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Displaying items by tag: Courtmacsherry

On Monday afternoon (7 November), as Courtmacsherry RNLI paid tribute to Mary O'Mahony, wife of former crew member Richard and sister-in-law of former coxswain Diarmuid, the station crew and officers taking part in the guard of honour outside the station were alerted that two dogs were in imminent danger stranded on the nearby sandbanks as the tide was rapidly coming in.

The inshore boathouse lifeboat, under coxswain Tadgh MacCarthy with crew members Stuart Russell and Dave Philips, was launched immediately and proceeded at speed towards the last sightings of the dogs.

Charting a tight course to the Burren coastline in West Cork, the lifeboat crew used all their local knowledge to get close to the two dogs in worsening weather conditions.

The lifeboat was able to quickly reach the dogs, who were by this time in the water, and guide both to the safety of the shoreline where locals who had seen the danger unfolding had gathered alongside station officer Garry Barrett.

Both animals were found to be in good condition when getting ashore and were lucky that they had not been swept away in a quick-running sea.

Philip White, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority praised the quick action of the lifeboat crew: “It was really great to see many members of the public reporting the incident and contacting the lifeboat station with their concerns as it would be vital that owners or locals did not attempt to rescue the dogs themselves in a fast incoming tide.”

Monday was also a very special day for the station as four coxswains — Sean O’Farrell, Mark Gannon, Ken Cashman and Peter Nunan — departed in the early morning to commence their week-long training in Poole on the south Coast of England for the new Shannon Class lifeboat which will arrive in Courtmacsherry in mid January.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 10.40am on Tuesday morning (4 October) to help three people on a 70ft fishing boat in difficulty 22 miles offshore, southeast of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

Under coxswain Sean O’Farrell and a crew of five, the lifeboat was under way quickly and immediately made its way to the area of the casualty to assess the situation.

The distress alarm was raised by the fishing vessel’s crew with the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia, when they fouled their propellers and became disabled while trawling in the area.

The lifeboat located the casualty at 11.50am and a tow rope was immediately attached in order to secure the fishing vessel in lumpy seas with a strong wind blowing and a three-metre swell.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to tow the boat which had three crew on board, to the nearest port of Kinsale, where it was successfully docked at the local pier at 6pm.

Commenting on the callout, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority Philip White praised all crew for carrying out the rescue so professionally.

“It is ironic that our crew was involved in a long eight-hour rescue today, at the same time that the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat came off the production line in Poole and the traditional bell ringing ceremony was held.”

The crew on board Tuesday’s callout alongside O’Farrell were mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Pat Lawton, Tadgh McCarthy, Evin O’Sullivan and Gearoid O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s volunteers were called out at 11.33am this morning (Monday 5 September) to go to the immediate aid of a surfer in difficulty amid strong winds off Garrylucas Beach.

Under coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six, the all-weather lifeboat was quickly under way and proceeded in very rough seas towards the coastline off Garrylucas.

The 999 call had been made by the partner of the person in trouble as she saw that he had lost control in windy conditions and was in immediate danger.

The Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard unit was also tasked and maintained cover on the shoreline and the nearby rocks.

Just after 11.55am the lifeboat arrived off Garrylucas and found that the surfer had managed to swim to the safety of rocks between Garrylucas and Garretstown Strand and reach the shore in very poor and gusty conditions.

The casualty was met and assessed on the shoreline by members of the Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard team. Once it was confirmed there was nobody else in trouble, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.

Conditions at sea today off West Cork were extremely difficult, with a very strong southeast Force 7-8 blowing and a huge sea swell.

Speaking following the callout, Courtmacsherry’s lifeboat press officer Vincent O’Donovan said: “It was great to see 15 crew members assemble quickly on a Monday morning to help others in danger on the sea which was raging today.

“This is our 21st callout in what has been a very busy year so far for our station in Courtmacsherry.”

The crew on board the lifeboat this morning were coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Stuart Russell, Dave Philips, Tadgh McCarthy, Enda Boyle, Evin O’Sullivan and Conor Tyndall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Station was alerted this evening, (Sunday, August 7th) at 7.30 pm by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, that a 48-foot yacht had got into difficulties 4.5 miles off the Seven Heads coastline near Clonakilty Bay and required assistance.

Within minutes of the crew bleepers being activated, the Station’s All Weather Trent Class Lifeboat “Frederick Storey Cockburn” under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of six was launched and headed to the scene of the alert.

Just after 8.15 pm, the Lifeboat located the yacht with two crew on board, and after assessing the situation, a decision was made to secure a tow line to the casualty and tow the yacht, which had encountered mechanical difficulties on its passage from New Ross to Clifden, back to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The lifeboat arrived safely at port just after 10 pm, and the causality was placed at a mooring in the lower harbour as the Courtmacsherry Pontoon is undergoing a major dredging operation that commenced last Friday.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Duty Launch Authority Vincent O Donovan said, “It was great to see the quick reaction of our volunteers on this busy summer evening, who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to help others in danger. It’s been a long day for most of these volunteers as they also took part earlier in the day in a major multi-agency Search and Rescue exercise off Broadstrand in Courtmacsherry Bay”

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis MurphyThe Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis Murphy

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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This past week has been a very busy period at Courtmacsherry RNLI in West Cork with three callouts in five days.

The all-weather lifeboat was requested at 10.45pm on Tuesday night (12 July) to launch in search of a person in a kayak that was overdue from Dunworley Bay on the Seven Heads peninsula. The alert was raised by family personnel and an observer from the shore.

Under coxswain Ken Cashman and a crew of six, the lifeboat was under way within minutes, but while en route it emerged that while the kayaker had overturned, he was able to right himself and was able to get ashore by himself.

The lifeboat returned to base after being recalled at 11.15pm.

Crew members on this callout with Cashman were mechanic Dave Philips, Denis Murphy, Paul McCarthy, Donal Young, Dean Hennessy and Enda Boyle.

On Wednesday evening (13 July) at 5.40pm, the pagers were again activated by the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia as a pleasure craft had developed mechanical problems two miles off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six, reached the casualty vessel at 6.15pm and following an assessment it was towed back to the nearest port in Courtmacsherry.

Joining Gannon on this callout were mechanic Stuart Russell, Chris Guy, Donal Young, Ken Cashman, Mark John Gannon and Dave Philips.

The third callout was to rescue a person from the rocks off Broadstrand on last Saturday (9 July) in conjunction with the Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard unit and the coastguard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117.

The casualty was brought by the lifeboat back to Courtmacsherry Pier and transferred to a waiting HSE ambulance.

The lifeboat crew on this callout were coxswain Mark John Gannon, mechanic Stuart Russell, Tadgh McCarthy, Denis Murphy, Austin McKenna, Dave Philips, Pat Lawton and Conor Dullea.

As the fine weather continues, and we head into peak holiday season, Courtmacsherry RNLI stresses to all those that are partaking in any water activities, or planning a visit to the coast over the busy summer season, to remember and follow RNLI safety advice below to stay safe at all times:

  • Have a plan — check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage.
  • Keep a close eye on your family — on the beach, on the shoreline and in the water.
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone.
  • Don’t use inflatables at all on the sea.
  • Make sure to wear a lifejacket at all times when taking to the sea in a boat.
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, Float to Live. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, gently move them around if you need to, and float.
  • In an emergency dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Long-awaited dredging in Courtmacsherry Harbour is being deferred. 

As Afloat reported earlier this month, the dredging at the popular West Cork boating harbour had restrictions put in place for visiting boats in June for a planned three to four weeks

The harbour's pontoon was unavailable and the slipway blocked off to allow for the dredging work in the middle of the boating season.

But now Tom Murray, Commodore of Courtmacsherry Harbour Boat Club says the works are deferred to the 8th of August.

"This is good news as all facilities will now be available for the next seven weeks and we look forward to welcoming visiting sailors", Murray told Afloat.

Published in Dredging
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Courtmacsherry RNLI was alerted by Valentia Coast Guard on Wednesday afternoon (22 June) to two people onboard a 42ft yacht with mechanical problems 25 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

Shortly after 3.30pm the all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of five and quickly proceeded to the yacht’s reported location, just south of the Kinsale Head gas field.

The lifeboat located the yacht at 5.30pm and a decision was made to tow and return it to the nearest safe port of Courtmacsherry.

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s crew on this callout | Credit: RNLI/CourtmacsherryCourtmacsherry RNLI’s crew on this callout | Credit: RNLI/Courtmacsherry

It emerged that the two people onboard were on passage from Kinsale to the Scilly Isles when they encountered difficulties.

After four-and-a-half hours, the lifeboat with yacht in tow arrived safely at Courtmacsherry pontoon at 10.15pm.

Philip White, Courtmacsherry RNLI deputy launching authority said: “It has been a very busy six days with four callouts and great credit is due to all the volunteer crew who drop everything when their pagers sound to help others in distress.”

The crew on this rescue were coxswain Mark John Gannon, mechanic Chris Guy and crew members Dara Gannon, Dave Philips and Pat Lawton.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s volunteers called out early this morning (Saturday 18 June) at 4.35am to go to the aid of a 40ft yacht in difficulties 21 miles south east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn, under coxswain Ken Cashman and a crew of six, was quickly away at 4.47am and proceeded quickly to the reported location of the casualty vessel.

The yacht, which was on passage from Spain to Cobh with four people on board, had developed mechanical and other difficulties in northeasterly Force 5 sea conditions and requested assistance.

Once the lifeboat reached the yacht at 5.45am, Cashman and crew assessed the situation and decided to establish a tow at a safe speed in choppy waters to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry, where the yacht was tied safely at the harbour pontoon around 8.30am.

Courtmacsherry RNLI deputy launching authority Vincent O’Donovan said: “It was great to see so many of our volunteers respond so quickly from their beds early this morning to this callout and it was prudent that the yacht made a decision early this morning to seek assistance in some heavy seas as they had battled the elements from 100 miles off shore.”

Joining Cashman on this callout were mechanic Chris Guy and crew members Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis Murphy.

This was the third callout in the last three days for the Courtmacsherry lifeboat station, following a search for a swimmer reported missing off Garrettstown on Thursday who subsequently had got to shore themselves, and the rescue of a 13ft RIB with one person on board on the same day.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Long-awaited dredging at the popular West Cork boating harbour of Courtmacsherry is underway but restrictions are now in place for visiting boats for three to four weeks as the harbour's pontoon is unavailable and the slipway blocked off.

Local fishermen are making every effort to provide moorings and other accommodation for visiting yachts, according to local yachtsman Norman Kean.

The much-needed work has to be done in summer because of the estuary’s bird life.

In an update, Courtmacsherry Harbour Boat Club Commodore Tom Murray told members: 

  • The pontoon will be removed and will be unavailable.
  • The Slipway will effectively be blocked off as it will be central to the work site.
  • The Field will be used for the Contractors equipment and temporary storage of dredged materials awaiting onwards transportation to Portlaoise for safe disposal.
  • There is expected to be 158 truckloads to be transported to Portlaoise.
  • During the works, the majority of the Western side of the Pier area will be blocked off with limited access to the rest of the Pier. No parking will be available on the Pier.
  • Drop-offs and loading to boats should be possible on the pier steps on the eastern side of the pier. Due to the loss of the pontoon, these areas will be busy no doubt with angling and whale watching boat traffic as well as fishermen and other users.
  • Storage of dinghies should be possible on the Pier House side of the Eastern Pier although launching/recovery will be restricted by Tides as that slip dries out. Alternatively, dinghies may be best stored on the Beach down by GEKO.
  • If planning to launch your boat, I recommend that you do so before the 20th. Access to the slipway will only be for emergency situations.
  • It is envisaged that the works will continue during daylight hours only. Weekend work may be engaged depending on timelines.

"It is unfortunate that these works have to take place during the high boating season, but the pontoon area should be a better safer place for all boat users once the works are complete," Murray said.

Published in Dredging
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The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat “Frederick Storey Cockburn” was called out this afternoon at 3.15 pm, by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, when a lone kayaker got into difficulties on the western side of the Old Head of Kinsale.

Within minutes of the crew bleepers being activated, the Lifeboat under Coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of five was launched and headed at speed to the scene of the alert. The conditions at sea this afternoon were of strong winds creating a strong swell off the coast.

Also tasked were the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter which was exercising in Cork Harbour, the Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat, the Old Head/Seven Heads Coastguard Unit and Naval Vessels that were on patrol in the near vicinity.

The incident happened beneath the rocky cliff-face near the 16th Hole on the Old Head Golf Course.

As the Lifeboats and the Helicopter arrived on scene within 20 minutes of the callout, the casualty had been blown on to the rocks and thankfully succeeded in climbing up the cliff-face to the 16th Golf green above. The Lifeboats recovered the kayak from the water and the Coast Guard unit assessed the casualty who was very happy to be on the safe surrounds of the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Duty Launch Authority Philip White said “It was great to see the quick reaction of all our volunteers this afternoon who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to have the Lifeboat underway in minutes, to help someone in distress. The persons on the golf course deserve great praise for alerting the rescue agencies quickly by ringing 999 or 112, as a fast response to an incident like this was so important, if the person was not physically able to climb the rock-face”

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew this afternoon were Coxswain Mark John Gannon, Duty Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy. It has been a busy week for the Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry with three callouts in the past seven days.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RORC Fastnet 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 for 2021 is in Cherbourg 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 Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

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.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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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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