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Displaying items by tag: SUP

Skerries RNLI rescued two stand-up paddle boarders after strong currents and Force 6 offshore winds prevented them from making their way back to shore.

Shortly before 2.30pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 28 March), a retired Skerries RNLI volunteer noticed a man and woman struggling to make their way ashore on their paddle boards near Red Island in Skerries.

He alerted the lifeboat operations manager and following a brief discussion it was decided that the pair were not making any progress.

Dublin Coast Guard were contacted and the decision was taken to page the volunteer crew and launch the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson.

The crew rounded the headland at Red Island and arrived on scene in a matter of minutes, funding the man and woman both extremely tired from fighting against the wind and tide.

They were taken on board the lifeboat along with their paddle boards. A first-aid assessment was carried out but aside from being exhausted they did not require any further medical assistance, and the pair were returned safely to the beach at the lifeboat station.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It doesn’t matter how good your equipment is, or how prepared you are, things can still go wrong at sea.

“We would remind anyone going to sea to carry a means of contacting the shore for help, even if you do not intend to go far. Something as simple as a phone in a waterproof pouch can make all the difference.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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ITV Meridian reports on the rise of stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, in the south of England as lockdown restrictions ease.

Record sales have been reported by paddleboard stockists as more and more people take up the relatively sedate watersport, which can be enjoyed on inland waterways while easily maintaining social distancing.

John Hibbard, chief executive of SUP brand Red Paddle, said: “Participation in paddleboarding has been rapidly growing over the past few years but with incredibly hot weather, gyms still closed, lockdown lifting but with social distance still required, paddleboarding has just taken off.”

Watersports training centres throughout the south and south-east of England have also experienced a surge in bookings for people of all ages eager to level up their SUP skills.

ITV Meridian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Watersport
Tagged under

Irish watersport school BigStyle has announced the development of a new hub for stand-up paddleboarding at Dun Laoghaire’s Coal Harbour.

The news comes just months after the business, which has expanded as far afield as East Africa, mooted plans for a more permanent base in Dun Laoghaire, where one of its founders grew up.

The new facility will be constructed from renovated shipping containers, in a similar fashion to the Irish Sailing Performance HQ opened in the harbour last year.

BigStyle says its new space will comprise ‘chill-out areas’, changing rooms, clothes and equipment storage, direct access to the water “and a whole lot of charm”, along the lines of its own Atlantic Lodge for the surfing community in Co Mayo.

BigStyle SUP hub DL

“Above all we want to be as environmentally conscious as possible — the building will be totally off grid with solar panels, a water harvester, 12v power and as little single use plastic as possible,” the business says.

While the main purpose of the space will be the SUP school, BigStyle also plans to have a surf shop and a simple coffee shop, and will also make room for the Clean Coasts initiative to spread awareness, launch clean-ups and hold various events.

The space is currently scheduled to open just over three months from now, at the beginning of May, “and we’re confident that this will help reinvigorate an often overlooked area of the harbour”, the company adds.

Published in Watersport

It’s not often a Notice to Mariners is issued by Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough for a paddleboarding event but this was the case when a fundraiser was held in the Harbour on a very cold Sunday morning (1st Dec) writes Betty Armstrong

Stand Up Paddleboarding has taken off in Northern Ireland and a great turn out of SUPpers took part to support SUPforCancer. There were 38 adults, 12 children and three dogs. A substantial crowd watched from the Eisenhower Pier. It was organised by SUP Hub NI.

The event was sponsored by nine local business and plenty of prizes were won in what is believed to be the first-ever SUP Tombola where numbered tennis balls were scattered around the Harbour and paddlers had to race to scoop one up before a fellow paddler did. Their number correlated to a prize donated by one of the supporting businesses, a new and fun way for people to win prizes. There were special prizes for the Fastest Santa, Fastest ‘grim’ (kid), and best dressed.

In all £723 has been raised so far but the JustGiving link remains open in case readers wish to add to it here

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is hosting its annual Open Day this Sunday 5 May with opportunities to try sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding for only €10.

Children aged 7 and up and their families can get to grips with the INSS’ fleet of 1720 Sportboats, as well as easy-to-master sit-on-yop kayaks and popular stand-up paddleboards, guided by the school’s experienced instructors.

Waterproof overalls and lifejackets will be provided for sailors, wetsuits and buoyancy aids for kayakers and paddleboarders, and hot showers will be provided after your fun on the water — so all you need to bring is your enthusiasm!

Three times slots are available on the day (10am-12pm, 12.30pm-2.30pm and 3pm-5pm) and booking must be made in advance. For more details see the INSS website HERE.

Published in INSS

#Lifeboats - Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a stand-up paddle boarder who got into difficulty between Bray Head and Greystones yesterday afternoon (Sunday 27 January).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 12.03pm and were on the water at 12.20pm.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 and Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat were also tasked to the incident south of Bray Head.

Weather conditions were not good, with strong gale-force winds.

Dun Laoghaire’s crew of seven spotted the casualty who was clinging to his board and appeared in trouble.

Thirty-nine minutes after launch, the crew had the casualty onboard their lifeboat and quickly assessed he was suffering from “serious hypothermia”.

The casualty was airlifted to hospital by the coastguard. Wicklow RNLI recovered the paddle board and stood by as the casualty was winched onto the helicopter.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI second coxswain Eamon O’Leary said: “The paddle boarder had suffered serious hypothermia when we arrived on the scene.

“It was a close call but he did the right thing in calling the coastguard who were quick to send out 116 along with Wicklow RNLI. It was fantastic teamwork by all involved.”

#Kitesurfing - Fun, wind, water and fun are promised at this weekend’s Battle for the Bay kitesurfing and SUP competition on Dollymount Strand.

The best riders in the country and from around the globe will converge on Bull Island on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May to compete in the first leg of the IKSA tour at what organisers say is one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world.

All ages are welcome to cheer on the competitors, whether taking flight by kite or standing tall on their paddle boards.

Instructors will also be on hand to show you the ropes, while the food village, funfair and biodiversity area means there’s much more than the action on the waters of Dublin Bay.

For more see BattleForTheBay.com.

Published in Kitesurfing

#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard received a call from a member of the public yesterday evening (Sunday 5 November) who advised that two stand-up paddle boarders appeared to be in difficultly at the North Bull Wall near Dublin Port.

Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard’s team was on patrol off Sandymount at the time and were tasked to investigate, first making contact with the concerned caller.

Due to fading daylight, it was difficult to assess the SUPs’ situation and the coastguard crew had to relocate to a better position.

Assistance was also requested by incoming ferries to investigate on their passage into Dublin Port if the SUPs were indeed in difficultly.

It was quickly determined that the SUPs were riding the wake from the ferries, and eventually returned to shore once the ferries had passed.

The paddlers were part of a group that travels out daily to meet the ferries, taking off from the north side of the North Wall and staying outside of the shipping channel. All have undergone safety training and have been an asset to emergency responders at times, said Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard.

However, to some out walking in the evening, they might appear to be making no progress and this may prompt concern.

“Thankfully a safe ending to a cold evening,” said the coastguard unit.

Tagged under

#Sailability - Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with Waterways Ireland, has organised an eight-week paddle sport programme commencing next Friday 4 August.

​The free programme will enable young people with a disability aged eight to 16 to receive expert coaching in a range of paddle sports such as canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. All necessary equipment will be provided.

Sessions from Friday 4 to Friday 25 August will take place in the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum’s swimming and commence at 8.30pm, while sessions from Saturday 2 to Saturday 23 September will commence at 1.30pm and be delivered on the open water at Castle Island in Enniskillen. Each session will last for 60 minutes. 

Speaking about the programme, chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Stephen McCann, said: “The council is committed to creating more opportunities for our residents to get active so that they can enjoy the benefits of leading an active lifestyle.

“The paddle sport programme will provide water activity enthusiasts an opportunity to try different paddle sport activities through coaching and instruction from qualified coaches.”

Waterways Ireland chief executive Dawn Livingstone also spoke of her delight at partnering with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to deliver a programme offering on the waterways activities for young people living with a disability. 

“Waterways Ireland is actively growing the numbers of people enjoying sustained recreational opportunities to engage in water-based activity,” she said. “It is hoped that through the 8 week programme, young people will discover their favourite activity, something they continue to enjoy through life.”  

Participation on the programme is free of charge, however places are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis. Participants must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or carer for the duration of each session. 

To register or for further information, visit Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s website or contact Chris Elliott at +44 300 303 1777 or [email protected].

Published in Canoeing

#TrySailing - Sunday 14 May is the date for the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s 2017 Open Day — where anyone can try sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding at Dun Laoghaire Harbour for only €10.

All ages are welcome on the day, whether families, friends or individuals, for what promises to be an exciting day on the water — coinciding with the annual Sail-a-thon charity event organised by sailors attending the INSS junior club sailing programme.

Whether you’re entirely new to the sport or rekindling an old flame, you’ll be learning how to sail on board one of the school’s fleet of 1720 sportsyachts — waterproof overalls and lifejackets provided!

Those interested in kayaking and paddleboarding, meanwhile, will be guided around the sheltered waters inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour to give a taste of what makes these activities so appealing.

Details on booking a session for the day can be found on the INSS website HERE.

Published in How To Sail
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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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