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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead

A Welsh MP has claimed the granting of a freeport status to the (ferry)port of Holyhead could “transform” the fortunes of the town and Anglesey as a whole.

The Government, writes NorthWalesLive, has already promised to create up to 10 freeports across the UK after Brexit.

Being included in such a free port zone would mean that they would be considered to be outside of the UK for customs purposes — meaning companies could import and export goods without paying the usual tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports in his autumn budget.

Such reports suggest the ports would be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the customs union and single market at the end of this year.

Virginia Crosbie, in a pre-election pledge, promised to campaign for Holyhead to be given such status which she said would “put Holyhead on the international map” as well as “unleash hundreds of new, good quality jobs” and boost tourism.

For more on the north Wales ferryport (incl. the cruise sector) click here. 

Published in Ferry

Additional financial support is needed to keep the Port of Holyhead’s ferry operators going during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.

While some freight services continue between Wales and Ireland, the slashing of passenger services has led to calls for UK Government cash to bridge the gap between a drop in income and running costs of maintaining such an important strategic international transport and freight route between Dublin and Holyhead.

As a result, the leader of Anglesey Council has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps and Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart to highlight her concerns on how it could affect the 400 workers based at the port.

Cllr Llinos Medi described the impact of coronavirus on the day-to-day operations of both Holyhead Port’s ferry operators – Stena Line and Irish Ferries – as “severe” with both having already curtailed services but remaining committed to maintaining transport of critical freight.

For much more click NorthWalesLive here

Published in Ferry

Wales’ largest indoor watersport event takes place at the Anglesey Showground in Holyhead on 29-30 May next year.

The All Wales Boat & Leisure Show will feature the finest of personal watercraft and active watersport in a region that hosts some of the world’s best coastal waters and coastline, lakes, white water rivers and gorges.

The show connects together industry leaders in boat and leisure products and services across Wales, with not only watersport and boating enthusiasts but all those that have a passion for the great outdoors.

Discover a huge range of exhibitors, show events and activities where you can have a go, too — it’s a must-visit for boat owners, watersport lovers or families looking for a great day out.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children (under 4s free) and £20 for families, and also give access to the Anglesey Food Festival, Bangor Science Festival and Festival of Discovery.

Published in Watersport

#ferries - The Port of Holyhead has shown “no sense of emergency” about Brexit, while Dublin Port bemoaned the huge expense preparing for a no-deal exit that might not happen, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly heard.

As The Irish Times writes at the biannual gathering of Irish and UK parliamentarians heard details of a report from one of its committees on a visit to the two Irish Sea ports by a delegation from the assembly to assess preparations for Brexit.

The committee painted a contrasting picture on preparations being taken in Dublin and Holyhead.

Darren Millar, a Conservative member of the Welsh national assembly, said that Dublin Port officials expressed concern about the number of customs officials that still needed to be hired to deal with a potential no-deal Brexit.

“Our biggest concern was that there was huge effort and huge expense going into these things and they may not be required,” he said on Tuesday, the second day of the assembly at Druids Glen in Co Wicklow.

Further reading on this story can be read through this link. 

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

#ferries - BBC News writes that action is needed to repair damaged Victorian sea defences protecting a Welsh port, experts have warned.

Anglesey council has been told the 1.7 mile (2.4km) breakwater at Holyhead - the longest in Britain - is suffering from erosion to its rubble mound base.

Ferry company Stena Line which owns the structure estimated in 2013 that it was costing £150,000 a year in maintenance.

Consultations and a public meeting are being held to support the case for Welsh Government funding for repairs.

The Grade II-listed structure was opened in 1873 after 28 years of construction involving more than 1,300 workers.

Anglesey council said the rubble mound on which the wall stands has gradually been eroded by the constant wave action and could be breached within 15 years.

For more on this story click here. 

Published in Ferry

#VDLR - Trearddur Bay Sailing Club brings its centenary year celebrations to Dublin Bay this summer as a number of its Myth class and Seabird Half Raters will be making the trip across the Irish Sea for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Myths are one of the original classes raced since the Holyhead club’s inception in 1919, with three of the 14-footers joining a fleet of five 12-foot Insects — three of the latter, the first boats built for the club, having been restored for the centenary.

While no original Myths remain from those days, the open boat class has seen a resurgence in recent years, and a modern Myth fleet at Trearddur Bay has grown to over 40 vessels.

Designed along the lines of the International 14 but inspired by what the club calls “a hotch-potch of ideas”, Myths are distinguished as much by their tight specification as their turkey red sails and either white-painted or varnished hulls that comprise five different types of wood.

With the Myth class now in its 99th year, its lasting legacy is no doubt also connected to the boat’s particular suitability to the environment of Trearddur Bay — not to mention the absence of an age barrier when it comes to racing, as young and old can compete on equal terms.

They are matched by the Seabird Half Rater — which was adopted in 1922 and is one of the oldest one-designs still sailing in British waters — at a club which currently has a strong dinghy scene with Mirrors, Fevas and Optimists among a full member list of more than 1,100 that sails every August.

Due to the uniquely short season, Trearddur Bay’s members regularly sail and race at other clubs, so some of the contingent will likely be no strangers to the waters of Dublin Bay as they join the likes of Olympic medalist Mike McIntyre at the biennial regatta — and Ireland’s largest sailing event — from 11-14 July.

The entry form for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019 is available HERE. Early bird entry fees are available up to Sunday 31 March.

Published in Volvo Regatta

#ports - Plans for vehicle go-slows orchestrated by a north Wales man in protest at the UK Government's handling of Brexit are now expected to take place across the country.

As NorthWalesLive reports, The Brexit Protest and Direct Action Group, which is led by Deeside man Ian Charlesworth, has organised a go-slow protest on the A494 on Friday , March 22.

A second protest at Holyhead Port is also back on the agenda for this Saturday, March 23.

The intention is to cause disruption to Irish wagons heading toward Holyhead Port along the A55 - a main trading route with the EU, which the UK is set to leave on March 29.

For more including the political landscape click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - There have been calls for the UK Prime Minister to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit have been repeated by the Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles, following a visit to Holyhead Port.

As ITV News reports, he met with the Port's manager, Captain Wyn Parry, who set out some of his concerns about operations in Holyhead if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Welsh ports are the gateway between Ireland and the rest of Europe, with 80% of goods carried in Irish-registered HGVs between the Republic of Ireland and Europe passing through Welsh ports.

Holyhead is the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the UK - providing the link in the supply chain for businesses across Wales, the UK and Ireland.

To read a comment by the Brexit Minister, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Parking sites in Anglesey, north Wales, could be turned into places for lorries to use in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The contingency plan, led by the Welsh Government, reports BBC News, has been drawn up in case Holyhead port is unable to handle traffic after the UK leaves the EU (see story: Dover truck test on trade exercise held earlier this week).

It comes as MPs are expected to reject Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The two sites on Anglesey are at the Roadking truck stop, near Holyhead, and land adjacent to the Mona airfield in the centre of the island.

The plan has been drawn up amid concerns that additional border checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March could lead to traffic problems at Welsh ports connected to the Republic of Ireland.

In order to avoid disruption in that scenario, the UK government has said that it would minimise checks or simply waive through trucks from EU countries, such as Ireland.

However, the EU has said it would impose full controls on people and goods entering the EU from Wales and the UK.

For much more on the ferryport story (click here) including reaction from truck-drivers and politicians. 

 

 

Published in Ferry

#Lifeboats - Holyhead’s all-weather lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Saturday 29 September) to the rescue of an Irish fishing boat adrift in the Irish Sea with mechanical failure.

Pagers sounded for the Holyhead RNLI crew just after 8am following a distress call to HM Coastguard from the 10m potting vessel, which was some 21 miles northwest of Holyhead.

On reaching the stricken boat, the crew on the lifeboat Christopher Pearce set up a tow for the slow return to Holyhead. In all the lifeboat was five hours at sea.

Aafter ensuring all were well, the fishermen set off to return to Ireland on the next ferry, leaving their vessel to be repaired locally.

Holyhead coxswain Tony Price said: “The casualty craft and her crew were well-equipped. It’s always a shame for any craft or persons in difficulty, but it’s particularly sad when a vessel is earning her living from the sea, and we wish our Irish fishermen friends a speedy return to normality after their misfortune.

“I’d also like to send thanks to the local coastguard teams for helping with mooring the craft safely back in Holyhead.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
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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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