The Irish Coast Guard Unit based on the West Pier in Howth Harbour is looking for volunteers.
The Unit is interviewing to fill trainee positions as Cliff Rescue Climbers, Coastal Search and Boat Crew. No experience is necessary.
All training, certifications, and the required personal equipment is provided. Volunteers are expected to live within minutes of Howth, carry a pager 24/7 to be available for callouts, and attend weekly training.
For more information, email [email protected]
#IrishHarbours - Concerns over rising silt levels in Howth Harbour have made the pages of the Swords Gazette, which quotes the Harbour Users Action Group as saying launches at low water on a spring tide are now impossible.
"The potential for that is very serious," said the group's Brian Turvey, who claims that various Governments have passed the buck for responsibility since the harbour was last dredged in the early 1980s.
"We've got to the stage now where we have about a metre and a half of silt accumulated," he added, noting the problems that poses for boats with deeper keels.
His comments echo a recent statement by local TD Tommy Broughan, who said it is "critical that the harbour does not become unworkable as a result of the build-up of silt".
Two trawlers were spotted around noon last Friday (4 December) dragging a full-sized fishing net between them around the inner harbour.
But Dun Laoghaire's acting harbour master Simon Coate has since confirmed to Afloat.ie that the boats in question were fishing with permission for sprat.
Coate added that the forage fish species comes into the harbour in large numbers on a regular basis at this time of year.
Harbour concerns of a different kind have been heard in Howth, with local TD Tommy Broughan taking the Department of the Marine to task over the lack of any timetable or specific funding for dredging the harbour area - where local yacht club users have found conditions getting worse.
In a post on his website, Deputy Broughan said he was "contacted by members of the Howth Harbour Users Action Group who are very concerned about the build-up of silt in the harbour and the damaging effect this is having on all aspects of this important harbour.
"Howth Harbour has not been dredged for decades. I understand it was last dredged in 1981 or 1982 and I do not recall a dredging programme in the harbour in many years representing the area.
"The action group reports that this neglect has led to almost 6ft of silt building up in the harbour and an operational crisis for all the fishing and leisure craft which use it."
While welcoming investment in infrastructural works at the fishery harbour centre, Deputy Broughan underlines that it is "critical that the harbour does not become unworkable as a result of the build-up of silt".
Read more on this story HERE.
A fundraiser for a Maritime Museum in Howth will feature the sinking of the RMS Tayleur on Lambay in 1854.
Howth locals are endeavouring to open the museum and have a packed afternoon planned on 14th November at the Abbey Tavern with Gill Hoff author of the book “The Sinking of the RMS Tayleur” as one of the guest speakers.
The session will conclude with a performance of shanty songs and poems performed by the Howth Singing Circle.
The event poster is downloadable below.
Tickets are available from the Abbey Tavern, members of the committee including Dermot Quinn, Martin McLoughlin Eleanor Griffin, Sean O’Brien, Paddy Daly, Edgar McLoughlin or Pat Murphy at 087 253 13 41.
The first call was at 4pm to a man who had slipped 10 metres while descending to the rocks at Balscaden to go shore fishing.
The fisherman's colleague was taken by the Howth RNLI lifeboat to Howth Harbour while he himself, with serious head injuries, was winched aboard the helicopter and taken to Beaumont.
A crew from Howth Coast Guard, along with the assistance of local Gardaí, secured the landing site and assisted with the transfer of the casualty to a waiting ambulance.
Meanwhile, at 5pm a call came in for a tourist trapped 25 meters up a 40-meter cliff at Whitewater Brook near the Baily lighthouse.
The team in Howth were closing down from the previous call at the station and were dispatched to the scene by the IRCG operations centre.
A rope cliff rescue was set up and a rescue climber got to the casualty, who was a tourist that got confused on returning from a beach below and found himself unable to ascend or descend from a steep cliff face.
The tourist was secured and brought to safety by the team, and no further medical care was required.
Unable to find a way off the beach, the man had climbed up the sea cliff near Ceanchor Road but soon found himself crag-fast, unable to move up or down.
Howth Coast Guard was tasked at 5pm and located the casualty on a small ledge 15 meters above the shoreline rocks.
A sea cliff rescue climber was lowered in from the top of the cliffs and, using a rescue strop, secured the casualty into a safe position clear of rockfall.
The response team used a rope rescue haul system to recover both climber and casualty to the cliff top. The casualty required no further medical assistance and was assisted by gardaí back to their transportation.
The Irish Coast Guard thanked the members of the public who alerted the emergency services using CASPER: Call 112; Ask for the correct service; Speak clearly and slowly; give a good Position; Explain the emergency; and Remain where you are.
If you spot somebody in difficulty on the coast, at cliffs or at sea, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Within minutes of the alert, the lifeboat Ger Tigchleaar was en route from Arklow Harbour in good weather and slack winds to the casualty boat, a local sailing yacht about 1.5 miles north. The vessel, with two crew onboard, had suffered engine failure.
Under the direction of coxswain Ned Dillon, the lifeboat crew – Michael Fitzgerald, Andrew Loughlin, Jimmy Myler and Leigh Downey – secured a tow line to the vessel and brought her and her crew back safely to Arklow Harbour, bringing her alongside at the inner dock marina pontoons.
Speaking following the callout, Arklow RNLI volunteer press officer Mark Corcoran said: "Even very experienced sailors can get into difficulty. If you’re going out on the sea, be prepared and plan for the worst and always have a means of calling for help. Always respect the water."
Howth RNLI had a trickier callout to deal with three days earlier after a sailing yacht beached on rocks at Lambay Island.
The lifeboat was on scene and located the casualty vessel just before 11.00am on Monday 6 July. Volunteer lifeboat crew Ian Martin and Ian Sheridan launched their small XP inflatable boat and went ashore to investigate in poor weather conditions, with the win gusting to 58 knots and a rough sea state.
Two men were located aboard and the decision was made by lifeboat coxswain Fred Connolly to request the coastguard helicopter to lift the casualties to safety as the sea was too rough to risk a transfer to the all-weather lifeboat using the XP inflatable.
The two men were airlifted to safety and the lifeboat returned to station in what was described by the volunteer crew as "challenging conditions".
#420 – The 420 Munster Championships in Dunmore East was sailed with a fleet of nine boats. The sailors enjoyed a fantastic weekend sailing alongside Fireballs and Flying 15s under the watchful eye of Race Officers Con Murphy and Cathy McAleavey at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club.
Dougie Elmes/Colin O'Sullivan finished the series with six race wins to take first place in the gold fleet. Despite some close finishes Lizzy & Cara McDowell were unable to break the boys domination at thee front of the fleet, but they finished with five seconds to secure second place in the Gold Fleet. Bill Staunton sailing with James McCann from RCYC completed the podium places.
Shane McLaughlin/Tim Coyne saw all their hard work training over the winter pay off when they secured first place in the Silver fleet. They were followed home by the fast improving Alex & Jamie O'Grady in second place.
Howth Yacht Club was represented by nine sailors at the event.
Responding to a question from Senator Averil Power, Minister of State for the Marine Tom Hayes told the Seanad that Howth is one of a number of harbours under review and that "there is a broad range of other factors to be taken into account before a final decision will be made on the matter."
The story comes back into the news more than two years after local traders and stakeholders organised their opposition to proposals by the Department of the Marine to bring in charges for many of the 500 parking spaces available in Howth, citing the potentially damaging effects on the village economy.
Minister Hayes said this week that the harbour's safe operation was his department's priority, claiming that "traffic management and parking is recognised as an issue, particularly though not exclusively during the busy holiday periods."
That is despite then Howth Yacht Club Commodore Breda Dillon rejecting such an assessment in early 2013, saying that that on normal days there was only 10% occupancy of parking spaces on the middle pier.
Paid parking across the Bay continues to be a bugbear – especially for sailors transporting equipment from car to boat – at Ireland's biggest sailing centre at Dun Laoghaire where the harbour company operates a clamping policy.
#squib – The top Irish Squib at the National Squib Championship is sixth place Aficionado, sailed by John Driscoll and David Cagney. A further two great races were sailed off Howth today. In race one, sailed in tee-shirt conditions the wind was about 9 knots and the ebb tide had just started- and was pushing the fleet over the start line. After one general recall the race was up and running. Much of the fleet opted for the pin end of the line where the tide was slightly stronger. However, the waves were choppier, which slowed the progress of the Squibs. However the boats with the skill in negotiating waves reached the windward mark first. Nigel Harris and John Stephenson in Banshee from South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club lead around the windward mark. This race was a windward leeward race with three beats. They were able to sail a conservative race and held the fleet at bay. The crews found the running legs very long due to nosing the tide. Some boats opted to sail the angles while others sailed the rhumb line which put them at a small advantage. Over the race the wind strength was increasing progressively. At the finish the placings were:
1st. Banshee, 65, Nigel Harris and John Stephenson. SCYC
2nd. Ric-O-Shea, 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan.SCYC
3rd. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay. RCYC
By race two the wind had increased to about 14 knots which was a challenge to those crews who needed to adjust their rig settings for the stronger wind. Again after one recall the fleet started under a 'U' flag which is like a black flag but less penalizing. Again the fleet had to decide between choppy water and a favourable tide, or calmer waters and slightly less strong tide. At the first windward mark Nigel and Jack Grogan in Helmut Shoing II had pulled out a lead of more than 10 boat-lengths. This time the race was on a triangular course. The leaders, unlike their performance yesterday, sailed a faultless race. It was a long race with four beats with a wind which increased to 25 knots at times. Unlike yesterday the wind was quite steady, and did not offer the snakes and ladders opportunities which existed yesterday. As the wind increased, the offwind legs it presented huge challenges to the crews who were not prepared for it.
Helmut Shoing won the race. At the finish the results were:
1st. Helmut Shoing II , 105, Nigel and Jack Grogan.
2nd. Ric-O-Shea, 136, David Jones and Mark Hogan.
3rd. Lady Penelope, 819, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsay.
At this stage there have been three different race winners, so what is the overall position?
1st. Ric-O-Shea, 136. 5 points.
2nd. Lady Penelope, 819, 8 points.
3rd. Helmut Shoing II , 105, 14 points.
4th. Banshee, 65, 14 points.
Top Irish boat is 6th place Aficionado, sailed by John Driscoll and David Cagney.
Top lady, in race 2 and 3 was Pamela Phelan in Squib.
Special mentions goes to Megan Pascoe and Hannah Stodel from Weymouth Sailing Club in Squibble who now lie in 24th place in the series. Megan and Hannah are 'Special Athletes' who have overcome their severe handicaps to compete on an equal footing with able bodied male athletes in this elite fleet.
Racing continues tomorrow.