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A newly restored tall ship dating from the 19th century has been sunk after a collision with a container ship near Hamburg in Germany.

The Guardian reports that six adults and two children were injured among the 43 passengers rescued from the schooner Elbe No 5 after a failed tack put it on a collision course in the shipping lane with the Cyprus-flagged Astrosprinter on the River Elbe on Saturday (8 June).

The tall ship, which was originally built in 1883, had been restored in a €1.5 million project over the last nine months and had only resumed taking passengers on trips around Hamburg’s harbour at the end of May.

But it has now been lost as it sank while rescuers were towing it to shore.

“If we hadn’t been in the vicinity there could have been fatalities,” said one fire service official of the calamity.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#Rowing: Ireland’s Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished second in their semi-final and will compete in the A Final of the double sculls at the European Junior Rowing Championships in Krefeld in Germany. The Skibbereen/Lee combination were just .31 of a second off winners Denmark in their race and had the second-fastest time overall as they head into the A Final.

Three other crews – the men’s pair and quadruple and the women’s pair – finished outside the A Final places.

European Junior Championships, Krefeld, Germany (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Semi-Final B: 6 Ireland (A Johnston, R Corrigan) 7:17.95.

Sculling, Quadruple – Semi-Final B: 5 Ireland (J Quinlan, J Keating, M Dundon, B O’Flynn) 6:20.31.

Women

Pair – Semi-Final A: 4 Ireland (G McGill, E O’Reilly) 7:51.31.

Sculling, Double – Semi-Final B: 2 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:26.83.

Published in Rowing

#Lighthouse - German journalists were recently taken on a tour of Loop Head Lighthouse to give our European neighbours a taste of Ireland's maritime heritage.

The group - including writers from the likes of respected news magazine Der Spiegel - visited the 19th-century landmark in Co Clare which opened to visitors at weekends earlier this month, and will be open seven days a week from the June Bank Holiday over the summer season for the third year running.

Before then, it will welcome visitors during the National Famine Commemoration programme from 3-12 May.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the lighthouse at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary has proven a major tourism draw, with its 11-week trial opening in 2011 estimated to be worth €400,000 to the local economy.

Published in Lighthouses

#CANOEING - The Irish Times reports that Eoin Rheinisch and Ciarán Heurteau have secured their canoe slalom qualification spots for London 2012 after last weekend's selection races in Lucan.

Three places were up for grabs in the men's K1, with the third yet to be confirmed after fourth-placed Patrick Hynes contested a touch on a gate by third-place finisher Sam Curtis.

Canoeing Ireland's recently appointed general manager Karl Dunne said the objection is currently being considered.

Meanwhile, in the women's K1, the qualifying spots went go Hannah Craig, Helen Barnes and Aisling Conlon.

The qualifiers will be part of the European Championships in Augusburg, Germany from 10-13 May, where Olympic spots are available for boats from two countries not already qualified.

Published in Canoeing

#SURFING - One of Germany's top surfers was in Ireland last week to sample some of Ireland's biggest waves, InsideIreland.ie reports.

Sebastian Steudtner was in Sligo to films a series of online views for Tourism Ireland in Frankfurt to pique the interest of German surfers and holidaymakers.

As well as mountain biking at Knocknarea and Union Woods, Steudtner took on the monster swells at Mullaghmore Head - made popular among the world's big wave surfers by the Tow-In Surf Session that's now in its second year.

The 'teaser' videos for a larger TV and online project will be premiered next week at the Berlin International Film Festival before hitting the web later in spring.

Kristina Gauges of Tourism Ireland said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the world-class surfing and adventure product available in this part of Ireland to a niche audience in Germany."

InsideIreland.com has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Eoin Rheinisch joins four other canoeists representing Ireland at the Canoe Slalom World Cup today.
Ciarán Heurteau, Patrick Hynes, Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlan round out the squad competing in Leipzig, Germany.
Rheinish told The Irish Times that he was "shattered" after a week of hard training in Bratislava, aiming for the World Championships and Olympic qualification there in September.
"But they are the kind of sessions I need to be getting intermittently,” he said.

Eoin Rheinisch joins four others representing Ireland at the Canoe Slalom World Cup today. 

Ciarán Heurteau, Patrick Hynes, Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlan round out the squad competing in Leipzig, Germany.

Rheinisch told The Irish Times that he was "shattered" after a week of hard training in Bratislava, aiming for the World Championships and Olympic qualification there in September. 

"But they are the kind of sessions I need to be getting intermittently,” he said.

Published in Canoeing
The US Coast Guard cutter Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.
Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.
Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.
Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

The US Coast Guard cutter Tall Ship Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.

Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.

Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.

Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

Watch some video of the Eagle in action:

 

Published in Tall Ships

Billed as the world's greatest Port Festival, five of the world's largest and most beautiful tall ships – and at least one, the Mir, is also entered for the Tall Ships race in Waterford in June – have announced their presence at Hamburg next month.

Also coming to Hamburg is the Dar Mlodziezy, the Kruzenshtern, the Mir, the Sedov and the Sea Cloud. Each of these classic sailing ships, at home on the oceans of the world, is more than 100 metres in length, and captures the romance of maritime life.

The HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG has a thing or two to show off about given its large fleet of boats and Tall Ships that are gathering this year for the 822nd time. It's an opportunity to for Irish port festivals aiming to exploit the marine leisure resources around the Irish coastline.

The Sea Cloud, built in Kiel in 1931, and the largest private yacht in the world at the time, will be present at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG for the first time, back in Hamburg for the first time in 33 years.

In Hamburg, there will be tall ships and cruise vessels, naval ships and emergency service boats, heritage and museum ships, sailing and motor yachts, dragon boats, and even a Roman galley. Altogether more than 300 vessels from the seven seas will be taking part, on display in their element before the fantastic backdrop of Hamburg's Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) from 6 to 8 May at the world's greatest Port Festival.

The port is more lively than ever on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG", says Captain Jörg Pollmann, in eager anticipation. "All those different ships and displays on the Elbe combine to form a unique celebration, which brings more than a million visitors to the Port of Hamburg every year." The guests from Germany and abroad can look forward to a superlative programme on the water, starting with the Grand Arrival Parade from 16:30 on Friday 6 May, and ending with the Grand Departure Parade at 17:30 on Sunday 8 May. There are also plenty of maritime attractions at the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour and at the HafenCity traditional maritime harbour.

Meeting of the luxury liners
Visitors are warned that watching the six cruise ships arriving and departing on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG may cause itchy feet and severe travelitis! The AIDAcara, AIDAblu and Mein Schiff 2 will be arriving on the Friday, the Amadea and the Fram, an expedition ship from Norway, will follow on the Saturday. And to top it all, the Queen Mary 2 will call in Hamburg on the Sunday. Costa Crociere, Europe's largest cruise ship operator, has just chosen Hamburg as the new home port for its cruise ship Costa Magica, and will join in the celebrations, sponsoring the great Costa Cruises Firework Display at 22:30 on Saturday 7 May, lighting up the night sky over the Elbe.

International navy visit and maritime adventurer from Norway
The world's greatest Port Festival traditionally brings a large naval contingent from Germany and elsewhere to Hamburg. From Germany there will be the frigate Sachsen, the fast patrol boat Hermelin and the mine hunters Homburg and Hameln. Norway, the partner country of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, will be represented by the frigate Otto Sverdrup, and Belgium by the mine hunters Crocus and Primula.
Norway, the partner country for this year's HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, is also sending vessels of various designs and uses to visit Hamburg. The Arctic sailing ship Berntine will welcome visitors on board in the HafenCity Traditional Harbour. She was built at the Tromsøer shipyard in 1890 and restored several times since then. Sjøkurs is a training ship, built by the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss in 1956 as the Postal Vessel Ragnvald Jarl. Today she accommodates 60 cadets on board, and travels around Norway and to other countries about ten weeks per year. The Fram, an expedition ship, will moor at the Hamburg Cruise Center in HafenCity. She is the latest addition to the Hurtigruten fleet and was christened by Norway's Crown Princess Mette Marit on 16 May 2007.

On duty for safety and security
The challenges of work on the high seas will be demonstrated by a range of modern working vessels from the fire services, fisheries protection, THW emergency services, the waterways police and the customs. The rescue cruiser John T. Essberger, owned by the German Lifeboat Institution DGzRS, will make its final appearance at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG before decommissioning. It will then start on its final voyage to the Technical Museum of Speyer, where it will in future be moored as a museum vessel.

Dancing tug boats and heritage ships
One of the traditional highlights of the maritime programme is the unique Tug Boat Ballet at 17:00 on the Saturday, when the 5000 hp working tugboats perform their pirouettes on the Elbe.
A fleet of classic steamships will give a special birthday greeting from the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour when they pass the Landing Stage at 16:00 on the Saturday, "full steam ahead" – not only puffing out clouds of smoke from their chimneys, but also releasing balloons from their decks.

On-board visits
Many of the vessels at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, including the tall ships and naval units, will hold Open Days for visitors to look around on board. Many of the launches and passenger ships also invite visitors to HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG to go on board and join in the Parades, or to tour the vessel.

 

Published in Tall Ships

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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