,000 died, and much closer to home the Lusitania, which went down off Kinsale in May 1915 after a torpedo attack.

But the worst was arguably suffered by the passengers of the steamship SS Kiangya - which blew up 50 miles north of Shanghai in December 1948, taking as many as 3,920 lives - and the horror that befell the MV Doña Paz in the Philippines in December 1987, where estimates put the death toll at an unbelievable 4,000.

Gizmodo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic
Safety on the world's 700 sail training tall ships has been called into doubt, Sail World reports.
The concern comes following an investigation into the sinking of Canadian tall ship Concordia off the coast of Brazil last year.
The ship capsized in a squall on 17 February 2010. All 64 passengers and crew spent two days adrift in lifeboats before being rescued.
Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded last week that no action was taken to prevent capsizing, such as reducing sail or changing course, because the officer-in-charge did not realise the ship was in danger.
The board also learned that the officer-in-charge was able to get his certification without having to familiarise himself with information on the handling and stability of the ship, and found that this lack of a requirement is universal across the world's sail training vessels.
Senior investigator Paulo Ekkebus said this was "a large concern" and called for stricter standards worldwide.
He added: "We’ve not been able to find any country, any flag-state, requiring the study, or for people that they are familiar with this type of information, if it is provided on board the ship."
Sail World has much more on the story HERE.

Safety on the world's 700 sail training tall ships has been called into doubt, Sail World reports.

The concern comes following an investigation into the sinking of Canadian tall ship Concordia off the coast of Brazil last year.

The ship capsized in a squall on 17 February 2010. All 64 passengers and crew spent two days adrift in lifeboats before being rescued.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded last week that no action was taken to prevent capsizing, such as reducing sail or changing course, because the officer-in-charge did not realise the ship was in danger.

The board also learned that the officer-in-charge was able to get his certification without having to familiarise himself with information on the handling and stability of the ship, and found that this lack of a requirement is universal across the world's sail training vessels.

Senior investigator Paulo Ekkebus said this was "a large concern" and called for stricter standards worldwide.

He added: "We’ve not been able to find any country, any flag-state, requiring the study, or for people that they are familiar with this type of information, if it is provided on board the ship."

Sail World has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
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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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