Displaying items by tag: castletownbere
A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew. Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork. Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution. The book Surviving the Storms goes on sale today (Thursday 11 June) with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.
Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.
The Castletownbere RNLI rescue from 2018 is included with those of a Northern Ireland lifeboat mechanic who swam into a cave to rescue two teenage boys when they became trapped with a rising tide in dangerous conditions and lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people, moments away from drowning. This book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue.
In an extract from the book Dean Hegarty, who at 24-years old had been on the lifeboat crew for five years and was a recently appointed Coxswain on his second callout in charge, explains what he saw when he and his lifeboat crew came on scene.
‘Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene. What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack. The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion. There were huge swells reaching six metres, the height of a two-storey house, tossing the fishing boat around like a rag doll and pushing her ever closer to the sixty-metre cliffs to the west of the harbour mouth. The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.’
RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives. Between them, they’ve helped so many people survive the storms and I’m proud of every one of them.’
Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched early this morning just after 03.30 a.m. to assist a 19-metre fishing vessel which experienced difficulties off the Bull Rock off the Beara peninsula in West Cork.
The alarm was raised when the vessel, with four persons on board, experienced mechanical difficulties eleven miles west of the Bull Rock. The alarm was raised with Valentia Coastguard Radio requesting immediate assistance who in turn tasked Castletownbere lifeboat at 03.27 a.m.
The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and five crew and located the fishing vessel at 05.20 a.m. 28 miles west of Castletownbere Harbour. There was a 3-4 metre swell and the wind was Force 5 westerly.
The lifeboat took the fishing boat under tow shortly afterwards and brought it to safety within Castletownbere Harbour arriving at 12.00 midday.
Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Launching Authority Felix O’Donoghue said, ‘The crew are to be praised for their quick response and swift launch this morning. They spent eight and a half hours at sea and thankfully the outcome has been positive.
#Rowing: Ireland’s Sionna Healy placed seventh in the women’s solo at the World Coastal Championships in Hong Kong this morning. In tough, choppy, conditions, the Arklow woman clung on to sixth for most of a race which was won by Diana Dymchenko of Ukraine. Mette Petersen of Denmark finished fastest of the entire field and took sixth, while Castletownbere’s Miriam Sheehan also finished well to take eighth.
The best-placed men’s crews for Ireland were Myross, who took tenth in the men’s coxed quadruple, and Bantry’s Andrew Hurley, who was 13th in the men’s solo.
Belfast Boat Club’s women’s coxed quad took 11th in their A Final.
World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong – Day Three (Ireland crews)
Quadruple coxed – A Final: 10 Myross 24 minutes 45.44 seconds. B Final (18th to 31st): 4 Galley Flash/Kilmacsimon 17:24.36.
Double – A Final: 13 Arklow (J Whooley, A Goodison) 27:01.10.
Solo – A Final: 13 Bantry (A Hurley) 30:52.53; 16 Galley Flash (J Harrington) 32.20.18.
Quadruple, coxed – A Final: 11 Belfast BC 28:06.90; 15 Castletownbere/Myross (Ireland Two) 28:45.75.
Double – B Final (17th to 29th): 1 Castletownshend 20:46.01; 4 Arklow (Kinsella, Kinsella) 22:03.93, 5 Arklow (Jordan, Reid) 22:21.76.
Solo – A Final: 7 Arklow (S Healy) 32:45.91, 8 Castletownbere (M Sheehan) 32:53.20; 12 Arklow (X Jordan) 33:25.40; 14 Galley Flash (N Hayes) 34:03.40; 16 Arkow (MA Kent) 37:22.22.
Double – B Final (17th to 32nd): 11 Kilmacsimon 21:04.85.
#Rowing: Five Ireland entrants in the women’s solo single made it through heats into Sunday’s A Final of the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Hong Kong. Miriam Sheehan of Castletownbere placed best, taking third in the first heat, one place ahead of Sionna Healy. The Arklow sculler was one of three from her club to make it to the A Final in this class. Both women’s coxed quadruples, from Belfast and a composite of Castletownbere and Myross, also qualified for the A Final.
The Ireland men’s crews found the going tougher. Only the top five in the heats of the men’s double were guaranteed places in the A Final. John Whooley and Alan Goodison finished sixth in their heat - making it through. The three other Ireland crews missed out.
World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong – Day One, Heats (Ireland crews)
Double (Five to A Final) – Heat One: 6 Arklow 19:04.39; 10 St Michael’s, Dublin 21:28.54.
Heat Three: 8 Kilmacsimon/Ring 21:15.37; 11 Courtmacsherry 22:53.45.
Quadruple, coxed (Eight to A Final) – Heat One: 7 Belfast BC 19:33.28.
Heat Two: 7 Castletownbere/Myross 20:40.31.
Solo (Eight to Final) – Heat One: 3 Castletownbere (M Sheehan) 22:07.48; 4 Arklow (S Healy) 22:16.07; 7 Galley Flash (N Hayes) 23:13.68; 8 Arklow (MA Kent) 24:41.77.
Heat Two: 6 Arklow (X Jordan) 24:02.30.
Marine Notice No 25 of 2019 from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advises that there will be a deployment of ADCP current meters on the sea floor in Castletownbere, Co Cork from tomorrow, Thursday 25 July.
Current meters will be mounted in a stainless-steel frame at two locations: Lat 51°38'33.06”N, Long 009°54'42.00"W and Lat 51°38'33.00”N, Long 009°53'43.68”W.
The stainless-steel frame will be deployed from vessel An tOileanach (Callsign EI5930) for 14 days from tomorrow, subject to weather.
Surface spar-style buoys will be used to mark locations. Buoys will be a 700mm diameter yellow buoy of height approximately 1m above the water line.
The buoys will be fitted with a flashing LED light with a range of 2-3 nautical miles. The light will be set to flash 3 times every 10 seconds (duration of flash 0.3 seconds).
The lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Dean Hegarty, launched shortly after 2pm after Valentia Coast Guard radio received reports that a visitor to the island off the Beara Peninsula had gone missing.
Once on scene, the lifeboat commenced a search of the area while Rescue 115 did a sweep of the island and spotted a person who fitted the description of the casualty.
The coastguard helicopter lowered a winchman and confirmed that the casualty was safe and well. All emergency services were then stood down.
Commenting on the callout, launching authority Paddy O’Connor said: “We are delighted at the very swift response of the crew and that the casualty was located safe and well.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., officially opened the new Harbour Administration building in Castletownbere and took the opportunity of his visit to the town to inspect progress on the €23.5m, 216-metre long fishing quay extension project and associated works on Dinish Island as part of Project Ireland 2040.
On opening the building the Minister said; “This building provides fit for purpose offices whereby harbour users can carry out their business with the Harbour Master in a professional and modern space. The building will be shared with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority facilitating a more efficient and effective delivery of services making it a one-stop shop for harbour users.”
"The value of landings into Castletownbere increased by 275% between 2010 and 2017"
Castletownbere is the primary urban, economic and social centre on the Beara Peninsula in South West Ireland. The harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and is formed by Dinish Island to the south (hosting most of the fisheries infrastructure and processing activity) and the town of Castletownbere to the north. Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre is one of Ireland’s major fishing ports and is Ireland’s largest whitefish port. Proximity to rich fishing grounds makes Castletownbere an attractive fish landing location for Irish and foreign vessels.
The Minister went on to say that “The Harbour Administration Building provides a new focal point in the town and forms part of a wider and ongoing integrated Harbour Development programme. It demonstrates a commitment to rural development by this Government and spearheads further improvements in the town proposed by Cork County Council.”
In respect of the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund co-funded €23.5m, 216m quay extension on Dinish Island the Minister said; “I took this opportunity to inspect progress on this large investment in the seafood industry in Castletownbere, and I am delighted to say that it is coming in within budget and ahead of schedule.”
The quay extension project in conjunction with the new Harbour Administration building forms part of a wider Harbour Development programme. The new extended quay will almost double the landing space available to fishermen, alleviate current congestion issues and provide for the possibility of increased fish landings and opportunities for further economic diversification compatible with the fishing industry.
Between 2010 and 2017 the value of fish landings into Castletownbere increased by 275%, from €29.9m to €112.3m, with volumes increasing by 91% over the same period from 19,030 tonnes to 36,446 tonnes.
The Minister said that “when completed the new quay will future proof the seafood sector in Castletownbere, will significantly drive forward the fishing industry and local economy on the Beara Peninsula and allow for a major expansion of the seafood support sector and other marine-related industries in the South West.”
TheJournal.ie reports that the vessel docked in Castletownbere on Sunday evening (20 January) and the remains were transferred to Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem was performed yesterday (Tuesday 22 January).
With time of the essence, coxswain Dean Hegarty and his four crew launched immediately and the lifeboat was on scene within five minutes, at which point the vessel was just 20 metres from the shore.
The boat had been blown into a small area by Pipers Rock at the harbour mouth in south-westerly Force 8-9 gales and amid a 4-5m swell.
The lifeboat crew worked quickly to set up a towline and rescue the boat and her crew from immediate danger before bringing them safely back to Castletownbere.
“Given the weather conditions and how close the fishing boat was drifting to the shore at this point, the lifeboat’s timely arrival managed to avert a potential tragedy,” said Paul Stevens, Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat operations manager.
“The fishermen did the right thing in raising the alarm when they did and we would like to wish them well following what must have been a challenging experience.”
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Marine Minister Michael Creed attended the signing of the contract for the 216-metre Dinish Wharf extension with L&M Keating Ltd, after the project was green-lit this past May.
The works are being advanced by civil engineering crews working both from the adjacent lands, existing harbour infrastructure, and from jack-up barges, pontoons, heavy civil engineering plant and machinery, work vessels and platforms. Divers will also be also employed on site.
For safety reasons, mariners are advised to proceed slowly and with caution in the approach channel to the inner harbour, and within the inner harbour area, and to give the
works a clear berth. Wave wash from vessels should be avoided.
According to Marine Notice No 33 of 2018, these works are expected to continue till March 2020 and include, but are not limited to:
- Construction of a new quay structure approximately 216m at Dinish Island, including all associated infilling and land reclamation.
- Dredging of a berthing pocket adjacent to the new wharf extension by dredging to a depth of -8.0m Chart Datum.
- Dredging of a navigation channel to a depth of -6.5m Chart Datum.
- Construction of two new breakwater structures.
- Construction of a reclamation area to act as a quay/storage hinterland area.
- Provision of all water, electrical and fuels services.
- Heavy-duty pavement surfacing to new wharf/quay structure area
- Ancillary marine facilities and services.
- Relocation of navigation lights.
- Revised security and access arrangements for quay facilities.