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Displaying items by tag: Peter Conroy

#Surfing - Two Irish surfers are nominated for ride of the year in the 2017 WSL Big Wave Awards after taking on the monster swell at Mullaghmore Head last month.

Conor Maguire and Peter Conroy were in the right place at the right time on 9 February to get a tow-in to the ‘emerald walls’ at the surfing hotspot off Co Sligo.

Bundoran resident Maguire found himself barrelled by the kind of surf usually associated with the big wave paradises of the Pacific.

Meanwhile, Northcore team member Conroy, from Co Clare, caught his own massive wall of water to stake his claim among the world’s top riders.

Both clips were captured by Clem McInerney, who was also on hand to shoot one of American surfer Will Skudin’s two nominated efforts at Mullaghmore — as well as Dublin-based Emirati surfer Mo Hassa Rahma’s spectacular wipeout, as The National reports.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Irish big wave rider Peter Conroy is the latest addition to the Northcore surfing team.

A relatively late starter in surfing at the age of 16, the Clare native had a solid background in competitive swimming and lifeguarding to build upon

That meant he was well prepared for the heavy surf off Ireland's West Coast, where he keeps a rigorous fitness and training regimen, including his chairmanship of the Irish Surf Rescue Club - organisers of the annual Tow-In Surf Session.

This summer he celebrated his nomination for the 'tube of the year' gong in the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

And now he's a part of Northcore's surfing squad for the UK and Ireland, alongside fellow Irish riders Conor Maguire - who joined two years ago - and team ambassador Richie Fitzgerald.

Conroy said of joining the team: "I'm very excited to work with the Northcore crew for future projects and pushing my limits further with the help of their excellent products."

Northcore's spokesperson added: "We are really pleased to welcome Peter to our team. He's a well respected, talented surfer with a wealth of big wave surfing experience and skills.

"He charges the biggest, meanest waves out there amongst some of the worlds very best as his nomination for XXL Ride of the Year testifies! It's an honour to welcome Peter to Northcore."

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Ireland is represented for another year running on the shortlist for the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards to be presented next month.

According to The Irish Times, Clare surfing pro Peter Conroy and Portrush photographer Roo McCrudden are in the running for the 'tube of the year' gong, which could net them a cool $5,000 in prize money.

McCrudden captured the stunning shot of Conroy riding the tube formed by an enormous cresting wave Mullaghmore in Sligo - a break that proved similarly attention-worthy for last year's 'biggest wave' nominee Ollie O'Flaherty.

Conroy told the paper that the magic wave "came out of nowhere" and that he didn't even realise just how big it was till he saw McCrudden's photographs later.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Some of the world's top big wave surfing talent enjoyed the 'day that almost never was' at Mullaghmore in Sligo on Sunday.

As the video above shows, competitors in the long-delayed Billabong Tow-In Session finally got a chance to prove their mettle after two amber alerts in a week for the international event, pushed back from last year after a calm storm season.

Confidence was high as the storm front that has been battering Ireland for the past two days made its way across the Atlantic, bringing with it the giant swells needed to green-light the action.

Big wave surfers being secretive sorts, due to the dangerous nature of offshore tow-in surfing and their determination to keep their favourite spots 'just for them', we don't yet have results of the action, or even confirmation that the waves were big enough to count!

But what we do know is that the likes of Billabong XXL 2013 Ride of the Year nominee Peter Conroy were present and ready to tackle the colossal walls of water Mother Nature was set to provide.

Meanwhile, Met Eireann warns that gale force winds are expected to continue today (29 January) with southwesterly gusts of up to 110 km/h possible. Those in coastal areas have been warned to exercise caution.

Published in Surfing
#SURFING - The waiting period for the second Tow-In Surf Session at Mullaghmore Head is now under way.
The invite-only list of the world's top big wave surfers has until 1 March 2012 to try to best the monster waves ridden in last February's inaugural contest.
Irish pioneers Richie Fitzgerald, Peter Conroy and Glyn Ovens will be on call for the return event, which has also invited back open teams winners Benjamin Sanchis and Éric Rebière, according to Surfworld Bundoran.
Sanchis is also the 2011 Billabong XXL biggest wave award winner, and intends to defend his crown in Sligo.
“Mullaghmore is a spectacular wave, but you really need to be prepared to surf big waves there," he said.
The first Tow-in Surf Session - which was even immortalised in a documentary - was organised by the Irish Surf Rescue Club in part to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing, where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves, is an irresponsible activity.
“Our team has put an enormous amount of training, both here and abroad, to ensure that the sport of tow surfing and this event can be as safe as possible," said organiser Paul O'Kane.
The latest news on the second Tow-In Surf Session will be made available on the Billabong website HERE.

#SURFING - The waiting period for the second Tow-In Surf Session at Mullaghmore Head is now under way.

The invite-only list of the world's top big wave surfers has until 1 March 2012 to try to best the monster waves ridden in last February's inaugural contest.

Irish pioneers Richie Fitzgerald, Peter Conroy and Glyn Ovens will be on call for the return event, which has also invited back open teams winners Benjamin Sanchis and Éric Rebière, according to Surfworld Bundoran.

Sanchis is also the 2011 Billabong XXL biggest wave award winner, and intends to defend his crown in Sligo.

“Mullaghmore is a spectacular wave, but you really need to be prepared to surf big waves there," he said.

The first Tow-in Surf Session - which was even immortalised in a documentary - was organised by the Irish Surf Rescue Club in part to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing, where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves, is an irresponsible activity.

“Our team has put an enormous amount of training, both here and abroad, to ensure that the sport of tow surfing and this event can be as safe as possible," said organiser Paul O'Kane.

The latest news on the second Tow-In Surf Session will be made available on the Billabong website HERE.

Published in Surfing
More than 20 of Ireland's and Europe's top surfers took on the monster waves at Sligo’s Mullaghmore Head at the weekend in Ireland's first ever 'big wave' surf contest.
The Tow-in Surf Session was organised by the Irish Surf Rescue Club in part to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing - where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves - is an irresponsible activity.
Club president Paul O’Kane told The Irish Times: “Our surf riders and personal watercraft operators are all very safety conscious, highly trained, and contests like this can help to further develop skill sets.”
Eric Ribiere and Benjamin Sanchis from France took top place in the open category in a contest that rewarded skill and commitment on the biggest waves. Peter Conroy and Gyln Ovens came first in the Irish division, follwed closely by Al Mennie and Andrew Cotton.
Awards went to professional boarder Gabe Davies for best wave, Al Mennie for best barrel and Richie Fitzgerald for heaviest wipeout.
Easkey Britton also held her own as the only female competitor, catching a solid 20-foot wave.

More than 20 of Ireland's and Europe's top surfers took on the monster waves at Sligo’s Mullaghmore Head at the weekend in Ireland's first ever 'big wave' surf contest.

The Tow-in Surf Session was organised by the Irish Surf Rescue Club in part to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing - where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves - is an irresponsible activity.

Club president Paul O’Kane told The Irish Times: “Our surf riders and personal watercraft operators are all very safety conscious, highly trained, and contests like this can help to further develop skill sets.”

Eric Ribiere and Benjamin Sanchis from France took top place in the open category in a contest that rewarded skill and commitment on the biggest waves. Peter Conroy and Gyln Ovens came first in the Irish division, follwed closely by Al Mennie and Andrew Cotton.

Awards went to professional boarder Gabe Davies for best wave, Al Mennie for best barrel and Richie Fitzgerald for heaviest wipeout.

Easkey Britton also held her own as the only female competitor on the day, catching a solid 20-foot wave.

Click HERE for more video of the contest's big wave surfing action.

Published in Surfing

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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