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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - Ireland's surfing scene gets another tribute in this new short film from surf-wear brand Billabong, via BreakingNews.ie.

Matching the pulsing rhythms of a trad session at Kelly's Bar with breathtaking action from the wild waves off Lahinch in Co Clare was an inspired choice for this clip, produced by the former title sponsors of the annual Big Wave Awards.

That's a contest with a local connection as Lahinch native Ollie O'Flaherty was nominated in 2012 for the massive swell he caught along with Mullaghmore regular Andrew Cotton.

This particular clip, however, features American Shane Dorian with Frenchman Benjamin Sanchis, a recent challenger for the biggest wave of all time, taking on the intimidating water walls of Aileens and Rileys.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Indoor surfing could be on the cards for Derry residents in proposals for new sports facilities the Foyleside city, as the Londonderry Sentinel reports.

A wave-machine-type "surf basin" is one of a number of options for the £20-30 million investment for development of the Templemore and Riversdale sports centres, according to Noel Munnis, head of sports and leisure at Derry City and Strabane District Council.

It would certainly be a popular feature in surfing mad Northern Ireland, what with the big waves of Portrush and Bundoran available within less than a two-hour drive.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - No stranger to lists of the world's top surfing destinations, Bundoran has been cited yet again as a spot no waverider worth their salt will want to miss.

This time the Donegal surfing mecca – set to attract the cream of Europe's surf talent to the Sea Sessions this coming June – is included in All Day's list of 'The Amazing Waves All Surfers Want To Ride'.

"Hardcore surfing enthusiasts don’t let the cold Irish waters stop them from surfing the green waves," says the social news site, which lists Bundoran alongside lesser known sites such as Cloud Nine in the Philippines and Cornwall's Watergate Bay.

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#Lifeboats - Yesterday evening (Monday 6 April), the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head to launch to a surfer in difficulty.

Shortly after 8pm, a passer-by noticed a female surfer in difficulty off Tullan Strand in Bundoran and immediately dialled 999.

Moments later the lifeboat crew were paged and within four minutes the Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched from the pier, arriving on scene in under three minutes.



The crew brought the surfer and her surfboard on to the lifeboat and performed a quick medical check finding she was shaken but uninjured. The crew then returned to the station. 



Speaking after their return, lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said: "We are thankful to the member of the public who did the right thing by calling the coastguard.

"Darkness was beginning to fall and had it been any later the situation may have turned more dangerous. Thankfully the surfer is OK.

"As the weather is getting better, we want people to enjoy themselves but we would urge water users to exercise common sense and heed basic water safety principles.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched at 5.10pm on Saturday (28 March) to assist a kitesurfer in difficulty off Potters Point, south of Wicklow Head.

The kitesurfer was unable to get ashore after leaving the beach at Jack’s Hole. One of his friends saw him in the water and immediately contacted the Irish Coast Guard for help.



Conditions in the area at the time had a south-easterly Force 6 wind with a moderate sea state.


"We located the kitesurfer drifting off the south end of the Wolf Rock near Jack’s Hole," said Wicklow RNLI coxswain Nick Keogh after the callout. "He was using the floatation end of the kite equipment to stay afloat, after he got separated from his board."



A first-aid-trained member of the lifeboat crew assessed the casualty as they returned to Wicklow. He had no injuries and did not require any further medical assistance. The man was landed safely ashore at Wicklow Harbour at 6.30pm.


The crew on the callout were Keogh, mechanic Connie O'Gara, Ciaran Doyle, Terry Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald, John Vize and David Collard.

Arklow's nearby RNLI lifeboat was also requested to launch but was stood down by the coastguard as Wicklow took command of the situation.


Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, hailed the "lightning response by both RNLI volunteer crews at Arklow and Wicklow" which "shows the dedication our volunteers have to saving lives at sea".



Corcoran, who is also Arklow's sea safety officer, added: “All persons who take to the water over the coming summer months must always wear their lifejackets and should always have a means of raising the alarm."

Any groups or individuals who would like advice on any water safety issue from kayaking to sailing, angling, kitesurfing or windsurfing can contact Corcoran at 086 826 0439 or [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Surfing - The biggest cash prize in Irish surfing will be up for grabs again this summer at the Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival.

As JOE.ie reports, the Expressions Session is set to attract the biggest surfing names in Europe and beyond to Bundoran from 19-21 June for the €3,500 purse claimed last year by 17-year-old GearOid McDaid.

But you won't have to wait that long for the next surfing celebration in Ireland, as the popular Shore Shots film festival returns to the Light House Cinema in Smithfield on 11-12 April.

This year's events includes a live talk hosted by Banter that aims to ask the question: 'What's the story with Irish surfing?'

Big wave luminaries such as Peter Conroy of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, MagicSeaweed editor Ed Temperley and Brian Britton of the legendary Donegal surfing clan will be on hand to discuss what makes Ireland such a strong destination for surfing.

Jim Carroll's On The Record blog has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Rescue - A world champion bodyboarder was airlifted to hospital from the base of a Doonbeg cliff earlier this week after suffering an injury in the water off the Clare coast.

The Clare Herald has more on the incident, telling how 36-year-old Australian bodyboard pro Ben Player was injured while bodyboarding near Spanish Point, then fell ill later in the day while watching friends surfing near Doonbeg.

Members of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, who were in the area to keep watch for surfers taking on the challenging Riley's wave, rushed to Player's aid and raised the alarm.

It comes just says after a surfer was rescued from the base of the Cliffs of Moher.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the man was winched to safety by the Sligo coastguard helicopter after getting separated from a group of surfers and winding up on the rocks at the foot of the famous Co Clare cliffs.

Published in Rescue
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#CarTheft - Gardaí have asked the public to be on the lookout for a black Peugeot 207 that was stolen from a Northern Irish couple while they were surfing in Brandon Bay on Friday 13 March.

As The Irish Times reports, Kevin McCullagh and Oonagh Monaghan returned from their surf lesson on the Kerry beach to find that their car, which they had parked nearby on the quiet strand, was gone - and with it all their belongings.

Tralee gardaí are seeking the whereabouts of the black Peugeot 207 hatchback with the UK registration JHZ 7328.

Published in News Update
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#Rescue - The Irish Independent reports that a surfer has been rescued after getting trapped at the foot of the Cliffs of Moher.

What began a search operation for a missing surfer yesterday evening (Saturday 14 March) soon became a rescue effort when the man was found ashore at the base of the 700ft cliffs in Co Clare.

The Sligo coastguard helicopter was able to winch him abroad and airlift him to hospital just before midnight. More HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Surfing - Irish-Aussie surfer Glenn Hall says there's "nothing personal" between him and world surfing champion Gabriel Medina after the latter's outburst over his elimination from the World Surf League season opener.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the Brazilian was seething after an interference call in his heat against Hall confirmed his elimination from the third round.

Medina expressed his frustration at the more than a week spent waiting for suitable waves at Snapper Rocks on Australia's Gold Coast before surfing could even begin.

He also lashed out at Hall for swearing at him in the water - but the New South Wales native dismissed the situation as "a bit of a tight heckle".

Hall, who was born in Australia but competes for Ireland due to his family heritage, is the lone Irish entrant in the new World Surf League, the successor to the ASP World Tour.

Published in Surfing
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Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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