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Displaying items by tag: Hook Head

#Coastguard - The Air Accident Investigation Unit is conducting an inquiry after it emerged one of two teenagers recovered from the sea off Hook Head last weekend fell from a coastguard helicopter back into the water.

The Irish Times reports that 14-year-old Aoife Winterich died in hospital days after she and three other venture scouts were washed into the sea by a surprise wave during the last remnants of Storm Desmond.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, two of the group managed to swim to shore, but Winterlich and a 15-year-old boy got into difficulty in what the Irish Coast Guard described as "confused" heavy seas.

The boy reportedly kept the unconscious Winterlich afloat until the coastguard's Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 arrived at the scene, and both were flown to hospital within 17 minutes of the callout.

However, it's been reported that during the winching process, which required both teens to be lifted from the water simultaneously due to the severity of conditions, Winterlich fell out of the rescue strop back into the sea – a drop of some 40 feet, according to Mail Online.

On Monday Scouting Ireland said it was launching its own review into whether there were "things that could have been done to make the trip safer". The Irish Times has more HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#Rescue - A 15-year-old girl who was one of two teens rescued of Hook Head yesterday (Sunday 6 December) was unconscious when she was taken out of the water, it has emerged.

As RTÉ News reports, the girl is one of four from a Dublin scouts group who were washed into the sea from the rocks by a surprise wave as the remnants of Storm Desmond passed over Ireland.

Two managed to swim to shore, but the others – the girl and a 15-year-old boy – got into difficulty in what the Irish Coast Guard described as "confused" heavy seas.

As of this morning (Monday 7 December) the girl was said to be in a critical condition at University Hospital Waterford. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

A 10–metre catamaran type yacht that ran aground two miles north of Hook Head, in County Wexford, Ireland is believed to have drifted free from its moorings.

Volunteer lifeboat crew launched yesterday morning following reports of the grounded cruiser. On arrival, the lifeboat crew found the unmanned yacht sitting deep in the water, perilously close to the rocks.

First on scene was Fethard RNLI Inshore lifeboat whose crew established a tow with the yacht, however this proved unsuccessful.

Shortly after, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat arrived on scene and put two crew on board the casualty vessel with a pump to try and drain the water from the yacht and establish a tow to recover it to a nearby harbour.

However, once on board, the lifeboat crew discovered that the yacht had taken on a large amount of water and that it was in danger of sinking. When they attempted to establish a tow the vessel dangerously dipped low into the water and the attempt was abandoned.

The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue 117 were also called out to the incident.

A decision was taken to leave the vessel as it was determined that the crew were in danger if they stayed on the yacht.

Published in Coastguard

#Lighthouses - The world's oldest operational lighthouse is worth a visit for any tourists in the Sunny Southeast, but now anyone can take a virtual tour of the Hook Head lighthouse from the comfort of their own home - or anywhere, if you're using a laptop!

Placed at the top of Lonely Planet's list of the 'Top 10 Flashiest Lighthouses', the Hook Head light has been opened to the public as a tourist attraction each year since 2001, and is a great spot for watching whales and dolphins.

Now the breathtaking view afforded from the top of this towering fixture of the Wexford coastline can be seen from anywhere in the world. Click HERE to see for yourself!

Published in Lighthouses

#Dolphins - Marine photographer Myles Carroll snapped some beautiful shots of a dolphin pup frolicking in the waves off Hook Head last weekend, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The baby was just one of a near 40-strong dolphin pod sighted off the Wexford coast in recent days, just in time for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's latest cetacean spotting trip this weekend on board the Celtic Mist.

For details contact the IWDG at [email protected]

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#lighthouse – A global gathering of Lighthouse Keepers and enthusiasts will take place at the world's oldest lighthouse at Hook Head next weekend, September 13 to 15 and organiser's have today unveiled a fun filled programme of free events to keep families entertained.

Sunday, September 15 has been declared 'Sunday Fun Day' at the historic lighthouse, according to the manager Ann Waters everyone is invited to enjoy lots of entertainment. "Sunday is the day for free festival fun; we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to enjoy lots of fun entertainment, join in the singing of Sea Shanties with the Hooks and Crooks and enjoy the stiltwalkers and entertainers from Bui Bolg, the Claoimh Medieval Knights, games, face painting and lots more."

Sunday is the final day of the first gathering of Lighthouse keepers; festivities commence on Friday afternoon with a free open evening. Among those in attendance will be The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Yvonne Shields, CEO of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Larry O'Brien, Chair of Hook Heritage. Entertainment will be provided by the Wexford Male Voice Choir and soprano Emma Rochford.

On Saturday guests are invited to the Lighthouse Symposium 'If Lighthouses Could talk!' which will be hosted by former RTE News Anchor and Wexfordwoman Anne Doyle. Professor Kevin Whelan will offer an illustrated talk on Ireland in the Atlantic world focusing on mariners, merchants, migrants and light-keepers. Other speakers include guests from the Northern Lighthouse Board of Scotland and representatives from the Commissioners of Irish Lights and Newfoundland. The last principal Lighthouse Keeper and current Attendant at Hook Head Lighthouse, Tux Tweedy will attend, as well as several other former Lighthouse Keepers.

The weekend's highlight takes place on Saturday evening with drinks reception to be hosted in the historic cobbled yard at Hook Lighthouse with entertainment by Danescastle Traditional Irish Music Group and the Doyle Academy of Irish Dance. This will be followed by a Seafood Buffet and after-dinner entertainment provided by the Kennedy Sisters and traditional Irish music from Saolta. A fireworks display over the ancient landmark will bring this memorable evening to a spectacular close.

The global gathering of Lighthouse Keepers is being hosted in co-operation with the commissioners of Irish Lights and on behalf of past lighthouse keepers of Hook Lighthouse For further details see hookheritage.ie

Published in Lighthouses
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - The whale watching season is well under way off the coast of Wexford, as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reported its first sightings of 2013 this week.

Just an hour into the maiden cetacean spotting voyage of the IWDG's new research vessel Celtic Mist at the weekend, members of the group were treated to the sight of fin whales and minke whales feeding south of Hook Head - not to mention some of the 'superpod' of dolphins seen last week in the Irish Sea.

And as World Irish reports, local wildlife ranger Tony Murray spotted the first humpback whale of the year in the same area.

Murray suggested that "a large herring haul going on in the southeast at the moment" is the main attraction for the ocean giants and their smaller, more plentiful companions.

The IWDG's Facebook page has a photo gallery containing some stunning snapshots of the day's excursion HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#ANGLING - Bitterly cold weather and some hungry marine mammals kept the bass away from the inaugural Hook Bass Angling Festival in Wexford last weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The angling went on regardless, however, with Mark Baker from Co Meath hooking a 1.5kg 'schoolie' of a flounder to take top prize of a five-day holiday at Grangecourt Holiday Homs and a day's fishing with Jim Foley.

All taking part enjoyed the weekend despite the absence of the titular fish, and promised to return next year - for which the dos and don'ts will be ironed out, according to Cathy Howlin of Hook Tourism.

Meanwhile, the weekend also featured an evening talk by Dr Ed Fahy who discussed the threat to Ireland's sea bass should the fishery be opened to commercial interests, and argued the case for bass angling tourism as a greater boon for the economy.

Published in Angling

#RESCUE - RTÉ News reports that a German tourist missing after his cruiser ran aground on Lough Ree last night has been found safe and well.

The man was one of three on board the vessel that grounded close to Barley Harbour.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat recovered the other two men from the vessel but the third had already left on a dinghy to find help.

He was located by gardaí on an Island in the lough around midnight.

Meanwhile, one person was rescued from a yacht off Hook Head in stormy force seven winds and massive sea swells late last night, according to The Irish Times.

The man, who was reportedly the only person on board the yacht, was airlifted to safety by UK search and rescue helicopter.

RNLI adds:

Lough Ree RNLI rescued two German men from a cruiser that ran aground north of Priests Island close to Barley Harbour in County Longford yesterday evening (Wednesday).

The charity's volunteer crew based at Coosan Point in Athlone launched their inshore lifeboat at 8.45pm (Wednesday 15 August) following a report that a vessel had got into difficulty on the lough on the River Shannon.

A major search and rescue operation involving Lough Ree RNLI, Lough Ree Rescue, Athlone Sub Aqua Club and the Sligo Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was mounted in conditions described at the time as windy, with a force six wind having prevailed throughout the day.

A third man who had left the cruiser and boarded a dinghy to raise the alarm was reported missing.

Lough Ree RNLI located the cruiser and arrived on scene within 20-25 minutes where lifeboat crew including Kieran Sloyan, Lee Carney and Donal Heraghty removed the two German men from their vessel.

They were then put on the lifeboat and brought safely ashore to Lanesborough where they were met by Gardai.

Lough Ree RNLI then resumed a search for the third man with the other search and rescue agencies.

He was subsequently located safe and well around midnight on Cloone Skert by Gardai who had heard shouts from the shore at north Portrunny in Roscommon.

Lough Ree Lifeboat Operations Manager Damian Delaney said: 'The three tourists particularly the man who had left the boat to look for assistance were very lucky as weather conditions were pretty severe at the time. Thankfully, there was a good co-ordinated response and a good turnout of people which resulted in a positive outcome. As time went on and it got dark and darker we were very concerned for the third man so it was great that he was brought ashore.'

Published in Rescue

#MARITIME FESTIVALS - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will have a stand at the Maritime Matters Festival in Hook Head, Co Wexford this bank holiday weekend from 5-7 May.

Representing the IWDG are Deirdre Slevin and Paddy Roche, who will be on hand to present photos of recent whale activity off the Wexford coast, as well as giving the opportunity to look out for whales and dolphins from the watch tower.

Hook Head has already witnessed a wide range of cetacean activity in 2012, with the likes of fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, common and Risso's dolphins, harbour porpoise and basking sharks visiting the waters of the 'Sunny Southeast'.

The annual Maritime Matters Festival will also feature displays from The Irish Coast Guard, Irish Water Safety and the Irish Seal Sanctuary, as well as displays and manoeuvres on the water by the Irish Marine Rescue Services.

Cick HERE for more details on the weekend programme of entertainment and outdoor food on the Hook Lighthouse website.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Page 2 of 3

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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