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Red Bay and Larne RNLI came to the aid of 17 fisherman last night (Thursday 11 March) after their 35m Spanish trawler got into difficulty 11 miles east of Cushendall.

The volunteer crews at both stations were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats just before 7.30pm following a report from Belfast Coastguard that the trawler had lost all power and was drifting into a shipping lane.

Weather conditions at the time were challenging with Storm Force 10 gusts of up to 54 knots and high seas recorded during the course of the call out.

Red Bay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Paddy McLaughlin and with five crew onboard, was on scene first to assess the situation. Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat meanwhile, under Coxswain Frank Healy and with four crew members onboard, was diverted from a training exercise and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were challenging with Storm Force 10 gusts of up to 54 knots and high seasWeather conditions at the time were challenging with Storm Force 10 gusts of up to 54 knots and high seas

Red Bay RNLI began to work with the crew of the trawler to establish a towline while the all-weather lifeboat from Larne illuminated the scene in what were dark, wet and windy conditions.

The lifeboat started a slow tow to bring the vessel back to Red Bay but the extreme weather forced the tow to part mid-way.

Larne RNLI established a second tow and brought the trawler the remainder of the way into Red Bay where it was secured at 11 pm.

Both lifeboats were requested to launch once again this morning after the trawler began to drag its anchor out of Waterfoot. In much better conditions and daylight, Red Bay RNLI safely towed the vessel into the shelter of Red Bay.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: ‘Weather conditions on scene last night were extremely challenging for all involved and I would like to commend our volunteers both here and in Red Bay for their teamwork over the three and half hours as they worked in darkness amid Force 10 winds gusting up to 54 knots and high seas. Our volunteers are highly skilled and trained for all eventualities at sea and that was certainly put to the test last night but we were delighted to help and bring the fishermen to safety.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today addressed the inaugural meeting of the Seafood Sector Taskforce, established by the Minister to make recommendations on measures to mitigate the impacts on the Irish Fishing industry, and on the coastal communities that depend on fisheries, of the fish quota share reductions arising from the EU/UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement.

Addressing the Taskforce, Minister McConalogue said, “The outcome of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will lead to a loss of €43 million per year in fish quotas for our fisheries sector, with knock-on effects on marine support industries and our coastal communities. The quota reductions in some of our most important stocks will be felt immediately by our fishing industry when the full annual EU quotas for 2021 are determined shortly. The impacts for Ireland’s fishing sector are disproportionate compared to other Member States and I again call on the Commission and other Member States to find a more equitable solution to the quota transfers to the UK.”

Minister McConalogue added, “I can assure this Task Force that the Government will work to ensure that the fisheries sector, and the coastal communities that depend on it, are supported through the period ahead. The Work of this Task Force will inform funding priorities for the coming years under my Department’s Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 and under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The Seafood Sector Taskforce

The Seafood Sector Taskforce is chaired by Aidan Cotter, barrister and former CEO of Bord Bia. Mr Cotter will be assisted by a steering group comprised of Margaret Daly - Deputy CEO of seafood processor Errigal Bay Ltd and Mícheal Ó Cinnéide, member of the Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board and former Director of the EPA and Marine Institute.

Chairperson – Aidan Cotter

Steering Group - Margaret Daly and Mícheal Ó Cinnéide

Members

  • · Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation
  • · Irish Fish Producers Organisation
  • · Irish South & West Fishermen’s Organisation
  • · Irish South & East Fishermen’s Organisation
  • · Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation PO
  • · National Inshore Fisheries Forum
  • · 4 main Fishermen’s Co-operatives (Castletownbere, Foyle, Clogherhead, Galway & Aran)
  • · Irish Fish Processors & Exporters Organisation
  • · Irish farmers Association (aquaculture branch)
  • · Fisheries Local Action Groups (1 representative of the 7 FLAGs)
  • · Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine
  • · Bord Iascaigh Mhara (secretariat)
  • · Bord Bia
  • · Enterprise Ireland
  • · Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • · Tourism Ireland
  • · Coastal Local Authorities (2)
  • · Irish Local Development Network
Published in Fishing
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A British registered Spanish owned fishing trawler was towed to harbour in Dún Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay yesterday after drifting for days in the Irish Sea because of engine failure.

There are 15 crew members, some are Spanish, but most are Indonesian, according to news reports.

An official from the International Transport Federation, a union that represents maritime workers, called to the ship this morning, but was unable to make contact with the crew, according to RTE News.

Magan D was first reported to be in trouble last Wednesday 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.

Holyhead Coast Guard was attempting to contact the owner.

By Friday, the owners had organised a tow, but although they had hoped to have the trawler brought to their base in Pasajes in Spain, that was not possible so an Irish tug, Trojan, brought it to Dún Laoghaire.

News reports say that because Magan D is British registered it has reportedly been 'detained' by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency' which means it must be inspected and declared safe before it can leave Dún Laoghaire.

RTE News has more here

Notice of “rolling 24-hour stoppages” by State sea fisheries inspectors was suspended last night as a dispute between staff and management was referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)

As Times.ie reports today, trade union Fórsa confirmed that it has accepted an invitation to participate in a WRC hearing on Friday, and will suspend “proposed action as a result”.

Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) staff voted “overwhelmingly” late last month for industrial action in a disagreement over consultation on management changes to the State body.

The first in a series of 24-hour stoppages at the State’s sea fisheries harbours was due to take place from midnight next Monday, March 8th.

Any industrial action could affect inspections of fish landings at the State’s six sea fishery harbours of Killybegs, Co Donegal, Ros-a-Mhíl, Co Galway, An Daingean (Dingle), Co Kerry, Castletownbere, Co Cork, Dunmore East, Co Waterford and Howth, Co Dublin.

The SFPA’s remit involves both compliance with and “effective enforcement” of sea-fisheries law and seafood safety law”, and it works with the Naval Service on inspections of fishing vessels under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The union’s marine branch represents approximately 110 members at the SFPA, which has its headquarters in Clonakilty, Co Cork.

Fórsa confirmed that notice of action was served last week, and said that the dispute “involves the findings of an independent review of the SFPA”.

A Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) review of the SFPA finalised last year found that the authority was “not working effectively” and required “urgent attention”.

The PWC review referred to a European Commission audit of 2018 in Killybegs, which has led to a recent demand from the EU for “payback” of Ireland’s mackerel quota due to issues with weighing and under-reporting of catches.

The EU audit, published in 2019, found Ireland had overfished its quota of mackerel by 28,600 tonnes, its horse mackerel quota by 8,100 tonnes and its blue whiting quota by 5,600 tonnes between 2012 and 2016.

Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue is currently engaging with the EU on the “payback” sought.

It is understood that SFPA staff believe they are being blamed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine for the under-reporting.

Fórsa says that SFPA management had agreed to a joint approach with staff on implementing 47 recommendations made by the Pwc in relation to changes in the organisation.

The SFPA said it did not wish to comment.

Read more on Times.ie here

Published in Fishing

The Government’s soft-touch approach on access to Rockall’s fishing waters for Irish boats is “totally unacceptable”, a former state marine scientist has said.

As Times.ie reports today, Dr Peter Tyndall has also called on the government to push for a renationalisation of European waters to allow coastal states greater access to their own fish stocks.

He said the EU could still handle the management of shared and migratory stocks under a “more honest” Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Dr Tyndall, formerly a BIM gear technologist, was commenting after last month’s warning by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue of “increased risk of enforcement action” by Scottish authorities around Rockall while “engagement continues”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon CoveneyMinister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

Their joint statement was issued four days after Donegal vessel Northern Celt was boarded by a Marine Scotland fisheries patrol while fishing within 12 miles of Rockall.

Ireland has never made any claims to Rockall, located some 230 nautical miles off north-west Donegal, nor has it recognised British sovereignty claims or a 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit.

Ireland is due to bear the brunt of a return of EU quotas to Britain, at a 15 per cent overall reduction in Irish quotas.

Tyndall said that the CFP, which is due for review in 2023, is “clearly a failure”.

He said he Irish government should now “engage the best legal minds” before 2023 to challenge a management system which is “in breach of the Treaties of Europe on the rights of fishing communities to an income”.

“The CFP is rife with injustices and the British Tory party actively worked this emotive subject to influence votes in the Leave campaign,” he said.

“ The effect that the CFP has had in Europe is totally disproportionate to its economic contribution. Norway rejected EU membership on two occasions while Iceland decided not to join. Greenland, a home rule dependency of Denmark, pulled away,” Tyndall recalled.

“ Even with the new agenda of reducing carbon emissions there is a strong argument that those closest to the resource should access them proportionately,” he said.

“Ireland’s leaders should have the courage to initiate this conversation with our European partners in the knowledge that it can lead to a fairer system and healthier stocks which would be more in keeping with the stated aspirations of European partnership,” Tyndall said.

Asked to comment, the Department of Foreign Affairs referred to Mr Coveney’s Dáil response on February 3rd

Read more in Times.ie here

Published in Fishing
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Wicklow RNLI lifeboat brought two fishermen to safety today after their vessel developed engine trouble six miles east of Greystones harbour.

The all-weather lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Tommy McAulay was tasked by the Coast Guard at 12:15pm and proceeded north to assist the fishermen.

The seven-metre fishing vessel with engine failure was located thirty minutes later, near the East Codling Buoy. Conditions on scene were sea state slight with good visibility. A towline was passed to the fishing vessel and a course was set for Greystones Harbour.

The fishing vessel was brought alongside at Greystones harbour and the two crew were landed safely ashore just before 2pm this afternoon.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Chief Executive of the State agency, Water Safety Ireland, has made an appeal to all fishermen to take a "risk-based approach" to safety throughout the year to reduce tragedies which coastal communities have endured.

John Leech says that the first quarter of the year "normally brings with it some of the worst fishing vessel tragedies of the year."

"I would like," he says, "to see all our fishermen use a risk-based approach throughout the year and that their families support them in their endeavours. This will help reduce these awful tragedies that our coastal communities have endured each year.

Formerly the Naval Officer who led that Service's Diving Unit and took part in many search-and-rescue operations, John Leech delivers a message about the need for "an enhanced maritime safety culture" on this week's Podcast.

As well as being CEO of the State agency responsible for promoting water safety he is also an experienced sailor, crewed aboard Ireland's round-the-world yacht, NCB Ireland and is one of the top Race Officers for sailing events.

His message, to fishermen, in particular, can also be applied to everyone working in the marine sector and to those who go on the water for leisure, sailing, motorboating, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, all the maritime sports.

The fishing vessel, Alize, from Kilmore Quay that disappeared south of Hook HeadThe fishing vessel, Alize, from Kilmore Quay that disappeared south of Hook Head

"This time last year we all learned of the tragic news that the fishing vessel, Alize, from Kilmore Quay had disappeared approximately south of Hook Head.

"All around our coast we have sacrificed so many lives to the fishing industry with several memorials dotted around our coastline to remember these brave fishermen to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude for keeping our fishmongers supplied with fresh fish and for keeping our fish processors in business," he says,

Podcast below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The search for a missing fishing vessel with three people on board continues off the coast of North Wales.

HM Coastguard has been co-ordinating an extensive search to find the vessel since just after 10 am today (28 January) after it failed to return when it was expected.

Rhyl, Bangor and Llandudno Coastguard Rescue Teams have been sent along with RNLI lifeboats from Rhyl, Llandudno, Conwy and Beaumaris.

The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon and a fixed-wing Coastguard aircraft have also been assisting with the search.

North Wales Police are also involved and broadcasts have been made to alert vessels in the nearby area. Despite the extensive search to find the vessel and its crew, nothing has been found so far.

Duty Controller for HM Coastguard Rob Priestley said: “We are continuing to search a wide area to try and find this vessel with all the assets we have at our disposal. We’re also asking other vessels in the area to keep a look out for anything that might also assist the search.”

Published in Coastguard
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Marine minister Charlie McConalogue says he has expressed Ireland’s “serious concerns” at EU level about a “ disproportionate burden being borne” by it in relation to fish quotas lost under Brexit.

Mr McConalogue said he conveyed this at an informal EU agriculture and fisheries council on January 25th, and Ireland was “awaiting to hear how this matter will be urgently addressed.”

An Oireachtas agriculture and marine committee was told last week that Ireland had taken a disproportionately large hit in the final deal.

Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue said that if the total loss to nine coastal states is valued at €182 million, Ireland should have lost some €20 million in quotas.

Instead, Ireland’s loss has been calculated at over €42 million, he noted.

Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’DonoghueKillybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue

The frontloading of cuts over five-and-a-half years to 60 per cent this year was also unexpected, he said.

“We have formally requested our government to go back to Brussels and demand that the eight other EU coastal countries step up to the plate and take a proportionate hit on the Brexit deal,” he said.

Mr McConalogue said this week that he had made it clear that "ministers at council must have a direct engagement in the negotiations between the EU and UK to ensure that the fishing industry and other stakeholders have confidence that their concerns and voices are heard and understood".

The informal EU council meeting focused on the preparation for discussions between the EU Commission and the UK on setting TACs and fish quotas for 2021, he said.

Existing provisional quotas are due to end in March, and full-year TACs must be negotiated with Britain before then.

New procedures for interactions with the UK are being put in place, Mr McConalogue said, and member states’ priorities for the negotiations were discussed at this meeting.

“In relation to setting TACs for 2021, I made clear that Ireland is fully committed to respecting setting quotas in line with fishing at maximum sustainable levels (MSY) where this is known, and for other stocks all available data and information must inform TAC setting,” he said.

Published in Fishing
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Tributes have been paid to fishing industry leader Hugo Boyle, who died unexpectedly earlier this week.

Mr Boyle, a father of four from Falcarragh, Co Donegal, was chief executive of the Irish South and East Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&EFPO).

“A gentleman who was highly respected right around the coast” is how south-east vessel owner Caitlín Uí Aodha of the IS&EFPO described him.

Fellow industry leaders said his loss would be felt both in Ireland and Europe.

Mr Boyle, a former fisherman and vessel owner who was based in Achill Sound, Co Mayo, had been ill for several years.

However, he had remained involved in all aspects of the industry, including monitoring the crucial Brexit negotiations.

He had participated in the fishing industry’s emergency online meeting on December 28th last with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Cabinet colleagues over the damaging impact of Brexit deal.

“He had an incredible legal mind, was a calming but informed influence, and knew what battles to pick,” Ms Uí Aodha said.

“At the time of our own loss with the sinking of the Tit Bonhomme, he was very supportive to me and my family,” she said.

Her husband Michael and four of his five crew died when the vessel hit rocks at Adam’s island on the mouth of Glandore Harbour, Co Cork, on January 15th, 2012.

Her sentiments were echoed by Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue, who also expressed his condolences to Mr Boyle’s wife Ellen, and daughters, Alison, Denise, Elaine and Aisling and wider family.

“I knew Hugo since the mid-eighties when I was in the Department of Marine, and he was very involved in discussions on Celtic Sea herring,”Mr O’Donoghue said.

“He was both a good friend and a good colleague, and was very calm – always seeking solutions, rather than dwelling on problems,”he said.

“His experience as a vessel owner and a fisherman served him well in his role with the IS&EFPO, and he had the ability to seek compromises – our French counterparts will miss him for his role in seeking solutions to the scallop issue in the English Channel, “Mr O’Donoghue said.

Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) chief executive John Ward said the fishing industry had “lost a good friend”, recalling how he was a member of the IFPO when he was fishing.

Mr Ward said he was experienced and with an “infectious good humour and big smile”.

Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation chief executive Patrick Murphy said that “Hugo's commitment to the industry never faltered”.

It was “evident right up until recently, when he participated, contributed and clearly outlined his organisation’s position in the numerous online meetings we had with officials”, Mr Murphy said.

“Hugo’s practical sensible proposed measures, once implemented would in my view certainly mitigate much of the damage which was decided behind the closed doors in Europe that will hurt the people he worked so hard to protect,” he said.

Mr Murphy recalled one instance of Mr Boyle’s many gestures of kindness, after a late arrival of fishing industry representatives into Dublin Airport.

“Hugo being the gentleman he was insisted on driving me to the hotel where I was staying. Despite our tiredness and the late hour, Hugo insisted upon this detour, taking at least an hour of his time, as it was out of his way on his long journey home,” Mr Murphy said.

Published in Fishing
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Page 6 of 63

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.

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