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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Weather - Huge waves came crashing over the Inishowen Peninsula yesterday as the Atlantic 'weather bomb' hit the northwest coast.

The video above, care of The Daily Edge, shows the sheer power of the swells that brought waves as high as 62 feet off Irish shores, putting the cream of the world's big wave surfers on high alert.

But as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the best surfing conditions need more than just a big swell - with the forecast wind direction putting paid to any attempts at riding a monster.

Published in Weather
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#Surfing - Big wave surfers on the west coast are at the ready today (9 December) as a strong northwest groundswell bears down on Ireland, bringing with it waves of up to 50 feet across the Atlantic.

According to Surfer Today, the storm heading our way has a particularly wide eye, and a fetch - the area of water over which the winds are blowing - larger than the whole of the United Kingdom.

Indeed, it should bring to mind the infamous 'Black Swell' that swept in with Storm Christine almost a year ago, attracting the cream of Europe's surfing crop to the big wave hotspots of the northwest.

However, Richie Fitzgerald of Bundoran's Surfworld tells the Irish Examiner that the wind direction will put paid to any quality surfing action this week.

For the rest of us, meanwhile, the increasing wind speeds - gusting up to 110km/h off Irish coasts - have prompted Met Éireann to issue a Status Orange weather warning for northwestern counties, as RTÉ News reports.

There will be little escape for the rest of the country, either, with a Status Yellow warning in effect for forecast gusts of over 70km/h till Thursday morning (11 December).

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - World-class surfing pro Michel Bourez took time out from his busy World Championship Tour schedule to recharge on the wild waves off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo.

As regular readers of Afloat.ie will know, Mullaghmore is now firmly established as a mecca for big wave surfers around the world, producing monsters swells to beat the best at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

The cold water was a big change for the Tahitian who's used to much warmer climes, but he says the experience brought him back into the right headspace to rejoin the tour with renewed confidence.

In other surfing news, JOE.ie brings us remarkable GoPro video of a longboarder in action in the waves off Bundoran.

It's certainly a unique angle on a sport usually watched from the safe distance of dry land.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Surfing pros Andrew Cotton and Anastasia Ashley were among the speakers at the Surf Summit in Westport this weekend, a spinoff of last week's momentous Web Summit.

As The Irish Times reports, the networking event – which even attracted Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the Mayo surf haunt – intended to bring together entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors in a more relaxed atmosphere than the three-day RDS conference.

At the same time, it also highlighted the growing industry around surfing in Ireland, which has exploded on the world surf scene in recent years – with no small thanks to surfers like Cotton putting our big waves on the map.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Winter surfers are reminded to beware of dangerous currents upon news of the tragic deaths of three people off Newquay at the weekend.

RTÉ News reports that the two men and one woman were part of a group of seven who got into difficulty while surfing at Mawgan Porth Beach in the popular Cornish surfing town.

Local surf school owner Peter Abell described conditions on the day as "not as bad as it can be" and "not particularly dangerous" but added that it "wasn't the safest of days to be in the sea".

According to the Guardian, safety measures at the busy surf spot are to be reviewed as it emerged the middle-aged surfers had entered the water at an area where the absence of beach lifeguards is clearly signposted.

Published in Surfing
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#Bodyboarding - National Bodyboarding Champion Martin 'TK' Kelly is representing Ireland this week at the Portuguese stop on the APB World Tour for bodyboarding, as the Coleraine Times reports.

Regarded as the most decorated Irish surfer of all time, Kelly is flying the flag for the North Coast's dedicated surfing community among 140 of the world's best at Praia Grande.

And he's joined at the Sintra Pro by Sligo boarder and two-time Irish national champ Shane Meehan.

Though neither as expected to have a shot at the world crown, it will still be, in Kelly's words, "a fantastic experience" before he defends his Irish title in Bundoran at next week's Irish Nationals.

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

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#Tourism - Where's the best place to go surfing or coastal birdwatching in Northern Ireland? The Belfast Telegraph has got you covered.

Benone Strand was previously highlighted on Afloat.ie as a top 'coastal experience' for surfing kids, and it shows up here again in Portrush surfer Al Mennie's list of recommended spots to hit the waves for locals and visitors alike.

Portrush's East Strand and neighbouring Portstewart also feature in his list that's rounded out by two picks for experienced surfers only: Portballintrae – "by far the vest area for surfing on the north coast" – and the legendary Finn MacCool's big wave at the end of the Giant's Causeway.

The causeway also crops up in Ian McCurley's choice spots for birdwatching across NI, in particular for its "colourful stonechats perches on gorse bushes; fulmars in their cliff nest sites; peregrine falcons and gannets."

Another great seabird spotting site is Strangford Lough, which the National Trust woodland and parklands manager describes as "a unique haven for biodiversity, containing many of our rare and most threatened wildlife."

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Surfing - First the Dutch are pioneering canal surfing - and now some intrepid Irish surfers are in on the act, proposing a river wave on the Shannon as the next big surfing hotspot.

The Limerick Leader reports on UL student Paul Deering and his friend Kalani Moore who have demonstrated the potential of the standing wave at Curragower Falls for more than the usual canoe paddlers.

“It could potentially attract surfers from all over the world,” said Deering, making reference to a similar wave on the Esibach in Munich, Germany that's been a focal point for European surfers since the 1970s.

The Limerick Leader has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Surfing on the canals of the Netherlands? It could be a reality if Rotterdam's plans come to fruition, as Mail Online reports.

The Dutch port city's Steigersgracht Canal is the location for RiF010, a water-purification scheme that will create a five-foot wave in the waterway that might well be perfect for 'hanging ten' in the heart of the retail district.

And not only will the wave pool be an attraction for watersport enthusiasts, it's also expected to generate electricity for the locality, making it a proper green energy scheme too.

Mail Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#MarineWildlife - If last week's video of a surfing seal wasn't extraordinary enough, how about this clip of a pig riding the waves in Hawaii?

As the Irish Mirror reports, Kama the pig has gone surfing with his owner Kai Holt on the shores of Oahu since demonstrating his talent in the water after a fall into a swimming pool.

Now the porcine paddler appears to be a seasoned professional at the rides on the front of his owner's surfboard, equipped with his own GoPro camera to capture the action as he surfs and swims and trots around.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Page 7 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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