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Next Saturday 5 October sees the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in Dun Laoghaire host an outboard engine course designed and presented by Brian Hughes.

With 48 years of experience in the industry — most notably and recently with Dalkey outboard engine specialists Killen Marine — Hughes will bring his wealth of knowledge and know-how to the day-long course at the INSS’s West Pier base.

Hughes says: “I feel quite strongly that a lot of boat owners really have very little knowledge about quite simple and basic aspects of their outboard (and to a certain extent inboards) so hopefully this is something I can help rectify … and keep me out of mischief while retired!”

The course fee is €89 and bookings can be made at 01 284 4195. For more visit INSS.ie

Published in INSS

#ROWING: The new Lough Rinn rowing and canoeing facility in County Leitrim will be officially opened tomorrow (Friday). The development is backed by Leitrim Tourism and Leitrim County Council. The opening will be attended by  Michael Ring TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Sport.

The facility has a 2,000 metre, eight-lane rowing course. It is within easy reach of Dublin, Belfast and Galway and has already attracted the attention of many of the clubs in Ireland, and in particular in Northern Ireland, where there is no facility of this nature.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#RowingCourse: Deane Public Works from Fermanagh will be awarded the main construction contract for the new rowing course at Lough Rynn in County Leitrim. The specialist work of design, supply and installation of the lanes will sub-contracted to Polaritas, a company from Budapest in Hungary. According to Leitrim County Council, the company have worked on the rowing courses for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and will work on the installation of the rowing course for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The design/build contract for Lough Rynn involves the design, supply and installation of an eight-lane Albano Rowing Course to meet FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) Standards. The course will also be adjustable to meet canoe sprint competition rules of the International Canoe Federation.

The course may be finished by the end of this year.

Published in Rowing

#HowthYC - Howth Yacht Club will soon be hosting an ISA-sanctioned powerboating course for beginner youths in mid-May ahead of a certification course at the end of the month.

The 'introduction to powerboat' course runs on the weekend of 18-19 May and is open to all club members aged between 14 and 20.

Members who complete this course would be at an advantage going on to the national powerboat qualification course on the weekend of 25-26 May, which is open for club members aged 16 to 20.

Both courses commence at 9.30am each day.

Application forms are available from the Howth Yacht Club website and must be returned by Thursday 16 May.

Published in Howth YC

County Leitrim has received a welcome boost with the announcement that a recent round of Government funding will enable the development of an international standard rowing facility on Lough Rinn, near Mohill in the south of the county.

 

The funding which was provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as part of an overall €6 million investment across four projects will enable Leitrim County Council in conjunction with Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club develop a 2,000 metre, six lane facility which will be capable of hosting national and international events as well as acting as a training base for international teams in advance of major competitions.

 

The development of the facility on Lough Rinn is already underway through Leitrim County Council and the facility will become available by April of next year. Once completed the Rowing Facility will be run under the supervision of the Carrick on Shannon Rowing club which is the oldest rowing club in Ireland its foundation dating back to 1836.

 

Commenting on the potential of the new rowing facility, Sinead McDermott, Leitrim Tourism said, “Today’s announcement really is a milestone for Leitrim, the development of this facility will not only raise the profile of Leitrim in a sporting sense but will also have a considerable impact on the local economy and tourism industry. By its very location, this new facility will be extremely accessible for rowing clubs and teams from Northern Ireland, Dublin and the UK.”

 

Anthony Dooley, President of Rowing Ireland echoed this view saying, ''Rowing Ireland believe that the development of Lough Rinn will be a major boost to the development of rowing in the region and will attract rowing people across all age groups and classes both within Ireland and from abroad, having a multi-lane course in such a beautiful and picturesque location will be major draw.”

 

Lough Rinn, a 162 hectares lake which is 3,000 meters in length is ideally suited as a rowing facility and the development project will see the creation of a six lane facility through the placement of pontoons alongside retractable rowing equipment. There will also be a number of spectator points developed with a walkway planned around the entire lake over the next number of years.

 

Outlining the impact the rowing facility will have on the sport, Tony Keane, President of Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club said, “We are thrilled with the awarding of the funding and with the development of the rowing facility. We already have strong links with Clubs across Ireland, Northern Ireland and England and would hope that this facility would enable us to host landmark rowing competitions which would not only increase interest in the sport but also provide a welcome boost to Leitrim.”

 

Rowers and spectators who visit Leitrim in the future will be well catered for with the four star Lough Rynn Castle Hotel on the shore of the Lake itself and the vibrant town of Carrick on Shannon less then fifteen minutes drive.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.
The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches.
Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.
Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.
For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.

The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches. 

Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.

Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.

For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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