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Displaying items by tag: hurricane

The unprecedented damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma in recent days in the Caribbean, and now in Florida, has been a wake-up call for Irish sailors writes W M Nixon. While we may just have experience a breezy early-Autumn weekend here at home, the winds have only been at speeds which are only tiny fractions of those experienced on the other side of the Atlantic, where in many islands devastation has often been total ashore and afloat, even in the most sheltered “hurricane hole” harbours and formerly safe creeks.

Obviously the most immediate requirement is for humanitarian aid. But the long-term economic and social future of the islands and coastal communities on the mainland will be something needing continuous aid and tangible support over the months and years ahead. Many organisations are marshalling their resources and members to join this relief effort in whatever way they can, and the Ocean Cruising Club is one of them, as revealed in this bulletin here from Clew Bay-based Daria Blackwell of the much-travelled 57ft ketch Aleria, who is PRO to the Ocean Cruising Club.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#SHIPPING - The transfer of hazardous cargo from the stricken tanker at the entrance to Belfast Lough has been delayed yet again due to winds nearing hurricane strength.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the Genmar Conpanion - which was redirected to Belfast after reporting a cracked hull en route from Rotterdam to New York - will remain sheltering off the Copeland Islands until the weather improves.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the ship-to-ship transfer of 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil was originally scheduled to take place on 31 December last, but the task was pushed back as the receiving ship, BW Seine, was delayed by weather in the North Sea.

It had then been hoped to begin the transfer early yesterday with the receiving ship's arrival, but the strong storm-force winds that have increasingly battered Ireland in the last 36 hours put paid to those plans.

Ship-to-ship transfers can take place in wind speeds of up to 35 knots, but yesterday the wind speed in Belfast Lough was reported as more than double that.

Hugh Shaw, the NI Secretary of State's representative for maritime salvage and intervention, told the Belfast Telegraph: "As soon as we have a window to do the ship-to-ship transfer safely we will take it.

"Winds have been dropping a bit, but it looks unlikely the operation will take place on Wednesday."

Published in Ports & Shipping

#WEATHER - Ireland has been warned to brace for further strong winds set to sweep across the country today (4 January),

The Irish Times reports. Winds reaching near hurricane speeds have affected coastal communities in the north and northwest, peaking at a remarkable 168km/h in Donegal.

Thousands of euro worth of damage was caused when the roofs of traditional thatched cottages at Cruit Island in west Donegal were blown away.

But the west and east have also been hard hit, with storm-force gales exceeding 100km/h uprooting trees and disrupting electricity supply.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, ferry services on the east coast have been severely affected. Irish Ferries cancelled two fast ferries from Dublin to Holyhead yesterday, and today's early Jonathan Swift sailings between Dublin and Holyhead were also cancelled.

Met Éireann expects wind speeds to be lower today, but could still reach 90-120km/h in some areas.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Weather
"Phenomenal" ocean conditions will be of grave concern to vessels in Irish waters from tomorrow evening as Hurricane Katia makes its approach to Ireland.
As the Irish Independent reports, Met Éireann has considered issuing a severe weater warning today, predicting winds of up to 160kmph and sea flooding on the west coast from Donegal Bay to the Shannon estuary.
On the east coast, winds are expected to reach 130kmph in Dublin on Monday, raising the threat of falling trees and "excessive damage" to property.
The UK Met Office has already taken the rare step of issuing an extreme weather alert for the whole of Ireland.
The category one hurricane is carrying winds of up to 145kmph as it crosses the Atlantic, and is expected to make landfall on the northern half of Ireland tomorrow night.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

"Phenomenal" ocean conditions will be of grave concern to vessels in Irish waters from tomorrow evening as Hurricane Katia makes its approach to Ireland.

As the Irish Independent reports, Met Éireann has considered issuing a severe weater warning today, predicting winds of up to 160kmph and sea flooding on the west coast from Donegal Bay to the Shannon estuary.

On the east coast, winds are expected to reach 130kmph in Dublin on Monday, raising the threat of falling trees and "excessive damage" to property.

The UK Met Office has already taken the rare step of issuing an extreme weather alert for the whole of Ireland.

The category one hurricane is carrying winds of up to 145kmph as it crosses the Atlantic, and is expected to make landfall on the northern half of Ireland tomorrow night.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Weather
The location of record breaking waves that appear only every few years will remain a secret known only to a handful of brave surfers. An international team - including Irish surfers - rode the giant prowler waves off the west coast of Ireland on Monday.

According to a Press Association report one of the six-man team, Briton Andrew Cotton, first spotted it several years ago while on board an Irish Coast Guard helicopter after being rescued from a surf accident off Mullaghmore, Co Sligo.

Last night some west coast surfers told Afloat.ie the location is most likely off the Sligo coast, up to two kilometres offshore and close to an underwater reef.

The terrifying-looking wave, dubbed 'Prowlers', was reportedly up to 50ft high on Tuesday when the Irish, British, Australian and South African surfers ventured out. Photos of it appeared on the front page of the Irish Times yesterday.

The surf team included Bundoran's Richie Fitzgerald who says he had waited for five years for the type of conditions required to surf it and on Monday the waves were in the 40-50ft range. Conditions were perfect due to the massive swell generated by Hurricane Tomas.

Published in Surfing
West coast surfers who went out on a huge wave yesterday (SCROLL DOWN FOR VID) are refusing to give away the secret location of the new monster wave that produced a spectacular photograph on the front page of the Irish Times newspaper this morning. The surfers have dubbed the new wave 'The Prowler' and say it lies 2km off the west coast. The wave rises on an underwater reef and occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas. See the photo online HERE
Published in Surfing

A four foot yacht containing goodwill messages from children in the US state of Maine has landed on the west coast of Ireland, more than a year after it was launched. The craft survived at least two hurricanes on its journey of more than 4,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. A farmer stumbled across the unique vessel after it was washed up on a Co Mayo beach. The Irish Independent has the full story HERE.

Published in Offshore

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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