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Displaying items by tag: Gavan Hennigan

#Rowing - Record-setting ocean rower Gavan Hennigan is getting set to do it all over again this summer, with plans for a solo crossing from New York to Galway Bay.

Afloat.ie’s Rower of the Month for January made the announcement on last night’s Late Late Show, just days after returning home, as host Ryan Tubridy quizzed the Galway man on his motivations for embarking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The 35-year-old finished third in the 12-boat fleet, fending off teams with greater man-power to complete the 5,000km crossing from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies in 49 days.

The tremendous achievement earlier this month is a far cry from where Hennigan was in his early 20s, jobless and drowning his sorrows in an East London flat after a difficult childhood.

Hennigan turned his life around on a year’s working holiday in Australia, where he qualified as a commercial diver, and spent the next 10 years working as a deep-sea saturation diver specialising in construction of oil rigs around the globe — “the most dangerous job in the world”, in his own words.

But it was a career perfectly suited to Hennigan’s adventurous spirit, and when the ‘extreme environment athlete’ announced last year that he would attempt a solo row across the Atlantic, the news was no surprise to those who know him.

“I was seeking a little bit more excitement, and I just decided I wanted to take more of a gamble with my life,” he told Tubridy.

Hennigan was well up to the task over years of embarking on endurance expeditions in his spare time, such as a solo trek across Lake Baikal in Siberia, and numerous ultra-marathons in extreme conditions.

But taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge meant going all-in.

“I spent my life’s savings on this ocean rowing boat, so now I’m trying to pass myself off as an adventurer and public speaker,” he said with a smile.

Talking about the “range of emotions” he went through while out on his own in the open ocean for more than seven weeks, he admitted “it’s pretty hard not to lose the plot a couple of times”.

Hennigan was also candid about the toll it took on him mentally and physically — facing 12 hours of darkness every night, often without the light of the moon, and at one point being forced to tape an oar to his hand after losing his grip strength.

Still, the memories were worth it, as he described the “beauty of 50 sunsets, 50 sunrises, all spectacularly different. Every day just looking at that ocean and the sky and stars, seeing the Milky Way in all its glory — it can’t but change a man, it’s incredible.”

So what’s next for Hennigan? Another solo ocean row, as it happens: this coming June he plans to row from Battery Park, at the tip of Manhattan in New York, across the North Atlantic to Galway Bay.

“This is a lot tougher,” he says of his latest exploit. “There’s no safety of the race set-up; it’s a very treacherous route, with huge storms and currents.

“This is another step altogether. But I feel I’m not going into it with my eyes closed.”

Gavan Hennigan’s Late Late Show interview is available to watch on RTÉ Player till Sunday 19 March.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Ocean rower Gavan Hennigan arrived in Dublin Aiport today to a warm welcome from family, friends and supporters. The Galway man, who rowed across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua in a new record time for a solo oarsman for this course of 49 days 11 hours 37 minutes and 21 seconds, looked thin but healthy. “This is nice, but it is a huge contrast to what I was at ten days ago,” he said. Did he find it strange being on dry land? “Yes. I enjoy the trappings of the modern world, but I miss the sea.” He spoke of feeling that there was “unfinished business” on the ocean, though any new plans are under wraps.

 One of the first to greet him was his mother, Julie. His mother’s father, John Egan, had been a Gaelic footballer with Castlebar Mitchels, and Hennigan took his grandfather’s medals with him on the ocean row for inspiration. John Egan captained three consecutive county senior championship winning teams, in 1930, 1931 and 1932.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing - Just days after completing his 5,000km solo row across the Atlantic, Gavan Hennigan has taken control of Ireland’s national Twitter account for a week.

On Monday 6 February, Hennigan — who normally tweets @soulogav — was given the keys to the @ireland account that’s been administered by WorldIrish for the last five years.

Afloat.ie’s Rower of the Month for January has been posting messages and images from Antigua in the Caribbean, where the fleet of competitors in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge continues to stream in.

But like the best @ireland hosts, he’s also engaging in conversation with the Twittersphere, most recently retweeting their photos of favourite places for adventure in Ireland.

Hennigan will continue to tweet from the Ireland account till this Sunday 12 February.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: The Afloat Rower of the month for January is Gavan Hennigan. The Galway man set a new Irish record for a solo row across the Atlantic ocean. He crossed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies in 49 days 11 hours 37 minutes and 21 seconds, the fastest solo row for this course. He finished a remarkable third in the 12-boat Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. He beat all the boats except two fours and won a stirring battle with the three-man crew of American Oarsmen.  

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2017 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

After 49 days on the water, Irishman Gavan Hennigan completed the 5,000km Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in style as he broke Irish and International Ocean Rowing Records. As Afloat.iereported earlier, the solo rower bravely held off the challenge of a 3 man American team, to finish the race in 3rd place. 30 minutes was all that separated the two boats after 49 days of relentless ocean rowing, in what was an historically close finish.

Upon arrival at Antigua, the proud Irishman raised the Irish Tricolour to salute the large crowd gathered to watch him complete the race. An exhausted Gavan had this to say:

”I’m so proud to have done this. Not many Irish have attempted a Solo row across the Atlantic and I feel I've done it in style. I had so many messages of support. I’d get up some days… and I’d be struggling but when I read the positivity in those notes and comments... from complete strangers... that would motivate me to get back on the oars and do it for them. To do it for Ireland. The last 7 days have been relentless. At times, I’ve rowed up to 19 hours a day and yesterday when I woke up, I decided it was time to finish this. I’ve rowed for the past 14 hours straight. I gave that my all.

This has been a life changing experience. I’ve experienced the beauty of the Atlantic sunsets and sunrises, the thrill of open ocean row boat surfing, the despair of driving headwinds and the joy of arriving back on land today. For the past 49 days I’ve had one single goal. To live life. I’ve embraced every minute and I’m so happy to be here finally.I'd like to thank Talisker and Atlantic campaigns for giving me the opportunity to make this journey. I'll never forget it.”

Gavan Henngian solo rowerIn breaking the 50 day mark, Hennigan set a new Irish Solo Atlantic Rowing Record. Photo: Ben Duffy

The race began on the island of la Gomera, a small island in the Canary Islands on December 14th and saw 12 boats take to the water. Irishman Gavan Hennigan was one of 4 solo entries and in finishing 3rd, Hennigan has seen off the challenges of all the solo entries, the teams of two and three along with a boat of four.

In breaking the 50 day mark, Hennigan set a new Irish Solo Atlantic Rowing Record and set a new International Course Record for the crossing from la Gomera to Antigua. The fastest Irish man to make the East to West crossing previously, was Sean McGowan who completed the crossing in 118 days in 2010. McGowan had technical difficulties during his race and finished with two broken oars. The fastest Irishman to make the West to East crossing was Tom McClean in 1987 who completed the crossing in 55 days. On the international front, the fastest recorded crossing on the course from la Gomera to Antigua was by Matteo Perruchini who completed the crossing in 52 days in 2016.

No stranger to extreme, endurance events, Gavan has completed Ultramarathons, Iron Man challenges and raced across a frozen lake in Siberia on foot. He has adventured to all seven continents raising money for local Galway charities, Cancer Care West and Jigsaw West, which this row was also in aid of.

Gavan burnt around 8,000 calories a day and lost approximately 20% of his body weight over the duration of the race, which started on 14th December 2016, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. He endured tropical storms, sleep deprivation, sweltering heat and the psychological stresses of living and working in such an unpredictable environment. Through his achievement, Gavan has proven himself to be an astute tactician and a resilient, skilled and powerful ocean rower. He overcame not just the challenges faced by a solo competitior but he excelled in beating the chasing teams behind him. He has now made his mark on history and in the Ocean Rowing Society Records.

More about Gavan Hennigan:
Gavan Hennigan (35) – Ireland – Gavan Hennigan is an Irish Extreme Environment Athlete. He has adventured to all 7 continents, from Ultra Running at home in Ireland to Winter Ultras and snowboard mountaineering in the Antarctic. Gavan is raising money for Jigsaw Galway and Cancer Care West:

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Gavan Hennigan is producing extraordinary mileage in his battle to be the next boat to finish the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The solo oarsman has held third since early in the 12-boat race from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies. The two leading craft, Latitude 35 and Row for James have finished and in the battle to be next boat to finish Hennigan has come under serious pressure from the three-man crew of American Oarsmen, which closed on him and looked set to pass him. In recent days, with a switch to more favourable winds, Hennigan has stretched his slight lead. He has been covering over 70 nautical miles (130 kilometres) per day. On Monday he covered 81 nm (150 km) to 78nm (144 km) for American Oarsmen.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Solo oarsman Gavan Hennigan and the three-man American Oarsmen are locked in a stirring battle for the lead in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. With two four-men crews already finished, the Irishman, who took over in third early on, holds the top spot on the water in the 12-boat race. Crew boats made more progress in the past week as Hennigan encountered tricky conditions. American Oarsmen, who can row over the full day while Hennigan must take some rest, had looked set to reel him in on Thursday. However, Hennigan has upped his mileage to an impressive 62 nautical miles (115 kilometres) per day, exactly matching American Oarsmen. With about a week’s rowing left to the finish in Antigua, Hennigan’s lead is 12 nautical miles (22 km).

 “I’m focused on controlling the controllables,” Hennigan said. “I know about American Oarsmen, but I can’t do anything about what they’re doing. I can only focus on rowing my boat and pushing myself to the limit to get to Antigua as fast as I possibly can.”

Published in Rowing
14th January 2017

Wind Rows In Behind Hennigan

#Rowing: The winds have finally changed in his favour and Gavan Hennigan has been taking advantage to put distance between him and the challengers for the third place he holds in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge rowing race. On the 32nd day of the race from the Canaries to Antigua, Hennigan had 71 nautical miles (131 kilometres) to spare over the fourth-placed boat, Facing It. He is also travelling slightly faster. If he is to stay third in the 12-boat fleet he must make good time when the wind favours him, as his nearest challengers, Facing It and American Oarsmen, who both have three men rowing, can force their way through difficult winds 24 hours a day. Hennigan, who is a solo oarsman, must take some periods of rest. The top two crews, Latitude 35 and Row for James, have been struggling in tough winds and making much less mileage than they would like. Both are fours.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Irish oarsman Gavan Hennigan has crossed halfway on his row across the Atlantic Ocean. The Galway man has had a tough 36 hours, with northerly winds pushing him off his preferred course, but the winds are switching to a more easterly direction and he has already begun to up his rate of nautical miles per day. Hennigan has been holding third place in a race with 12 boats, just four of them solo craft. He reached the halfway mark going into the 25th day of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which runs from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: He has new rivals for his placing, but Gavan Hennigan remains in the top three of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Facing It, a South African trio have taken over from American Oarsmen, also a trio, in fourth place. As the winds change, Hennigan’s progress has been a little slower than in recent days. However, as of midday on Wednesday, Facing It were over 60 nautical miles (over 110 km) behind the Irish solo rower on the row from the Canaries to Antigua. “Busy cementing third and working hard to stay there,” was Hennigan’s comment on his site, gavanhennigan.com.

 

Published in Rowing
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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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