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Rowing clubs along the Shannon have been badly affected by high water levels. Carrick on Shannon and Athlone have both been hit, while Castleconnell is flooded. This came despite pumping. The gym equipment had been moved out and the boats are stored higher up the bank.

This ESB at Ardnacrusha stated: “Due to heavy rainfall in the catchment we will be increasing discharge from Parteen Weir. You are being notified that water is about to be discharged above 325 m3/sec. This will result in flooding of roads, land and may affect property. You are advised to be aware of increased flows in the river as a result of this water discharge. Further increases in discharge may be required. Approx. 400 m3/sec will be discharged.”

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: ESB has teamed up with Rowing Ireland to support a series of prestigious rowing regattas on Inniscarra Reservoir this month. The Coupe de la Jeunesse, from July 27th to 29th, will attract talented young rowers from 13 countries across Europe. Up to 750 rowers and their support teams are expected in the Cork area for this high-profile event. The event is open to rowers who are 18 years or under. The Festival of Rowing programme also includes the Irish Rowing Championships taking place this weekend, July 13th to 15th, as well as the Home International Regatta which takes place on July 21st.

Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said: “We are delighted with the ESB support of our exciting Festival of Rowing which commences this weekend with the biggest ever Irish Rowing Championships. The relationship between the ESB and Rowing Ireland has been pivotal and we are delighted to have them support our celebration of Irish and International here at our High Performance home in Inniscarra.”

 Frank Barry, Plant Manager at ESB’s Lee Stations said: “In what is a milestone month for the rowing community, ESB is delighted to support Rowing Ireland in their hosting of these three upcoming regattas on Inniscarra Reservoir. This support builds on our long-standing relationship with the rowing community. In 2011, ESB entered a 25 year lease with Rowing Ireland which has facilitated development of world-class infrastructure at the National Rowing Centre. As such, the facilities at Farran provide a fitting backdrop as we welcome the international athletes for the 2018 Coupe de la Jeunesse in particular. On behalf of ESB, I wish all participants the very best of luck in these prestigious events.”

 Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland are also providing support for the events.

Published in Rowing

Waterways Ireland continues to advise caution while extensive flooding continues across all navigations. Advice has also been issued by ESB networks in relation to available clearance under overhead or sunken electricity cables.

ESB Networks is warning members of the public and emergency services to be vigilant when moving around flooded areas in boats and other flotation vehicles.

The electricity network is designed to have ample clearance for access and egress during normal conditions. However, when areas are flooded, this clearance level may be affected.

The electricity network is live and should not be approached. Electricity wires are dangerous even at close proximity and where clearance is compromised, you should not pass under them.

If you see any sagging electricity wires or wires submerged in water, please do not steer your boat over these. Do not use oars or anything else to lift or move electricity wires. Please report any poor clearance issues immediately to ESB Network at 1850 372 999.

ESB Networks is currently assessing the electricity network in flooded areas to assess damage and identify safety issues.

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised that ESB International have deployed two C-POD hydrophone units, for the purpose of gathering sound data, off the West coast of Ireland, at Killard, Co. Clare.

The C-POD hydrophone units are deployed at the following co-ordinates:

Location Latitude (WGS84) Longitude (WGS84)

52° 45.051' N 009° 32.455' W

52° 44.652' N 009° 43.074' W

For more details download the full marine notice below.

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under
#INLAND WATERWAYS - Sluice gates have been opened at locks and dams along the River Shannon due to flooding concerns, The Irish Times reports.
The ESB confirmed that water levels in the upper Shannon had been rising significantly since September, and were just below those recorded prior to the flooding in Carrick-on-Shannon two years ago.
However the flooding threat has abated this week, with levels in Lough Allen dropping by around 300cm, although the situation is still subject to amounts of rainfall in the coming days as the Shannon drains slowly.
Levels in Lough Ree have also stabilised after rising throughout October.
The ESB continues to discharge from the Ardnacrusha power plant, while Waterways Ireland has commenced dredging at Meelick in Co Galway.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Sluice gates have been opened at locks and dams along the River Shannon due to flooding concerns, The Irish Times reports.

The ESB confirmed that water levels in the upper Shannon had been rising significantly since September, and were just below those recorded prior to the flooding in Carrick-on-Shannon two years ago.

However the flooding threat has abated this week, with levels in Lough Allen dropping by around 300cm, although the situation is still subject to amounts of rainfall in the coming days as the Shannon drains slowly.

Levels in Lough Ree have also stabilised after rising throughout October.

The ESB continues to discharge from the Ardnacrusha power plant, while Waterways Ireland has commenced dredging at Meelick in Co Galway.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
The ESB has made an agreement with Shannon Fisheries Preservation and Development Co to establish the new Shannon Fisheries Partnership, The Irish Times reports.
The new group will comprise representatives from both bodies as well as Inland Fisheries Ireland, and will be independently chaired by former Shannon Fisheries Board CEO Eamon Cusack.
The plan is for anglers, fishery authorities and stakeholders to come together to assist in the management of the River Shannon.
At the group's launch in Athlone recently, Cusack said the partnership was working toward ensuring a sustainable yield of fish.
The ESB has made an agreement with Shannon Fisheries Preservation and Development Co to establish the new Shannon Fisheries Partnership, The Irish Times reports.

The new group will comprise representatives from both bodies as well as Inland Fisheries Ireland, and will be independently chaired by former Shannon Fisheries Board CEO Eamon Cusack.

The plan is for anglers, fishery authorities and stakeholders to come together to assist in the management of the River Shannon.

At the group's launch in Athlone recently, Cusack said the partnership was working toward ensuring a sustainable yield of fish.
Published in Angling
Those taking Sea Safari's Dublin Port & River Liffey tours will be able to see the inner workings of Ireland's largest port and from a totally different perspective, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 45-minute tour sets out from beside the M.V. Cill Airne, in the heart of Dublin 'Docklands' and into the commercial port where over 17,000 vessel movements arrived and departed Dublin Port last year, accounting for 42% of the country's GDP and handling €20bn in exports per annum.

On board the open-topped yellow tour-boat RIB, an audio commentary firstly informs you about the M.V. Cill Airne, built nearby in the old Liffey Dockyard, nearly fifty year ago. Discover why she was one of the last riveted built vessels in Europe, her days as liner-tender and the rich and famous who threaded her decks.

Heading downstream the former lightship Kittiwake is berthed opposite the O2 Arena. She was one of the last lightships to serve in Irish waters at the South Rock station off Co. Down. In complete contrast a ferris-wheel revolves in the background but no sooner the boat slips under the East-Link Toll-Lift bridge which opened in 1984.

On the other side of the bridge a small non-descript looking grey-hulled motorboat lies at anchor, on her bow is painted the figure 11. So what's the story here!...here's a glue: 'Don't pay the ferry man until you get to the other side!...

Past Poolbeg Marina, giant blue-gantries cranes of the Marine Terminal Ltd (MTL) are busy unloading from Karin Schepers, a containership previously reported on Afloat.ie. Look out for the ports  'graffiti', the work of crews who make their mark by painting the name of their ship and also the mural of the late Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners.

Opposite this terminal is the ports largest basin, Alexandra Basin, named after Queen Alexandra. Subject to port security, the tour may include entering the basin should there be a particular vessel of note.This also allows for views of the dock-gates of the Dublin Graving Dock, one of only three large ship-repair facilities on the island of Ireland. Neighbouring the graving dock is where the Liffey Dockyard once stood.

Before the tour passes the towering twin stacks of the former ESB Poolbeg electricity power station is tucked away Pigeon Harbour. Learn more about its hotel conveniently sited beside where packet-ships regularly plied, essentially the ferryport of its day. Its modern-day counterpart faces opposite on the north quays where up to 17 sailings daily operate on the Irish Sea.

Marvel at the length of the impressive Great South Wall, why was it called 'Great' and why was it built?... What can be revealed is that Captain William Bligh of "Mutiny of the Bounty" fame was a major figure in the project, when the wall was completed in 1795.

The commentary has many more fascinating facts, figures and the occasional anecdote told with typical Dublin wit. So if you live within 80km (50-mile) radius of the capital, then the chances that the shirt you wear, the breakfast cereal you ate and the car you drive, most likely came through Dublin Port as almost 75% of goods serve this hinterland.

More on Dublin Bay here

Published in Dublin Port
A recent letter to The Irish Times highlights the long way Ireland has to travel if it's to position itself as a top angling destination in Europe.
Reader Kevin McDonnell from Co Cork recounts a fly-fishing trip in Norway, praising "pristine rivers accessed through open and clean farmyards ... where netting for salmon is illegal, where hydro-electric schemes allow fish to pass and provide a minimum level of water flow, even in dry conditions, to allow for the safe passage of migrating fish."
In contrast, a more recent visit to the ESB salmon fishery at Inniscarra Dam on the River Lee revealed "endless rubbish, discarded fishing line, 20m of large-diameter ESB cable by the river’s edge, bonfires, ragwort and forestry so dense that nothing grows at ground level."
McDonnell also noted the low level of water being released from the "almost full" reservoir above, and what appeared to be high levels of phosphate contamination.
Is Ireland as an angling destination "a joke" as this angler says, or is this just one side of the story? Have your say in the comments below.

A recent letter to The Irish Times highlights some stark difference between Europe and Ireland as a top angling destination.

Reader Kevin McDonnell from Co Cork recounts a fly-fishing trip in Norway, praising "pristine rivers accessed through open and clean farmyards ... where netting for salmon is illegal, where hydro-electric schemes allow fish to pass and provide a minimum level of water flow, even in dry conditions, to allow for the safe passage of migrating fish."

In contrast, a more recent visit to the ESB salmon fishery at Inniscarra Dam on the River Lee revealed "endless rubbish, discarded fishing line, 20m of large-diameter ESB cable by the river’s edge, bonfires, ragwort and forestry so dense that nothing grows at ground level."

McDonnell also noted the low level of water being released from the "almost full" reservoir above, and what appeared to be high levels of phosphate contamination.

Is Ireland as an angling destination "a joke" as this angler says, or is this just one side of the story? Have your say in the comments below.

Published in Angling

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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