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#Rowing: The Irish eight which won at the World Masters Regatta at Lake Bagsvaerd, Denmark, have been chosen as the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September. There were a number of good results by Irish crews at the event, which is one of the biggest international events of the year. Among the competitors this year was Denmark legend Eskild Ebbesen. The Irish E eight (55 years or older), was drawn from five clubs (Commercial, Belfast Boat Club, Neptune, Old Collegians and Waterford Boat Club) and outpaced German and British rivals in a field of seven crews. They had also won last year at this level. The crew was: John Hudson, Denis Crowley, Gerry Murphy, Mick Heavey, Colin Dickson, Colin Hunter, Fran O’Toole, Donal Mc Guinness and cox Al Penkert.  

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 and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2016. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2016 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Dave Neale and Sean Jacob in the Double Sculls and Monika Dukarska in the Princess Royal for single scullers came through the qualifiers at Henley Royal Regatta today. Both are open events. Lady Elizabeth also made it through in the Wyfold for club fours. Trinity’s second crew, who rowed into a powerful headwind, fell just outside the qualifiers in the Prince Albert for student coxed fours.

Henley Royal Regatta – Qualifying Races (Irish interest)

Qualifiers: Princess Royal (Single Sculls; Women; Open): M Dukarska.

The Double Sculls Cup (Men; Open): D Neale and S Jacob.

Wyfold (Fours; Club): Lady Elizabeth BC

Non Qualifier: Prince Albert (Fours, coxed; Student): Trinity College, Dublin B

Published in Rowing
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#ROWING: Two schools from Enniskillen took some of the major honours on offer at the Irish Schools Regatta at O’Brien’s Bridge. Enniskillen Collegiate won the women’s under-23 eights, fours and pairs, and Portora Royal School won the under-23 eights and pairs. Presentation Brothers College, Cork, took the men’s coxed fours. Waterpark College’s Andrew Goff was the top single sculler, and Sarah Murphy of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh the top women’s sculler.

Irish Schools Regatta 2015, O’Brien’s Bridge, Selected Results

Men

Eight – Under-23: 1 Portora, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 Presentation, Cork. Junior 16: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Col Iognáid, 3 Presentation, Cork. Jun 15: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Pres, Cork, 3 Portora.

Four – Under-23, coxed: 1 Pres, Cork, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 CBS, Cork. Jun 16: 1 Portora, 2 Col Iognáid, 3 St Joseph’s B. Junior 15, coxed: 1 St Joseph’s A, 2 Portora, 3 Presentation Cork.

Pair – Under-23: 1 Portora A, 2 St Joseph’s B, 3 Ardscoil A.

Sculling

Quadruple – Under-23: 1 Schull CS, 2 Methody, 3 CBC, Cork. Junior 16, coxed: 1 Ardscoil A, 2 Methody, 3 Killorglin. Jun 15, coxed: 1 CBC Cork A, 2 CAI, 3 Methody.

Double – Under-23: 1 Schull CS A, 2 Marist, 3 Summerhill. Junior 16: 1 Rochestown, 2 Methody, 3 Pres, Carlow. Jun 15: 1 St Mary’s, Carlow, 2 CBC, Cork, 3 Castleknock.

Single – Under-23 (Final One, Timed): 1 Waterpark (A Goff), 2 St Munchin’s (Carmody), 3 Rochestown (Larkin). (Final Two, Timed): Portora (Murray). Jun 16: 1 Castleknock (Meehan), 2 Rochestown (Larkin), 3 Ardscoil Dub (Lynch). Jun 15 – Final One: 1 St Mary’s, Carlow (J Keating), 2 Carrigaline CC (S O’Neill), 3 CBC (T Murphy). Final Two: Ardscoil (O’Byrne).

Women

Eight – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Laurel Hill, 3 Mount Lourdes. Jun 16: 1 Col Iognáid, 2 Methody, 3 Laurel Hill. Jun 15: 1 Col Iognáid, 2 Enniskillen

Four – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Mount Lourdes. Jun 16, coxed: 1 Col Iognáid B, 2 Enniskillen, 3 Col Iognáid A. Jun 15, coxed: 1 Col Iognaid, 2 Mount Lourdes.

Pair – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Laurel Hill B, 3 Laurel Hill A.

Sculling

Quadruple – Under-23: 1 St Leo’s, 2 Loreto, Fermoy A, 3 Loreto, Fermoy B. Junior 16, coxed: 1 Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, 2 Regina Mundi, 3 St Leo’s. Jun 15: 1 Loreto, Fermoy A, 2 Christ the King, Cork, 3 St Brigid’s A.

Double – Under 23 (Final One, Timed): 1 St Angela’s, Cork, 2 Methody, 3 Ursuline, Sligo. Final Two, timed: Sacred Heart. Final Three, timed: St Leo’s B. Jun 16: St Dominic’s, 2 Sacred Heart, 3 Christ the King A. Jun 15: 1 Regina Mundi, 2 Loreto, Fermoy, 3 St Louis.

Single – Under-23: 1 Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh (S Murphy), 2 Christ the King (Cummins), 3 Methody (Deyermond). Junior 16: Scoil Mhuire (Synnott), 2 Loreto Fermoy (O’Sullivan). Jun 15 (Final One): Loreto, Fermoy (Murphy). Final Two: Loreto (McGirr).

 

Published in Rowing

#IndoorRowing: The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships 2013 will be held in the UL Arena, Limerick on 23rd November 2013. Registration is now open for all events.

Individual races & team relays from ages 13 to 70+ years will be the order of the day. College students, seniors, juniors, internationals, para rowers and anyone with a will to win will be competing side-by-side in their own categories with competitors from all over hoping to pull a personal best or even get noticed for international duties.

The organizers hope to incorporate a greater online presence this time out, with possible streaming and up-to-date result broadcasts via twitter and text.

For more information, and to view the list of events go to  www.IIRC.ie.

Published in Rowing
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#RowingHenley: UCD had a convincing win over University of Bristol in the Temple Cup for student eights at Henley Royal Regatta. UCD, with a higher rating, got an early lead. By the Barrier they had a clear water advantage and they were able to ease down the rating and come home with no extra energy expended. They won by four lengths.

Henley Royal Regatta, Day One (Irish interest)

Temple Cup (Eights, Student): UCD bt University of Bristol 4l, 6:57

Prince Albert (Coxed Fours, Student): Trinity College, Dublin bt University of Virginia A ¾ l 7:24.

Published in Rowing
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# ROWING HENLEY DRAW: Irish club crews have been given some tough draws for Henley Royal Regatta, which begins on Wednesday. Three of the five have drawn selected (seeded) crews: UCD’s strong Visitors’ Cup four will face Harvard A; Belfast Boat Club take on Union Boat Club of the United States in the Britannia and Trinity face the might of University of Virginia in the Prince Albert for student fours. The two exceptions are in the Prince of Wales, where Commercial take on PB and DRC and Anglia Ruskin and the Temple Cup where UCD are drawn against University of Bristol.

Henley Draw (Irish interest)

Temple Cup (Eights, Student): UCD v University of Bristol

Visitors Cup (Fours, Intermediate): UCD v Harvard A (selected crew)

Prince of Wales Cup (Quadruple Sculls, Intermediate): Commercial v PB and DRC and Anglia Ruskin

Britannia (Coxed Fours, Club): Belfast BC v Union BC (US) (selected)

Prince Albert (Fours, Student): Trinity v University of Virginia (selected)

Double Sculls (Open): R Chambers, P Chambers (selected) v winners of Knight and Bell and Mole and Fisher in quarter-final

Diamond Sculls (Single Sculls, Open): A Campbell (selected) v winner of GP Bozhilov and DS Read in quarter-final

Published in Rowing
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#UNIVERSITY ROWING: UCD took the Wylie Cup for men and the Bank of Ireland Cup for women at the rescheduled Irish University Championships at Blessington Lakes tonight. Trinity won the novice eight categories for both women and men, but UCD won both intermediate and senior eights races. In senior men’s eights, NUIG took second, while UCD vanquished their only rivals, Trinity, in the women’s senior eights.

The weather had forced the postponement of the Championships originally and winds were again a factor tonight, with all but these six races stripped from the programme.    

Published in Rowing

#Surfing - Fancy learning to surf as Gaeilge? One surf school in the sunny southeast is giving international visitors the opportunity to do just that.

The Freedom Surf School in Tramore, Co Waterford offers 'Ireland's only accredited surfing certificate course through the Irish language'.

And in time for The Gathering initiative, this summer the school is running a series of surf camps for developing oral skills through actively learning the language.

These five-day camps involve classroom tuition in the mornings, while the afternoons will be spent surfing trí Ghaeilge - all led by qualified Irish teachers and surf instructors.

For more details visit the Freedom Surf School website HERE.

Published in Surfing

#WATER SAFETY - A 27-year-old Irish tourist had died after drowning in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The tourist and a colleague, who have not yet been named, had reportedly entered the Yarra River in central Melbourne around 9pm intending to swim across. Some minutes later screams were heard from the water.

"At first I thought they were joking, I think most people did," said David Brearley, a barman at the nearby Riverland bar who had warned the pair not to attempt the crossing - but responded to the calls for help and swam out into the river.

Brearley was able to take one man to the shore where he was treated by paramedics. But the other man was lost despite the assistance of other bystanders.

His body was discovered some three hours later floating near a bridge close to the incident.

Paramedic Susie Dean praised Brearley's actions as "absolutely heroic", noting that there is "a very strong current in the Yarra".

The Sydney Morning Herald has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#NEWS UPDATE - An Irish couple were among those rescued from the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday night, the Irish Examiner reports.

Three people are believed to have died, while 14 others were injured, after the Costa Concordia struck a sandbank and capsized off the Tuscan coastline in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The vessel was carrying more than 4,000 passengers at the time, many of whom jumped into the water as panic set in after the ship hit a rock that tore a 150ft gash in the hull.

As of Saturday three bodies had been recovered from the sea, with at least three more feared drowned.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that an Irish couple on board are safe and well, and are receiving consular assistance. Many survivors are taking refuge on the small island of Giglio close to the incident.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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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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