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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour News

#OPV90named - A new Irish Naval Service vessel costing in the region of €66m has been formally commissioned at a ceremony in Galway Port, reports RTE News.

After an address by the Taoiseach at Galway Harbour yesterday, the LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) was officially named by a granddaughter of the poet, Caitriona Yeats.

The formal commissioning followed, before Lieutenant Commander Eric Timon led the crew aboard.

The LÉ William Butler Yeats replaces the LÉ Aisling in the naval fleet, after the latter was decommissioned last May.

Afloat adds that the third OPV90 class newbuild built by Babcock Marine, Appledore in the UK had paid a visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in late September.

She follows leadship LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce, also completed by the north Devon shipyard. In recent weeks this pair switched deployment duties in providing humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean Sea. 

 

Published in Navy

#Decommissioning - Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, yesterday attended the decommissioning ceremony of LÉ Aisling in Galway Docks.

LÉ Aisling was the longest serving vessel in the Irish Naval Service fleet. The ‘Deirdre’ class vessel built by Verolme Cork Dockyard was also an improved version as the final third ‘Emer’ class. She entered service in 1980.

The decommissioning ceremony took place of LÉ Aisling alongside Molvoy Quay at the port's Dun Aengus Dock. The direct successor will be newbuild OPV90 class LÉ William Butler Yeats which is to undergo builder’s trials next month.

Also previously reported on Afloat.ie the Government has placed an order for a fourth OPV90 'Beckett' class costing €54.3m from Babcock International’s north Devon yard.

In his address Minister Kehoe stated that: LÉ Aisling has been decommissioned after 36 years of outstanding service to the State and noted that during this time she travelled in excess of 628,000 nautical miles, an equivalent of circumnavigating the globe 32 times. Her crew has boarded over 5,500 vessels at sea and detained over 220 fishing vessels.

The Minister recalled that during her service, LÉ Aisling has been involved in many successful operations. The most notable of these include the arrest of the ‘Marita Ann’ in 1984 and her activities as the first vessel on the scene of the Air India disaster in 1985, for which several of her crew were decorated.

The Minister also stated: In pursuit of our commitment to progress the Ships Replacement Programme, the Government has provided a significant increase in capital funding to enhance the capabilities across the Defence Forces. The replacement vessel for LÉ Aisling, LÉ William Butler Yeats is scheduled for delivery shortly and the signing of contracts this week for delivery of a fourth vessel (see above), represent tangible demonstrations of this commitment.

LÉ Aisling is twinned with Galway and has had a long association with the city. The minister also praised the men and women who sailed on LÉ Aisling throughout her years of service, and marked out the great pride they had shown in her close association with the city and the many thousands of euro raised by them on behalf of the Children’s Ward in Galway University Hospital.

Published in Navy

#PortExpansion - The Connacht Tribune writes that the Government has no intention of providing Galway Harbour with part-financing to enable expansion plans.

Shane Ross, the new Transport Minister, reiterated in Dáil Éireann that the State would not be funding the project, which is currently being assessed by An Bórd Pleanála.

“With regard to funding for ports, National Ports Policy 2013 clearly outlines that all port infrastructure development must be funded by the port companies, including Galway, on a commercial basis without recourse to the Exchequer,” said Minister Ross.

An oral hearing into the proposed €126 million development was held in January 2015.

For more on the story, click here

Published in Galway Harbour

#DisappointedPort - Disappointment has been expressed by the Port of Galway at the delay in issuing a decision on the multi-million euro harbour extension, stating that it is difficult to plan for the future under such uncertainty.

The Galway Independent writes it has been almost two and a half years since the planning application to extend the port was submitted and the wait for a decision looks set to continue until the end of the year at least.

The €126 million port extension is a four-phase development that involves reclaiming 27 hectares of bay area, providing a new marina and berths which will see the biggest cruise liners in the world being able to dock at the harbour in the heart of the city.

The long awaited decision rests with An Bord Pleanala, who stated this week that they will be holding meetings with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the applicant. These meetings have yet to be arranged.

Eamon Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Port of Galway said, “The delay in issuing a formal decision is disappointing and whether the decision is for or against the port it is difficult for a commercial enterprise to deal with the uncertainty of the outcome of a planning application which planning was applied for in January 2014 or almost 2.5 years ago.”

He added that it is hoped that a formal decision will issue, at the latest, before the end of this year. “Should that decision be positive it is expected that the building of phase 1 would commence before the end of 2017 and complete by 2020,” Mr Bradshaw added.

At the weekend, Galway welcomed two cruise liners, the Astoria and L’Austral and passengers were tendered ashore from the ships.

For more the click the newspaper's report here. 

Published in Galway Harbour

#Exclusion - The only port in Ireland to be excluded from a special EU fund is Galway Harbour and it’s future could be in jeopardy unless the situation is tackled, reports Galway Bay FM.

CEO of Galway Harbour Eamon Bradshaw says that the recent downgrade of the facility to a Port of Regional Significance means it does not quality for European funding.

He says that only ports classified as tier one or tier two facilities are entitled to assistance from the Ten-T Connecting Europe programme – assistance that the Port urgently needs. For more click here.

Published in Galway Harbour

#NaomhÉanna - In a bid to bring the Naomh Éanna back to Galway, a new campaign has been launched according to Galway Bay FM. The historic vessel once carried passengers between the city and the Aran Islands, before being withdrawn from service in 1989.

It has been lying derelict in Ringsend, Dublin for over two decades. However, the engine room of the ship is still operational, and campaigners say if enough funds are raised, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, it will be possible to sail the vessel back to Galway as a major tourist attraction. 

To read more click here on the veteran vessel that campaigners saved following controversial plans by Waterways Ireland to scrap her at Grand Canal Basin. 

Published in Historic Boats

#Postponed- Minister for Transport and Tourism Paschal Donohoe TD, following cross party lobbying, on Wednesday announced he was to postpone signing the transfer of Port of Galway to Galway City Council for at least 18 months, which has been welcomed by Galway Chamber.

Speaking after the announcement President of Galway Chamber Frank Greene said that this will give time for the completion of the planning process as previously reported on Afloat.ie

The Galway Independent has more on the port postponement.

Published in Galway Harbour

#PortEnvironment - Environmental compensatory measures made as part of the Galway Harbour Company’s plans for the expansion of the city’s docks will it is hoped by the port accepted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

According to Galway Bay FM (which has more here), the port company has sent a report to the NPWS in order to comply with requirements of An Bord Pleanála.

A meeting is due to take place between Galway Harbour Company and the NPWS once the report has been considered by the NPWS, with a view to sending a formal report to the planning authority.

In September, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the harbour company was invited to progress plans for a port expansion through the fast-track IROPI process.

Published in Galway Harbour

#GalwayPortPlan – The Connacht Tribune reports that the decision on Galway Harbour on the proposed redevelopment of the docks will be announced by An Bórd Pleanála next Friday, September 11.

The planning appeals board has been deliberating on plans for the €126 million redevelopment of the docks since an oral hearing took place in January.

The proposal has the potential to transform the face of Galway into the next century, according to proponents of the projects. The 85.4 hectare project, which is expected to take eight years to construct, will be built in four phases.

For more on the proposed expansion of the mid-west port, click this link.

Note the newspaper has a photo of the harbour showing leisure craft and commercial shipping sharing the port's Dún Aengus Dock.

On the right side can be seen the stern of the aptly named Galway Fisher, an oil products tanker that regularly calls to the port which requires a very skillful approach (see video) through the dock chamber.

Published in Galway Harbour

#DelayedDecision – It has been confirmed by An Bórd Pleanála that it has delayed making a decision on the planning application to redevelop Galway Harbour, writes The Connacht Tribune.

The oral hearing into the proposed €126 million extension of the harbour was held in January and a decision was due in April or May. However, the planning appeals board has confirmed that the decision date has been pushed back by several weeks.

"The decision on this case has been deferred," a spokesperson said.

Asked why it had been deferred, the spokesperson added: "It's the general complexity of the issues in the case." It is the first application in the State to use the 'IROPI' route, which would allow a significant infrastructural development on a designated European habitat on the basis of 'Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest'.

An Bórd Pleanála planners heard evidence from experts during an oral hearing that lasted over two weeks earlier this year as previously reported on Afloat.ie

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Galway Harbour
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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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