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Displaying items by tag: Dredging

#DublinBay - All planned diving expeditions in Dublin Bay have been cancelled due to silt from dredging operations clouding the water, it has been claimed.

The Irish Times reports that Irish Underwater Council members have abandoned all scheduled dives, as a result of poor visibility from particles in the water that have also left lobsters and crabs with “an overcoat of silt on their backs”, according to one diver.

Dredging works to allow larger cargo ships and cruise liners to enter Dublin Port began in October last year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

But this dredging has left the waters of Dublin Bay “filthy brown, somewhere between dark chocolate and milk chocolate,” says diving instructor Peadar Farrell. “None of the local scuba diving clubs have been able to start diving as yet in 2018.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

Important dredging work at Hafan Pwllheli marina in North Wales has been scheduled for 2018. The plan to dredge the harbour entrance and the main channel to maintain its design depth has already been agreed. Work on clearing the entrance of silt using land-based machinery will start on 9th April. This is expected to take a few weeks.

The following month a tug boat equipped with bed leveling machinery will be employed to remove any bumps in the main channel that runs through the outer harbour. Dredging will then stop over the summer months to minimise disruption to berth holders.

More extensive dredging of the marina basin itself is then planned for October 2018.​ This was last carried out four years ago when 90,000 cubic metres of dredged material were removed from the harbour.

Wil Williams, Hafan Pwllheli Marina Manager said: "We are pleased to report that dredging of the entrance will begin in April, moving on to the channel levelling work in May. This is routine work and part of our ongoing maintenance programme. During the winter months we can get a build up of silt at the entrance and high spots in the channel. This has to be remedied periodically. Once this is complete, the entrance and channel will be returned to the designed depth of 0.5m below Chart Datum, providing excellent access to the marina for most yachts at virtually all states of the tide.

"Later in the year, we will commence work on dredging the inner harbour and marina basin. This is a major undertaking because boats at the marina will have to be moved to alternative pontoons during each phase of the dredging programme. However, we feel this work is important to ensure that our facilities continue to be of the highest standard."

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#portofcork - Along the River Lee is where an expected stink is to eminate in the coming days as the Port of Cork dredges the riverbed.

As the Evening Echo writes, every three years the Port of Cork carries out dredging work in the harbour and the quaysides to maintain the shipping channel. The work disturbs the riverbed, dragging up sediment and releasing gases like hydrogen sulphide. While the gases are safe, they are responsible for the eggy smell that could hang over the river in the coming days.

In 2014, Barrack Street, MacCurtain Street, Shandon, North Main Street, Patrick’s Street and Merchant’s Quay were all affected by the smell as a result of dredging. However, it was thought the lack ro rain and warm temperatures exacerbated the situation at that time.

The current dredging scheme is expected to last until the end of October but the city quays portion is planned to be completed by October 9, limiting the smell in the city centre. The Port of Cork said it is taking measures to limit the impact.

For more on the dredging by clicking here. 

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under

#ShippingReview - Jehan Ashmore reviews the shipping scene from among the following stories of recent weeks.

‘Safe and sustainable’ marine transport and ‘delivery of emergency management services’ have been made a high level goal in the Department of Transport’s Statement of Strategy 2016-2019

UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird saw profits and sales fall last year – but the shipyard on Merseyside where Irish Ferries flagship Ulysses (currently drydocking) remains upbeat to win more contracts.

Ardmore Shipping Corporation the product/chemical tanker operator which has its Principal Operating Office in Cork City has made several appointments to overseas offices.

To prepare for a hard Brexit, Enterprise Ireland is advising firms here amid growing signs the British government may opt to quit the single market in order to regain full control over immigration.

County councillors from all main parties of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown expressed concern at potential financial liabilities in the transfer of Dún Laoghaire Harbour.

In recent weeks at Rosslare Europort dredger Sospan Dau carried out work within the harbour to remove spoil offshore, benefitting not just ferries but cruiseships and timber trading cargoships.

Arklow Castle was launched in the Netherlands as the third ‘C’ class newbuild of a 10-ship order from ASL. The 5,054dwt cargoship slid into the canal at Ferus Smit shipyard in Westerbroek.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Dredging - In recent weeks at Rosslare Europort a dredging programme was conducted within the harbour to remove spoil offshore, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Dredging operations were carried out by Sospan Dau and assistance from tug Trojan. The resultant spoil was taken offshore and near the Lucifer Bouy.

The works are to maintain sufficient depths at the ferryport's four (one not used) linkspans located on two piers. Asides the ferry industry, the Wexford port has timber trading cargoships and the first cruiseship, Braemar in two decades called last season. 

In further efforts to attract business the Irish Rail operated port are to waive fees for cruiseships calling during this year's season and up to 2019. 

Ferries sail to Wales and France and in the high season there are four services using three routes. They are operated by just two operators, Irish Ferries and Stena Line. Celtic Link Ferries year-round service to Cherbourg and route ship Celtic Horizon (Stena Horizon docked this afternoon in Rosslare) was acquired almost three years ago (March 2014) by the giant Swedish-owned operator.

At the height of Storm Barbara, the second of this year’s storms, Afloat noted Sospan Dau, the Boskalis operated trailing suction hopper dredger take shelter at Wicklow Port.

This saw the ship berth alongside the South Pier. It is along this breakwater during the Round Ireland Yacht Race is where crowds gather to watch the start of the biennial held event. The last such event was held last year.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#LoughNeagh - Friends of the Earth (FoE) is appealing a ruling against its claims that Stormont is “turning a blind eye” to sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports.

The environmental group brought the issue before the High Court last summer, when it described NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan’s 2015 decision to issue an enforcement notice against sand dredging, rather than an outright ban, as bringing “Northern Ireland into ridicule”.

As much as 1.5 million tonnes of sand is dredged from the lough each year, the charity has claimed, adding that dreading companies have continued the practice as their own challenge against the enforcement notice is pending with the Planning Appeals Commission.

Sand dredging has been carried out in Lough Neagh since the 1930s, and previously no planing permission was required, though the lough was designated as a Special Protection Area for wildlife in 1999.

In November, a judge rejected FoE’s High Court challenge, but the organisation has now appealed that decision.

“We believe the judge erred in law and didn’t take into account the significance of this major nature reserve,” said the charity’s NI director James Orr.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#DublinPort - Planning permission has been granted for a major dredging scheme at Dublin Port, clearing the final hurdle before works on the proposed new cruise liner terminal for the city.

The application, given the go-ahead by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday 13 September, provides for dredging from the North Wall Quay Extension to the -10m Chart Datum contour in Dublin Bay.

It also permits the disposal of dredged material at the existing licensed site west of the Burford Bank – a matter of much controversy this summer due to its location within the special are of conservation from Rockabill to Dalkey Island.

The subsequent Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project comprises the infilling of the basin at current berths 52 and 53, a deepening of the fairway and a marina protection structure, intended to future-proof the port to accommodate the next generation of cruise liners of more than 300m in length.

Dublin Port's plans advance as Dun Laoghaire awaits the next step in its own harbour masterplan proposals for a modern cruise terminal.

Published in Dublin Port

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises of the of the dredging of soft material and disposal at sea, drilling and blasting and removal of bedrock, construction of breakwater and revetment and other associated works at Rossaveal Fishery Harbour Centre.

The works by Cronin Millar Consulting Engineers at the Galway Bay fishing harbour will commence on tomorrow Monday 22 August and continue till January 2017.

The first phase of the works, commencing tomorrow, will comprise the construction of a temporary causeway on the foreshore within the dredge site to facilitate excavation of seabed and disposal at a licensed on-shore site.

The second phase of the works, will commence in the coming weeks and will involve a jack-up barge, floating barge, safety boat, personnel boat, split barge and work boats. This will be advised under a second marine notice.

Maps and co-ordinates of the work areas are detailed in Marine Notice No 34 of 2016, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Other recent Marine Notices cover outfall pipeline remedial works ongoing at the Corrib gas field, and information on the carriage of inflatable life rafts on small fishing vessels under 15m.

Published in Marine Warning

#LoughNeagh - Environmentalists have branded Northern Ireland a laughing stock for its failure to stop sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports.

The issue is currently before the High Court after dredging firms appealed NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan's 2015 enforcement notice against the removal of as much as 1.8 million tonnes of sand from Ireland's largest lake.

And the practice has continued unabated, despite planning permission never being granted for sand dredging on the lough, a protected area for wildlife, said Gregory Jones QC on opening the application for judicial review by Friends of the Earth.

“This issue is bringing the planning system in Northern Ireland into ridicule," the charity's counsel told the court. “This is something one would not expect of the most primitive dictatorship.”

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#HYC - Howth Yacht Club has posted a draft letter for all club members and harbour users to send to their public representatives highlighting the urgent need to dredge Howth Harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, levels of silt build-up in the North Co Dublin harbour have accumulated to around 1.5 metres, rendering low-water spring-tide launches impossible.

The Harbour Users Action Group claims that various Governments since the 1980s have passed the buck for responsibility.

As such, the issue should be a priority among Howth voters heading into the General Election later this month.

In other HYC news, the club will host the ISA Cruising Conference on 20 February (more details HERE) a week before the club's race management team attends the ISA Race Officials Conference the at the Green Isle Hotel on 28 February.

The club is also hosting a prizegiving dinner for all Class 3 racing teams tomorrow evening Friday 12 February (contact the office for reservations) and another dinner next month in honour of the club's first commodore WH Boyd on Saturday 12 March, with a talk by Brian Turvey and Afloat.ie's own WM Nixon.

Published in Howth YC
Page 2 of 4

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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