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Displaying items by tag: maritime

I love Irish history. It is the story of the Irish people, living in an island nation. But I have always wondered about a maritime, a shipping aspect of the Easter Rising, the commemoration of which has raised the profile of our evolution as an independent country. And that is – would it actually have been possible for the AUD, the German ship with weapons and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers, by arrangement with Roger Casement, to have landed its cargo in Tralee Bay, which is the accepted historical conception of that part of the plans for the Rising.
I have always wondered about the challenge and difficulties of getting 20,000 rifles, 10 machine guns and 3.5 million rounds of ammunition off that ship in the conditions and shipping facilities of Tralee Bay and the probably only realistic landing site at Fenit in 1916.
Was it to have been done at Fenit? In the facilities there for unloading in 1916 would that actually have been possible? Was it thought that the cargo might be got off into open boats in the Bay?
I got my opportunity to ask that question of an expert on the period last weekend, Dr. John Treacy, who was recently awarded his Ph.D. from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick for his doctoral thesis about the Naval Service.
He answered me very directly: “I would say absolutely not.”
He had a lot more to say about the AUD and the plan for it to provide weaponry for the Volunteers when I interviewed him at a seminar which underlined the huge public interest in Irish maritime affairs. “Revolution on an Island -The Maritime Aspects of the 1916 Rebellion,” was organised by the Irish Maritime Forum. It was booked out. People attended from all over the country. There was even a waiting list for places at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy on the edge of Cork Harbour where it was held.
Dr. Treacy spoke on ‘The Silent Shore – The Attempt to land arms at Banna Strand from the AUD.” It is a fascinating part of Irish history and the maritime involvement. If you have any interest at all in our history, I urge you to listen to him below on my programme, THIS ISLAND NATION.
It was also an unusual experience for me at that seminar to find myself being quoted at the outset. It was for my description of Ireland as an “island nation” which is accepted by the Forum, which is an independent think-tank on maritime matters. But the Forum had a qualification – “Ireland is not yet a maritime nation”
You can hear more about this from retired Naval officer, Capt. James Robinson, who discusses it with me on behalf of the Forum. Not a lot has been heard about the Forum in public, but this seminar was a revelation.
Simon McGibney, the new Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, talks to me about his plans for this year’s sailing and the retirement of one of the country’s longest-serving lifeboatmen, from the RNLI Rosslare Station, is reported while there is also good advice on the programme about using vehicles to launch and recover boats from slipways in view of the Buncrana tragedy.
THIS ISLAND NATION reports on the marine traditions, culture, history and modern maritime developments of our island nation. I hope you enjoy it and would welcome your comments. You can Email to: [email protected]

Published in Island Nation

Ireland is an island nation but not yet a maritime nation. So said Capt. James Robinson of the Irish Maritime Forum and formerly of the Irish Naval Service when opening the Forum's conference at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour, this morning. Attendance at the one-day conference 'Maritime Aspects of the 1916 Rebellion' has been fully booked-out. It is examining the influence of sea power on the rebellion, including the Aud and the Helga. People are attending from all over the country.

Published in News Update
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Anyone aged between 16 and 28 who would like to sail aboard a Tall Ship is being offered the opportunity by Belfast City Council and Sail Training Ireland. As Afloat.ie previously reported, The Tall Ships, “Maybe” and “Morgenster” are the vessels on which voyages between Belfast, Scottish and Irish ports, will be available, as part of Belfast’s Maritime Festival. Applications are invited with a deadline of Friday, March 25.

Published in Tall Ships

Following the success of last year’s inaugural maritime conference at UCC, the School of History is to hold the second annual Irish Maritime History Conference next weekend, October 16/17, exploring Ireland’s rich sea-going past and culture. Topics will include piracy, naval warfare, smuggling, fishing communities, shipwrecks, boat building and World War One on the Irish Sea.

There is a strong line-up of speakers from around the country and overseas, making for what should be a most interesting event.

Sessions will be from 1-3 pm on Friday, October 16, another from 3-7 pm and a full day on Saturday from 9-6 pm. Admission is free and no registration is required. Based on last year,.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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#tallships – The countdown to The Irish Maritime Festival is well and truly on. The ships have set sail from their respective home ports and are fast approaching Drogheda for the Festival from 19-21st June.
In association with Maxol, The Irish Maritime Festival is one of the largest festivals in the North East and attracts visitors from Dublin, Belfast and all across the country. Situated in the historic port of Drogheda, the event is staged by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company.
The ships will arrive in a parade of sail up the River Boyne on Friday 19th June beginning at 1.30pm and everyone is welcome to be there. "It is such a wonderful sight to see these magnificent vessels sailing up the river. We invite and encourage everyone to be there. The parade of sail and opening event on Friday is free to attend and children and families are particularly welcome." explained Festival Organiser Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council
This family friendly festival features a huge range of off and on shore activities. The off-shore schedule includes over 250 swimmers competing in the challenging Boyne Swim, a 2.7km long swim finishing in front of cheering audiences. Check out the fleet of vintage lifeboats courtesy of the RNLI and learn about their adventures at sea. Board the beautiful classic ships or marvel at the 100ft long Class A Tall Ship "The Morgenster", so tall that it won't even fit under Drogheda's iconic viaduct. Watch out for the Boyne Regatta and the Howth to Drogheda yacht race.
Seasonal favourites such as the Pirate Battles and Extreme Sports displays will also return to the River Boyne as part of the 2015 Irish Maritime Festival.
Another new challenge this year is the heroic "Battle Across the Boyne" Tug of War taking place on Sunday at noon at the DeLacy Bridge. Teams from the near side and the far side will compete for glory.
On-shore there is lots to do and see. "The Irish Maritime Festival truly allows the local community here in Drogheda and the Boyne Valley to shine" Mary T. Daly continued. "The Festival is made up of so many brilliant community groups and businesses who bring so much to the Festival and are helping to grow it into a truly national event. There will be sand castle competitions, adults and kids cookery demos, maritime themed walking tours, artisan food producers, skills displays by the Scouts and much more. Two live music stages will be going all weekend with singer songwriters and bands from all over the North East. Chill out in the pop up cinema and catch up on some maritime themed family movies. Visit the aquarium. Meet the whale and dolphin experts and see their life sized models. Take part in the art competition in the Art and Photography zone. Compete for the chance to be crowned the East Coast Chowder Champion. And there's more, much more to see and do."

Iron_Man.jpg

See the Iron Man in Drogheda

Car lovers won't want to miss the 5th Annual Drogheda Motor Show also taking place at The Irish Maritime Festival. Shiny new cars with beautiful interiors and great sales promotions are the order of the day at the Motor Show. Watch out for the "Design a Car" challenge. This competition is a collaboration between local primary schools, local motor dealers and the team at Drogheda Men's Sheds and the results promise to be some pretty innovative car designs.
It's not too late to volunteer to be part of the Festival. Mary continued "We are expecting 40,000+ visitors to the Festival over the weekend so we are delighted to have such a brilliant team of volunteers on board. Become part of the Festival Volunteer team by visiting www.maritimefestival.ie/volunteer, complete your details and one of the volunteer co-ordinators will be in touch."
Tickets for all this family fun are surprisingly affordable at just €5.00 for 1 adult and up to 2 children or €10 for a family ticket of 2 adults and up to 4 children. Tickets are available at the gate or avail of a 20% saving when you book online at www.MaritimeFestival.ie.
"The long range weather forecast is good and the ships are on their way. We've lots of fun, family friendly activities planned for everyone and we can't wait to welcome you all. Ahoy there – see you at the Irish Maritime Festival!" concluded Mary T. Daly.

Published in Tall Ships
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#blueeconomy – Ireland's blue economy is performing on average better than the general economy according to the 3rd Report on Ireland's Ocean Economy, soon to be published by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) based at NUI Galway. Latest indicators show that Ireland's maritime economy grew by 9% in the period 2010 to 2012, while growth in Irish GDP during the same period was only 4.75%. In the period 2012 to 2014, the blue economy has continued to outperform the national economy with growth rates of 8% and employment has also increased from 17,425 to 18,480 full time equivalents.

The value of Ireland's maritime economy, the commercial opportunity it presents and its contribution to the Irish economy will be discussed at a major marine industry conference, Our Ocean Wealth, which takes place on 10th July 2015 in Ringaskiddy, Cork.

Speaking at the launch of the Our Ocean Wealth conference in Haulbowline, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence Simon Coveney, T.D. said, "Ireland's blue growth shows the enormous potential of our incredible marine resources, and the opportunity, highlighted in the government's Integrated Marine Plan 'Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth', to enable this sector to be a key driver in our economic recovery, providing social and cultural benefits as well as economic return for Ireland".

Industry experts from Ireland, the EU and USA will convene on the site of the new €15 million Beaufort building for the event on Friday, 10 July and the event is expected to attract in excess of 600 delegates.

EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella will lead discussion on management and governance of our oceans, enhancing Europe's maritime competitiveness, whilst continuing to protect the environment.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the OECD) will be represented by Barrie Stevens, Head of International Futures Programme and he will deliver a keynote address on the Future of the Marine Economy.

There will be a number of speakers from indigenous companies and organisations with an interest in the marine, including Chairman of Port of Cork John Mullins, as well Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive at the Commissioners of Irish Lights. As well as panel discussion and interactive workshops on a variety of topics from Integrated Marine Capacity and Capability, Energy from the Ocean and Enterprise and Industry to Tourism and Business in Marine and Coastal areas and Food from the Sea, there will also be an industry exhibition of startups, university spin-outs and established companies led by the SFI-Funded marine research centre, Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI).

The Our Ocean Wealth conference is an integral part of Ireland's Maritime Festival, SeaFest 2015, celebrating Ireland's abundant maritime resources over 2 days in Cork Harbour. 

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#rathlin – The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival was celebrating its most successful run in the Festival's history, until high winds affected the crossings on the Rathlin Sound, according to Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism Officer, Caroline Carey.

It was estimated that this year's Festival opened to a record number of visitors and tourists to Ballycastle, with thousands of tourist enquiries leading up to and including the first weekend.

Caroline Carey, Tourism Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens explains, "It was just unfortunate that there were high winds on the Sunday 31 May which stopped many people going to Rathlin and enjoying the many planned festivities.

"Despite that, his year we were over the moon with the amount of interest in our local area. Figures are yet to be finalised, but we were confident that the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival would have drawn in nearly 10,000 people to the area."

"We've had some amazing events on in both Rathlin and Ballycastle, which have really brought both of our communities together. It all kicked off on Friday with the Blessing of the Boats, which was absolutely beautiful. After the serene ceremony, Saturday saw a host of maritime events, with our very own jet man, power boating and kayaking, followed by some fabulous cookery demonstrations and art and craft events on Sunday at the Ballycastle Market.

"Our stand-out events include the fabulous Frances Black concert at the Marine Hotel on Sunday 24th, which was a resounding success, it was a real treat to have Frances performing. Frances's daughter, Aoife Scott also performed, and both were delighted to be back in the area and really enjoyed their time here! On Wednesday 27th, Trevor Robertson, the world renowned record breaking sailor also stopped by Rathlin Island, delivering a talk on his times spent 'overwintering' and inviting the locals to come on board his famous 'Iron Bark'.

"Despite the bad weather, the events on Sunday were very successful, it's just such a shame that some people couldn't make it over for them! The Festival celebrated our passion for the sea, local culture, heritage and history, and we finished with Rathlin's 'Big Lunch', music from 'Runabay' and our 'Living Seas' event on Sunday 31st May."

Sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland, Malin Waters, Fair Head Tidal and Rathlin Island Boat House, the festival is renowned for its musical events, celebration of local produce and, of course, the many varied maritime activities.

Michael Cecil, Chair of Rathlin Community and Development Group explained: "inclement weather reduced the numbers somewhat but even that was a reminder that we are all very closely connected to nature. Seeing so many traditional boats , meeting so many like minded people from all over this earth and hearing so much traditional music over ten days was something very special."

"We would like to say a huge thank you to all who have come out and supported the Festival and ensured that this year was a huge success up until the Sunday. This was a team effort, and it wouldn't have been possible without the help from our sponsors and the Council Harbour & Tourism Section, Ballycastle Community Development Group, the Rathlin Development & Community Association, and the Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce and Industry," concluded Caroline Carey.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Tagged under

#safetyatsea – Last Thursday (April 16) the Department of Transport published its Maritime Safety Strategy, resulting from the "Sea Change" consultation last year. By chance this coincided exactly with our publication of the ICC's independent analysis of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board reports which form the background to the programme. Norman Kean has now reviewed the latest proposals.

The new Maritime Safety Strategy contains much sensible encouragement, and also 33 proposals for action by the Irish Maritime Administration, under five headings. These include:

• "Intensification of efforts to promote maritime safety awareness through a process of information and communication, and the promotion of more effective communication between key stakeholders"

• "An appropriate regulatory regime for the seaworthiness of vessels and craft and the competency of operators and/or crew"

• "Building on the current enforcement regime."

What does this mean for leisure sailors? Under the Information and Communication heading are some sensible proposals, such as widening the membership of the Marine Safety Working Group, organising an annual maritime safety conference to be open to the public, and addressing children and young people through the education system. This goes some way to recognizing the fact that the people most at risk are not connected to the established organization of sailing clubs and training systems. Lack of awareness is the biggest killer of all.

"Appropriate regulatory regime" translates into the intent to update the Code of Practice for Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, starting in 2016. It is to be hoped that this will be done in a proportionate and well-informed manner, and that the word "should" in respect of things like carriage of equipment does not too often morph into "must". Perish the thought that we might be required by law to submit our boats to annual Government inspection, that we should be compelled on pain of prosecution to report every single arrival and departure to Coast Guards or Harbourmasters, that we might be forced to transmit AIS signals all the time on pain of a fine. All those and many more have been suggested in submissions at the consultation stage of this process. This must not be the thin end of the wedge. Transmitting AIS is undoubtedly a good idea in busy waters, but the accident statistics don't support making it compulsory. We do not need, and we certainly do not want, a Big Brother regime, and the absence of any explicit proposals in that direction is to be welcomed.

Starting in 2017, jet skis and many small speedboats will have to be registered, as defined in the new Registration of Ships Bill, and it appears that the timeline for a new voluntary small craft register will start in 2018. This is far too late. The lack of such a facility for the next three years will leave many owners with no choice but to flag out to other EU states, to avoid facing voyage restrictions and having Irish yachts, at present abroad, put at risk of being impounded for lack of ship's papers.

But it begs the question, what does all that have to do with safety? Might the mention of registration here be a step in the direction of inspection - and ultimately taxation?
A new focus is proposed on more rigorous enforcement of existing legal requirements, with extension of on-the-spot fines for breaches of lifejacket laws quoted. That particular example is common sense and should be applauded by all responsible sailors. The great majority of recreational craft fatalities occur in small open boats and the majority of casualties are not wearing lifejackets when they should be. Conspicuous enforcement would get the attention of those most at risk. Last summer we came across a speedboat grossly overloaded with eleven people aboard; none of the five adults was wearing a lifejacket. If the skipper had been met on the pontoon by a couple of burly Guards who promptly relieved him of several hundred euro, the word might get round and the message might get through. But there must be no mission creep. I was once, at the helm, accosted by a Coast Guard crew who asked me, none too gently, where my lifejacket was, to which I replied that it was safely in its locker, that this vessel was 16 metres in length and perhaps they would care to read their own rules.

Under "Data and Evaluation" it is proposed to commission a baseline study of attitudes to maritime safety. The sailing clubs of Ireland need to be proactive in taking part in that. In respect of cruising sailors, the RNLI is currently doing exactly the same thing, and we must hope that the Maritime Administration takes the results of that study fully into account. Despite the rising trend in callouts to recreational craft, the RNLI continues to be firmly in favour of education over compulsion.

Published in Water Safety

#maritimesafety – The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, TD, today launched a new Maritime Safety Strategy 2015 – 2019, the theme of which is 'Make Time for Maritime Safety.' 

The new Strategy was developed following a consultation with key stakeholders and the general public and includes an analysis of the factors contributing to maritime fatalities in Ireland.

A link to the Maritime Safety Strategy document is HERE.

"My Department's maritime safety remit covers safety on recreational craft, including surfboards, fishing vessels and cargo ships and it is these areas which are covered by the Strategy we are launching today. Although the average annual number of marine incident-related fatalities, at 11, is low, lives continue to be lost on the water, despite regulation, inspections and training. Perhaps not surprisingly, most incidents happen in the fishing and recreational sectors. What is striking, however, is the fact that 99% of maritime fatalities are male, with an average age of 44, and that fatalities in the maritime sector are potentially avoidable.

"There is broad agreement in the sector that to reduce fatalities, the focus needs to be on changing culture and personal behaviour rather than on more regulation. While this Strategy primarily identifies actions that the Department, through the Irish Maritime Administration (IMA) will take, the important roles of individuals, families, friends and sectoral organisations are also highlighted.

"Notwithstanding the efforts of my Department in terms of preventative action, enforcement and emergency response, these efforts cannot on their own improve maritime safety. It is up to each individual who takes to the water to take personal responsibility for their actions and to understand that failure to operate safely puts not just their own life at risk, but the lives of others on board and potentially the lives of emergency and rescue personnel.

"The genesis of this Strategy was the emergence of recurring causal factors in marine casualty investigation reports and recognition of the extent to which maritime fatalities and incidents could be avoided. Among the top 10 factors identified from analysis of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) reports are:

· The need for an enhanced maritime safety culture

· Unsuitable or inadequately maintained safety equipment on board, or lack thereof

· Lack of crew training

· Failure to plan journeys safely, including failure to take sea/weather conditions into account

· Non-wearing of personal flotation device (lifejacket/buoyancy aid)

· Vessel unseaworthy, unstable and/or overloaded

"The 33 actions outlined in the report are grouped under five over-arching strategic objectives; Information and Communication, Search and Rescue Operations, Standards, Enforcement, Data and Evaluation. They are centred on promoting personal responsibility for maritime safety, improving search and rescue, and implementing preventative measures, including a robust inspection and regulatory framework, and an enhanced enforcement regime. They are designed, in a holistic way, to tackle the factors contributing to maritime fatalities and to ultimately reduce in the number of lives lost in the maritime sector.

"This strategy sets out in a very straightforward way, what individuals, families, friends and communities can do to ensure safety when taking to the water. This includes proper planning, operating on a safety first basis, always telling somebody where you are going and when you expect to be back, wearing suitable clothing and always wearing lifejackets and buoyance aids. The Strategy concludes by outlining what my Department can and will do to support a better maritime safety culture. I urge everyone involved in the sector to pay close heed to the Strategy's contents so that together we can reduce, and eventually eliminate, needless fatalities at sea."

Published in Rescue

#lusitania – An exhibition opening at Merseyside Maritime Museum on 27 March called Lusitania: life, loss, legacy will highlight little-known data that changes the commonly used figures of the last 100 years, when referencing the crew and passengers on Lusitania's final voyage.

Omitted from the previous official figures for Lusitania are Fireman Gontes Cloules, Waiter F. Hill and passenger Robert Anderson, taking the figures for people on board from 1,959 to 1,962.

In the days following the sinking, newspapers reported numerous lists of survivors and victims, obtained from various sources. It was March, 1916 when an official booklet known as the 'Cunard Confidential Report' was published, which became the official source. However, it was discovered very early on that this report contained errors, and there were at least two subsequent amendments to this, the last-known published in March 1917.

Gontes Cloules, Waiter F. Hill and passenger Robert Anderson were not included in the official lists of crew and passengers, and are therefore not reflected in the numbers widely used in reference to the tragic sinking of the Lusitania on 7 May, 1915.

Independent historian Peter Kelly has searched records over the last 10 years to bring them back into public consciousness. This and other findings of Peter's, have given us a new level of detail about passengers and crew aboard Lusitania, and will be included in the new exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Peter Kelly said: "The figures have always been out there, except that not many of us have looked for them or been able to find them. It's not unusual for records to have been incomplete or incorrect in those times. It was an age before technology, when passenger names were often taken phonetically and misspelt, or maybe people were travelling under a different name.

"I'm not alone in researching this data and trying to tie it down so that everyone who was on-board Lusitania is recognised - whether they lost their lives when the ship went down, or survived this terrible tragedy. We all have our various theories on the names of a number of people who are recorded as having sailed on the ship, and it's a difficult process to work through due to the amount of records and personal accounts out there, some of which provide conflicting information.

"I'm at the point now where the research I've done has led me to believe these new figures are true, accounting for the three extra people that were on-board. The story of the Lusitania has always had some mystery surrounding it, and if more information comes to light about those who were on-board, the figures will be updated again."

Peter's figures will be included in the exhibition as part of an interactive resource, which can also be accessed by the public online from 27 March. The resource is such that any new data and information can be added in the future.

Ellie Moffat said: "This story of the Lusitania is so important here in Liverpool. The ship was the jewel in the city's crown and more than 600 people on her final voyage had connections with the city and wider region. Many people living today are still profoundly affected by the account of a relative who went through the sinking. When Peter came forward with his research, we were thrilled, because we want to share as much, and as complete, information as we can with the city, and with anyone connected to the ship."

General findings:

Total number of people on board:

1962 (total people previously – 1959*)
Everyone on board:

Survived: 771 (survived previously – 761*)
Lost: 1191 (lost previously – 1198*)
Comparison passenger and crew survival rates:

Passengers: 480 survived, 786 lost - 1266 total passengers (total passengers previously 1257*)
Crew: 291 survived, 405 lost - 696 total crew (total crew previously 702*)
* The 'previous official figures' refers to data taken from Cunard's official list of crew published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1915 and list of passengers lost and saved published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916.

Fireman Gontes Cloules

Gontes Cloules was born in Malta in 1891 and lived at 99, Vicnarsa Hania, Malta.

Although the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show that he served on-board the Lusitania as a Fireman in the Engineering Department and was killed when the ship was sunk, he does not appear in the Cunard Steamship Company's list of crew members, either missing or having survived.

However, a Cunard list of crew members who engaged at New York on 30 April 1915 includes the name Cloules Goutes, who signed on as a Fireman at a monthly rate of pay of £4-5s.-0d. Presumably some mistake was made and Goutes was thought to be his surname. The names are too similar for it to be anything else, although there is no Goutes listed amongst the missing either.

The name Gontes Cloules is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. The register for the memorial does not record any verifying details of his age, family or home.

Waiter, F. Hill

F. Hill (forename not known), was born in Glasgow, Renfrewshire Scotland, in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

He was a professional sailor in the Mercantile Marine and in April 1915, he had engaged to sail to England from New York on the Cunard liner S.S. Cameronia. However, at the end of that month, the Cameronia was taken up from trade by the British Admiralty for war work and on 1 May 1915, all the passengers and cargo and some of the crew were transferred instead, to the Lusitania, then awaiting what became her final transatlantic voyage at Pier 54 in New York harbour. Waiter Hill was one of these crew members and was offered the monthly rate of pay of £4-5s.-0d. (£4.25).

Six days out of New York, when she was off the southern coast of Ireland, the liner was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, only hours away from her Liverpool destination, but fortunately, Hill was counted amongst the survivors.

Having been rescued from the sea and landed at Queenstown, he eventually made it to Liverpool where he was officially discharged from the Lusitania's last voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him. This was in respect of his sea service from 1 May until 8 May 1915; 24 hours after the liner had gone down.

An official list of crew known to have been on board the Lusitania when she was sunk and published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1915, does not mention Waiter Hill at all, but he does appear in a Particulars of Discharge ledger held in the Public Record Office at Richmond in Surrey.

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson was born in Ireland in 1875. He was a provision merchant and in 1915, he had been living and trading in New York, N.Y. in the United States of America.

In the spring of 1915, he decided to return home to Ireland - and consequently booked third class passage on the scheduled May sailing of the Lusitania, from New York to Liverpool.

He arrived at the Cunard berth at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1 May 1915 - with ticket number 1807 - only to find that the liner's 10.00 a.m. departure had been delayed. This was because she had to wait to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Lines vessel the S.S. Cameronia, which the British Admiralty had requisitioned for war service as a troop ship at the end of April.

The Lusitania finally left port just after midday and six days later, on the afternoon of 7 May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20. At that time, she was only about 250 miles away from her destination and within sight of the coast of southern Ireland.

It was probably the closest that Robert Anderson would get to his homeland as he was killed as a result of this action. As his body was never recovered from the sea and identified afterwards, he has no known grave. He was aged 40 years.

He does not appear in the list of passengers lost and saved which was published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916, but he is on a list compiled by the company at a later time and updated as late as February 1917, now held at The Public Record Office at Richmond in Surrey. This record has been found to be a more reliable source.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 3 of 9

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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