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Displaying items by tag: Rossnowlagh

Seven northern bottlenose whales have died in what’s been described as the largest mass stranding of its kind in Ireland.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed the deaths to RTÉ News after the incident was reported on Rossnowlagh beach yesterday, Wednesday 19 August.

However, it was hoped that the eighth whale, which refloated in the shallows after the tide came in, would make it back to deeper waters of its own accord.

The IWDG urged the public to keep their distance from the whales after “upsetting news” that crowds had formed to take selfies next to the distressed marine wildlife.

“We know very little about them, but they are prone to mass strandings,” IWDG chief executive Simon Berrow told TheJournal.ie. “This is the largest mass stranding of this species ever in Ireland.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Surfing - Fifty years of Irish surfing will be celebrated in Rossnowlagh this month, as the Donegal Democrat reports.

A gala dinner during the Rossnowlagh Intercounties next weekend (15-16 October) will mark five decades since the formation of what was then the Surf Club of Ireland by Kevin Cavey, who was influenced by images of surfing in a Reader’s Digest magazine.

Cavey himself inspired the legendary Britton clan in Rossnowlagh, and the family’s Sandhouse Hotel soon became a focal point for Irish wave-riding.

Fast-forward to today and Ireland, and the North West in particular, is among the world’s stop surfing destinations, producing world-class talent such as women’s surf pioneer Easkey Britton.

But the Irish Surfing Association’s golden jubilee dinner at the Sandhouse next Saturday 15 October is an opportunity to look back fondly at memories and happenings from Irish surfing’s earliest days. Irish Surfing has more HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - A Donegal surfing school has raised €20,000 for its expansion via peer-to-peer lending, as Donegal Now reports.

Fin McCool Surf School in Rossnowlagh aims to complete renovations of its new base in the town thanks to funds raised via Irish 'crowdlending' providers Linked Finance.

"Growing demand means it’s now time for us to invest further into our facilities and we’re delighted to be partnering with Linked Finance to refurbish our new premises," said owner Neil Britton, cousin of Irish women's surfing pioneer Easkey Britton.

Donegal Now has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#SURFING - Landlocked Laois may not be the known for its surfing prowess, but the Midlands county's waveriders have a busy winter season ahead of them, as the Leinster Express reports.

Laois Surf Club members regularly frequent the popular surfing spots of Ireland's west coast, and this autumn and winter is no exception.

First up was last weekend's Lahinch Longboard Contest organised by the West Coast Surf Club, to be followed by the annual inter-counties competition in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal on 13-14 October.

“Being landlocked in Laois is a disadvantage but not a deterrent for those of us who enjoy and love surfing, it’s such good fun, healthy and you always feel great after a two-hour stint in the water,” said club chairman Steve Kidd.

The Leinster Express has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - The Irish Independent reports that the cream of Ireland's lifeguards comepeted at the National Surf Lifesaving Championships at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal at the weekend.

Some 140 top lifesavers took part in events featuring a combination of surfing, surf-skiing and beach sprinting on the sun-and-surf-splashed strand - part of the preparations for November's World Lifesaving Championships in Australia.

Teams from Co Clare took the men's and over-30s titles - following the county's success at the European Lifesaving Championships in Sweden last month - while the women's top spot went to locals Donegal.

"Surf lifeguards have vital skills and every part of their training was on display," event organiser Seamus O'Neill of Irish Water Safety told the Independent.

Published in Surfing
The final line-up has been confirmed for Ireland's team at the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this week.
Rossnowlagh's John Britton joins his cousin Easkey Britton in the strong squad aiming for Eurosurf gold.
The rest of the team includes two-time Irish national champ Shane Meehan; former Irish Open Champion Stephen Kilfeather; and multiple-time women's body board champion Ashleigh Smith.
Also in the squad are Cain Kilcullen from Enniscrone; open surfer Oliver O’Flaherty; 2008 WSCS Longboard Champion Stephen Kelleher; Irish Student Champion Ronan Oertzen; Bundoran's Shauna Ward; body boarder Darragh McCarter; and Irish team veterans John McCurry and Richie Fitzgerald.
The action kicks off in Bundoran on 23 September with the competition running till 2 October.

The final line-up has been confirmed for Ireland's team at the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this week.

Rossnowlagh's John Britton joins his cousin Easkey Britton in the strong squad aiming for Eurosurf gold.

The rest of the team includes two-time Irish national champ Shane Meehan; former Irish Open Champion Stephen Kilfeather; and multiple-time women's body board champion Ashleigh Smith.

Also in the squad are Cain Kilcullen from Enniscrone; open surfer Oliver O’Flaherty; 2008 WSCS Longboard Champion Stephen Kelleher; Irish Student Champion Ronan Oertzen; Bundoran's Shauna Ward; body boarder Darragh McCarter; and Irish team veterans John McCurry and Richie Fitzgerald.

The action kicks off in Bundoran on 23 September with the competition running till 2 October.

Published in Surfing
Donegal will be represented by five surfers on the Irish team selected for the Eurosurf European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this year.
Donegal Daily reports that Bundoran residents Ronan Oertzen (20), Shauna Ward (24), Darragh McCarter (25) and Richie Fitzgerald (36) will join 25-year-old Easkey Britton from Rossnowlagh on the team, after qualifying in a series of selection events.
One position on the team remains to be filled, and will be decided in a 'surf-off' between Rossnowlagh's John Britton and Keith O'Brien from Tramore at the Sea Sessions festival in Bundoran from 24-26 June.
The Irish Surf team will be coachedby Pascal Devine and managed by Stevie Burns, who have 40 years of surfing experience between them.
Donegal Daily has more on the story HERE.

Donegal will be represented by five surfers on the Irish team selected for the Eurosurf European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this year.

Donegal Daily reports that Bundoran residents Ronan Oertzen (20), Shauna Ward (24), Darragh McCarter (25) and Richie Fitzgerald (36) will join 25-year-old Easkey Britton from Rossnowlagh on the team, after qualifying in a series of selection events.

One position on the team remains to be filled, and will be decided in a 'surf-off' between Rossnowlagh's John Britton and Keith O'Brien from Tramore at the Sea Sessions festival in Bundoran from 24-26 June.

The Irish Surf team will be coachedby Pascal Devine and managed by Stevie Burns, who have 40 years of surfing experience between them.

Donegal Daily has more on the story HERE.

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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