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University College Cork (UCC) says it is providing support to its staff who were passengers on the aircraft that was forced to make an emergency landing at Carne beach in Co Wexford on Thursday.

The staff were conducting marine life surveys in Irish offshore waters as part of the ObSERVE II project, UCC has confirmed.

An Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) inquiry has been initiated into the light aircraft crash which occurred at about 5.10 pm on September 23rd.

The €4.5 million ObSERVE programme has been conducting aerial surveys of almost 500,000km2 of Ireland’s maritime area.

It is being funded by several Government departments as part of planning for offshore renewable and other marine activities which could have an impact on sensitive marine ecosystems.

The UCC team is led by Dr Mark Jessopp and Professor Emer Rogan from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, with partners from Action Air, France, Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands and Duke University in the US.

The four occupants of the aircraft - two men aged in their 20s and 50s and two women both aged in their 30s - sustained non life-threatening injuries in the incident.

The wreckage of the French-registered Vulcanair P68 twin-engined, four-seater aircraft has been recovered by the AAIU for delivery to Gormanston, Co Meath for a full examination.

AAIU chief Jurgen Whyte told RTÉ News that it was not yet clear if it was an engine problem or control issue that led to the emergency landing, and also credited the pilot for his successful manoeuvre.

The pilot had issued a “Mayday” after it got into trouble off the Wexford coast, and had to transit a nearby wind farm to approach the beach.

The sudden “deceleration” in approaching the beach would have resulted in injury, Whyte explained.

An eye witness, Niall Hore, has told the Padraig Byrne of The Wexford People that the four occupants were very fortunate and paid tribute to the pilot.

Hore, who had gone to Carne beach for some sea angling, said he and several Northern Irish anglers witnessed the incident.

“We ran down and two people were out of the plane and were shouting for us to call 112. The two people in the back of the plane were able to get out and had dragged out the pilot and co-pilot and they were propped up against the plane,” Hore said.

"The plane was very bent up at the front and I knew that the pilots’ legs must have been in a bad way,” he said.

“We just tried to keep them talking to make sure they were OK. We asked them where they came from and they said they took off from Waterford and that they were on their last run doing marine surveys in the area,” he said.

"One of the women was pretty bad and was covered in blood and not saying much, so we tried to talk to her to make sure she was OK. As it turned out, one of the crew was from Northern Ireland and was from the same area as the two other fishermen who were on the beach, he added.

“He did very well to get it down just at the shore,” Niall Hore said.

“I’m just glad he didn’t land further out in the water because the current is unreal there and it would have been very hard to get to them. It definitely wasn’t an easy thing for him to do. I’m just really glad that everyone is going to be alright, “he said.

Read more in The Wexford People here

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#Rowing: Hugh Sutton of UCC Rowing Club was the overall winner of the 48th Cork Sculling Ladder time trial, which was run on calm water and on an outgoing tide at the Marina on the River Lee on Sunday. Sutton covered the 1800 metres in seven minutes and 3.4 seconds. Jessica Legresley of Shandon Boat Club won the women’s trial in 7:57.5.

 Two previous winners of the the ladder, Jack Dorney and Andy Harrington, set a time of 6:42.1 as they won the first coxless pairs time trial. Amy Mason and Grace Collins won the the women’s pairs time trial in 7:36.1.

 The event, which was sponsored by Argos Fire, had a big entry. The oldest competitor on the day was 83-year-old Seamus Quane of Shandon Boat Club.

 The sculling and coxless pairs ladders continue with two-boat racing until March 2020.     

Published in Rowing

Marine scientists from University College Cork have discovered plastic at the bottom of a deep submarine canyon while investigating cold-water coral habitats.

UCC’s Marine Geology Research Group has been investigating cold-water coral habitats in the Porcupine Bank Canyon, some 320km due west of Dingle, on a research expedition led by UCC’s Dr Aaron Lim on board the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer.

The team had recovered eight novel monitoring stations, called ‘landers’, worth €450,000 and deployed between 700m and 2500m water depth by the Marine Institute’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland 1 earlier this summer.

The monitoring stations record the speed, temperatures and direction of the currents around these habitats as well as trapping samples of the food, sediments and microplastic being deposited around the corals, to understand conditions and how the corals are coping with changing oceans.

The researchers found plastic in the bottom of one canyon at 2,125m water depth — as deep as ten Eiffel Towers stacked on top of one another.

The reach of human plastic waste is now confirmed as this deep, even 320km offshore.

“It’s always sad to see plastic rubbish in these otherwise pristine habitats. It’s quite incredible that our plastic waste can get this far out and so deep in the oceans,” said Professor Andy Wheeler of UCC, who has pioneered research on cold-water coral mounds offshore of Ireland over the past 20 years.

“I don’t think people think about this when that dump their rubbish. We’re also trying to see if microplastics are being fed to the corals from above. We’ve just got the samples; let’s hope we're wrong.”

“ROVROV Holland 1 recovering one of the monitoring stations | Photo: UCC

The Porcupine Bank Canyon is teeming with a whole range of cold-water coral habitats, just on Ireland’s doorstep, says Dr Lim.

“The environment is much more dynamic than we thought, with two of the monitoring stations knocked over by the currents; food supply for the coral is variable but the corals are doing okay.

“Some of these habitats have existed for millions of years and have grown so large they resemble hills made of coral, called coral mounds.

“This is the first time eight of these monitoring stations have been deployed and collected using the ROV Holland 1. It will provide scientists with an insight into the processes affecting these cold-water coral habitats, food sources and the impact of microplastics.”

Dr Lim said Ireland’s cold-water coral reefs are found in the cold, dark ocean at water depths of 600m to 1,000m along our continental margin.

“Not only is this expedition vital for understanding these habitats and our impact upon them, it also acts as a baseline to start monitoring how our deep-water habitats here are changing,” he added.

The team has a research agenda which will see them return to the canyon and other habitats alike for a number of years, to monitor the changes in the environment around these habitats. The monitoring stations will be brought back to UCC for detailed analyses.

This research survey is carried out with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 by the Government to support and promote the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, which facilitates common research and knowledge exchange for us to provide healthy, resilient oceans for our future generations.

The survey has also received funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland and UCC.

Published in Marine Science

#Rowing: Cork clubs had a set of good results in the first session of Sunday finals at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre.

Cork Boat Club's junior women's pair started the ball rolling, while Skibbereen then took their second title of Championships as Aodhan Burns proved a strong winner of the lightweight single sculls.

Margaret Cremen of UCC had a huge win in the lightweight single sculls, and Lee added the junior men's double to the junior quadruple title they had won on Saturday.

The tighest finish came in the men's club coxed four. NUIG made a tremendous effort to catch St Michael's of Limerick but they fell short by just .329 of a second.

Commercial of Dublin and Fermanagh's Enniskillen Royal Boat Club are having a good reatta. Enniskillen won the men's intermediate pair, while Commercial won the womens intermediate coxed four.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Seven different clubs won in the second session of finals on the second day of the Irish Championships. The races were run in hot sunshine.

Two women's finals senior finals were won in emphatic fashion. Georgia O'Brien of Kenmare won in the women's senior single sculls to give the club its second Championship. NUIG were also well in control in their victory in the women's senior pair.

Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, who is a junior, followed the trend in her big win in the women's club single sculls.

The women's junior 18 eights was a tighter affair, though Bann, once in the lead, held on strongly to rebuff Enniskillen.  

The men's junior quadruple was a big event, with Lee taking the title ahead of Three Castles and Neptune.

Cork clubs are having a good Championships, and UCC took the women's club eights.

Skibbereen figured strongly in some finals, but had their first Championship win when Kealan Mannix won the intermediate single sculls from Shane Haugh of Castleconnell.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The battle of the doubles went the way of the heavyweights at Skibbereen Regatta today. Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne powered away from Skibbereen lightweights Fintan and Jake McCarthy into the headwind to win.

 On a beautiful day, there were clearcut wins in the fours races. UCC's women's crew of Margaret Cremen, Selma Bouanane, Tara Hanlon and stroke woman Emily Hegarty were in control. UCD's men - Shane O'Connell, Andrew Goff, Shane Mulvaney and David O'Malley - were also on top.  

The men's Division Two coxed four final had an exciting finish: UCC's club two crew crossed just ahead of Colaiste Iognaid's junior crew.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Commercial won a stunningly-close race to take the men’s senior eights title at the Irish Rowing Championships today. NUIG/Queen’s had a slight lead ahead of a tightly-packed field early on, but Commercial moved at the 1,000 metres. They could not shake off UCD and the NUIG/Queen’s composite. UCD

finished really fast and almost – but not quite – caught Commercial, who were taking their third consecutive title.

The women’s senior eight went to Skibbereen. Their talented crew,   stroked by Denise Walsh, had a clearwater lead over NUIG, who did not give up the fight but finished second. Skibbereen lifted their title haul to eight with the win.

Enniskillen started the evening session with two wins, in the women’s club eight, where Shandon pushed them, and the men’s junior pair, who were imperious in their victory.

The women’s junior coxed quadruple from Workmen’s was similarly impressive – the quality of junior rowing was a remarkable aspect of this regatta.

Another notable aspect was the proportion of wins which went to Cork clubs. Two of the last three titles did not leave the rebel county: UCC finished out their successful programme with a win in the men’s intermediate double through Ronan Byrne and Hugh Sutton, while Selma Bouanane took the last race of the event, the women’s intermediate single, for Fermoy.  

Irish Rowing Championships, Day Three (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Senior: 1 Commercial (S Mac Eoin, C Cunningham, L Cameron, N Beggan, P Moreau, F Groome, M Corcoran, C Dowling; cox: M Crockett) 5:43.18, 2 UCD 5:43.76, 3 NUIG/Queen’s 5:46.82.

Four – Club, coxed: UCC A 6:38.03.

Pair – Inter: Shandon A 6:56.07. Junior: Enniskillen 6:56.199.

Sculling, Double – Inter: UCC 6:32.59. Junior: Castleconnell (R O’Neill, J Desmond) 6:49.97.

Lightweight Single: Skibbereen (A Burns) 7:20.56.

Women

Eight – Senior: 1 Skibbereen (L Heaphy, O Hayes, M Piggott, A McCarthy, N Long, N Casey, A Casey, D Walsh; cox: A O’Neill) 6:28.42, 2 NUIG A 6:33.32, 3 Trinity 6:48.35. Club: Enniskillen 6:48.33.

Four – Inter, coxed: Cork 7:22.36.

Pair – Junior: Fermoy (E O’Reilly, G McGirr) 7:48.69.

Sculling, Quadruple – Junior: Workmen’s 7:01.06.

Single – Inter: Fermoy (S Bouanane) 8:03.25.

Lightweight Single: 1 Lee (M Cremen) 8:06.97

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: UCC brought their title tally to three as they added the club coxed four to their club eights and intermediate single sculls pots at the Irish Rowing Championships today. The four was tested by four other crews coming to the line but broke free and won. The morning session on the Sunday was held in intermittent light rain.

Margaret Cremen won the women’s lightweight single sculls. The Lee woman looked dominant through much of the race, but as she approached the line she was hunted down by Orla Hayes of Skibbereen, who closed to just a few seconds on the line. Hayes’s clubmate, Aodhan Burns, left no doubts as to his intentions in the men’s lightweight single. He left the rest behind and won well.

The men’s intermediate pair gave Shandon a chance to demonstrate the depth of their talent pool. Stephen O’Sullivan and Colm Hennessy teamed up to win. The Castleconnell junior double of James Desmond and Rory O’Neill came under pressure from Lee in their win.

One of the closest races in the Championships so far came in the women’s intermediate four. Leaders Trinity were pipped on the line by Cork, whose winning margin was under a third of a second (.312).

Killorglin’s Anna Tyther and Rhiannon O’Donoghue gave Fermoy a test in the women’s junior pair. Gill McGirr and Eliza O’Reilly are an excellent crew, however, and held off their Kerry rivals.

Irish Rowing Championships, Day Three (Selected Results)

Men

Four – Club, coxed: UCC A 6:38.03.

Pair – Inter: Shandon A 6:56.07.

Sculling, Double – Junior: Castleconnell (R O’Neill, J Desmond) 6:49.97.

Lightweight Single: Skibbereen (A Burns) 7:20.56.

Women

Four – Inter, coxed: Cork 7:22.36.

Pair – Junior: Fermoy (E O’Reilly, G McGirr) 7:48.69.

Sculling, Lightweight Single: 1 Lee (M Cremen) 8:06.97.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Records fell in race after race in the final Saturday session of the Irish Championships. The Skibbereen senior quadruple of Fintan McCarthy, Aodhan Burns, Kealan Mannix and Jake McCarthy smashed the Championship best of 5:59.10 as they won in 5:50.696.

The Shandon junior quadruple of Eoin Gaffney, Luke Hayes-Nally, Jack Dorney and Alex Byrne – all set to compete at the World Junior Championships – set a new time of 5:58.26. This beat the old Championship record of 6:07.97.

In both cases the crews were bettering times set by their own club.

Lisa Dilleen’s win in the women’s senior single scull was emphatic. The Cork Boat Club sculler set a Championship course record of 7:34.282, bettering Monika Dukarska’s time of 7:35.07.

Ronan Byrne of UCC took the intermediate single, under some pressure from Niall Beggan of Commercial. Byrne’s time of 6:55.898 bettered Kealan Mannix’s time of 7:03.51, set last year.

Enniskillen took the women’s junior eights, in 6:30.753, bettering their own time from last year of 6:36.24.

In the women’s senior pair, Aine McCarthy and Niamh Casey shattered the old Championship record of 7:23.78, setting a new time of 7:17.176.

Joan Poh of Neptune also won the club single sculls in a new record. The old figure was 8:09.22. Poh won in 8:06.13.

UCD continued their fine run in eights by adding the men’s novice title to the intermediate one.

Irish Championships, Day Two (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Inter: UCD 5:43.70. Novice: UCD 6:03.599.

Four – Junior, coxed: Enniskillen 6:22.66.

Sculling, Quadruple – Senior: Skibbereen 5:50.696. Jun: 1 Shandon 5:58.26

Single – Inter: UCC (R Byrne) 6:55.898. Club: Carlow (F O’Driscoll) 7:25.3.

Women

Eight – Novice: Queen’s 7:04.49. Jun: Enniskillen 6:30.75.

Pair – Senior: Skibbereen 7:17.18.

Sculling, Double – Inter: Skibbereen 7:09.09. Single – Senior: Cork BC (L Dilleen) 7:34.28. Club: Neptune (J Poh) 8:06.1. Jun: Coleraine GS (M Curry) 7:53.46.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Philp Doyle of Queen’s and Ronan Byrne of UCC won the Championship Double and Sam McKeown of Queen’s the Championship Single on the second day of London Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake today. Doyle and Byrne form part of the Ireland training group at the National Rowing Centre. Tristan Orlic of Neptune also took the junior 18 singles at Dorney. Commercial competed in the Challenge Eight and won a trophy.

London Metropolitan Regatta, Dorney Lake (Irish interest; selected results, winners unless stated)

Saturday

Men

Eight – Championship: 1 Leander 5:49.90, 2 Commercial 5:52.74.

Four – Championship: 3 Commercial 6:12.20. Tier Two: Shandon.

Four, coxed – Tier Three: Tribesmen 6:32.26. Academic, Tier Two: NUIG.

Pair – Tier Two: UCC 7:14.93.

Double Sculls – Championship: 2 UCC (R Byrne, H Sutton) 6:32.50. Tier Two: Castleconnell 6:42.50.

Single Sculls – Championship: 2 UCC (R Byrne) 7:03.99. Tier Two: Univ of Limerick (K Mannix) 7:18.36. Tier Three: St Michael’s (D O’Connor).

Women

Eight – Club, Tier Two: NUIG/Tribesmen 6:50.64. Academic, Tier Two: Trinity 6:57.77.

Four – Academic, Tier Two: Trinity 7:08.62.

Four, coxed – Championship: NUIG/Tribesmen 7:20.88. Tier Four: Univ of Limerick.

Pair – Championship: 2 Commercial (H O’Neill, R Morris) 7:46.57. Tier Two: NUIG 7:39.84.

Double Sculls – Championship: 3 London/Skibbereen (M Jackson, N Long) 7:28.48.

Sunday

Men

Four – Tier Four: UCC 6:47.80. Four, coxed – Tier Two: UCC 6:55.08.

Double – Championship: UCC/Queen’s (R Byrne, P Doyle) 6:28.43. Tier Two: UCC/Queen’s (Byrne, Doyle) 6:37.50.

Single – Championship: Queen’s (S McKeown) 7:11.67. Tier Three: Castleconnell (S Haugh) 7:29.95. Jun 18: Neptune (T Orlic) 7:53.76.

Women

Four, coxed – Tier Two: NUIG/Tribesmen 7:45.07. Tier Three: Univ of Limerick 7:49.44.

Pair – Tier Two: Cork 7:22.18.

Published in Rowing
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