Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The British registered Spanish owned fishing trawler that was towed into Dún Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay on March 7 after drifting for days in the Irish Sea because of engine failure finally departed the harbour this evening.

The navy hulled boat was tied up at Berth No 4 for some 70 days.

The 15 crew members, some Spanish, but mostly Indonesian, were flown out of Ireland a week or so after arriving at the port.

Magan D was first reported to be in trouble on March 6th when it was 27 nautical miles off the Welsh coast and experiencing engine trouble because water had mixed with oil and it could not start the engine.

The trawler left Dun Laoghaire bound for Pasajes, Spain.

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The standby safety vessel the Arctic Ocean that is undertaking a series of geophysical surveys for the Codling Wind Park was back in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this Saturday morning. 

The red hulled Danish flagged vessel is operating on a 24-hour basis between 14 April to 26 May undertaking geophysical operations to 'characterise the export cable sites' for the new east coast wind farm. 

The 45-year-old ship was accompanied this morning at Dun Laoghaire Harbour by a Dublin Port Pilot boat.  She is working in tandem with other work boats Fastnet Pelican based out of the marina and Jackup Jill.

During its work, Arctic Ocean will be towing survey equipment, and requires large turning circles and will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

All vessels operating within this area are requested to keep their distance, maintaining at least the 500m safety zone around the survey vessel, and pass at minimum speed to reduce vessel wash.

More details about the operation are contained in the Department of Transport Marine Notice 21 of 2021 available here

Without the prospect of a major commercial development, as had been proposed by the now-defunct Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, the debate as to the future use of Dun Laoghaire Harbour is very much now focussed on its use as a public amenity.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) has commissioned a €100k report into the 200-year-old harbour, asking economic consultants Indecon to provide a blueprint for its improved use.

Water sports, culture and heritage themes dominate the Strategic Local Objectives for Dun Laoghaire identified in the draft development plan for the county.

But rather than fighting for the scraps left over by terminal development, the various groups and organisations seen as stakeholders in the future of the harbour should be able to take comfort that the space available can now cater for all or nearly all the identified needs.

Afloat has identified areas that could be developed in a sustainable manner that caters for the aspirations of these sectors. Afloat suggests that the two key areas, currently undesignated, could be developed to cater for water-sports, culture and heritage that would not only not have any negative impact on current activities, but would considerably enhance Dun Laoghaire's attraction to locals and visitors alike.

National Watersports Centre - St Michael's Wharf/Ferry Terminal

The opportunity to install an all-tide access point is one that should not be missed, and the old Ferry marshalling area not only has the space but has already been developed to an extent that will reduce construction costs. A slipway and associated breakwater will complete this area. The key elements here are the slipway, the apron/slipway approach, boat parking, boat collection/drop-off, changing and boat washing facilities, an event and administration centre which could be incorporated into the current structure that housed the ferry terminal.

Potential location for a slip and protective breakwater at St Michael's Wharf (former HSS facility)Potential location for a slip and protective breakwater at St Michael's Wharf (former HSS facility)

This view to the south-east from the marina breakwater shows a potential site for an all-tide slipwayThis view to the south-east from the marina breakwater shows a potential site for an all-tide slipway

The former HSS marshalling area shows that there is plenty of space to create boat access to the slipway suggested aboveThe former HSS marshalling area shows that there is plenty of space to create boat access to the slipway suggested above

Plenty of room in the former ferry terminal for an event and administration centre   Plenty of room in the former ferry terminal for an event and administration centre  

Dun Laoghaire Cultural and Heritage Centre - Carlisle Pier

Dun Laoghaire and its surroundings has a fascinating history coloured by many unique and interesting events, yet there is nowhere that recognises the totality of this. A purpose-built centre could bring all this together recognising the county's history from its many megalithic monuments, through the harbour construction, the building of the suburban railway, the development of leisure boating, the torpedoing of the Leinster to the Harbour's role in Irish emigration. The Carlisle Pier lends itself to the construction of a centre that celebrates this rich heritage. It could incorporate a classic boat restoration facility, with classic vessels moored alongside the pier, easily accessible to visitors. This artist's impression suggests a striking design that acknowledges the maritime heritage.

 The Carlisle Pier could be a wonderful site for a cultural, heritage and interpretive centre on the Carlisle Pier that would evoke the rich history of Dun Laoghaire. Impression by Marine Artist and Round the World Sailor Pete Hogan The Carlisle Pier could be a wonderful site for a cultural, heritage and interpretive centre on the Carlisle Pier that would evoke the rich history of Dun Laoghaire. Impression by Marine Artist and Round the World Sailor Pete Hogan

Such a centre would enhance Dun Laoghaire as a destination, encouraging the revitalisation of the town, and establishing the town as an entity in its own right, not just a dormitory suburb for the bigger neighbouring city.

A time to grasp the opportunities presented!

Ireland's largest sailing school, the Irish National Sailing School on Dublin Bay, has welcomed this week's announcement of new pontoon facilities near its base at the West Pier of Dun Laoghaire Harbour

School Principal Alistair Rumball told Afloat "we have long campaigned on safety grounds for the installation of a pontoon to give the school and other users direct access to the harbour waters at the West Pier and it's great to see this now approved".

The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier.   The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier. Photo: Google Earth  

The €40,000 pontoon is one of a number of approved harbour works under a €38m government scheme as Afloat reported here

The new pontoon, to be installed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councill, will be located at the public steps close to the DMYC at the West Pier.

Local TD Cormac Devlin has also welcomed the new pontoon as part of a number of improvement measures for Dublin Harbours

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a paddleboarder who got into difficulty after he could not get back to shore on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

The lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard by a member of the public who had sighted the paddleboarder in the water about 150 metres from shore at Blackrock on Dublin Bay.

The inshore lifeboat was launched by the lifeboat crew of three at 6.37 pm just minutes after the crew had been paged.

Weather conditions at the time were quite rough with a squall causing strong offshore wind gusts, along with a changing outward tide and choppy waters. Visibility at the time was okay with the crew being able to locate the casualty quickly with the help of Dun Laoghaire Coastguard Unit from shore.

On arrival at 6.47 pm the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted having tried to paddle and swim back to shore. The crew quickly came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was showing signs of hyperthermia due to a long period in the cold sea.

The lifeboat transferred the person to land as quickly as possible at the Martello tower in Blackrock with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard Unit. The casualty was then handed over to a waiting National Ambulance service crew for further medical care.

Speaking following the call-out, Alan Keville, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's inshore lifeboat Helm at the time said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy with the outcome of this evening’s callout having safely returned the casualty to shore and into the care of the National Ambulance service’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dublin harbours are set to receive over €8.4m in funding for harbours in Fingal (Loughshinny Harbour, Skerries and Balbriggan Harbours) with Howth Harbour receiving €8.2m for specific improvements and two harbours in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Dún Laoghaire Harbour and Coliemore).

As Afloat reported earlier, the allocation of €38.3 million by Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD is to repair, maintain and upgrade Ireland's publicly owned harbour network has been warmly welcomed.

Welcoming the announcement, Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson Cormac Devlin TD (Dún Laoghaire) noted that funding of €75,000 for Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey and an allocation of €63,750 to install a pontoon in the Coal Harbour and upgrade facilities for local fishermen at Trader's Wharf in Dún Laoghaire Harbour were especially welcome.

Commenting, Deputy Devlin said "Coliemore Harbour is one of Ireland's oldest harbours dating back to the 13th century, when it was the leading port on the East Coast. The harbour has been in continuous use for hundreds of years, but was damaged by a rockfall in August 2020 and has been partially closed since. This funding will enable Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council to carry out the estimated €100,000 works to repair and reopen the harbour."

Local Fianna Fáil councillor for Dalkey Justin Moylan commented "I am extremely grateful to my Party colleagues; Minister Charlie McConalogue and Deputy Cormac Devlin for their support for this important funding. Unfortunately having part of our harbour closed hampered the activities of local boatman, Ken The Ferryman as well as our award-winning Dalkey Rowing Club. Hopefully now with this funding they can all resume their activities for summer 2021"

The funding formed part of overall funding of €38.3m announced by Minister McConalogue who said, “This capital investment package in our 79 Local Authority owned piers and harbours around our coast which underlines the importance this Government places on the contribution of the wider seafood sector to Ireland’s economy and to rural coastal communities in particular.”

The Local Authority programme forms part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marines’ 2021 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, whereby the Department co-funds up to 75% of the total cost of approved projects with the Local Authority providing the balance.

In regard to the Local Authority scheme, the Minister stated, “It was important to me to place added importance on the Local Authority scheme this year and I am pleased to be to in a position to announce an enhanced €4.2 million programme in 2021 to assist Coastal Local Authorities in the repair and development of fishery and aquaculture linked marine infrastructures under their ownership. This year I have redirected savings due to Covid limitations on other projects to increase the monies available to the Local Authorities resulting in a 35% increase in 2020 allocations. Together with funding from Local Authorities, the total amount to be invested in local piers and harbours in 2021 under this scheme comes to €5.6 million.”

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s strategic location as an EU port in the middle of the Irish Sea may have been overlooked by commercial fishing fleets for years but since Brexit, it appears Belgian fishermen have been quick to see the advantage of the Dublin Bay port.

Not only did two Belgian trawlers take shelter from today’s forecasted south-easterly gale but both 38-metre boats also offloaded catch at the harbour’s number two-berth on the Carlisle Pier.

It brings to four the number of big Belgian vessels using the port this month, more than doubling the sporadic arrival of such visits last year.

Is it a possible positive Brexit spin-off for the Victorian harbour that is itself the subject of its regeneration plans?

The Jasmine alongside at Dun LaoghaireThe Jasmine alongside at Dun Laoghaire

The trawlers, that catch Whitefish, on Cardigan Bay off the Welsh coast used to land in Liverpool but current Brexit arrangements are causing difficulties leading to the requirement for deepwater alternatives.

The six-metre draft of the trawlers is just too deep for other east coast ports (other than Dublin) so Dun Laoghaire Harbour is proving a convenient and well-serviced location.

The Carlisle Pier provides easy access for trucks to take the catch to market. And it's not the only port the Belgians are accessing, they are also landing fish in Cork, according to local sources.

The main fishing grounds of the Belgians are the southern and central North Sea, accounting for 44 per cent of total catches. Other important fishing grounds are the English Channel (26 per cent), the Celtic Sea (18 per cent) and the Irish Sea (8 per cent).

July’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021 has been cancelled due to the ongoing "uncertainties" over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scrubbing of Ireland's biggest regatta, scheduled for the first two weekends of July, comes after careful consideration of the latest government announcement and discussion with event stakeholders at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The biennial event, which had attracted a bigger than expected fleet of 385 boats to date, will not now be sailed in 2021 but returns on schedule in July 2023.

"Despite the very positive news about the easing of government restrictions, we are still facing many uncertainties this summer, especially for an event the scale of VDLR, event chairman, Don O'Dowd said.

Dun Laoghaire's Don O'Dowd - too many uncertainties to proceed with VDLR 2021 RegattaDun Laoghaire's Don O'Dowd - too many uncertainties to proceed with VDLR 2021 Regatta

The government's new measures gave a green light for sailing last Friday but unfortunately, the scale of the Dun Laoghaire event means extra issues for organisers, especially ashore.

"Everyone believes it is important that the event should run safely and without compromise in the way we remember past regattas and with a full programme on and off the water. This year, sadly, that's not possible", he said.

"We want to thank everyone for their support and understanding. While it is disappointing, it is the safest thing to do in the community."

It's a testament to the regatta's successful formula that all our sponsors and supporters are already discussing the next edition. "We hope to see everyone again from July 6 to 9 2023, for a massive party!", O'Dowd added.

The regatta, now one of the biggest in Europe, is organised jointly by the four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs (the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC), the National Yacht Club (NYC), the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and the Royal St George Yacht Club (RStGYC).

2021 entry fees will be fully refunded to competitors this month.

The regatta had, in anticipation of dealing with social distance measures, hatched a plan a year ago that included separating the event over two separate weekends in order to reduce numbers and also moved to stagger sailors coming ashore. 

The event was to host 11 separate national championships and feature a debut offshore doublehanded class.

Published in Volvo Regatta

Boating activity returned to Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday on Dublin Bay as fine April weather ushered in the start (officially or unofficially) of the 2021 boating season with a range of sailing and boating underway at the country's biggest boating centre. 

With lift-in completed a fortnight ago, more and more sailing cruisers are venturing out of the harbour for the first shakedown sail of the season. The yacht club forecourts are now filled with dinghies in anticipation of a return to racing both inshore and offshore, a pursuit attracting over a 1,000 yachts and dinghies in the summertime.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April. They plan to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population are vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

Single handed sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour (above and below) Single-handed sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

RS dinghy INSS

Dun Laoghaire's four waterfront clubs expect the country's biggest racing organisation, Dublin Bay Sailing Club will be able to start racing in May and DBSC is launching its race marks in anticipation of this. 

Likewise, coastal racing with ISORA whose counterparts on the other side of the Irish Sea at Pwllheli in North Wales, are already underway.

Yesterday's bright sunshine and perfect sailing breezes saw a special launch of the very latest in Flying Fifteen technology, up to a dozen Laser dinghies practising (what they have been learning online this month), along with sailing school activity all being carried out in a socially distant and compliant fashion. 

There were also over two dozen sailing cruisers out and about for day sails or sail testing in anticipation of next month's first races.

After three months of lockdown, numerous SUPs, kayakers, divers, snorkelers, jet skis, angling boats, RIBS, coastal rowers and a host of sea swimmers at the nearby Forty Foot all added to the positive healthy picture at the 250-acre harbour.

Kayakers out and about in Dun Laoghaire HarbourKayakers out and about in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

As Afloat reported previously, sailing and boating is not the enemy at the gate. On the contrary, it is a low risk, non-contact outdoors activity which is what boaters and clubs are keen for the Government's Sport Expert Group to be told. 

Such is the extent of the activity in fact it has prompted new owners of the harbour, the local County Council to trial a new Harbour Water Safety Patrol as Afloat reports here.

If the weekend is anything to go by, it certainly looks like that whenever the refurbished Baths site (that has small boat facilities) is complete and the harbour's National Waterports Campus plans are finalised, then there will be plenty of demand for these new waterside facilities. 

Work continues on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths at the back of Dun Laoghaire's East PierWork continues on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths at the back of Dun Laoghaire's East Pier

The busy sea swimming scene at Sandycove on Dublin BayThe busy sea swimming scene at Sandycove on Dublin Bay

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The return of anti-social behaviour at Ireland's biggest recreational boating centre by some powered watercraft users has led Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to introduce a trial of a Harbour Water Safety Patrol service this weekend.

In an advisory letter to harbour users, Harbour Master Captain Simon Coate says the patrol will "involve a responsible adult in a RIB, providing an advisory and reporting service on the water within Dun Laoghaire Harbour between 14:00 and 20:00 This Saturday, Sunday and Monday"

The boat will be identifiable as it will be flying a yellow flag, with DLRCC branding. 

"in recent months there has been a significant increase in the number of kayakers and stand up paddleboarders using the Harbour, in groups along with individuals and families. Increasing participation in all water-based activities is something that DLRCC strongly supports", Captain Coate says. 

The patrol service will assist with the collection of marine-based litter from the Harbour water, a constant problem in the 250-acre enclosed area.

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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.


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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