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Displaying items by tag: Baltimore

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Examiner reports that samples from the fin whale that stranded and died in Baltimore Harbour last week have been sent to Dublin for analysis.

Samples of skin and blubber will be tested by marine science experts at the Irish Cetacean Tissue Bank in the Natural History Museum as well as at the Marine Institute, while a student studying for a PhD on the feeding ecology of fin whales will also examine the remains.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the whale carcass has been towed out of the inner harbour as preparations are made to sink it to the seabed, where marine life such as fish and crabs will quickly strip it down to a skeleton that locals hope to put on display in the West Cork town.

A post-mortem will not be carried out by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) due to lack of funding for the specialised procedure. A previous necropsy of a fin whale stranded at Courtmacsherry was funded by the US-based magazine National Geographic.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Plans are afoot to sink the carcass of the fin whale that died after being trapped in Baltimore Harbour last week, according to the Irish Independent.

It is being proposed that the whale's body can be wrapped in netting and sunk using old train wheels as weights.

"We're looking at putting it in the water and letting it sink to the seabed where the fish and crabs can do their work and strip the flesh from the carcass," said local diver Jerry Smith. "The end scenario would be to retrieve the skeleton from the sea bed."

It's hoped that the skeleton of the 65ft female juvenile fin whale could eventually be put on display as an educational aid and a tourist attraction for the West Cork town.

Cork County Council has taken responsibility for the disposal, as the Cork Independent reports, and the 30-tonne marine giant has already been towed to Oldcourt in the Ilen esturary.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, calls have been made to introduce a new protocol to deal with large marine wildlife strandings.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) defended itself from criticism over the handing of the "unprecedented" incident, arguing that allowing the whale to die was the best option available under the circumstances.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Cork News reports that a new protocol will be introduced to deal with large marine wildlife strandings following the public backlash over the handling of the injured and malnourished fin whale in Baltimore Harbour this week.

The 30-tonne whale died on Thursday morning after being trapped in the harbour on Tuesday. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the whale was left to die as it was found to be too ill to be assisted back into deeper water and was too large to be euthanised with drugs.

Members of the public have complained about the 'do nothing' approach taken by experts. But Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) defended his organisation's handling of the affair, citing the lack of protocol for such an unforseen incident.

"We are recognised as the most confident group in Ireand in dealing with dolphins and whales but as a charity, it should not be our responsibility," he said. "I don't have the authority to tell someone to shoot a whale."

Dr Berrow said he had been in talks with the Defence Forces about arranging for the distressed whale to be shot before it died, most likely from wounds sustained on sharp rocks in the harbour.

Speaking with The Irish Times, the IWDG's Padraig Whooley said: "As humans, we always think we have to intervene but wildlife rarely does better when we do. In this particular case the ‘do nothing’ approach was the only option open to us."

Whooley also criticised the "fairly shocking" level of ignorance over the incident that saw crowds continue to gather at the harbour in Baltimore even after it became clear that the whale was in significant disgress.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#BALTIMORE WHALE - Hopes are fading for an injured whale trapped in Baltimore Harbour, according to the Irish Independent.

It's being reported that the fin whale, which was injured on sharp rocks and beached off the pier in the West Cork harbour yesterday, is being left to die as it is too ill to be helped back to deeper water and too large to be euthanised.

It had been hoped that the whale would return to the sea under its own power by high tide but that sadly did not happen.

"Nothing can be done," Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) told the Independent. "It can't be refloated or drigged. All you can do is let nature take its course."

The 40-foot whale became something of an instant attraction in Baltimore as crowds gathered in the harbour, as TheJournal.ie reports.

However, marine wildlife experts believe that the young whale must have been sick or malnourished to have made it so far from the open sea into the sheltered harbour.

The IWDG's Padraig Whooley also reiterated that most whale strandings end in death, and Brendan Cottrell of the Baltimore RNLI said the best thing was to do their best not to stress the animal further.

Elsewhere, a female fin whale stranded on a beach in Cornwall has died despite efforts to save her, according to the Daily Mail.

The 65-foot whale was put down by vets from British Divers Marine Life Rescue after she was found beached at Carylon Bay on the south coast on Monday morning. The whale was was described as "incredibly undernourised".

Published in Marine Wildlife

#lifeboat – At 00:30 this morning, after a search of many hours for two kayakers who had been reported missing from Rosscarbery, shouts were heard from a cave near Millcove. Baltimore Inshore Lifeboat Helm John Kearney investigated and found the two 17 year old males who had taken shelter in the cave. A smaller Y boat was launched from the all weather lifeboat Alan Massey which ferried the boys individually from the cave and then onto the inshore lifeboat which landed the teenagers at Millcove. Both RNLI Lifeboats are now returning to station in Baltimore.

Additional report from Baltimore lifeboat station on Sunday 1500hrs

Further details have emergered on the dramatic events of last night (Saturday 4 August 2012) and early this morning which saw two young kayakers rescued after they became trapped in Mill Cave, West Cork.  The rescue involved a Baltimore RNLI crewmember swimming into a narrow cave in challenging sea conditions and bringing the two young kayakers to safety.

The two teenagers, a boy and a girl, had been reported missing from Rosscarbery on Saturday evening after they had not returned home at their expected time.  A huge search was mounted involving Balimore RNLI and Irish Coast Guard Units.

At 23:00, while the search was ongoing, Baltimore RNLI lifeboat Helm John Kearney heard what he thought was a faint whistle coming from Pouladav cave, known locally for its' blowhole.  The lifeboat crew were aboard the RNLI Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat Bessie but could not enter the cave due to the dangerous surf conditions.  The lifeboat crew then launched a small boarding boat from their all weather lifeboat Alan Massey with volunteer crewmembers Ger Sheehy and Sean McCarthy. This smaller boat could only advance within 50 metres of the cave summit due to the area being awash with surf and again too dangerous. RNLI crewmember John Kearney, an experienced sea swimmer, went into the water and swam the last 50 metres to reach the two kayakers. The boy and girl were clinging to a rock surface while waves broke around them.

Both the young people were cold and tired. John carried each of them in turn over his shoulder in chest high water to the boarding boat. Considerable skill was required of Ger Sheehy to keep the small boat steady so that they could be retrieved with the assistance of Sean McCarthy. The teenage girl and boy were then taken to the inshore lifeboat, where they were given a medical assessment and deemed to be fit to return to shore. The inshore lifeboat brought them directly to their families at Mill Cove, where they were assessed by a Doctor. The girl and boy were taken onboard the inshore lifeboat, which then brought them directly to their families who were anxiously waiting at Mill Cove. The entire incident took place in the hours of darkness

Commenting on the rescue Baltimore RNLI Helm John Kearney said, "the water in the cave was churning like a washing machine. However I was convinced that I had heard a sound and was concerned for the safety of the kayakers.  I will never forget the relief I felt when I saw the two young people alive and safe inside the cave.  They were very brave and did exactly what they needed to do to get to safety.  We are very lucky to have two lifeboats in Baltimore, and by using all of our available resources and training we were able to bring these young people to safety."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI – A yacht with engine difficulties just two miles east of Adams Island near Glandore Harbour, West Cork made a call for assistance as variable wind conditions impeded its progress. The alarm was raised last night at 20:04.

Baltimore lifeboat responded. The Tamar class lifeboat (with a top speed of 25 knots) made good speed to rendezvous with the distressed vessel.

Coxswain Kieran Cotter assessed the situation of the two male yachtsmen on board the 35–foot yacht and decided the best course of action was to tow the yacht into Union Hall 65 minutes away. Having secured the yacht safely the lifeboat returned to Baltimore.

On board the lifeboat were Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Cathal Cottrell, Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Diarmuid Collins and Brian McSweeney

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RESCUE - Brave volunteers from the Baltimore RNLI saved the day when they jumped aboard a runaway speedboat heading for a busy pier last Friday.

As the Irish Examiner reports, it was one of four dramatic rescues made by the West Cork lifeboat crew in a single 24-hour period.

Pat Collins and Tadhg Collins were the plucky duo who attempted the daring feat from their inflatable boarding boat launched from the all-weather lifeboat.

They manoeuvred their boat close enough to the runaway RIB - which was circling at speeds of up to 20 knots ever closer to the pier after its pilot and passenger were thrown overboard - to allow Tadgh to leap on board and turn down the engines.

The RIB's crew were unharmed in the incident, swimming away and finding shelter on a ketch anchored at Sherkin Island.

Baltimore's busy 24 hours continued with call-outs from three yachts during Saturday's force 7 easterly winds.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#LIFEBOATS - The latest marine notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises of construction work being carried out on Baltimore Lifeboat Station from today 5 March.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the works are part of a €2.6 million State-funded project to conduct essential remedial works at harbours across West Cork this year.

The works - which will be ongoing till mid-October pending weather conditions - will involve piling immediately adjacent to the foreshore on the north-east side of the building, and the deposition of rock to form an armoured breakwater jutting some 80m into Church Strand Bay.

No forseeable impact to mariners in the area is expected, but vessels are in any case requested to proceed slowly and with caution in the approach channel to Church Strand Bay and to give the works a wide berth to avoid wave-wash.

Further details for mariners are included in Marine Notice No 9 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read and download HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#WEST CORK – Sailing Clubs stand to benefit in an allocation of over €2.6 million to harbour boards across West Cork this year to fund essential remedial works. The State funding has been approved for harbour development works in Skibbereen, Baltimore, Kinsale and Bantry by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

In Baltimore a Sailing Club Slipway extension has been allocated €35,000 and in Bantry a Sailing Club Pontoon will get  funding of €70,000. See full breakdown below.

In many cases works might involve the completion of a slipway or the construction of a pontoon adding to some other marine leisure developments along the Cork coast over the last 12 months. Royal Cork Yacht Club announced this month a five star grading for its marina in Crosshaven and elsewhere in Cork harbour a new marina has been built at Monkstown.

devworksbaltimoreharbour

Development works underway at the harbour in Baltimore this week. Photo: Tom MacSweeney

The announcement by Minister Leo Varadkar sees the Baltimore and Skibbereen harbour board and the Kinsale harbour board each receive €1.25 million to fund essential remedial works. The Bantry Bay harbour commission will also receive €140,000.

This is a substantial investment that will considerably improve the operational capacity of each harbour, which will in turn have positive knock-on effects for the local economy and the environment.

The Baltimore and Skibbereen harbour, and the Kinsale harbour were recently transferred from the Department of Transport to Cork County Council and as part of that process, a two-year commitment to fund essential remedial works by the Department was agreed.

Local TD Michael McCarth of the Labour party said "I welcome the allocation of these monies and am glad the Government continue to recognise the importance of up-keeping and maintaining our local harbours, which are often important focal points for rural communities."

Harbour Funding 2012

Baltimore & Skibbereen
Western Pier final account €39,000

RoRo Slipway final account €21,000

North Pier extension final account €25,000

North Pier Phase 1 final works and account €150,000

North Pier Phase 2 works underway €745,000

Sailing Club Slipway completion of works €35,000

Proposed Inner Harbour Pontoon €70,000

Breakwater Design completion €30,000

Foreshore Licence Fees €135,000

€1,250,000

Kinsale
Commercial Town Pier contract retention €30,000

Adam’s Quay completion of work on site €555,000

Lobster Quay works completion €90,000

Fisherman’s Pontoon Remedial Works €140,000

Commercial Pier extension Phase 1 €435,000
€1,250,000

Bantry Bay
Sailing Club Pontoon €70,000

Pier Derrick €70,000
€ 140,000

Published in Coastal Notes

#TALL SHIPS - The flagship vessel for an Asgard-type sail training programme in Cork has been locked up in a boatyard since 2007, the Irish Examiner reports.

The Omar B was supposed to be the focus of a Youthreach project based in Bantry for early school leavers. But the schooner has spent the last four-plus years in storage in Baltimore, and has been deteriorating due to lack of maintenance - despite the scheme still notionally running, the newspaper report says.

Five two-man dinghies purchased with grant money have also reportedly spent most of 2011 in storage.

Co Cork's VEC has now put the €150,000 sailing programme under review following concerns over storage costs and lack of direction for the project.

The 75ft Omar B was donated to the CCVEC by owner and builder Don Attig in 2003 and refitted for use by students thanks to generous voluntary funding. Attig said the boat was of immense benefit to students who would not otherwise be in education.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
Page 14 of 18

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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