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Displaying items by tag: Lahinch

Surfing documentary Between Land and Sea will have its Irish TV premiere tonight (Tuesday 20 August) at 10.15pm on RTÉ 2.

Ross Whitaker’s film chronicles ‘a year in the life of an Atlantic surf town’, namely Lahinch in Co Clare — capturing the character of a coastal spot that experiences some of Ireland’s most spectacular waves, as previously noted on Afloat.ie.

Among its subjects is Fergal Smith, a former big wave pro surfer who switched to the more sedate world of organic farming — working at the literal grassroots with the local community.

Whitaker — who since directed the acclaimed boxing documentary Katie — toured Ireland with screenings to much applause two years ago, and now the whole nation will have an opportunity to see on TV after the UEFA Champions League match, and online via the RTÉ Player.

Update Wednesday 21 August: The film is now streaming on demand at RTÉ Player until 20 September 2019.

 

Published in Surfing

O’Sullivan’s Marine have shared with us a photo of the surprise moment when a dolphin landed on the bow of one of their boats.

The sudden encounter was all the more startling as the marine mammal almost knocked a child out of the boat — but the youngster still managed to capture the cetacean on camera.

Elsewhere, BreakingNews.ie reports that a striped dolphin was found dead in a river near Lahinch despite the best efforts of local surfers after the animal live-stranded on the popular North Clare beach.

Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, who also joined the rescue effort, said: “We found a striped dolphin, quite a large animal, obviously in distress. We tried to push it out again [to sea] but it was very weak.”

The IWDG chief added: “The surfers did their best and we thank them for trying but sometimes a dolphin will live strand themselves … there’s very little you can do.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Surfing - He’s an Irish big wave surfer who’s credited with helping discover and naming the renowned Aileen’s break, near his home in Lahinch.

But more than a decade ago, John McCarthy traded the vices of the pro surfing lifestyle for a new life serving God, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Today, McCarthy is more easily found preaching the word of the Good Book at North Clare Community Church in Lahinch, which he co-founded and where he is an assistant pastor.

However, the born-again Christian still makes time for his former passion on the waves — especially since he and his wife run a surf school in the Co Clare coastal town, a place where fellow surfers have turned to organic farming as a way to seek peace in their lives.

And a new radio documentary, broadcasting tomorrow morning (Sunday 19 November) at 8am on Newstalk 106-108fm, follows McCarthy as he returns to the wave he named before he set on his new journey. The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Surfing farmers in Co Clare are hoping to raise €300,000 to expand their organic vegetable farm, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Afloat.ie previously highlighted the Moy Hill Community Garden started by Lahinch surfer Fergal Smith and fellow wave-riders Matt Smith and Mitch Corbett.

Now the big-wave surfers turned seed-sowers and field-diggers have launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase 60 acres of land to expand their farm, which already grows enough to feed 50 families in the area.

The expansion aims to triple that number, as well as enable the planting of 30,000 native trees — with future plans including a ‘forest school’ for people “seeking balance and peace in their lives”, says Smith.

Thirty-six days remain in the fundraising campaign, with further details available HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Between Land and Sea is a new documentary on the surfing culture of Lahinch that’s currently touring with screenings around Ireland, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Chronicling ‘a year in the life of an Atlantic surf town’, Ross Whitaker’s film set out to capture the characters of the Co Clare coastal spot that’s become a gateway to some of Ireland’s most spectacular waves.

Big wave surfing isn’t just a sport for its top names — it’s a lifestyle. And the film gets to know a number of those who have made it their life’s work to get in harmony with their environment.

Among them are Ollie O’Flaherty, a regular at the Riley’s break at Lahinch as well as Aileen’s under the Cliffs of Moher, and Fergal Smith, the subject of two other recent films on the organic farming collective he’s helped establish for himself and fellow wave chasers.

Smith also features in Common Ground, a new film from Finisterre in which the surf clothing brand’s ambassadors — including women’s surfing pioneer Easkey Britton — met to share their challenges and achievements thanks to the power of the waves, as Huck reports.

Another recent surfing video from Red Bull shows what happened when Barry Mottershead invited American surfers Cody Thompson, Justin Quintal and Nate Zoller to taste the waves of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Published in Surfing
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#CliffFall - Independent.ie reports that a 23-year-old man was airlifted to hospital after falling 40ft into the sea from a cliff near Lahinch early this morning (Sunday 5 June).

Shannon's Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 launched to the scene after the Doolin coastguard unit had difficulty recovering the man from the sea.

It's understood that the casualty was with friends at the cliff top around 5am when he fell and lost consciousness in the water.

Published in Rescue
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#Surfing - American surfing pro Jamie O'Brien sings the praises of Clare's big waves as part of his latest web series on chasing the world's best surf.

Speaking with entertainment.ie ahead of the fifth season of his RedBull.tv show Who is JOB, O'Brien hailed the "world class" waves at Lahinch, despite the cold and the unpredictable weather this spring is bringing us.

But O'Brien – a pioneer of the concept of 'freesurfing' – was equally impressed with the "hardcore" dedication of local youngsters to what's still an emerging sport in Ireland.

"You gotta be hardcore to go surfing in that cold water," he said.

Another boarder who's been exploring Ireland's surfing scene is Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton, the star of his own Red Bull web series that started this month with his first stop along the Wild Atlantic Way in North Donegal.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Ireland's surfing scene gets another tribute in this new short film from surf-wear brand Billabong, via BreakingNews.ie.

Matching the pulsing rhythms of a trad session at Kelly's Bar with breathtaking action from the wild waves off Lahinch in Co Clare was an inspired choice for this clip, produced by the former title sponsors of the annual Big Wave Awards.

That's a contest with a local connection as Lahinch native Ollie O'Flaherty was nominated in 2012 for the massive swell he caught along with Mullaghmore regular Andrew Cotton.

This particular clip, however, features American Shane Dorian with Frenchman Benjamin Sanchis, a recent challenger for the biggest wave of all time, taking on the intimidating water walls of Aileens and Rileys.

Published in Surfing
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#Coastguard - The Clare Herald reports on the happy outcome after a search for a missing surfer near Lahinch yesterday afternoon (Monday 15 December).

Members of the Irish Coast Guard's Doolin unit began combing the beaches of Lahinch after an emergency call from a concerned family member.

But the surfer was quickly locoed safe and well just south of the Co Clare town, a popular surfing hotspot even in winter.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - A man in his 70s has died after collapsing in the shallows at the popular beach at Lahinch, Co Clare yesterday afternoon.

As The Irish Times reports, the man suddenly collapsed and was quickly pulled from the water by fellow beachgoers.

Beach lifeguards reached the unconscious casualty within a minute and used a defibrillator to try to revive him, while the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard and paramedics from Ennistymon and Ennis raced to the scene.

Despite best efforts, however, he was pronounced dead at the scene of a suspected heart attack.

Published in Coastguard
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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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