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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - The members of Westlife are well known for hailing from the 'Land of Heart's Desire' – Co Sligo. But did you know one of the group, Kian Egan, is a keen surfer?

It should make sense, when you think about it, with Mullaghmore Head attracting the world's top big wave surfers for many years now, and Strandhill producing world-class waveriders and bodyboarders.

And thanks to this travelogue in The Irish Times by Seamus McGoldrick, we can learn a lot more about the Westlife singer's passion for the waves on a surfing trip to the Canary Islands organised by childhood friend Allan Mulrooney.

However, if bumming around Fuertaventura in search of the most primo surf doesn't sound like your kind of holiday, perhaps a trip combining surfing with yoga might do the trick.

In the Irish Independent, Justine Carberry writes on her laidback getaway to a small fishing village in Morocco called Taghazout, where Irish couple Michelle and Michael Moroney run a yoga retreat adjacent to some of the best surfing the North African country has to offer.

Carberry's week-long stay also took in the attractions Morocco is perhaps best known for, such as the bustling medina markets and fragrant, vibrant cuisine.

But if you can't find the time to get that far away, the Moroneys also run yoga and surfing retreats in Ireland - with the latest taking place near the Cliffs of Moher, as The Irish Times reports.

Published in Surfing
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#WaterSafety - The RNLI is encouraging primary schools in Northern Ireland to sign up for two of its beach safety education programmes when they get under way next month.

Running from March to June, Meet the Lifeguards and Hit the Surf aim to educate pupils in P5-P7 on the importance of beach safety in a fun and practical way.

Meet the Lifeguards gives pupils the opportunity to participate in an informative and interactive session when RNLI lifeguards visit their school. The 45-minute presentation focuses on equipping pupils with key safety advice that they can put to use when they visit a beach with family and friends.

Pupils will learn more about the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea and the role of the RNLI lifeguard on the beach. They will be educated on what the different beach safety flags and signs mean; the safety of using inflatables while swimming; and how to identify natural and man-made hazards. They will also learn about body boarding and surfing safety, rip currents and how to escape them and safety information on tides and waves.  



Hit the Surf, meanwhile, offers a unique opportunity for school children to get practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety at one of the 10 RNLI lifeguarded beaches located on the north coast and in Co Down.



The session, which lasts two-and-a-half hours, includes a theory lesson on staying safe at the beach and the role of the RNLI and its lifeguards. It's followed by practical lessons in lifesaving and surf-based skills while building pupils confidence in the sea. The pupils will also learn about local hazards and the beach environment.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran is encouraging schools to get involved. "Education and prevention are an important part of the RNLI’s work and programmes such as Meet the Lifeguards and Hit the Surf enable us as lifeguards to deliver important beach safety advice in a way that is both informative and engaging," he says.

"We hope that pupils can then take what they learn, share it with family and friends and use it to have fun in a safe way when they visit a beach."

Last year, RNLI lifeguards in Northern Ireland responded to 251 incidents, assisting 284 people.

"With the profile of the beaches changing after winter storms, the RNLI lifeguards were kept busy in 2014," says Doran. "With rip currents and changing landscapes, the lifeguards engaged in a large amount of preventative work, speaking to beach users and advising of the safest places to swim."

For more information on how to book your school onto an RNLI education programme, please contact 028 7087 8492 or email [email protected]

Published in Water Safety

#Surfing - The inspirational story of Easkey Britton's pioneering surfing trip to Iran is now part of a new film exploring how the sport is empowering women in the Middle East.

Two years ago, Afloat.ie reported on Britton's adventures in southern Iran, where she was filmed by French documentary maker Marion Poizeau as she took to the waves in a full-length 'hijab swimsuit' – becoming the first woman to surf in the country's waters.

Since then she's set up Waves of Freedom, with the aim of encouraging the women and youth of the remote Baluchistan region of Iran to get into surfing.

And she's been joined by Poizeau, whose new documentary Into the Sea weaves Britton's story together with those of two women her trip inspired: Iranian snowboarder Mona and diver Shalha.

Both have taken Britton's lead in introducing surfing to everyone in Iran, but especially women and girls – sharing "a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers and connect with others".

The 52-minute films is available to download or watch on demand at Vimeo.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - "Next generation" surfboards are the stock-in-trade of Portrush brothers Chris and Ricky Martin, whose Skunk Works business gets The Irish Times profile treatment this week.

The brothers' company is a first for Northern Ireland, let alone its Coleraine base, but they're taking advantage of a growing thirst for surfing across the island's top surfing spots.

That's particularly strong on the North Antrim coast – home turf of big wave surfer Al Mennie – and the northwest, from Donegal to Sligo, where the biggest waves attract the best in the world.

And the Martins' revolutionary concept – a custom method of manufacturing stronger foam surfboards to withstand the rigours of the waves – is appealing far beyond the North, with the brothers fielding interest internationally from the industry's leading lights.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - With surfing hotspots like the magnificent Mullaghmore bringing the cream of the world's wave-riding crop to Ireland's coasts, it should be no surprise that some enterprising individuals see opportunity in meeting the growing demand for the sport.

The Irish Independent profiles one of these entrepreneurs, Mark Mulvihill, a former freelance video editor with RTÉ who made a massive career change in setting up his own surf school in Ballybunion, Co Kerry more than a decade ago.

Back then Ireland's surfing industry, if one could call it that, was a mere fraction of what it is today.

But Mulvihill saw the potential that went past unnoticed to most, and these days works with four other surf instructors over the peak summer months training everyone from serious starters to school children and even stag and hen parties.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Mullaghmore regular Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton has secured a nomination in the 2015 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards for his monster ride on the swells that preceded Storm Rachel this week.

According to The Irish Times, Cotty skipped an appointment with his chiropractor to race from his Devon home to the Sligo coast a week ago to make the most of the strengthening surf.

Shaking off the effects of a shoulder injuring sustained while surfing at the infamous Praia do Norte in Portugal last month, he was ready to take advantage on Monday.

That's when the waves reached their peak in the midst of an "exceptional" five days of surf to match or even better the Vikings storm of 2012.

And luckily for us, it was all caught on video for a new documentary on his and other big wave surfers' adventures on the edge.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - An Irish surfer who went missing off the east coast of Australia last summer underestimated the dangerous conditions, an inquest has heard.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Stuart Butler was swept out to sea in a rip current while surfing with friends near Tallow Beach, south of the Gold Coast in New South Wales on 19 July. His body has not been found.

According to ABC News, neither Butler nor his friends were experienced surfers, and the survivors told the inquest that they did not appreciate the dangers till they had already paddled out.

"[Butler] was pretty panicky, had frozen up a bit... was pretty scared to be honest," said Michael Fuller, who himself was found by rescuers on rocks at the base of Cape Byron with minor injuries.

ABC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Glenn Hall is the only Irish surfing name set for competition in the 2015 World Surf League, the new name or the ASP World Tour.

Surfer Today has the full rundown of competitors, which includes such luminaries as multiple-time world champion and living legend Kelly Slater, and Irish-Australian surf pro Mick Fanning.

Australians make up the biggest proportion of entrants, with 12 Aussie surfers out of the 34-strong field set to challenge for the 2015 title.

In other surfing news, the ASP World Tour website has some breathtaking images of American big wave surfer Kurt Rist riding the tube of a massive swell that crashed over Mullaghmore Head in early November - his nomination for the 2014 XXL Big Wave Awards.

Published in Surfing
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#Coastguard - The Clare Herald reports on the happy outcome after a search for a missing surfer near Lahinch yesterday afternoon (Monday 15 December).

Members of the Irish Coast Guard's Doolin unit began combing the beaches of Lahinch after an emergency call from a concerned family member.

But the surfer was quickly locoed safe and well just south of the Co Clare town, a popular surfing hotspot even in winter.

Published in Coastguard

#Surfing - This is no computer simulation: it's a very real, very large wall of water being surfed by an actual human off Portugal this past Thursday 11 December.

With a poor wind direction putting paid to any attempts to ride big swells crashing in on Ireland's northwest with the recent 'weather bomb', the world's top big wave surfers - including a number of Mullagmore regulars like Andrew Cotton - turned their attentions to Nazaré, site of 2012's record-breaking monster.

And as Magic Seaweed reports, they weren't disappointed, with former Billabong Big Wave Tow-In champion Eric Rebiere calling Thursday's massive rampart "for sure the largest waves I've seen".

Of course, big waves of this exceptional kind are a regular occurrence at this Portuguese hot spot, as this recent photo gallery from the Guardian demonstrates.

Published in Surfing
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Page 6 of 24

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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