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Displaying items by tag: Disabled

#sailability – On the 26th June four sailing cruisers from Lough Foyle will set off from Greencastle in Donegal on a round trip passage of Ireland stopping at each Sailability Club around the coastline of Ireland. This is to promote Sailability - sailing for disabled people in Ireland. Sailability Ireland is the new name for the Irish Disabled Sailing Association (IDSA) which was established in 1980 to introduce and encourage people of all ages with disabilities to take up sailing. Thirty years later, Sailability Ireland members are involved in all levels of the sport, from regular club racing, through international championship, to Paralympic Campaigns.

The cruisers will arrive in Dun Laoghaire for the day on Monday 29th June where they will be hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Sailability. D/L Sailability run a very successful programme of courses for disabled children throughout the Summer. 35-40 children are involved in the sailing thanks to the support of the four waterfront clubs, the Royal St. George, the National, the Royal Irish and the DMYC, as well as their instructors and volunteers.

To mark the occasion Sailability sailors from Dun Laoghaire will meet the Lough Foyle Crews for a BBQ at the Royal St. George and then head off in local cruisers at 6pm and accompany the Lough Foyle as far as Dalkey Island or perhaps Killiney Bay as they head towards the next port of call Kinsale.

Sailing for disabled people in Ireland has blossomed over the last few years and there are now centres in all provinces in Ireland. In Dun Laoghaire the programme started 6 years ago and has grown every year to the extent that all of the events this season are full, from the regular Sunday morning sailing to the week courses in June and August .

This year the Royal Irish are hosting the Presidents Cup an all-Ireland competition for disabled sailors with a team from each Province competing in 4 different types of boats. the event will be held in Dun Laoghaire harbour on 22nd and 23rd August

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Published in RStGYC

#disabledsailing – The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is to campaign for Disabled Sailing's inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and has appointed VERO Communications to advise and support its campaign. The decision to press the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to add Disabled Sailing to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games comes on the back of ISAF formally taking over the management of Disabled Sailing in November 2014, and the integration of the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) into ISAF.

Carlo Croce, ISAF President said, "Following the merger of IFDS into ISAF at the end of last year, Disabled Sailing is now under new professional management. This is a new era for Disabled Sailing with ISAF now able to fully utilise its technical, financial, promotional and strategic resources to bring significant benefits to Disabled Sailing. For example, we are now working hard to put in place a much enhanced, professional and aligned four year competition programme for Disabled Sailing, as well as generate greater media, broadcast and promotional opportunities for the sport following integration into ISAF's wider communications planning and activities.

"These are all new developments since the merger of IFDS into ISAF and it is important that we now effectively communicate this new era for Disabled Sailing to the IPC. I'm delighted that we have the proven expertise of VERO Communications to support us in this cause. Our focus now is to build the case for Disabled Sailing's inclusion in Tokyo 2020, much of which will be centred around new evidence, as well as stressing some of the unique attributes of Disabled Sailing, including the fact that it is the only sport where athletes with the highest level of disability can compete equally against athletes with other disabilities. I very much hope, upon receipt of this new evidence, that the IPC will look favourably on our case."

Mike Lee OBE, Chairman of VERO added, "VERO is delighted to support ISAF in their campaign to see Disabled Sailing included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The sport has a strong story to tell, especially since it was merged into ISAF at the end of 2014, and we look forward to working with the sailing community to ensure that this new era for Disabled Sailing is effectively communicated."

Published in World Sailing
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#disabledsailing – Munster were the winners of the newest prize in Irish sailing, the President's Cup for disabled sailors at Kinsale Yacht Club in County Cork over the weekend writes Claire Bateman. Ulster were second, Connaught third followed by Leinster who it is hoped will stage the event next year at a Dublin yacht club.

As Afloat previously reported, The Cup has been named in honour of ten times Paralympian, John Twomey who is the current President of the International Sailing Disabled Association. (ISDF)

A team of ten sailors from each of the four Provinces competed in four different classes: the Hansa 303, Skud 18, Squib and Sonar for this brand new trophy.

Saturday's racing in Kinsale Harbour consisted of one race in a north westerly breeze of about five to six knots and, after a short delay when the wind dropped, and the competitors waited hopefully for it to fill in again, it did oblige from the south east and a further two races were held.

The Sonars, Skuds and the Squibs sailed two rounds of a windward/leeward course and all started together. The Hanse 303s sailed just one round of the same course. Over 110 attended the lively dinner on Saturday night. The event was being sponsored by Kingspan.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

#ifds – Another fairly windless day in Kinsale yesterday morning with just a light breeze greeting the competitors in the Cork County Council IFDS Championships writes Claire Bateman. However, it was all extremely enjoyable with a lovely convivial atmosphere and most people enjoying their morning coffee while the postponement flag was flying. Suddenly the harsh sound of a hooter alerted all present to the fact the flag had been lowered and one could not believe the speed with which the clubhouse, marina and surrounds that had been packed were suddenly empty and silent.

Competitors needing assistance to get to their boats were speedily surrounded by their helpers and within what seemed like a matter of minutes the fleets were all heading to sea. Also disappearing with the speed of light were the committee boats, the support RIBS, jury RIBS, etc. and the event was on or, was it? To be or not to be, that was the question.

The first attempt at a start was on the Sonar course east of Kinsale. Race Officer Peter Crowley tried a start with a north westerly wind blowing but unfortunately the wind died half the way up the beat and that race had to be abandoned. After a short delay the wind that had been off the land had filled in from the sea with a nice 8/10knot south westerly breeze enabling a start for all three classes and they finished the day with three good races.

The Sonar fleet included Kinsale's own John Twomey, a veteran paralympian, and his crew Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costelloe, and Paul McCarthy and his crew Brian O'Mahony and Paul Ryan. The Sonar fleet also included Amy Kelehan, who previously raced in the SKUD fleet, and her crew Jacqui Browne and Austin O'Carroll.

The start line for the 2.4M s was quite something with all forty two of the lean mean machines like miniature 12 metres making their charge for the line. 

On the 2.4mR and SKUD 18 class courses, two races were completed when the wind eventually filled in. In the nine boat SKUD 18 fleet it was a second and a first for Italian Marco Gualandris who is now the leader overnight followed by the London 2012 bronze medalist Alexanda Rickham UK and John McRoberts from RVYC in Canada.

For full results see here.

Published in Olympic

#IFDS – After months of preparation the IFDS world disabled sailing championships gets underway today in Kinsale, County Cork. Ireland will be represented in the competiton by Kinsale local and world IFDS president John Twomey, a ten time paralympian.

The event will be officially opened on Sunday 25th August at 6pm in the James O'Neill Memorial building in the centre of Kinsale by Mayor of Kinsale Cllr Tony Cierans and Cork MEP Brian Crowley. A parade to Kinsale Yacht Club to present nation's flags will follow the official opening.

There will be a practice race on Sunday 25th August at noon and racing will commence on Monday 26th August with two races scheduled daily starting at 12 noon until Friday 30th August.

The organising committee, led by Regatta Director John Stallard, have been working solidly for over two years to host this major event. Kinsale Yacht Club was redeveloped in the last year without grants and public funding and €800,000 was invested through fundraising by the members and a bank loan that was secured.

 

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

#disabledsailing – 13 sailors from Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale and Galway took part in a very closely fought Access Sailing National Championship regatta competition in the specially designed dinghies for disabled sailing in near perfect conditions in Dun Laoghaire harbour at the weekend.

The Royal St George Yacht Club were hosts for the second Access Sailing National Championship Regatta which was held last weekend as a fun competitive event that will hopefully encourage other clubs around the country to get children with disability out on the water.

After 6 races, the overall winner of the Girls Trophy was Georgina Griffin from Kinsale and the Boys Trophy was Oisin Putt on his home waters of Dun Laoghaire.

Tagged under

#paralympics – Ten time paralympic sailor John Twomey is the new President of the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS).

John was elected at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Annual Conference in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin at the weekend. international The honour comes two months after John competed at his 10th Paralympics in Weymouth, a record for any Irish person competing at either the Olympics or Paralympics.

John will serve a four year term as head of the organisation responsible for sailing for people with disabilities worldwide.

Published in Olympics 2012

#SURFING - Blind surfers from throughout Northern Ireland took to the waves recently to raise money for Guide Dogs NI, as UTV News reports.

The surfers converged on Benone beach in Limavady last weekend for their first-ever sponsored surf, using specially adapted boards - and donning wetsuits against the cold of the Atlantic in this wintry summer.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the same stretch of sand hosted Northern Ireland's first ever disabled surfing festival last month.

Like that event, this fundraiser was also supported by the Long Line Surf School, which is specialising in courses for people with various disabilities.

"To get a wetsuit on, jump on a surfboard and trust a surf instructor to be in complete control is something that I would find hugely intimidating myself," said the school's Dan Lavery.

"But we created a relaxed atmosphere for the lesson, just had a laugh and just surfed some waves. It was so rewarding to be able to provide this experience and to be able to meet these amazing people."

UTV News has more on the story, including a photo gallery, HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - Benone Beach in Limavady hosted Northern Ireland's first ever disabled surfing festival last weekend, as the Londonderry Sentinel reports.

More than 30 people with disabilities aged from 8 to 25 came together for the Long Line Disabled Surf Festival on Ireland's longest beach, many trying out surfing for the first time.

Wheelchair users were specially catered for with the use of "innovative" customised surfboards - similar to the kind being designed by the NI kitesurfing rookie highlighted on Afloat.ie last November.

Dan Lavery of the Long Line Surf School, which organised the event, said: "This festival was created to give everyone the experience of surfing.

"We want the child or young person with the disability to take the driver’s seat but we also wanted it to be one of those rare events where the whole family is allowed as parents, guardians and siblings jumped in the water as well.”

The Sentinel has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#ANGLING - The National Disabled Angling Facility at Aughrim in Co Wicklow is to remain open following an 11th-hour agreement last month, The Irish Times reports.

A deal reached between Fás, Siptu and the centre's staff will retain all 23 jobs with a 25% pay cut and see the premises stay open until a "review" is published in March.

Opened by then President Mary Robinson in 1996, the facility is operated as a Community Employment Fás scheme and has been an invaluable amenity for disabled anglers nationwide.

Published in Angling
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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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