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Displaying items by tag: Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander

Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander will be giving a public talk on her remarkable circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak in Co Fermanagh next month.
During the summer Afloat.ie tracked Shooter's progress as she battled against the elements to complete the round-Ireland route in 71 days - becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the island solo by kayak.
The Ulster woman had been training for over a year for the challenge, which was intended to raise funds for the Fermanagh-based SHARE, a charity that brings together disabled and non-disabled people in arts and outdoor-based activities.
On Saturday 22 October Shooter will be at the SHARE Centre in Lisnaskea to give a presentation and audio/visual show about her journey, followed by a question and answer session.
There will also be a meet-and-greet opportunity, as well as a chance to see the gear that she used on her epic voyage.
Tickets are priced at £7 for adults, £4 for children/OAPs/students/concessions, and £15 for a family ticket (2 adults/2 children). Special B&B rates of £15 for adults and £10 for children are also available for those who want to make a night of it.
For all booking enquiries please contact [email protected]

Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander will be giving a public talk on her remarkable circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak in Co Fermanagh next month.

During the summer Afloat.ie tracked Shooter's progress as she battled against the elements to complete the round-Ireland route in 71 days - becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the island solo by kayak.

The Ulster woman had been training for over a year for the challenge, which was intended to raise funds for the Fermanagh-based SHARE, a charity that brings together disabled and non-disabled people in arts and outdoor-based activities.

On Saturday 22 October Shooter will be at the SHARE Centre in Lisnaskea to give a presentation and audio/visual show about her journey, followed by a question and answer session. 

There will also be a meet-and-greet opportunity, as well as a chance to see the gear that she used on her epic voyage.
Tickets are priced at £7 for adults, £4 for children/OAPs/students/concessions, and £15 for a family ticket (2 adults/2 children).

Special B&B rates of £15 for adults and £10 for children are also available for those who want to make a night of it.

For all booking enquiries please contact [email protected].

Published in Kayaking
Well-wishers broke out the champagne to welcome home Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander as she completed her solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak yesterday.
The first woman from Northern Ireland to complete such a feat, Shooter landed at County Antrim Yacht Club 71 days after setting off from the same spot on her 1,000-mile challenge to raise funds for local charity SHARE.
Shooter's skills were regularly tested to the limit. On one occasion she suffered severe sea sickness after getting caught in a large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay.
“I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill,” she said.
But the challenge wasn't all doom and gloom. One highlight was when Shooter was joined by a pod of six dolphins for over an hour near Easkey on the Sligo coast. And above all, the people she met along the way have left a lasting impression.
“The support from the kayaking community and local fisherman has been great," she said. "Kayakers have paddled stretches with me, met me with tea and biscuits, gave me warm beds and hot showers, shared invaluable local knowledge – I can’t thank them enough."

Well-wishers broke out the champagne to welcome home Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander as she completed her solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak yesterday.

The first woman from Northern Ireland to complete such a feat, Shooter landed at County Antrim Yacht Club 71 days after setting off from the same spot on her 1,000-mile challenge to raise funds for local charity SHARE.

Shooter's skills were regularly tested to the limit. On one occasion she suffered severe sea sickness after getting caught in a large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay.

“I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill,” she said. 

But the challenge wasn't all doom and gloom. One highlight was when Shooter was joined by a pod of six dolphins for over an hour near Easkey on the Sligo coast. And above all, the people she met along the way have left a lasting impression. 

“The support from the kayaking community and local fisherman has been great," she said. "Kayakers have paddled stretches with me, met me with tea and biscuits, gave me warm beds and hot showers, shared invaluable local knowledge – I can’t thank them enough."

Published in Kayaking
Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander is set for hero’s welcome this week as she becomes the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate the island of Ireland by kayak.
The solo paddler is expected to reach the finish line at County Antrim Yacht Club on Wednesday after her 70-plus-day test of endurance.
Shooter began her epic 1,000-mile voyage on 3 May, facing a tough challenge navigating a coastline of cliffs and headlands, strong tides and brutal weather. She has been storm-bound for a total of 21 days, often only with a small tent for shelter.
When asked what home comfort she was most looking forward to, she simply replied: "A proper toilet and some clean clothes."
Shooter embarked on the challenge to raise funds for SHARE, a charity providing outdoor activity programmes that promote the inclusion of disabled and non-disabled people.
“I expected and had trained for the physical challenge but I don’t think you can ever prepare mentally," she commented.
"It has been a real struggle coping with the repetition of paddling, getting changed into wet clothes and packing up a wet tent every day. Especially on the windy days it has been hard just to push on that extra few miles each day.”
But connecting with fans and supporters through social media made a big difference.
“The Facebook page has really been a lifeline," she said. "There is nothing more motivating than coming off the water after a tough day to read so many supportive and funny comments from well wishers."
See below for a map showing Shooter's live position as she edges closer to the finish line.

Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander is set for hero’s welcome this week as she becomes the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate the island of Ireland by kayak.

The solo paddler is expected to reach the finish line at County Antrim Yacht Club on Wednesday after her 70-plus-day test of endurance.

Shooter began her epic 1,000-mile voyage on 3 May, facing a tough challenge navigating a coastline of cliffs and headlands, strong tides and brutal weather. She has been storm-bound for a total of 21 days, often only with a small tent for shelter. 

When asked what home comfort she was most looking forward to, she simply replied: "A proper toilet and some clean clothes." 

Shooter embarked on the challenge to raise funds for SHARE, a charity providing outdoor activity programmes that promote the inclusion of disabled and non-disabled people. 

“I expected and had trained for the physical challenge but I don’t think you can ever prepare mentally," she commented. 

"It has been a real struggle coping with the repetition of paddling, getting changed into wet clothes and packing up a wet tent every day. Especially on the windy days it has been hard just to push on that extra few miles each day.” 

But connecting with fans and supporters through social media made a big difference. 

The Facebook page has really been a lifeline," she said. "There is nothing more motivating than coming off the water after a tough day to read so many supportive and funny comments from well wishers."

See below for a map showing Shooter's live position as she edges closer to the finish line.

Published in Kayaking
As Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander continues her challenge to be the first woman to circumnavigate Ireland solo by kayak, news comes of a documetary on another recent kayak voyage.
British adventurers Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan recently completed their own circumnavigation of Ireland, breaking the previous record by eight days.
The duo's exploits were captured by filmmaker Vaughan Roberts for 'Into the Wind', which documents their epic 25-day voyage. A trailer for the new film can be seen here:

As Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander continues her challenge to be the first woman to circumnavigate Ireland solo by kayak, news comes of a documetary on another recent kayak voyage.

British adventurers Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan recently completed their own circumnavigation of Ireland, breaking the previous record by eight days.

The duo's exploits were captured by filmmaker Vaughan Roberts for 'Into the Wind', which documents their epic 25-day voyage. A trailer for the new film can be seen here:

Published in Canoeing
Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander has now reached Tramore on the south-east coast in her effort to circumavigate the island of Ireland by kayak.
Now three weeks into her solo voyage to raise funds for Share, which works for the inclusion of disabled people in water-based and other activities, Shooter is edging ever closer to the half-way point of her 1,000-mile route.
See below for a map of Shooter's current position.

Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander has now reached Tramore on the south-east coast in her effort to circumavigate the island of Ireland by kayak.

Now three weeks into her solo voyage to raise funds for Share, which works for the inclusion of disabled people in water-based and other activities, Shooter is edging ever closer to the half-way point of her 1,000-mile route.

See below for a map of Shooter's current position.

Published in Canoeing
laine 'Shooter' Alexander has already passed Dublin in her challenge to circumnavigate Ireland by kayak.
Just 10 days into her solo voyage and Elaine has already reached Greystones in Co Wicklow.
But she still has a long way to go to complete the 1,000-mile route battling tides, headlands, cliffs and unpredicatable weather.
See below for a map showing Shooter's current position.

laine 'Shooter' Alexander has already passed Dublin in her challenge to circumnavigate Ireland by kayak.

Just 10 days into her solo voyage to raise funds for charity and Elaine has already reached Greystones in Co Wicklow. 

But she still has a long way to go to complete the 1,000-mile route battling tides, headlands, cliffs and unpredicatable weather.

See below for a map showing Shooter's current position.

Published in Canoeing

Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander's epic challenge to become the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate Ireland by kayak is approaching Dublin's coastline.

The challenge will involve a solo voyage of 1000 miles battling tides, headlands, cliffs, not to mention unpredictable weather.

Elaine is just one week into her challenge having taken on a constant barrage of strong head winds en route to Dublin. She is currently just north of Drogheda and weather pending hopes to be in North Dublin (Skerries, Howth) tomorrow, passing Dublin Bay Friday, and South Dublin (Bray and Greystones) Saturday.

She is camping on route and would really appreciate somewhere to shower, store her boat etc close to the sea. You can see exactly where she is by scrolling down this post.

 

Published in Canoeing
Monaghan's Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander will soon begin her challenge to be come the first Northern Irish woman to circumnavigate the island of Ireland by kayak, the OutdoorNI Adventure Blog reports.
On 3 May she will set off from the newly refurbished County Antrim Yacht Club at Belfast Lough on a 1,000-mile trek that's expected to take two months to complete.
Alexander will be paddling clockwise around Ireland, taking on tides, cliffs, headlands - and Ireland's unpredicable weather.
The Ulster woman has been training since last year for the challenge, which is intended to raise funds for the Fermanagh-based SHARE, a charity that brings together disabled and non-disabled people in arts and outdoor-based activities.
“Last year I paddled around Ulster which took 26 days and prepared me for some of what to expect for this expedition," says the competitive kayaker, who represented Northern Ireland twice at the Surf Kayak World Championships.
'Shooter' will also be posting regular updates of her trip on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Details on this as well as how to donate are available on her website www.canoearoundireland.com.
The OutdoorNI Adventure Blog has more on the story HERE.

Monaghan's Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander will soon begin her challenge to be come the first Northern Irish woman to circumnavigate the island of Ireland by kayak, the OutdoorNI Adventure Blog reports.

On 3 May she will set off from the newly refurbished County Antrim Yacht Club at Belfast Lough on a 1,000-mile trek that's expected to take two months to complete.

Alexander will be paddling clockwise around Ireland, taking on tides, cliffs, headlands - and Ireland's unpredicable weather.

The Ulster woman has been training since last year for the challenge, which is intended to raise funds for the Fermanagh-based SHARE, a charity that brings together disabled and non-disabled people in arts and outdoor-based activities.

“Last year I paddled around Ulster which took 26 days and prepared me for some of what to expect for this expedition," says the competitive kayaker, who represented Northern Ireland twice at the Surf Kayak World Championships.

'Shooter' will also be posting regular updates of her trip on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Details on this as well as how to donate are available on her website www.canoearoundireland.com.

The OutdoorNI Adventure Blog has more on the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing

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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