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Displaying items by tag: Galway

#MarineScience - The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay will be brought ashore for essential maintenance in the coming days.

Last week Ocean Crest Marine, with diver Mark Kerrigan, prepared for the recovery of the underwater observatory, located 1.5 km off the coast of Spiddal, which has been continuously monitoring the underwater environment over the past 15 months.

It uses cameras, instruments and sensors for continuous live underwater observations giving marine scientists and other ocean researchers unique real-time access to monitor ongoing changes in the marine environment.

Over the coming weeks, the observatory will be thoroughly cleaned, all the scientific instruments will be replaced, and new underwater lamps will be added to improve the high-definition video camera footage.

“We also plan to install a microplastics sampling net and a new underwater stills camera in partnership with European marine science researchers,” said Alan Berry of the Marine Institute.

These research projects are due to commence mid-July, when the observatory will be reinstated, to continue to collect important information on the marine environment from the depths of Galway Bay.

The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay contributes to a growing global network of real-time data capture systems deployed within the ocean.

Data relating to the marine environment at the site is transferred through a fibre-optic cable to the Marine Institute headquarters and onwards onto the internet.

This data includes a live video stream, the depth of the observatory node, the sea temperature and salinity, and estimates of the chlorophyll and turbidity levels in the water which give an indication of the volume of phytoplankton and other particles, such as sediment, in the water.

Published in Marine Science
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#SeaFest - Volunteers are wanted for Ireland’s largest maritime festival, SeaFest 2018, taking place in Galway Harbour from 29 June to 1 July.

“A wide range of organisations and agencies come together to take part in this festival, including businesses across Galway,” says Johnny Donnelly, managing director of event managers Arcana. “Our festival volunteers also play an incredibly important role in making SeaFest one to remember, and also help us to showcase Galway at its best.

“We encourage those with an interest in the marine or those proud of Galway city, to apply to volunteer for SeaFest 2018. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in one of Ireland's biggest maritime festivals and help raise awareness about the value of our seas.”

SeaFest 2018 offers a packed programme of family-friendly events on and around the water which aim to engage the young and the young at heart in the magic and mystery of the ocean.

Enjoy thrilling performances from world champion flyboarders, boat trips along Galway Bay, as well as the chance to try kayaking and sailing in Galway Harbour.

There will be inspiring talks from award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, as well as seafood cookery demonstrations, tours of ocean-going vessels, an equipment display from the Defence Forces and interactive activities for the kids.

To become a volunteer for SeaFest 2018, complete the online application form. Applications will close on Friday 8 June.

All volunteers must be aged 18 years or older. Volunteers have the option to volunteer for one, two or the three days of the festival. Volunteers may also be selected for Garda vetting.

For more information on the festival, follow SeaFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

See also: ‘Investing in Marine Ireland’ is the theme of the 2018 Our Ocean Wealth Summit taking place before SeaFest.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#CruiseLiners - Galway’s first cruise call of 2018 is the Silver Muse currently anchored off Mutton Island, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The flagship of Silversea Cruises made her maiden Irish port of call off Dunmore East last September, just months after her launch in Monte Carlo.

Despite its more than 40,000 gross tonnage, the “ultra-luxury” Silver Muse accommodates a total of under 600 ‘guests’ and almost as many crew.

Published in Cruise Liners
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#OurOceanWealth - Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been confirmed as keynote speaker for this year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit, taking place in Galway on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 June.

Now in its fifth year, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit forms a key part of the Government’s integrated marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. The summit is a key event for the marine sector and related industries, offering a platform for discussion on the future of Ireland’s marine sector.

This year, the summit will extend across two days with a packed programme of presentations as well as panel discussion, interactive sessions and networking events.

Galway Docks will host the event, expected to attract more than 500 national and international delegates from across the marine sector.

The largest gathering of Ireland’s marine and business communities, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit attracts high-profile speakers from across the globe, not only from the marine sector but from a wide-range of disciplines.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mary Robinson, the seventh President of Ireland and the first woman to hold the office. In 2010 she established The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Other key speakers will include former Nasa astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, who was appointed by US President Barack Obama as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Administrator (NOAA). Sullivan has a long career as a distinguished scientist, astronaut and oceanographer.

Producer of BBC’s award-winning Blue Planet II series Orla Doherty is also one of the highlights of the summit programme. With family roots on the Donegal coast, Doherty has had a strong connection to the sea. She is an expert in underwater filming and has filmed scientists at the frontline of ocean discoveries from Indonesia to the Arctic Circle.

This year’s theme is ‘Investing in Marine Ireland’ and the summit will focus on progress towards the Government’s ambitious targets to double the value of the blue economy by 2030.

The diverse programme planned for this year’s Summit reflects strong collaboration between Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, with individual sessions addressing environmental, economic and societal opportunities and challenges to creating a sustainable ocean economy for Ireland.

The Our Ocean World Summit coincides with Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest 2018 in Galway from Friday 29 June till Sunday 1 July.

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Galway RNLI rescued a man who got into difficulty after his dinghy capsized on Galway Bay yesterday afternoon (Sunday 18 February).

The incident happened off Hare Island shortly before 1pm, when a member of the public saw the man was unable to right the 15ft vessel and notified the Irish Coast Guard, who requested the assistance of the RNLI lifeboat.

Galway’s inshore lifeboat launched from Galway Docks at 1.15pm and located the man as he was swimming towards the shore. He was cold and shaken by his ordeal, and the lifeboat crew brought him to the station to administer first aid.

The man recovered a short time later and did not need to be hospitalised.

Galway RNLI subsequently retrieved the dinghy and towed it safely back to Galway Docks, ending the rescue operation at 2.15pm.

Deputy launch authority Barry Heskin advises members of the public to dress adequately for the weather conditions and to always notify a family member or friends of expected time of arrival.

The volunteer lifeboat crew on this callout were Dave Oliver, John O’Sullivan, Ros Forde and Kenneth Kitterick.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Independent.ie reports that a fisherman with a hand injury was hospitalised after his rescue from a trawler off Salthill by Galway RNLI yesterday afternoon (Saturday 9 December).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched within 10 minutes of the alarm being raised and soon met the fishing boat offshore, where they treated the wound before taking him to a waiting ambulance at Galway Docks.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Missing - Emergency responders recovered a body a last night (Thursday 23 November) in the search for a missing fisherman off Galway.

The body was found on the shore in Oranmore Bay, some five nautical miles east of where a fishing boat was discovered adrift yesterday hours into the search.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the major air and sea operation was launched after a fisherman was reported missing on Wednesday night.

RTÉ News says the body found last night was brought to University Hospital Galway for a post-mortem examination and identification.

Published in News Update
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#Missing - RTÉ News reports that a major air and sea rescue operation has been launched for a fisherman reported missing off Galway last night (Wednesday 22 November).

A fishing boat was found adrift with no occupant west of Blackrock in Salthill shortly after the search resumed at first light this morning.

RNLI lifeboats from Galway and the Aran Islands are involved in the search with the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter in the search, and they have since been joined by local fishing boats.

Published in News Update
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#RNLI - Two people are recovering after being rescued by Galway RNLI when the tide trapped them on Hare Island, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

The lifeboat launched at 6.41pm yesterday evening (Wednesday 13 September) to reports from passers-by on Renmore beach of people trapped on the tidal island.

With Declan Killilea was at the helm and crewed by Olivia Byrne, Ian Murphy, and John O’Sullivan, the lifeboat was at the scene five minutes later to recover the pair, who were uninjured but shaken by their ordeal.

Both rescued are visitors to the area, prompting Galway RNLI to urge caution to those who may not be familiar with the local tides.

Strandings are not uncommon at Hare Island, with similar incidents in 2010, 2013 and most recently last year.

In other news, Galway RNLI is hosting an open day at its lifeboat station in Galway Docks this Sunday 17 September from 1pm to 4pm. Fire and Rescue Galway, which shares volunteers with the lifeboat service, will also be in attendance.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rowing: Irish composite crews had good wins on the first day of the World Masters Regatta in Bled in Slovenia. The Irish B eight (average age 36 or more), which is formed from six clubs won. Two fours in the E class (average age 55 or more) also won – the Galway/Neptune combination by just .26 of a second. The decision was initially given to their German opponents.

World Masters Regatta, Bled, Slovenia, Day One (Selected Results; Irish interest; all heats of 1,000 metres, winners only)

Men

Eight, B (avg 36 or more) – Heat Five: Galway, Commercial, Shandon, Clonmel, Neptune, Cork 3:05.51.

Four, E (avg 55 or more) – Heat One: Galway, Neptune 3:26.26.

Heat Four: Waterford, Neptune, Commercial, Belfast BC 3:28.1

Published in Rowing
Page 4 of 31

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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