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Displaying items by tag: Co Clare

#Creeragh - Independent.ie reports that a man has died after he was swept into the sea by an unexpected wave near Kilkee in Co Clare yesterday (Saturday 13 January).

The 30-year-old man, believed to be a Hungarian national resident in Galway, is understood to have climbed down to the base of a cliff in Creeragh to take photos when he was washed away.

Emergency services were alerted immediately, and the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 quickly located the casualty and winched him from the water.

However, the man was later pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick.

Published in News Update
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#Rescue - Kayakers paddled to the rescue of a man in his 60s spotted floating in the sea off Co Clare on Saturday morning (31 October).

According to The Irish Times, the man – thought to have fallen into the water from Seafield Pier near Quilty – was semi-conscious when he was retrieved by the kayakers.

The casualty was subsequently airlifted to hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115, which was on a training exercise nearby.

The incident occurred just days after the body of local man Stephen Mungovan was recovered from the sea after what's believed to be an accidental fall late last Sunday night (25 October).

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Surfing - One of big wave surfing's best kept secrets off the Clare coast has seen the area named among the top surf spots in the UK and Ireland, as the Clare Herald reports.

Easkey in Co Sligo and The Peak in Bundoran, Co Donegal also made the grade alongside Aileens, a renowned offshore swell only accessible to those in the know, in the list put together by Surfholidays.com.

The Clare Herald has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#Missing - Searching resumed this morning (Tuesday 27 October) for a 19-year-old Clare man feared to have fallen into the sea.

The Irish Times reports that the man from the Quilty area was last seen on Sunday night (25 October) at the rear of his coastal home.

A cross-agency emergency response began yesterday (Monday 26 October) after the alarm was raised in the morning, covering the coastline between Quilty and Spanish Point in Co Clare.

Conditions have been hazardous in recent days, and Kilkee Coast Guard advises the public to "exercise extreme caution" by the sea till the weather improves. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#Missing - Rescue services have formally stood down their search for a missing Japanese tourist off Co Clare after three weeks, the Irish Examiner reports.

As of yesterday (Tuesday 15 September) there has been no sign of Ushio Azaki (61), who went missing in Kilkee on 22 August with her companion Eiji Takagi (63), whose body was found by divers on 30 August.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Missing - The search was set to resume this morning for a man who fell into the sea off Co Clare yesterday afternoon (15 December).

As The Irish Times reports, the missing man, a Latvian national, is one of two anglers who has been fishing from rocks near Blackhead, on the south side of Galway Bay.

It's believed the second man left the scene to get help when his colleague went into the water, and could no longer find him on his return.

It's also thought the Latvian national could have been in the water for several hours before emergency services were alerted.

Doolin coastguard, Aran Islands RNLI and the Shannon-based coastguard helicopter were all dispatched for the search and rescue operation, which was called off at 6pm in poor light.

Published in News Update

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has reiterated the importance of forward planning and safety before going on the water after the drowning of a man off Donegal Point in Co Clare on 5 November last year.

The official report into the death of Latvian national Armandas Silins (52) found that he had gone out into the water in a remote area off Kilkee in a small inflatable dinghy with no safety or communications equipment.

It was established that Silins, who had been living in the Kilrush area for around a decade, had owned the dinghy for some time but there was no evidence that he had ever used it to fish.

It was also found that he had not informed any third parties of his plans for that day.

Local man William Ryan spotted Silins in the dinghy in rough seas close to an enclosed bay known as the 'Horseshoe'.

Ryan took photographs of Silins - included in the report - moments before the dinghy capsized. He immediately raised the alarm and kept in contact with the Kilkee Coast Guard Unit while Silins was in the water trying to hold on to his dinghy.

By the time a coastguard rescue team arrived in the area, Silins had become separated from the dinghy, and his body was located nearby shortly afterwards.

The MCIB report found that it was "fortuitous" that William Ryan had been in the area to observe Silins in the water and contact emergency services.

It concluded: "The circumstances attending the incident were tragic in the extreme but avoidable."

The full report on the Donegal Point incident is available to download via the link below.

Published in MCIB

#SURFING - A young surfer from Lahinch in Co Clare is in the running for the 'biggest wave' prize in the 2012 Billabong XXL contest for his monster ride at Mullaghmore Head, The Irish Times reports.

Ollie O'Flaherty, 24, is nominated along with Devon's Andrew Cotton for the massive surf they caught off Co Sligo on 8 March last.

It was the first visit to the world-class big wave spot by O'Flaherty, a science student at NUI Galway who is a veteran of the Co Clare scene.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it was Cotton who tackled the biggest wave on that day - a giant 50-footer - as some of the world's top surfers took advantage of the Viking swell.

Also nominated for the $50,000 (€38,280) prize is Irish-American surfer Garrett McNamara, who last year rode what is being called the biggest wave ever surfed in the world, a 90-foot goliath off Nazaré in Portugal.

According to the Irish Independent, O'Flaherty has put out a call for sponsorship so he can attend the awards ceremony next month.

"It's a massive honor to be able to represent Ireland," he said, but added that he is "pretty much on the breadline from what I'm doing".

Should he win, the Lahinch native said he intends to "put every cent back into surfing" and replace his seven broken boards.

The winners will be announced at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards in Anaheim, California on 4 May.

Published in Surfing

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The mystery disappearance of an allegedly rare whale carcass from a Co Clare beach last week has been solved.

As The Irish Times reports, Clare County Council admitted yesterday that the "badly decomposed whale" was removed from Liscannor beach "due to public health concerns".

The vanishing of the creature had been a source of puzzlement to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), after scientists dispatched to examine the carcass found no trace on arrival.

Experts had been hoping to verify whether the carcass was indeed that of a narwhal, an Arctic cetacean renowned for its unicorn-like tusk.It would have been the first recorded sighting of a narwhal in Irish waters.

Max Halliday from Shannon, who reported the find to the IWDG, said he was "convinced that what I saw is a narwhal. It had the long tusk protruding from its head, but its head was badly damaged. I am absolutely mad that I didn't take a photo."

According to the Irish Independent, the IWDG had appealed to those responsible for removing the whale to get in touch so the remains could be transferred to the Natural History Museum.

But it has since emerged that the creature was taken to a rendering plant in Derry by a team contracted by the council.

A spokesperson for Clare County Council said no remains of a tusk were found in the removal operation.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#LIGHTHOUSES - Loop Head Lighthouse in Co Clare, is set to re-open to the public later this year following a successful trial scheme last summer.

As The Irish Times reports, Clare County Council opened the lighthouse for an 11-week trial period last July with the support of the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Shannon Development and Loop Head Tourism.

Some 17,000 people took up the invitation to visit the 23-metre beacon, which is still in use as a navigational aid, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The consortium is now looking for consultants to help expand tourism the facility with an exhibition and interpretation plan.

Published in Lighthouses
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Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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