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Displaying items by tag: naval service

#defenceforces – Yesterday's Naval Service fleet exercises were an opportunity to hone skills and improve on techniques to ensure that the ships can respond to any operational requirement that they may be required to undertake in Ireland's extensive maritime domain, which covers an area twelve times the size of Ireland's land mass. The Naval Service patrols 15% of EU waters which are under Irish sovereign control and which provide an estimated €3.4 Billion in resources to the Irish exchequer annually or approx 1.2% of GDP.

Published in Navy

#SamuelBeckett – The €53m newbuild OPV L.É Samuel Beckett (P61) along with L.É. Aoife (P22) will be conducting major exercises today off the south coast as part of a week-long fleet assessment by the Naval Service.

Some of the tasks involved include a scenario-based Maritime Interdiction Operation which prepares armed Naval Teams for counter-narcotics and armed boarding's at sea plus a casualty winching exercises with the Air Corps' AW139 helicopter.

In the last six years the Naval Service has intercepted €1.7 Billion worth of drugs in Irish waters. On fishery protection duties, the Naval Service has carried out 407 boardings and 4 detentions so far this year.
Inter-ship replenishment will also be exercised, for the transfer of personnel and provisions while naval ships are at sea. This alleviates the necessity for a ship to return to port while on operations.

Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Hugh Tully stated that: "As the State's principal seagoing agency, it is essential that Naval Units can respond quickly and effectively to any operational requirement that they may be called upon to provide in our area of operation, the North Atlantic, and at short notice. The men and women in the Naval Service operate in some of the most hostile seas in the world throughout the year. Our Annual Fleet Exercises provides an opportunity for Naval Service Units to hone their skills and for senior command to assess their operational capability."

Published in Navy

#CorkDockyard – Among the shipping seen at Cork Dockyard yesterday was the Naval Service 'flagship' L.E. Eithne (P31) which was berthed in the graving dock, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV) is at the shipyard and repair facility where on the same site at a neighbouring slipway she was launched three decades ago from Verolme Cork Dockyard (VCD). She along with L.E. Aoife (P22) and L.E. Aisling (P23) were built by VCD, they were commissioned into service in 1979 and 1980 respectively.

L.E.Eithne represents the last custom built patrol vessel for the Naval Service from that of the VCD yard and notably the last ever ship completed in the republic in 1984. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, as part of last year's The Gathering, a commemoration of Cork's shipybuilding workers and heritage over 160 years was held in Cobh.

Shipbuilding in Cork Harbour has long gone, however on the far side of the Celtic Sea, it is pleasing to note of the third option to build another Naval Service OPV90 class was confirmed by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Defence with the same yard of Babcock Marine in north Devon.

The contract of the €54m newbuild follows the class leadship, L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) and sister L.E. James Joyce currently under construction at the yard in Appledore and due in early 2015.

The third 'playright' OPV90 sister is expected to be delivered into service in 2016.

 

Published in Cork Harbour

#EmerSailsAway – As previously reported, M.V. Emer which departed Cork for the final time yesterday, has set a course bound for Nigeria, to begin a first-time change in her career since commissioning into Naval Service in 1978, writes Jehan Ashmore.

She no longer has her naval prefix of L.É. (Long Éireannach -'Gaelic' for Irish Ship) nor indeed P21 boldly across her bows, however her owners, Uniglobe International Service (UIS) which acquired the former OPV last Autumn have retained her original name.

The origins to the vessels name of Emer are to the principal wife of Cúchulainn and the daughter of a chieftain. Her owners cite it would be a shame to change her name after all these years in a career which spanned almost 35 years.

Numerous patrol duties were carried out in Irish waters and to those carried far out into the Atlantic and often in stormy seas. Over the years she was upgraded with advances in technology yet the passage of time saw her life-span reach to a stage requiring replacement.

This is where newbuild OPV L.É. Samuel Beckett (P61) is designed to cope in worsening sea-states and in patrolling considerably larger sea areas zones from that of the era of Emer's debut in the late 1970's.

In addition, the demands of the navy's remit in carrying out multi-task duties will see use of state of the art technology. Notably through the deployment of drones will greatly improve performance operability.

As she was the oldest in the Naval Service fleet, L.É. Emer served the nation carrying out not just routine fishery patrol duties of the EEZ, but the wide variety of tasks in which this arm of the state has proven to be vital in terms of not just governing our sovereignty but also assisting those abroad in troubled regions.

L.É. Emer and her sisters, Aoife (P22) to be sold at auction and Aisling (P23) carried out re-supply missions to Irish troops, among them Lebanon during UN mandated missions.

On her final patrol as previously reported was under the command of Lt Cdr Alan O'Regan, Officer Commanding and this saw her make farewell calls to sevarel ports last September. Among them the capital after the Dublin FlightFest event, in which she acted as a co-ordination centre as well to host ship duties.

This will contrast to her new career in which her role will be in entering the charter market in the oil-field industry which will involve transferring technicians and workers to platforms. In addition to transporting inspector's and auditors to installations and others associated in the energy and exploration industry.

In the meantime, her delivery voyage to waters off the mid-western African state, will involve a slow steaming-fuel efficient passage taking approximately 3 weeks to complete.

As depicted in our last report, the photograph of Emer shows her in lower Cork Harbour, off the Whitegate Oil Refinery, before she made bid her final farewell off Roches Point Lighthouse.

Take a closer look to her reveal another hint of her new identity as the owners name is abbreviated to 'UIS' which can be seen on the funnel casing.

While the grey superstructure and hull remain however the vessel will be in very unfamiliar waters. From the Atlantic seaboard to that off the continent of Africa.

 

Published in Cork Harbour

#EmerSailsAway – The former Naval Service OPV ship, L.E. Emer, set sail yesterday from Cork Harbour bound for Nigeria, having completed dry-docking work following her sale last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

No longer a naval vessel and her prefix of L.E. replaced to that of M.V. Emer. Yet she retains her grey colours as she departed Cork Harbour for the final time, from where she was based out of the naval base of Haulbolwine for almost 35 years. As previously reported, she was sold last October to Uniglobe Group for €320,000.

Her departure fell on yesterday's twinning of the Naval Service's newest addition, L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) with her adopted city of Cork. She is the first of a pair of newbuild replacements, in which the leadship directly replaced the ageing L.E. Emer (P21) completed in 1978. She was launched at Verolme Cork Dockyard in Rushbrooke near Cobh.

As for her direct successor, L.E. Samuel Beckett will be open to the public this afternoon (3-5pm) while berthed at Kennedy Quay in the heart of Cork's docklands, where photos of the twinning ceremony are available HERE.

Emer's setting out to sea yesterday was for the first time since work started last Autumn in Cork Dockyard, from where she was launched in 1978 as the first of the 'Emer' class. She was an improved version of L.E. Deirdre, the first custom built vessel for the Irish Navy when launched in 1972.

After conducting several evolutions and exercises on proving systems, the Emer was released to make its way to long journey to her owners in Nigeria, along the mid-west African coast.

Around this time next year, L.E. James Joyce is expected to be delivered to the Naval Service and to replace one of the two remaining 'Emer' class, the L.E. Aoife which is also to be auctioned.

The final sister of the Emer trio, L.E. Aisling and the flagship L.E. Eithne will then be the only members left of the 8-strong fleet to be custom built from an Irish shipyard.

 

Published in Cork Harbour

#SamuelBeckett - The State's newest Naval Service patrol vessel opened to the public for the first time (in Cork), and there to greet the arrival was a little girl who welcomed her father home from sea yesterday, writes the Irish Examiner.

Allie O'Connell, 12, from Ballyvolane, gave her father, CPO Phil O'Connell, a huge hug as he stepped off the state-of-the-art LÉ Samuel Beckett, shortly after arriving at Cork's city quays yesterday ahead of its formal twinning ceremony with the city later today.

"It was great to see her," the vessel's coxswain said. "We are in the middle of a four-week patrol and it was great to come up the river and to be welcomed by her. My mother, Bridie, was there too."

Allie and her classmates from Scoil Oilibhéir were due to form a guard of honour on the quayside as part of the twinning ceremonies later today.

For more including footage of her crew boarding the new OPV in Dublin's central quays where as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the €50m OPV was named and commissioned into service in a joint ceremony held last month. Afterwards, the newbuild was opened for the first time ever to the public.

 

Published in Navy

#SamuelBeckett - The state's newest naval vessel, the €50m LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61), is to be twinned with Cork City, homeport of the Irish Naval Service, reports The Irish Examiner.

A Naval Service spokesman confirmed the vessel, which boasts Star Wars-style 'drone' technology, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, will sail from the naval base in Haulbowline up to the city quays for the formal twinning ceremonies.

Final arrangements are still being put in place — the twinning ceremony will likely take place on June 7, with plans to open the ship for public tours on June 8. For more on this, click here.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie last year, there was speculation surrounding the newbuild OPV's twinning with Cork City and the confirmation aptly follows that of her predecessor, the former L.E. Emer whose adopted 'homeport' was also of the rebel city.

Asides the Naval Service historic use of drones or "unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles", the 'Beckett' class will also feature state-of-the-art technology among them robotic submersibles.

 

Published in Navy

#Navy - The Irish Examiner reports on a solicitor's call for all Irish Naval Service vessels to be immediately docked and checked for asbestos.

Ernest Cantillon represents 10 people who believe they have been exposed to the hazardous substance, after it emerged recently that as many as 150 workers could be at risk after working on the LÉ Ciara and other vessels at naval headquarters at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.

Asbestos dust was discovered during routine maintenance on the Naval Service patrol vessel in March, despite an audit of all ships a decade ago that declared them free of the formerly common insulation material.

It's now thought that up to 100 navy personnel and some 50 civilian workers may have been exposed - with no chance of compensation following a Supreme Court ruling in 20013 that only those diagnosed with asbestosis - which can take up to 40 years to develop - can sue the State.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Navy
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#SamuelBeckett – As the sleek profile of Naval Service newbuild OPV L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) got underway yesterday on the horizon off Killiney Bay (see photo at bottom this link) this was her first patrol since Saturday's joint naming and commissioning ceremony in Dublin, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At almost 90m long the Babcock Marine built OPV90 class L.E. Samuel Beckett is 12 metres longer than her predecessor the OPV80 class leadship 'Roisin'. She was followed by sister, L.E. Niamh in 2001, having also been built at the north Devon shipyard then managed by Appledore Shipbuilders.

The hull forms of the Beckett class and her sister L.E. James Joyce currently under construction are designed by STX Marine. The improved sea-keeping qualities of the hull (see link to Air Corps footage off Ballycotton and Dublin Bay) are not only to improve operational working conditions.

The increased length and aft-deck space provides for storage of containers for (potential UN mandated) missions requiring humanitarian supplies and equipment. As such the newbuild can carry more than the 'Roisin' class sisters. Another benefit of the longer hull is that of crew comfort, particularly during the harsh environment of the Atlantic.

Having left an overcast Dublin Bay and in considerably calmer seas she increased speed passsing Dalkey Island and as seen on the photograph on the horizon off Killiney Bay. This resulted in greater resistance as the bow wave increased at the flared bow designed to deflect water away and minimise impact on the hull while maximising  speed and fuel efficiency.

She can achieve a maimum of 23 Knots which is generated from a pair of Wartsila diesel engines (10,000kw) which drive through twin shafts and propellers.

The newbuild has an endurance range of 6,000 nautical miles which will be required given that Ireland has a Fishey Exclusive Protection zone to patrol in an area representing 16% of EU waters. The OPV's main armament is a 76mm OTO Melara compact gun mounted at the bow.

As for that yellow buoy... in the photo, this is one of three marking a safety zone for bathers along a stretch of Killiney Beach close to Dalkey's White Rock Beach. They are there to protect bathers under a beach by-law implemented several years ago by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Boating activity among marine leisure users, notably jet-skiers, are not permitted to transit the zone between the buoys and the beach in the interest of safety for swimmers.

 

Published in Navy

#SamuelBeckett- A niece of Samuel Beckett, Caroline Murphy performed the honour of naming the Naval Service's newest OPV, L.É. Samuel Beckett (P61) and at her side An Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Enda Kenny witnessed the customary champagne bottle smash against the bow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In his address, An Taoiseach said "the naming and commissioning carried with it a great sense of pride and anticipation for all Naval Service personnel. L.E. Samuel Beckett will be a tremendous asset to the Naval Service. I know that the ship's first captain, Commander Ken Minehane and his crew are eagerly looking forward to working up the new ship to its full potential".

The €50m L.E. Samuel Beckett named after the Nobel Prize winning playright, took place along Sir John Rogerson's Quay. Also on the quayside is the statue of the founding father of the Argentine Navy, Admiral William Brown who hailed from Foxford, Co. Mayo. Ahead of the L.E. Samuel Beckett's bow is the Liffey bridge that also bears the same name of the playright.

The appropriate backdrop to the historic occasion included the commissioning of the OPV90 class newbuild into the Naval Service which took place in front of an invited audience as well as the public during glorious conditions.

Among the Government representives was the newly appointed Minister for Justice and officials from shipbuilders, Babcock Marine & Technology, Appledore in north Devon, which floated out the newbuild last November and saw her completed last month as yard no. 194.

The vessel which docked yesterday (see photos), was blessed and following this the L.E. Samuel Beckett's captain, Commander Ken Minehan read out the commissioning warrant to the ship's coy. Then the captain was 'piped' on board the vessel that was officially accepted as a state ship.

Beckettbridge

L.E. Samuel Beckett – the view from one bridge to another!

 

BeckettCaptainKenMinehan

Captain Ken Minehan is 'piped' on board

The gangway also saw the ships company (off 44 personnel and 10 more for trainees) embark on the newest member of the Naval Service which has restored an eight-strong fleet follwing the decommissioning of L.E. Emer last year.

A sister of the newbuild, L.E. James Joyce (P62) which is constructed of 55 modular sections before been assembled is due to enter service next year. Together the 'Beckett' class cost €108m and among their primary roles are fishery protection, SAR, drug interdiction and monitoring of pollution incidents. Her main armement is the bow-mounted 76mm OTO Melara gun.

On board L.E. Samuel Beckett is an iconic photograph of the ship's namesake taken at Le Petit Café, Paris, in December 1985. This was Beckett's favourite place to meet his friends. The photographer, John Minihan was also on board to discuss the famous photograph with An Taoiseach, Captain Minehan and Caroline Murphy.

The other branches of the Defence Forces attended the ceremony, the Irish Army and Air Corps which provided a fly-past that tracked above the Liffey quays and involved a CASA Maritime Fisheries Patrol aircraft.

As guests explored the new vessel, the Army No. 1 Band played Adele's soundtrack to the James Bond film 'Skyfall' which all added to the celebratory atmosphere. Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, the newbuild will be open to the public between 2 and 5pm.

samuelbeckettpatrol

L.E. Samuel Beckett on first patrol after naming ceremony and is seen here off Killiney Bay

Published in Navy
Page 10 of 22

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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