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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - The Belfast Telegraph reports that surfers across Northern Ireland are being sought to help break a unique surfing world record later this year.

Portrush surf school proprietor Carl Russell is planning the bid to set a new record for the most people standing on the same wave at the same time - currently standing at 110 surfers, set in South Africa in 2009.

Stability will be crucial to the challenge, so only surfers of intermediate level up need apply.

But with surfing becoming such a popular pastime around Ireland's coastline, finding enough participants should be less difficult than ever before.

And the record aside, the attempt is a great opportunity to raise funds for the RNLI, following the £600 raised for the lifeboat charity last year.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - The News Letter has the lowdown on this weekend's Causeway Coast Surf Festival in Portrush.

This marks the second year of the festival, hosted by the Causeway Coast Surf Club, that mixes surfing with beach and street sports plus music, film and photography, with plenty on offer to entertain the whole family over the Easter weekend.

Aside from the action on the water, highlights are set to be screenings from the Shore Shots film festival that wowed Dublin earlier this month, and a collection of classic Volkswagen camper vans.

The News Letter has more on the weekend's events HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Do you know the best places to surf in Ireland?

Perhaps you've read our many stories on the brave and bold waveriders at Mullaghmore Head. Or the dangerous surf at Lahinch in Co Clare that caused significant damage in January's storms.

But did you know Portrush in Co Antrim is great for kids just getting started on the waves? Or that some of the best surf for beginners can be found on in West Cork?

That and more can be learned from this fascinating infographic courtesy of the Ocean Sands Hotel in Enniscrone, Co Sligo, which provides hospitality at the heart of the northwest's big wave surfing axis.

Maybe it will teach you something new about Ireland's surfing legacy - and encourage you to take to the waves this summer!

Top Surfing Spots infographic
Published in Surfing
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#surfing – 'F*** off back to England you ****!' A surfer who allegedly rode another surfers wave has been racially abused on a Cornish beach by a stand-up paddle boarder (SUP) who appears to consider Cornwall another country.

Longboarder Phil Brown, 29, was subjected to abuse after 'sharing' a wave. The former Army serviceman described it as 'disgusting' and 'inappropriate'.

The Unknown paddle boarder launched into a four-letter tirade at Bude, Cornwall. He told the surfer: 'I will put you in f*****g hospital' if he rode same wave again.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Students from all over Ireland will be taking to the waves off Achill Island for this weekend's Irish Surfing Intervarsities, as the Mayo Advertiser reports.

Keel Beach will be the venue for the two-day contest that kicks off tomorrow Saturday 22 March, and will see top wave riders from 11 institutions show their stuff in the surf - while organisers promise a party atmosphere for spectators on land. The Mayo Advertiser has more on the sorry HERE.

In other surfing news, Mullaghmore in Co Sligo will host the third annual Conference in Surfing Medicine this coming September.

According to Surfer Today, the gathering to be convened by the European Association of Surfing Doctors on 9-13 September will discuss the dangers posed by the increasingly extreme surf at one of the world's premier big wave spots.

Peter Conroy will be among those speaking during the week, giving the surfer's perspective on surfing in the harshest of conditions.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Irish surfing 'game changer' Easkey Britton shares some of the secrets of her day-to-day life with the Irish Examiner's 'Shape I'm In' column this weekend.

Britton - who made waves last year via a film that documented her history-making surf trip to Iran - is constantly busy, which her post-PhD work in sustainable fisheries taking her away from home a lot.

But the 28-year-old seems able to manage it all and stay grounded thanks to the benefits of surfing, which keeps her physically and mentally strong.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

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#Surfing - The Irish Times was on hand earlier this week to capture six daring surfers' excursion to the secret swell spot known as Prowlers.

Big Wave Award contender Kurt Rist was among the group who had waited three years for the return of the rare surf phenomenon off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo, which is only accessible to the hardiest waveriders by Jet Ski tow-in.

Discovered in 2006, Prowlers was only captured on camera for the first time in late 2010 - and videoed again this past Monday 3 March as Rist and company took up the challenge. The Irish Times has more HERE.

Speaking of rare waves, Red Bull recently highlighted some never-before-seen snaps by student Christian McLeod of Rist and others surfing nearby west coast slab The Unfound.

And MagicSeaweed has also celebrated the 'grit and guts' of the Mullaghmore regulars, particularly this stunning display by Newquay surfer Tom Butler (beware the NSFW audio):

Tom's Bomb by Peter Conroy from MSW on Vimeo.

Further afield, Ireland can hail the exploits of Lahinch resident and 'adopted Clareman' Tom Lowe, who last month became the first European to surf Mexico's notorious Killers, according to the Irish Examiner. Check out the video evidence:

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Following last year's successful inaugural event, the Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival is returning in 2014 to the appropriately named Light House Cinema in Dublin's Smithfield on 5-6 April.

After one of the best winters on record for Irish surfing, surfers from across the island will be gathering for two days in the capital to check out the latest waveriding adventures as seen through the lens of filmmakers and photographers.

Among the line-up of hotly anticipated surf edits from the country’s best surfers and film-makers, photography and video from around the globe will be screenings of Uncharted Waters, a profile of 1960s Aussie surfing legend Wayne Lynch, and The Old, The Young and The Sea, a road movie following Europe's premier surfing route from France to Portugal.

And a weekend celebrating Ireland's second ever surfing themed film festival wouldn't be complete without the now infamous Shore Shots Afterparty, hosted across Smithfield Square at the Generator Hostel.

For more on the festival and how to book tickets for screenings and the afterparty, visit the Shore Shots website HERE.

Published in Surfing

#WaterSafety - The RNLI will host four free Surfers Survival Clinics next weekend, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 March, on the East Strand in Portrush.

The clinics, which are run by the charity’s lifeguards, are open to surfing enthusiasts of all abilities and are aimed at developing both knowledge and skills in surf safety.

The RNLI programme, which is now being run for the third year in Northern Ireland, will show surfers how to develop their rescue techniques, learn basic first aid and surf etiquette and learn them how to help themselves and others if they get into trouble in the surf.

More people are taking to the sea every year for enjoyment and the Causeway Coast is a popular area for water sports including surfing and body boarding. The clinics have proved popular with surfers who use them as a chance to brush up on their knowledge and skills and pass on their experiences to others.

There are 10 seasonal RNLI lifeguarded units in Northern Ireland, each equipped with lifeguards ready to respond in the event of an emergency. RNLI lifeguards aim to reach any casualty up to 300m from shore within the red and yellow flags within three and a half minutes. Lifeguards are also on hand to provide advice and assistance to all water users.

Last year, Northern Ireland experienced one of its hottest summers for years and this was reflected in a busy season for the lifeguards located across the Causeway Coast in Co Down.

In all, RNLI lifeguards responded to 302 incidents compared to 159 in 2012 and came to the aid of 330 people who found themselves in difficulty, which is an increase of 153 from the year before.

The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units, was the busiest area, with lifeguards responding to 222 incidents and assisting 247 people.

Speaking ahead of next weekend’s clinics, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran said: “Surfers of all abilities will benefit from the Surfers Survival Clinic. Amateur surfers will get the chance to learn safety skills, duck diving and surf etiquette which should help them minimise any injuries should they get into trouble.

“The more experienced surfer will be shown rescue and first aid demonstrations so that they can continue developing their skills in the surf.”

Spaces are limited for each session so advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Anyone who wishes to take part in the RNLI’s Surfers Survival Clinic should be aged 18. To book a space or for more information contact Tim on +44 (0) 77 899 25998.

Published in Water Safety

#Surfing - Cornish surfer Tom Butler is in the running for this year's Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards thanks to this stunning ride under the crest of a giant wave off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo earlier this month, thanks to Storm Brigid.

But he's not the only one staking his claim in the 'Ride of the Year' category, as Ireland's Easkey Britton contributed her own Mullaghmore tube run last December.

American waveriders Will Skudin and Kurt Rist caught similarly massive swells over the Hallowe'en weekend, preceded just days before by Capetonian surfer Barry Mottershead's spectacular slide.

Less auspicious among these efforts was Peter Craig's collapse under a sudden wave break - not surprising up for 2014's 'Wipeout of the Year'. Let's see that again:

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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