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Displaying items by tag: MCA

The company that runs the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race has called for an independent inquiry into the official investigation of the death of a sailor during the most recent edition of the race.

Clipper Ventures have blasted UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) for “failure of professionalism, impartiality and honesty” in their parallel probes of the overboard incident in the Southern Ocean that cost the life of 60-year-old retired solicitor Simon Speirs on 18 November 2017.

Despite his being tethered to the boat, as Clipper Ventures says, a “freak failure” of a tether safety clip led to Speirs entering the water as he was helping to reduce sail on board the yacht CV30, also known as GREAT Britain, amid increasing winds and sea state.

Spears was recovered from the sea by his fellow crew but could not be resuscitated. He was given a burial at sea the following day.

Clipper Ventures says the conclusions of investigations by the MCA and MAIB into the incident “are the cause of considerable concern” and involve “multiple errors and distortions of the truth” — including a suggestion by an MCA official that a nearby vessel could have taken Speirs’ body home to the UK for burial, when no such vessel existed.

Clipper Ventures also says it suspects that “significant and improper influence was applied to the MAIB investigation by the MCA team” in the bodies’ parallel investigations.

As of 1pm on Sunday 11 August, the MCA and MAIB have not released comment on Clipper Venture’s claims.

Published in Clipper Race

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks.

RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The MCA has launched this consultation following the Cheeki Rafiki trial where the judge commented that there were aspects not covered by the construction standards for small commercial vessels which should be considered best practice.

“The RYA already provides a considerable amount of safety advice that is readily accessible by the boating public and intends to submit a full response, outlining our views and the concerns of our members.

“Our response will focus on the interests of pleasure boaters with the aim of ensuring that any guidance is clear, realistic and proportionate.”

The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of lifesaving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs.

They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats.

The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:

  • Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice
  • What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment
  • If there is the right level of content in each MGN

Full details on the draft MGNS and how to give your views can be found on the UK Government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation.

The consultation closes on Thursday 18 July and the RYA encourages all UK boaters to respond.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#Cattleships- Express 1, an Ireland-Libya serving livestock-carrier which was detained in February by the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has this week been on 'post-repair trails' in the English Channel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Having anchored overnight off the Cornish port, the Express 1 returned to Fowey this morning after a two-day inspection at sea of the 7,087 tonnes vessel. This was part of the requirments of the inspection as agreed by MCA surveyors.

Commenting to Afloat.ie, a spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The Express 1 remains under detention at Fowey following an inspection yesterday. The operator has made some safety improvements, but there are still some issues".

"Further maintenance work will take place to ensure the ship meets safety standards. We will reinspect it once the maintenance work is complete."

As previously reported, Express 1 while on a passage through the English Channel from Germany in February encountered engine-failure in stormy seas and was taken under tow to Fowey. Arising from the incident, there were calls to the Irish Department of Agriculture to revoke the ships livestock-license.

The 100m Express 1 last year she became the first ship to revive the live cattle-trade from Ireland to Libya, such exports have not taken place since 1996, when Libya banned beef imports from the EU, following the outbreak of (BSE) mad cow disease.

On that inaugural sailing she loaded cattle at Belview Port, the main terminal for the port of Waterford from where animal welfare groups protested.

A sister, Atlantic M, earlier this week had docked at Belview Port and the vessel remains at anchorage today off Dunmore East. She was a former vehicle-carrier the Autotransporter and likewise of Express 1 as the Autoline, they originally operated for Hoegh Ugland Auto-Carriers.

The pair later began a career for United European Car Carriers (UECC) and the sisters continued to make frequent calls to Irish ports.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Coastguard - The chief executive of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was in Northern Ireland yesterday (4 March) to discuss future collaboration with the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.

As Fishupdate.com reports, the charity - also known as the Fishermen's Mission - provides emergency support to fishermen and their families in times of need.

Sir Alan Massey of the MCA was in Kilkeel, Co Down to meet with the charity's CEO David Dickens to find out how best to work together on their common ground of safety at sea.

"We want to encourage a culture where it becomes normal practice for all fishermen to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when out at sea," said Massey.

Dickens added that the Fishermen's Mission is "keen to engage with all agencies and organisations that seek to reduce the number and severity of incidents in fishing".

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - For Argyll in Scotland reports that Richard Newell has resigned from his post as rescue co-ordination centre manager at Belfast Coastguard.

The news comes some weeks after the command base took on extra responsibility with the permanent closure of the Clyde coastguard station last month.

Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed to the website that Newell resigned from his position around two weeks ago - and that he has assured the agency that his decision has no connection with the streamlining plans being undertaken across Britain's coastguard network.

However, For Argyll alleges Newell had made it known locally that "if he considered the future [of the coastguard service] was becoming dangerous, then he would go".

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, campaigners for the Clyde coastguard station in western Scotland were taken aback by the early transfer of helicopter dispatches to Belfast and Stornoway in November, ahead of the base's permanent closure on 18 December last.

More than 30 jobs were lost with the scrapping of the Clyde control centre at Greenock, with much of its role now being taken up by the Belfast command centre at Bangor across the North Channel - a change to the original plan for Scottish stations to share the load till 2015.

Published in Coastguard

A French skipper has been fined £9,000 for the infringement of navigation rules during his Round Britain and Ireland record attempt in June. Marc Guillemot was charged with breaking navigation rules twice in the Straits of Dover during his attempt to beat his own record.

Following his fine Guillemot issued the following statement:

Today, Thursday 6th December 2012, the British justice system issued its judgement following Marc Guillemot's infringement of navigation rules during his Round Britain and Ireland record attempt in June 2012. The skipper will have to pay a fine of 9 000 £.

Reminder of what happened

On 7th June 2012, Marc Guillemot was charged with breaking navigation rules twice in the Straits of Dover during his attempt to beat his own record. Marc Guillemot and his crew did in fact enter the traffic separation system without respecting the lanes and rules regarding crossing this zone.

On 12th July, Marc Guillemot willingly attended a meeting following a summons from the British coastguards (MCA) to find out exactly what he was being accused of and immediately accepted their version of events.

In early September, he was summoned to a hearing, which was due to take place in Southampton on 2nd October at the Magistrates Court. The sailor, who was busy preparing for the Vendée Globe offered his excuses and was represented by his lawyer, to whom he gave instruction to plead guilty.

The judge did not wish to excuse Marc Guillemot's non-attendance and issued a warrant against the skipper. The validity of the warrant issued by the judge was contested by Marc Guillemot at the high court, which led to it being cancelled, and his summons to appear was put back until after the Vendée Globe.

Marc Guillemot was therefore able to line up at the start of the race on 10th November as planned.

The judgement from 6th December

Following his retiral from the Vendée Globe, Marc Guillemot made himself immediately available to the British authorities and was summoned to a hearing on 6th December at the Magistrates Court in Southampton, which he willingly attended accompanied by his legal advisors.

During the hearing, the judge issued Marc Guillemot with a fine of  9 000 £.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

#FERRY NEWS - The captain of the 1,500 tonnes cargo vessel Union Moon which was involved in a collision with the passenger ferry Stena Feronia in Belfast Lough last night, has been arrested by police, according to BBC News.

An investigation is under way after the accident which happened about a mile and a half from shore between Carrickfergus and Helen's Bay.

The 27,000 tonnes Stena Feronia was on its way from Birkenhead, Merseyside, to Belfast when the collision happened at about 19:45 GMT.

Coxswain of Donaghadee Lifeboat Philip McNamara said the Union Moon, was brought back to Belfast.

No one was injured, but both vessels were substantially damaged. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said both captains had been breathalysed, to read more about this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry
A container ship en route from Cork to Rotterdam has been freed after running aground off Cornwall.
BBC News reports that the 131m-long Karin Schepers was beached near St Just early this morning.
Rescue teams were alerted to assist, but the 12-strong crew had managed to free the vessel from the sand by the time help arrived.
According to Steve Huxley of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the ship was "extremely lucky" to get off the sand so quickly.
The cause of the incident is not yet known.
A container ship en route from Cork to Rotterdam has been freed after running aground off Cornwall.

BBC News reports that the 131m-long Karin Schepers was beached near St Just early this morning.

Rescue teams were alerted to assist, but the 12-strong crew had managed to free the vessel from the sand by the time help arrived.

According to Steve Huxley of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the ship was "extremely lucky" to get off the sand so quickly.

The cause of the incident is not yet known.
Published in Ports & Shipping
The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published its annual canoeing and kayaking report for 2010.
Among 456 incidents involving canoes or kayaks across the UK, which include nine fatalities, many were due to people underestimating weather and tidal conditions.
The report highlighted that many canoe and kayak owners in Britain do not wear essential safety kit such as buoyancy suits or lifejackets, do not include contact details in their craft, and are not a part of the CG66 small boat safety scheme which enables the coastguard to easily identify them.
There have also been increased reports of kayakers getting into difficulty which turn out to be kayakers fishing offshore. The MCA urges any kayakers doing so to contact the coastguard to avoid wasted searches.
The report is available to read and download HERE.

The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published its annual canoeing and kayaking report for 2010.

Among 456 incidents involving canoes or kayaks across the UK, which include nine fatalities, many were due to people underestimating weather and tidal conditions.

The report highlighted that many canoe and kayak owners in Britain do not wear essential safety kit such as buoyancy suits or lifejackets, do not include contact details in their craft, and are not a part of the CG66 small boat safety scheme which enables the coastguard to easily identify them.

There have also been increased reports of kayakers getting into difficulty which turn out to be kayakers fishing offshore. The MCA urges any kayakers doing so to contact the coastguard to avoid wasted searches.

The report is available to read and download HERE.

Published in Canoeing
Britain's shadow transport secretary has branded a "shambles" plans to reform the UK coastguard service that could see the closure of Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Labour's Maria Eagle questioned Secretary of State Philip Hammond on the issue in the Commons on Thursday.
"Why does he not just abandon the ill-thought-through proposals, which will leave our coastline a more dangerous place?' she asked.
Hammond, however, dismissed Eagle's challenge as "opportunism", noting that proposals to reform services of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) were first made by the previous Labour government.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, British Prime Minister David Cameron has already promised a rethink on the plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard stations.
The public consultation on the proposed cuts ended on Thursday.

Britain's shadow transport secretary has branded a "shambles" plans to reform the UK coastguard service that could see the closure of Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Labour's Maria Eagle questioned Secretary of State Philip Hammond on the issue in the Commons on Thursday.

"Why does he not just abandon the ill-thought-through proposals, which will leave our coastline a more dangerous place?' she asked.

Hammond, however, dismissed Eagle's challenge as "opportunism", noting that proposals to reform services of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) were first made by the previous Labour government.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, British Prime Minister David Cameron has already promised a rethink on the plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard stations.

The public consultation on the proposed cuts ended on Thursday.

Published in Coastguard
Page 1 of 2

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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