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Displaying items by tag: Galway

#MCIB - A loose gas hose is the most likely cause of an explosion that sank a restored classic yacht in Galway Bay earlier this year, according to the official investigation into the incident.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an attempt to boil a kettle almost ended in tragedy with the blast on board the 26ft sloop Pegasus on Saturday 9 April, just months after her first full season following relaunch.

Both sailors on board — the owner and a colleague — survived the incident, with the former treated for burns to his hands, though the boat itself was destroyed.

Investigators from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) determined that the explosion was most likely caused by a build-up of gas in the bilges of the boat over a number of minutes after the cockpit valve was turned on, which ignited when the owner struck a match to light the newly installed stove.

While the MCIB report was not able to determine the exact layout of the gas cylinder, regulator and hose connected to the cooker prior to the incident, it was found that the hose itself was too large for its connections despite being clamped, and had likely loosened some time before, allowing gas to leak.

The investigation also noted that the vessel had no gas alarm, which would have given ample warning of a leak to those on board.

The full MCIB report is available to download below.

Published in MCIB
Tagged under

#InlandWaters - The most recent episode of RTÉ One’s Building Ireland looks at the construction of the Victorian-era Eglinton Canal, as Galway Bay FM reports.

A commercially successful waterway in its day despite its short length, less than a mile between Galway Bay and Lough Corrib, the Eglinton Canal’s story goes in tandem with that of NUI Galway, founded in the same decade as Queens College, and the programme explores their dual significance to the City of the Tribes.

Episode six of the current series of Building Ireland was first broadcast last Friday evening on RTÉ One but is available on RTÉ Player till 4 December.

Published in Inland Waterways

#BlueGrowth - Galway's Marine Institute will host the third Irish national event of the support team for the Atlantic Action Plan on Thursday 24 November.

Under the theme of ‘Linking the Atlantic Strategy and Current Funding Opportunities’, this event is aimed at anyone with an interest in developing projects related to the marine and maritime sectors in line with the Atlantic Action Plan. The official event website has more details.

Also on 24 November, Galway’s Glenlo Abbey Hotel is the venue for the seventh Marine Economics and Policy Research Symposium, hosted by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute.

This free event will provide participants with an update on a wide range of policy topics related to the marine sector in Ireland, with a particular focus this year on the valuation of marine ecosystem services benefits to society.

Speakers will include Prof Nick Hanley of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS); Dr Ronan Lyons of Trinity College Dublin; and Dr Kathrine Skoland of International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway.

More information on the day will be circulated in the coming weeks, and early registration is available HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#SeaFest - Ireland’s national maritime festival will return to Galway Harbour for the next two years, according to the Galway Independent.

The news follows the success of this summer’s SeaFest, which brought more than 60,000 visitors to Galway to see such attractions as tall ship The Phoenix.

Cork Harbour hosted the inaugural SeaFest in 2014 in tandem with the Our Ocean Wealth Conference, which will also return to Galway in 2017 and 2018.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Angling - Galway anglers are mounting a protest against proposals to ban fishing in public spaces around the city, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

Both the Galway Bay Sea Angling Club and Galway City Salmon Angling Association have written separately to Galway City Council expressing their opposition to a draft bye-law that would prohibit angling “in any part of a park or open space” without prior written permission.

This would include areas popular with anglers such as Ballyloughane, Silverstrand and Blackrock, as well as the ‘high bank’ between the Salmon Weir and O’Brien’s Bridge in the city centre.

Anglers argue that any such ban on fishing in Galway would be costly to the economy that hinges on the sport, from tourism to the city’s tackle shops.

The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

#Navy - Taoiseach Enda Kenny will officiate the twinning of the new Naval Service vessel LÉ William Butler Yeats with the city of Galway on Monday 17 October, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

The City of the Tribes was previously linked with the LÉ Aisling, which was decommissioned this past summer and is now being proposed as the home of a floating museum in Galway Docks.

Designed by Vard Marine and built by Babcock Marine in Appledore, north Devon, LÉ William Butler Yeats is in the same class OPV90 as sister ships LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce, delivered in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

On a visit to the new vessel in Haulbowline last month, Defence Minister Paul Kehoe described its arrival and entry into service as "another key milestone in the history of the Naval Service".

Published in Navy

#Galway - Galway is missing out on millions of euro annually due to a lack of modern marina facilities, according to a top Irish sailing executive.

Pierce Purcell of Galway Bay Sailing Club told the Connacht Tribune that investment in Irish sailing, which resulted in Olympic silver for Annalise Murphy in Rio this month, needs to go into infrastructure as well as high performance.

“Galway has been very far behind the rest of the country in terms of facilities and access," said Purcell, a director of the Irish Sailing Association, who described current facilities for visiting boats in the city as "very poor".

While he welcomed the expanding marina at Rossaveal west of the city in Connemara, and the multi-million-euro facilities in the Aran Islands that will host next summer's WIORA, Purcell said the opportunity was missed to match those developments with upgrades in Galway Harbour, especially in the wake of its hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012.

The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#RNLI - Galway RNLI's lifeboat was launched on Saturday evening (20 August) after two yachts and a half-decker got into difficulty at Renville on Galway Bay.

The alarm was raised by the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 6pm after a 40ft yacht, a 32ft yacht and a 25ft half-decker ended up on the shore at New Harbour.

Although conditions were rough with choppy waters and Force 6 winds, Galway RNLI's volunteer crew managed to tow all three vessels to safety, assisted by crew on the vessels.

The lifeboat crew first towed the half-decker to safe waters and deployed its anchor before towing the two yachts, one behind the other, out to the half-decker, tying one of them to the smaller vessel so that they could tow the other to a safe mooring.

The crew then repeated this operation with the second yacht, untying it from the half-decker and towing it to a safe mooring. Finally they towed the half-decker back to the quay at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

No one was injured in the incident and only minor damage was caused to one boat.

"This rescue operation took quite some time as the weather conditions were not very favourable," said Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager Mike Swan.

The volunteer crew on this call out were helm Kieran Oliver, John O’Sullivan, Leanna McHugh and Greg Cullen.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Marine Warning

#RespectTheWater - The RNLI has placed a tonne of water in Galway and Dun Laoghaire respectively for the summer months in a bid to show visitors and locals alike the power of the water, river and sea.

The tonnes of water, which will be located at the Spanish Arch in Galway and Dun Laoghaire's East Pier until the end of August, forms part of the RNLI’s Respect The Water campaign.

Each tonne is printed with important advice about the power of water, such as how fast a rip current can flow. They will also demonstrate to people how heavy a relatively small volume of water is – one cubic metre of water weighs one tonne.

They were created to be a visual and engaging way of delivering this message that no matter how strong a swimmer you might be, you are no match for the power of the water.

Last month the RNLI launched its annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect The Water, and this year the charity is warning the public to watch out for key dangers that can catch people out in or near water.

Published in Water Safety
Page 6 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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