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Displaying items by tag: Scotland

#Shipping - A cargo ship en route from Belfast to Norway has run aground near Ardnamurchan Point in Scotland's West Highlands.

And as BBC News reports, the UK coastguard believes it will be stuck there for some time.

The Lysblink Seaways, a 120m-long vessel, found its hull lifted onto the rocky shore after getting into difficulty off Kilchoan in the early hours of yesterday morning (18 Feburary).

There are no reports of injuries among the nine crew on board, and tugs are on the way to try to dislodge the hull from its perch.

BBC News has images of the stricken ship HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#youthsailing – A young Cumbrian lad is celebrating after becoming one of the youngest ever professional yacht masters, at the tender age of 18. Former Windermere School pupil, Dominic Jackson, has passed the 'professional yacht master offshore course', delivered by the North West Sports Centre on the island of Cumbrae, in Scotland. Dominic, who is described by his family as a 'natural sailor', started learning the ropes aged 10, at the International School in Qatar.

Registered disabled, having been born with only one hand, Dominic successfully completed the gruelling 18 week course, along with two other students, sailing throughout the night and until 3am up the East Coast of the Isle of Bute, with only skill and calculation to guide him; no technical assistance was permitted. Now qualified to skipper his own yacht, Dominic looks set for a future on the waves.

"We are all immensely proud of Dominic and delighted for him that he can start building a future in the field that he loves." said his father, Chris Jackson, who runs cottage letting agency, Heart of the Lakes, with his parents, Peter and Sue. "He has worked extremely hard and his qualification is an extraordinary achievement, particularly for someone so young."

"To pass this course aged 18 is very unusual. There are not many who can do it." said Cumbrae's Professional Yacht Master Instructor, Rod Smith. "The course is very intense and involves all aspects of learning, from skippering a boat, to the theoretical elements, such as navigation and meteorological testing. Dominic was an exceptional candidate and we applaud him on his achievement. Passing this aged 18, is pretty much as young as you can get!"

 

 

Published in Youth Sailing

#MarineWildlife - An "unusually large number" of Cuvier’s beaked whale strandings in western Scotland in recent weeks has baffled marine scientists, as The Scotsman reports.

Five of the rarely seen species were found washed up on Scotland's west coast in late December, a five-fold rise on the annual average.

And as Dr Conor Ryan of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust states, there are "no obvious clues as to what is causing such an obvious increase in strandings."

Recent stormy conditions may be a factor, he said, but alone they don't explain "why we are finding just one deep-diving species in such high numbers."

According to BBC Earth, Cuvier's beaked whales are the deepest diving of any large marine wildlife, plunging almost 3km into the depths in search of food, thanks to a unique physiology that allows them to withstand the crushing pressures and lack of oxygen.

It's possible that the whales may have succumbed to 'the bends' – which killed 14 beaked whales that washed up in the Canaries in 2002 – but the poor condition of the carcasses has ruled out any clues that a postmortem might provide.

The Scotsman has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Rescue - Mail Online has more on the dramatic rescue of Aran Islands fishermen from an Irish trawler that sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital with suspected hypothermia after the Iúda Naofa began taking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

But new video from HM Coastguard shows the shocking moment as the crew escaped their trawler just before it disappeared beneath the waves in a mere 35 seconds.

Minutes beforehand, coastguard crew members had attempted to clear the water from the boat with a salvage pump but the vessel was quickly overwhelmed.

Micheál Ó Conghaíle, a deckhand on the boat skippered by his father Mairtín, describes how what was a normal fishing expedition went south after the rough waters "got the better" of their pumps.

Yet he and the rest of the crew are thankful for getting out relatively unscathed just weeks after the loss of eight crew on a cargo ship in the Pentland Firth.

Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#Rescue - Five crew on an Aran Islands fishing trawler were rescued yesterday (Tuesday 20 January) after the vessel sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the trawler Iúda Naofa began tanking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

Three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital for treatment for hypothermia while the others were evacuated to a nearby fishing boat also from the Aran Islands.

According to The Irish Times, the Iúda Naofa is owned by Mairtín Ó Conghaíle of Inis Mór.

Four of its crew are natives of the islands, the fifth being a Romanian national.

Published in Rescue

#Cemfjord - As the investigation into the grounding of a car transporter in the Solent gets under way, at the other end of the UK stormy weather has been blamed for the capsize of a cargo ship in Pentland Firth.

As The Irish Times reports, no trace of the eight crew of the Cemfjord has been found after the 83m cement carrier was spotted upturned in the waters off the far north of mainland Scotland on Saturday 3 January.

A spokesperson for the ship's owners Brise of Hamburg said the ship had sent no distress call before sailing into severe weather.

"It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can't say how much of a factor."

The same vessel was involved in a grounding incident last summer, in which its previous captain was found to be intoxicated while in charge.

Published in News Update

#SeaPower - What's been described as the world's largest planned tidal energy scheme has been given the green light by its financiers, with construction set to begin off the northern Scottish coast in the new year, as The Guardian reports.

Previously detailed last month on Afloat.ie, the MeyGen project – comprising 269 turbines on the seabed off Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland – will see onshore construction get under way next month after developers Atlantis Resources satisfied the conditions to draw down funds from The Crown Estate of Scottish Enterprise.

MeyGen aims to harness the strong currents at the Ness of Quoys in Pentland Firth to generate energy at levels "on a part with wind turbines" but hidden from view beneath the waves - with the first power from the sea to be delivered to Britain's national grid by 2016.

Published in Power From the Sea

#MarineWildlife - Two months after striking up a friendship with fellow 'dolphina-non-grata' Dusty in his travels around Ireland, 'bad boy' bottlenose Clet has moved on again - this time to the west coast of Scotland.

According to the Island News & Advertiser, Clet appeared in the Sound of Mull in the Inner Hebrides during the week - his first confirmed sighting after he was seen frolicking with Dusty in Galway Bay - making for a rare sighting of a solitary dolphin in the area.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time that Clet has been recorded in Scotland, and in fact this is the furthest north he has been recorded to date,” said Dr Conor Ryan, sightings officer with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) also hailed Clet's reappearance, saying: "The addition of Scotland after a two-month interval brings his known tally of passport stamps to five countries and counting, and shows the need for international collaboration when trying to monitor these highly mobile marine mammals.”

But Scottish dolphin-watchers be warned, as Clet may have been involved in an act of aggression towards swimmers near Galway city in early October.

The Island News & Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Kayaking - An abandoned kayak in the fast-flowing River Braan posed something of a mystery for Perthshire locals, and prompted fears of a lost kayaker.

But as local paper The Courier reports, those concerns proved unfounded as two friends from Dublin solved the riddle of their 'ghost kayak'.

James O'Keeff told the paper how they only discovered the puzzle they'd left for locals when they spotted the story online.

Some days before, his friend John Stanley became separated from his kayak at treacherous rapids on the Braan known as 'the Splitter'.

The vessel was later located where it was too dangerous to retrieve, but somehow wires got crossed and the message didn't get to local emergency teams.

The Courier has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

#PowerFromTheSea - The next big renewable energy turbine farm could be underwater off the coast of Scotland, as MailOnline reports.

Scottish firm MayGen has big plans to install a £51 million (€65.2 million) underwater turbine project to harness the powerful currents of their country's coastal waters.

This new project, earmarked for Pentland Firth at Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland, follows separate plans to install the world's largest tidal power facility in the Sound of Islay.

MayGen - which has just won an award for its parent company Atlantis Resources for its "significant contribution" to the marine renewables industry – says its state-of-the-art technology is "on a par with wind turbines" in terms of productivity, but would be hidden from the view of those who find the larger land-based wind farms unsightly.

The Pentland Firth project will be the new design's proving ground, with hopes that it will generate power for nearly half a million homes upon completion in 2020.

MailOnline has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
Page 5 of 11

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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