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Displaying items by tag: Shannon Navigation

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and inland waterways users of the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation that these waterways will reopen from Monday 10 May in line with the latest relaxation in pandemic restrictions.

On the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway, the winter mooring period will end on this date and the five-day mooring rule will be in force.

Locks on will be open normal summer hours (9am to 8.30pm on weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Sundays on the Shannon Navigation; 9am to 8pm daily on the Shannon-Erne) and service blocks will also reopen.

An exception applies to the lock gates at Tarmonbarry on the Shannon Navigation, which remain closed for continued emergency repair works until Friday 28 May. Passage through the lock will not be possible during this period but an alternative route via the Camlin River is available.

No lock passage tolls will be collected in order to facilitate social distancing. Note that a smart card is required to operate locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway and these can be purchased from Waterways Ireland’s online shop or from designated retails outlets along the waterway.

Shannon Navigation lock-keepers are available at the following phone numbers:

  • Lough Allen Canal - 071 964 1552
  • Clarendon Lock - 071 966 7011
  • Albert Lock - 071 963 7715
  • Rooskey Lock - 071 963 8018
  • Tarmonbarry Lock - 043 332 6117
  • Athlone Lock - 090 649 2026
  • Poolboy Lock - 090 964 4938
  • Victoria Lock - 057 915 1359
  • Portumna Bridge - 090 974 1011
  • Ardnacrusha - 061 344 515
  • Sarsfield Lock - 087 797 2998

Anyone who require assistance along the Shannon-Erne Waterway, meanwhile, is directed to contact the following:

  • Ballyconnell Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3662
  • Kilclare Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3663

Normal summer hours will also apply to locks on the Grand Canal, Royal Cabal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation.

Electricity and water services have been reconnected at all Waterways Navigations in the Republic, and normal pump-out facilities are available for boaters.

Visitors to the waterways are urged to be aware of other users and continue to observe social distancing protocols, keen a distance of at least two metres from others.

Waterways Ireland also notes that water levels are becoming low due to the recent period of low rainfall. In addition, normal maintenance weed-cutting of navigation channels has been late in starting due to the ongoing restrictions, so additional weed growth can be expected in the navigation channels.

Masters are asked to contact the local waterway patroller for updated information if wishing to navigate a particular area.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has announced that the winter mooring period on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway has been extended by another month until Friday 30 April.

There will be no additional cost for this extension, but masters of vessels are reminded that all locks and service blocks on these navigations remain closed until further notice.

Waterways Ireland is also encouraging all users of Ireland’s inland waterways not to take part in any activity on the water under the prevailing pandemic restrictions.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that emergency repair works to the lock gates at Tarmonbarry on the Shannon Navigation will take place from Monday 8 March to Wednesday 28 April.

Passage through Tarmonbarry Lock in Co Roscommon will not be possible during this seven-week-plus period as the inland waterway here will be closed.

An alternative route via the Camlin River (subject to Government COVID-19 restrictions) will be available during the works.

Masters of vessels and inland are advised to check their airdraft prior to undertaking the passage on the Camlin River due to the low bridge on the N5 road.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that essential diving operations will take place on behalf of Leitrim County Council at Carrick-on-Shannon tomorrow, Monday 11 January, from 11am to 2pm.

Following on from dives scheduled for last month, locations of the diving operations are along the quay wall some 30 metres downstream and upstream of the bridge, and along the quay wall near the boat club.

Masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and all inland waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of these diving operations.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has announced the closure of the walkway at Meelick Weir on the Shannon Navigation in Co Galway from today, Saturday 2 January until further notice.

The closure of the walkway is at the request of An Garda Siochana due to what is claimed are issues with compliance with social distancing protocols on and near the walkway along the inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is notifying all masters of vessels that diving operations will take place at Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday 18 December.

The locations of the diving operations are 1 along the quay wall some 30 metres downstream and upstream of the bridge, and along the quay wall near the boat club.

Masters of vessels and all inland waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the diving operations.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises the following reopening of facilities will occur on Thursday 03 December 2020.

Navigational Use

  • Shannon Navigation - Locks and Bridges will be open on Winter Hours. Times are available on the Waterways Ireland website. There continues to be no charge for Lock passage.
  • Shannon Navigation - Vessels can avail of the Winter Moorings facility by applying online.
  • Shannon Erne Waterway - Locks will be open, operating Hours - 09:00hrs to 16:00hrs daily.
  • Shannon Navigation & Shannon- Erne Waterway - Waterways Ireland service blocks will re-open (only those that operate all year round)
  • Grand Canal / Royal Canal / Barrow Line & Navigation – Normal winter arrangements will apply.

General Navigation Guidelines

Navigation remains open within your home county until 18 December. From 18th Dec to 6th Jan 2021 the navigation is open outside of your home county.

When on jetties please be aware of other users. Wait or move aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

Observe social distancing protocols - keep a distance of at least 2m (6 feet) away from other people;

Be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect and observe the leave no trace principles and protect our environment;

Observe all health etiquettes when on the towpaths.

In all instances, social distancing must be maintained keeping your distance from both other people and moored boats. Please refer to your relevant representative body for guidance on the most appropriate health and safety precautions and advice.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland reminds masters on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for public harbours will commence this Sunday 1 November and continue until 31 March 2021.

Masters wishing to avail of winter mooring on these inland waterways are required to pay the €63.50 fee online before this Sunday. Registration is available at the Waterways Ireland website HERE.

To register, for winter mooring, go by the following steps:

  1. Apply for mooring at a specific harbour
  2. Receive email approval/rejection/alternative location of application
  3. Follow link on approval email when received to pay winter mooring fee online

Masters are reminded that Bye-law 17 — the ‘five consecutive days/seven days in one month rule’ — will continue to apply for masters not availing of winter mooring when the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions are eased.

Waterways Ireland will be disconnecting its electricity supply points and water supply at public moorings for the winter period. Both services will be reinstated prior to the 2021 boating season.

Owners are urged to note that vessels berthed in public harbours are at the owners’ risk at all times and may be directed to other harbours as required by Waterways Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that essential maintenance works at Dromod Harbour on the Shannon Navigation in Co Leitrim are due to commence this Thursday 15 October and run until Friday 27 November.

All on-site services, including water and pump-out facility, will be disconnected for the duration of these works.

Pedestrian access around the marina will also be restricted.

Vessel access to the old harbour will not be effected, though pedestrian access from it will be restricted at times.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has suspended the five-day mooring rule until late October in the wake of the country’s move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions.

As of this past Wednesday 7 October, the rule — which prohibits vessels from mooring in one spot for more than five days — has been suspended across Ireland's inland waterways for a three-week period until Tuesday 27 October, at which point restrictions will be reviewed.

Shortly after this, the winter mooring period commences on Sunday 1 November and owners of vessels can apply for permits at the Waterways Ireland website.

All locks, bridges and facilities on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway remain open at the scheduled times with the exception of Portora Lock in Enniskillen, which will be temporary closed to boat traffic from 9am to 5pm next Wednesday 14 October for essential maintenance.

Masters of vessels and waterways users in the Republic are also reminded that in accordance with Level 3 restrictions, non-essential travel outside your home county is not allowed at present.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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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