Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Limerick

A working group has been established to develop a proposal for a Shannon Greenway connecting the city of Limerick with Lough Derg.

Waterways Ireland says it is working together with Clare County Council, Limerick City & County Council and others on the plans, which are still at an early concept stage.

However, it is understood that the working group has already been charged with examining possible route options and designs, as well as environmental considerations, costs and funding sources.

Also being considered is whether public lands between Limerick and Tuamgraney/Scarriff in Co Clare — especially the towpaths of the Park and Erinagh Canals and various ESB embankments — could be used for the project.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Office of Public Works has been accused of showing “disdain” for Ireland’s natural heritage over flood relief works on a waterway in Co Limerick.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) criticised the clearing last year of some 3km of wild habitat from the River Newport, east of Limerick city and within the Lower Shannon SAC.

The conservation group accuses the OPW of conducting the clearance works — in which “entire stretches of the riverbank had been stripped down to bare soil” — in the absence of the Appropriate Assessment legally required under Irish and EU law.

It is suggested these works have jeopardised an important habitat for otters and wet Willow woodland, while also potentially exacerbating the spread of invasive plan species such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed.

The IWT says it visited the River Newport in December and found that “works had greatly exceeded what had been set out” in the OPW’s initial screening report, which the group has branded “largely inaccurate”.

IWT campaigns officer Pádraic Fogarty said: “The OPW is not above the law but yet it seems to think that it can operate with impunity. The damage it has done to our rivers is incalculable; this instance at the Newport in Limerick is not untypical of the distain they show for our natural heritage.”

Similar complaints have been levied against OPW works in Skibbereen, where a stream feeding the River Ilen has been re-engineered as a concrete culvert.

The OPW did not respond to queries from either The Sunday Times or The Green News.

Published in Inland Waterways

RTÉ News reports that a 12-year-old girl was hospitalised after an incident on the River Shannon in Limerick city yesterday morning (Saturday 23 February).

It’s understood that she was one of four girls on a boat that overturned in the river near the Old Salmon Weir.

The casualty became trapped underneath as her hair tangled with the boat’s outriggers, according to BreakingNews.ie.

An eyewitness said the girls’ rowing boat was in a fast current and had broken in two.

“I’m haunted all day. It’s the screams. I can still hear the girls screaming, ‘help, help help’,” said local man Danny Ryan, who rang 999 as he watched the scene unfold.

The casualty was freed from the boat by a team of firefighters trained in river rescue who were alerted while on patrol at the time.

Elsewhere, the Irish Coast Guard were involved in a ‘difficult’ rescue of two people from Poll na Péist on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands, which previously hosted the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Rowing: Salesian Secondary College in Limerick won the Open/Club boys section of the All Ireland Indoor Rowing Blitz in Trinity College Dublin today. The Limerick school had a best time of 6 minutes 22.4 seconds for the 2,000 metres on the ergometer. Another Limerick school, Laurel Hill College, topped the under-18 girls’ rankings. The best under-16 boys and girls came from Sutton Park School. Competitors from as far away as Skibbereen in Cork travelled to the event.

 Carlow mentor Kathryn Wall and Dominican College, Griffith Avenue in Dublin, received special presentations.

All-Ireland Indoor Rowing Blitz, Trinity College (Selected Results; winners)

Boys

Open/Club: Salesian One, Limerick 6 min 22.4.

Under-16: Sutton Park School 6:37.8.

Girls

Open/Club: Laurel Hill 6:43.5

Under-16: Sutton Park School 8:03.1

 

Published in Rowing

#Festivals - Limerick becomes a mecca for watersport enthusiasts this May Bank Holiday weekend for the city’s Riverfest 2017, which kicks off today (Friday 28 April).

Highlights of the city’s premier summer maritime festival include the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run, a spectacular fireworks display.

At the centre of it all is the Maldron Hotel Riverfest on the Shannon, featuring wakeboarding with Irish champion David O Caoimh and pro jetboarders Scotty Knemeyer and Bo Krook, as well as the River Shannon Zipline between Arthur’s Quay and Honan’s Quay for more thrill-seeking visitors.

Exciting and skilful displays by Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, the Defence Forces, Foynes Yacht Club, Limerick’s numerous rowing clubs and yachting and sailability groups will mean all eyes will be firmly focused on the water.

For full details of the festival lineup visit the official website HERE.

And don’t forget the Dublin Port Riverfest that returns for the June Bank Holiday, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Rescue - Swift water rescuers from the Limerick Fire Service raced to the aid of a man from the River Shannon in the city centre last night (Friday 10 February).

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the casualty had entered the water at Shannon Bridge after leaving a taxi on the bridge around 10pm.

Passers-by threw the man a life buoy which kept him afloat till the rescue boat arrived just minutes later, recovering him to the slipway at St Michael's Rowing Club for treatment before transfer to hospital.

Published in Rescue

#MCIB - The dangers of boating while under the influence have been highlighted in the official report into an incident on the Shannon near Limerick city earlier this year.

One man died and three others were hospitalised after their boat capsized north-east of Limerick city in the early hours of Thursday 4 February, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The official report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has found that the four men, none of whom had any boating experience, were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when they took the boat from Castleconnell Boat Club shortly before 4am.

The small aluminium boat had its drain plug removed, as is standard when storing such boats ashore, and quickly began taking on water as the four men paddled to an area known as the Gap of the Dam, where the river narrows, and into a torrent fed by heavy rainfall in the previous fortnight.

Losing control of the boat as they guided it to trees on a spit of land in the river, it grounded on submerged rocks and capsized, throwing all four men into the water. None were wearing lifejackets.

One man caught his leg under the capsized boat, another was swept away while attempting to lift the boat off his friend, and a third became entangled in undergrowth after losing his footing, while the fourth managed to contact emergency services with his mobile phone after several attempts.

Gardaí and teams from the Limerick Fire Service and Killaloe Coast Guard arrived between 4:35am and 4:45am but faced great difficulty mounting a rescue attempt due to the fast-flowing water and low light conditions, though all four were recovered by 7am.

Two firemen were commended by the MCIB for their courage in staying in the water for over two hours to assist the man trapped in undergrowth, though he was unresponsive when finally recovered from the water and later pronounced dead due to drowning at Limerick University Hospital.

Impaired judgement due to drugs and/or drink taken over a number of hours was cited as the main factor in the tragedy by the MCIB, explaining the men’s recklessness in taking out a boat in darkness with no experience and lacking safety gear.

The board recommends the issue of a Marine Notice reminding the public of the dangers of operating any water craft under the influence.

The full report from the MCIB is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#Rowing: Eoghan O’Connor of Castleconnell came agonisingly close to a remarkable feat at the Irish Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships at the University of Limerick today. The Castleconnell man missed setting a time of six minutes for the 2,000 metres by just one tenth of a second. Cathal Cummins of Lee Valley set a fine time of six minutes 30.5 seconds in the under-18 grade.

Jess O’Keeffe of University of Limerick won the women’s open grade in 7:20.1, but Margaret Cremen of Lee was the fastest woman, with an excellent time of 7:15.2.

Irish Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick

Men

Open: E O’Connor 6:00.1. Lightweight Open: D O’Connor 6:30.5. Under-23: G Patterson 6:18.9. Lightweight Under-23: B McKeon 6:42.9. Jun 18: C Cummins 6:20.5. Jun 16: R Tummon 6:31.8. 30-39: R Corcoran 6:30.8.

Women

Open: J O’Keeffe 7:20.1. Under-23: H O’Sullivan 7:21.8. Lightweight Under-23: E McGiff 7:43.3. Jun 18: M Cremen 7:15.2. Jun 16: C Kirwan 7:27.9. 30-39: M Tritt 7:40.3.

Published in Rowing

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland advises that remedial works have commenced on the stretch of the Shannon Navigation between Limerick City and Parteen Weir after significant storm and flooding damage over the winter.

The closure had caused some consternation within the boating community as it effectively excluded Lough Derg sailors from this summer's WIORA races, and threatened to hit maritime revenues in Limerick.

But it was announced recently that design options had been advanced to provide for works to be completed this month.

It's believed that works on the affected infrastructure will be completed by the week beginning Monday 25 July. Prior tooth time, a schedule of opening times will be published for Sarsfield's Lock.

In other inland waterways news, the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal has been closed since Monday 11 July until forth notice due to a culvert collapse between Locks 22 (Glenaree Bridge) and 23 (Spencer Bridge). Further notice will be issued once the damage has been assessed.

Meanwhile, on the River Bann, Carnroe Lock has been closed for emergency repair works, which are expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

There's better news on Upper Lough Erne, however, as the public mooring jetty and slipway at Carrybridge is now open, with the exception of the pump-out facility.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Rowing: The Victor Ludorum Trophy for best school was won by St Joseph’s of Galway at the Irish Schools’ Championships at O’Brien’s Bridge in Clare today. Daire Lynch of Clonmel CBS was the best single sculler. Methodist College, Belfast, won the women’s under-23 eight.

Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 6

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebuttonwatson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating