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Displaying items by tag: Hook Head

#MARINE WILDLIFE - At least two humpback whales have been spotted by birdwatchers off Galley Head in West Cork, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

"This is the first time since the large whale project commenced in 1999 that humpback whales have been recorded along the Irish south or coast during April, which has been up till now the one month in which large whales have consistently been absent from our inshore waters," said IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.

The timing of this sighting was described by Whooley as "unusual". He also confirmed that one of the whales was recorded off Hook Head in Co Wexford in late January and early February of this year, which dispells the hypothesis that large whales leave Irish waters after the herring season in the southeast.

Meanwhile, Whooley sounded a word of caution for anyone hoping to spot the humpbacks for themselves, as the "sheer numbers of basking sharks about" often result in false sightings.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has more on the story, including images, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Ireland's first humpback whale of the year has been spotted off the Wexford coast.

The sighting was made yesterday by whale-watchers among a pod of fin whales some three miles south of Hook Head, according to TheJournal.ie.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has also confirmed that the humpback is a new sighting in Irish waters, and has been designated the reference HBIRL18.

RTÉ News has images of the humpback whale HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - A "feeding frenzy" involving a pod of fin whales was spotted off Hook Head in Co Wexford last week, The Irish Times reports.

And according to Andrew Malcolm of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), two of the whales were in the same location almost exactly a year ago.

Malcolm, who was with a group on board the Rebecca C, used photographs of the whale's dorsal fins to compare records for the confirmation.

The pod of six fin whales was seen feeding some 3km southeast of Hook Head, attracted by the herring spawning grounds in the area.

More than 30 other cetaceans, including common dolphins, porpoises and a minke whale, were sighted on the trip.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Enniscorthy Guardian reports that the fin whales that have been sighted off Tramore in recent weeks may soon make their way towards the Wexford coast.

Afloat.ie recently reported that Waterford was the 'best place to be' for whale watching, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirming fin whale sightings along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.

Cetacean fans are being advised to keep an eye on the coast from Hook Head to Brownstown headland to catch a glimpse of the fins, which are renowned for their six-foot whale blow.

Whale watchers are also urged to report any sightings to the IWDG online at www.iwdg.ie to help keep its database up to date.

Published in Marine Wildlife

As the Russian 'A' class Mir passed the LE Aoife off Dunmore East in mid-morning, the largest tall ship of the festival headed the start of the Parade of Sail, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Crowds left their cars in fields outside Dunmore East and descended into the harbour and surrounding headlands to witness the highlight of the four-day festival. Adding to the scene were the numerous leisure-craft, yachts and intrepid kayakers that gathered to greet the procession which took some two hours to pass the fishing harbour.

No sooner had the fully-rigged ship Mir had slipped beyond the anchored naval vessel that the gaff schooner Johanna Lucretia, under full sail came closer into view. She was closely followed by the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland's Bermudan cutter Alba Explorer.

Mir

The Russian 'A' class Mir passing the LE Aoife off Dunmore East. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Of all the 45 tallships participating the Columbian Navy's barque ARC Gloria presented the most colourful entrant. She proudly flew a large horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue and red representing the South American nation.

When it came to the turn of the Europa to pass the LE Aoife, the tug Bargarth gave a wonderful send-off with the traditional display of water jets shooting sky-high, nearly reaching the top of the three-masted barque.

Marking the tail-end of the parade was the Jubilee Sailing Trust's Lord Nelson, another barque that departed the estuary with the Hook Head Lighthouse forming a majestic backdrop.

At this stage several of the large tallships could be seen on the far horizon in preperation to the start of the first race leg of this years Tall Ships Races....next port of call Greenock!

More Tall Ships Photos

Dublin Hosts Tall Ships in 2012

View Waterford's Parade of Sail Photo Gallery Here

Published in Tall Ships
The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS includes important information for recreational craft expected to attend the Tall Ships Races in Waterford from 30 June to 3 July.
www.dttas.ie
Race organisers and the Waterford harbour master have issued an approved water safety plan for the marshalling of spectator boats for the time the tall ships are in port and for the start of the race off Hook Head.
Skippers and crew must comply with all instructions and be aware of their obligations under existing maritime legislation (regarding avoidance of collisions, preventing reckless behaviour and ensuring correct safety equipment is on board).
Boat owners intending to visit should contact the harbour master for details on restricted areas and berthing spots via the Port of Waterford website or directly at 051 974 907.
Restrictions are also in place for passenger boats and ships. Only fully licenced vessels with plying limits listing Waterford as a point of departure are allowed to operate during the event. Temporary changes in plying limits can be made via the Marine Survey Office before 15 June.
Further details are available on Marine Notice No 28 of 2011, available to read or download HERE.

The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS includes important information for recreational craft expected to attend the Tall Ships Races in Waterford from 30 June to 3 July.

Race organisers and the Waterford harbour master have issued an approved water safety plan for the marshalling of spectator boats for the time the tall ships are in port and for the start of the race off Hook Head.

Skippers and crew must comply with all instructions and be aware of their obligations under existing maritime legislation (regarding avoidance of collisions, preventing reckless behaviour and ensuring correct safety equipment is on board).

Boat owners intending to visit should contact the harbour master for details on restricted areas and berthing spots via the Port of Waterford website or directly at 051 974 907.

Restrictions are also in place for passenger boats and ships. Only fully licenced vessels with plying limits listing Waterford as a point of departure are allowed to operate during the event. Temporary changes in plying limits can be made via the Marine Survey Office before 15 June.

Further details are available on Marine Notice No 28 of 2011 which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
The Irish Times has stunning photographs of fin whales and dolphins feeding off Hook Head in Co Wexford captured by photographer George Karbus.
Czech-born Lahinch resident Karbus, who specialises in wildlife photography, said: “It is really hard to capture images of fin whales because they move incredibly fast, so to see them together feeding in one place was amazing and I was able to get some special images.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has released its first study on the ecology of fin whales in Irish waters.
Using the photo identification catalogue collected by the group since 2001, some 62 individual fin whales were identified - 11 of them being return visitors.

The Irish Times has stunning photographs of fin whales and dolphins feeding off Hook Head in Co Wexford captured by animal wildlife photographer George Karbus.

Czech-born Lahinch resident Karbus, who specialises in wildlife photography, said: “It is really hard to capture images of fin whales because they move incredibly fast, so to see them together feeding in one place was amazing and I was able to get some special images.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has released its first study on the ecology of fin whales in Irish waters.

Using the photo identification catalogue collected by the group since 2001, some 62 individual fin whales were identified - 11 of them being return visitors.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 3 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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