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Displaying items by tag: Shannon Erne Waterway

The British Government has announced a three-month delay in the implementation of the red diesel ban for private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland.

The move follows lobbying by Bangor Marina and others in the NI leisure boating industry who emphasised the dearth of white diesel options in the region.

Originally set to come into effect on 30 June, the red diesel ban is intended to meet the UK’s obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol and bring the region in line with the 2018 judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

This is the same ruling which prompted the Republic of Ireland’s ban on green-dyed diesel for leisure craft propulsion last year.

In March, British Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his first post-Brexit Budget that boaters in England, Scotland and Wales would continue to use red-dyed diesel for pleasure boating without penalty in domestic waters — leaving NI boaters in limbo.

Bangor Marina says it met earlier this year with officials from HM Revenue & Customs, HM Treasury and RYANI “to discuss the difficulties we would face if we had to switch to white diesel in June.

“During that meeting, we did put forward a compelling proposal that the switch to white diesel should take place after the summer holidays.

“Today [Friday 21 May] we have been advised by HM Revenue & Customs that the UK government has decided to delay the implementation of the prohibition on red diesel used for propulsion of private pleasure boats in NI until 1 October 2021.

“More detailed guidance is expected to be produced in July.”

The decision will come as a relief for cruisers and leisure boaters across Northern Ireland as it emerges from lockdown into the summer boating season.

But with freedom of movement on the cross-border Shannon-Erne Waterway, the extension poses a “customs headache” for Irish authorities, a source close to Afloat.ie suggests.

And if the delay is any indication of a proclivity to continue moving the deadline back, the situation would deal a heavy blow to Irish suppliers, particularly in border areas — while also encouraging boats “to spend more time in NI and less [in the Republic]”, the source added.

Following the recent reopening of inland waterways in the Republic, Waterways Ireland has given an update for all masters of vessels and water users on the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway (within Northern Ireland) and the Lower Bann Navigation.

In line with guidance provided by the Northern Ireland Executive, from this coming Monday 10 May all service blocks will reopen on these navigations.

On the Erne System and the portion of the Shannon-Erne within Northern Ireland,, pump-out facilities are available and local area access to jetties and moorings will be available in according with NI Executive guidance. All locks will also reopen on the Shannon-Erne.

On the Lower Bann, service blocks will reopen on Wednesday 12 May, with local area access to jetties and moorings as previously noted.

Portna, Movanagher and Cutts locks will also reopen on Wednesday. However, Toome Lock remains out of operation until Friday 28 May for works, and Carnroe Lock is closed until further notes pending ongoing engineering investigations.

Waterways Ireland reminds users when on jetties to be aware of others; wait or move aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

“We will continually review such measures in light of direction and advice from Government and health professionals,” the cross-border body adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and inland waterways users of the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation that these waterways will reopen from Monday 10 May in line with the latest relaxation in pandemic restrictions.

On the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway, the winter mooring period will end on this date and the five-day mooring rule will be in force.

Locks on will be open normal summer hours (9am to 8.30pm on weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Sundays on the Shannon Navigation; 9am to 8pm daily on the Shannon-Erne) and service blocks will also reopen.

An exception applies to the lock gates at Tarmonbarry on the Shannon Navigation, which remain closed for continued emergency repair works until Friday 28 May. Passage through the lock will not be possible during this period but an alternative route via the Camlin River is available.

No lock passage tolls will be collected in order to facilitate social distancing. Note that a smart card is required to operate locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway and these can be purchased from Waterways Ireland’s online shop or from designated retails outlets along the waterway.

Shannon Navigation lock-keepers are available at the following phone numbers:

  • Lough Allen Canal - 071 964 1552
  • Clarendon Lock - 071 966 7011
  • Albert Lock - 071 963 7715
  • Rooskey Lock - 071 963 8018
  • Tarmonbarry Lock - 043 332 6117
  • Athlone Lock - 090 649 2026
  • Poolboy Lock - 090 964 4938
  • Victoria Lock - 057 915 1359
  • Portumna Bridge - 090 974 1011
  • Ardnacrusha - 061 344 515
  • Sarsfield Lock - 087 797 2998

Anyone who require assistance along the Shannon-Erne Waterway, meanwhile, is directed to contact the following:

  • Ballyconnell Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3662
  • Kilclare Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3663

Normal summer hours will also apply to locks on the Grand Canal, Royal Cabal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation.

Electricity and water services have been reconnected at all Waterways Navigations in the Republic, and normal pump-out facilities are available for boaters.

Visitors to the waterways are urged to be aware of other users and continue to observe social distancing protocols, keen a distance of at least two metres from others.

Waterways Ireland also notes that water levels are becoming low due to the recent period of low rainfall. In addition, normal maintenance weed-cutting of navigation channels has been late in starting due to the ongoing restrictions, so additional weed growth can be expected in the navigation channels.

Masters are asked to contact the local waterway patroller for updated information if wishing to navigate a particular area.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has announced that the winter mooring period on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway has been extended by another month until Friday 30 April.

There will be no additional cost for this extension, but masters of vessels are reminded that all locks and service blocks on these navigations remain closed until further notice.

Waterways Ireland is also encouraging all users of Ireland’s inland waterways not to take part in any activity on the water under the prevailing pandemic restrictions.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that all 16 locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway will be out of service from this Thursday 24 December to Sunday 3 January inclusive.

No lock passage by boat will be possible on the inland waterway during this period. Normal service will resume at 9am on Monday 4 January.

Land- and water-based trails will remain open during this period, as will service blocks at Ballyconnell, Ballinamore, Keshcarrigan and Leitrim.

But the service blocks at Aghalane and Haughton’s Shore are closed and are not scheduled to reopen until Sunday 14 March.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland reminds masters on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for public harbours will commence this Sunday 1 November and continue until 31 March 2021.

Masters wishing to avail of winter mooring on these inland waterways are required to pay the €63.50 fee online before this Sunday. Registration is available at the Waterways Ireland website HERE.

To register, for winter mooring, go by the following steps:

  1. Apply for mooring at a specific harbour
  2. Receive email approval/rejection/alternative location of application
  3. Follow link on approval email when received to pay winter mooring fee online

Masters are reminded that Bye-law 17 — the ‘five consecutive days/seven days in one month rule’ — will continue to apply for masters not availing of winter mooring when the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions are eased.

Waterways Ireland will be disconnecting its electricity supply points and water supply at public moorings for the winter period. Both services will be reinstated prior to the 2021 boating season.

Owners are urged to note that vessels berthed in public harbours are at the owners’ risk at all times and may be directed to other harbours as required by Waterways Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has suspended the five-day mooring rule until late October in the wake of the country’s move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions.

As of this past Wednesday 7 October, the rule — which prohibits vessels from mooring in one spot for more than five days — has been suspended across Ireland's inland waterways for a three-week period until Tuesday 27 October, at which point restrictions will be reviewed.

Shortly after this, the winter mooring period commences on Sunday 1 November and owners of vessels can apply for permits at the Waterways Ireland website.

All locks, bridges and facilities on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway remain open at the scheduled times with the exception of Portora Lock in Enniskillen, which will be temporary closed to boat traffic from 9am to 5pm next Wednesday 14 October for essential maintenance.

Masters of vessels and waterways users in the Republic are also reminded that in accordance with Level 3 restrictions, non-essential travel outside your home county is not allowed at present.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has announced the reopening of Lock 15 on the Shannon-Erne Waterway at Tirmactiernan in Co Leitrim as of Thursday 27 August after a temporary closure for safety reasons.

The lock has been closed due to the high volume and velocity of water exiting the back channel downstream of the lock.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that locks will be operating at summer hours from this coming Monday 20 July.

Locks on the Shannon Navigation will operate from 9am to 8.30pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 9am to 6pm on Sundays. On the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the hours are 9am to 8pm daily. (See below for contact details for each lock.)

The passage fee will continue to be waived until further notice. However, a smart card will be required to operate locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway at all times; these may only be purchased in advance from Waterways Ireland’s online shop or from designated retail outlets along the waterway.

Work is also ongoing to reopen the service blocks - toilets and showers — at all locations along both waterways. Each is undergoing deep cleaning before reopening, and a comprehensive daily cleaning rota is being set up.

Reopening is on a phased basis with blocks at Lough Key and Carrick-on-Shannon the first to open on Monday.

It’s expected the rest — including Boyle Harbour, Dromod Harbour, Drumshanbo Lock, Portrun, Lecarrow, Ballinasloe, Scarriff and Killaloe — will be reopened throughout the week, with all service blocks abatable by Friday 24 July.

Users must comply with coronavirus protocols and HSE guidelines at all times when making use of these facilities.

Shannon Navigation lock-keepers are available at the following numbers (all +353):

  • Lough Allen Canal – 071 964 1552
  • Clarendon Lock - 071 966 7011
  • Albert Lock - 071 963 7715
  • Rooskey Lock - 071 963 8018
  • Tarmonbarry Lock - 043 332 6117
  • Athlone Lock - 090 649 2026
  • Poolboy Lock - 090 964 4938
  • Victoria Lock - 057 915 1359
  • Portumna Bridge - 090 974 1011
  • Ardnacrusha - 061 344 515
  • Sarsfield Lock - 087 797 2998

Should any assistance be required on the Shannon-Erne Waterway, use the following contacts:

  • Lock 1 - +44 286 7748976
  • Ballyconnell Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2603662
  • Ballinamore Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2602478
  • Kilclare Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2603663
  • Lock 16 - +353 87 2608569
  • Carrick-on-Shannon Office - +353 71 9650562

 For further information on the reopening of the navigation please visit www.waterwaysireland.org

Published in Inland Waterways

​The public consultation on the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Environmental Report will close at 4pm this coming Wednesday 22 April.

Members of the public can review all the documents online and make their submission through the online survey.

The list of documents available to view are an Executive Summary, the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan, a baseline study for the Masterplan, the Environmental Report, and AA Screen Report and Natura Impact Report.

This consultation is the next stage in an 18-month process to create a definitive document to support the development of tourism along the Shannon corridor.

Led by Waterways Ireland, with Fáilte Ireland, the steering group and working groups engaged representatives from Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Offaly, Galway, Tipperary, Clare, Westmeath and Limerick county councils – which are all stakeholders in the longest of Ireland’s inland waterways.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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.

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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