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Displaying items by tag: naval service

#CorkHarbour - Independent.ie reports that firefighters have extinguished a blaze that broke out last night (Thursday 21 December) at the Naval Service base on Haulbowline Island.

The incident began around 9pm in a disused warehouse next to the officers’ mess and a number of other key buildings.

The fire quickly spread to the roof, where it could be seen across Cork Harbour.

All Naval Service personnel on base at the time were evacuated as a precaution and there were no casualties reported.

Marine Minister Michael Creed was on the other side of Haulbowline earlier this week to inspect remediation works on the East Tip waste site, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Cork Harbour

#navy - A new recruitment competition has been opened by the Defence Forces writes The Irish Times, but this is amid concerns over dwindling troop numbers in the military.

Announcing the recruitment drive on Wednesday, Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said the move “reflects the Government’s commitment to meeting the Permanent Defence Forces strength targets”.

A recent report commissioned by the Defence Forces found it is now at a “critical point” with staff numbers well below the target of 9,500.

The report, compiled by researchers at the University of Limerick, noted that figures for unit sizes were often embellished as the absence of members on leave, long-term training courses or overseas missions was not taken into account.

Mr Kehoe said previous recruitment campaigns will deliver more than 800 new Defence Forces personnel by the end of this year, although it is not known exactly how many new staff are proposed to be taken on as part of the latest wave.

“This general service recruitment campaign will build upon the successes of previous recruitment campaigns from which it is expected that just over 800 new personnel will have been inducted into the Permanent Defence Force by the end of 2017,” he said, adding: “As this will deplete existing panels, it is now appropriate that we initiate a new campaign in order to provide for the induction of further personnel in 2018.”

The newspaper has much on this story, to read click here and information on datelines for applicants wishing to join the Defence Forces including the Naval Service. 

Published in Navy

#Navy - A Naval Service seaman has expressed his gratitude to the Spanish coastguard for saving his life, after he fell ill while on humanitarian duty in the Mediterranean.

According to the Irish Examiner, Craig Clear was airlifted to Almeira from the deck of the LÉ William Butler Yeats on Tuesday (18 July) after suffering a collapsed lung and severed arteries.

But after two successful surgeries, the Co Laois man is in recovery — and on Wednesday he took to social media to share his gratitude to the helicopter rescue team from the Salvamento Maritimo.

The LÉ William Butler Yeats arrived in the Mediterranean on Monday (17 July) to take over from the returning LÉ Eithne, which is due in Cork Harbour today, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Navy

#Navy - The Naval Service’s LÉ Samuel Beckett assisted in rescuing 140 migrants from the Mediterranean off Libya this morning (Saturday 3 December), as The Irish Times reports.

Food, water and medical treatment were provided to the people who were transferred from their rubber boat to the rescue vessel MS Aquarius as part of the latest humanitarian operation in the region.

The operation comes just five days after the crew rescued more than 500 migrants from just four rubber vessels off Tripoli, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Navy

#Navy - Taoiseach Enda Kenny will officiate the twinning of the new Naval Service vessel LÉ William Butler Yeats with the city of Galway on Monday 17 October, as the Connacht Tribune reports.

The City of the Tribes was previously linked with the LÉ Aisling, which was decommissioned this past summer and is now being proposed as the home of a floating museum in Galway Docks.

Designed by Vard Marine and built by Babcock Marine in Appledore, north Devon, LÉ William Butler Yeats is in the same class OPV90 as sister ships LÉ Samuel Beckett and LÉ James Joyce, delivered in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

On a visit to the new vessel in Haulbowline last month, Defence Minister Paul Kehoe described its arrival and entry into service as "another key milestone in the history of the Naval Service".

Published in Navy

#RNLI - An unusual training exercise took place on Sunday (14 August) off the Connemara coastline involving the Naval Service vessel LÉ Orla and the volunteer crews of the Clifden RNLI lifeboats.

In calm conditions, RNLI volunteers and naval crew co-operated on a number of training exercises, beginning with a 'man overboard' scenario, in which the casualty was transferred by hoist from the LÉ Orla to the Mersey class all weather-lifeboat Fishermans Friend.

A RIB from the naval vessel was then recovered in the water and towed by the Atlantic 85 lifeboat helmed by Daniel Whelan with crew John Mullen, Gerry Claffey and Michael Carey.



Next up was a salvage operation exercise, where the lifeboat crew used their salvage pump onboard the Naval vessel which was supposedly adrift at the time.

"It was at this point it occurred to me that as part of a salvage operation we would normally tow the vessel in question," said Clifton RNLI coxswain David Barry, who requested and was granted permission to tow the 750-tonne OPV at 1,500 revs and 3.2 knots.

"Admittedly, conditions were very calm at the time, but we were all really delighted to have been able to successfully carry out a brief tow," he added. "In poorer conditions, we might have been able to at least keep the ship nose to sea.

"Overall, the day's exercises were a huge success for the whole crew and we are really grateful to the Irish Naval Service for facilitating these invaluable exercises."

To round off the exercise session, three Naval Service divers were recovered from the water by both lifeboats.

Since the introduction of the all-weather lifeboat to Clifden, the volunteer crew have undertaken many hours of advanced and innovative exercise scenarios intended to give the crew experience and competence.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Angling - The 1st Meath Adventure Scouts from Dunboyne and Sphere 17 youth group from Darndale in north Dublin recently participated in a visit on board the Irish Naval Service vessel LÉ Ciara.

During a short break in Dublin Port to refuel on 25 July, the ship's commanding officer gave kind permission for a visit on board, which was facilitated by the Dublin Angling Initiative (DAI) of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

The two youth groups were given a comprehensive tour of the ship, which included talks on naval duties, life at sea, navigation and weapon systems, fisheries protection and naval recruitment opportunities.

A key component of the DAI is to highlight the importance of fisheries conservation, and the initiative says visits aboard Irish naval ships are an extension of that sector.

DAI co-ordinator Oisin Cahill said: “We are delighted to work with the young people and youth leaders from 1st Meath Adventure Scouts and Sphere 17 Darndale. It is great to see the youth groups engage on the issue of conservation through enjoyable and interesting experiences such as this one.

"The Dublin Angling Initiative also introduces youths to the pursuit of angling. Angling is a wide and varied pursuit which can be sedentary or active, practiced socially or in solitude and appeals to a wide range of people of all ages including young people.

"We hope that by introducing these young people to angling, it might spark their interest and lead to them pursuing it as a hobby. It is vital that we engage communities around the aquatic landscape and encourage interest in important issues such as conservation and the environment.”

The DAI aims to promote, develop and improve angling in the greater Dublin area. During the summer months, young people from national and secondary schools, summer projects and youth services are taken out on fishing courses.

To date, thousands of young people have been introduced to sea, coarse and game angling, and the initiative has been a catalyst in setting up fishing clubs for many of these young people.

The DAI welcomes enquiries from all groups or individuals interested in its programmes and services. For further information visit www.fisheriesireland.ie or contact Oisin Cahill at [email protected]

Published in Angling

#Turtles - Two rescued loggerhead turtles have been returned to the ocean by the crew of LÉ Róisín as the Naval Service vessel makes its way to the Mediterranean on deployment.

According to RTÉ News, the Naval Service were only happy to oblige when contacted by Dingle Oceanworld about the possibility of releasing Una and Tallula.

The former was nursed back to health at the Dingle marine wildlife sanctuary after she was found at Barryroe in West Cork last December.


She was joined on the OPV by Tallula, a turtle washed up in Cornwall who was treated at Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium and flown into Dingle especially for release.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, LÉ Róisín and its 57-strong crew are headed to the Mediterranean as the first deployment for the Naval Service this year under Operation PONTUS.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#CrewInjury - The Naval Service has thanks to the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon and Waterford helicopter crews for their assistance in an early morning (Tuesday) medevac from one of their vessels.

The Clare Herald writes that a crew member on board the L.E. Samuel Beckett was airlifted to hospital in the early hours after suffering an injury on board.

Irish Coast Guard search and rescue helicopters from Shannon and Waterford were involved in the operation.

The Naval Service has confirmed that a crew member on board the Samuel Beckett suffered a head injury in an ‘offshore’ incident. The accident happened at around 1.00am about 120 kilometres south of Cork.

To read more of the newspaper's coverage click here. 

Published in Coastguard

“The boy stood on the burning deck,” is one of the most famous lines in literature and particularly relevant in the maritime sphere. Many people can quote the next line…”Whence all but he had fled…” But why was he there, on what ship and in what circumstances? On this week’s edition of THIS ISLAND NATION we tell you the full story. While listening to it, I compared it with a following story on the programme, the threat to the operations of the Irish Naval Service by a commercial company.

It seems ludicrous that a fully operational Naval Service is under threat, but so it is and the warning has come from the Department of Defence, so it is the opinion of Government.

“This cannot be an acceptable situation….for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base…..” Those words, from the Department of Defence, are blunt and were made in a major intervention at a public inquiry held by Bord Pleanala into the Indaver Ireland waste company’s third attempt to build a hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour, close to Naval Base headquarters. The Department went further, stating that the location of the incinerator would also affect Air Corps operations, which “may be forced to impose a ‘no-fly’ restriction” around Haulbowline Island. “In addition, Haulbowline Island is accessed by road as a sort of cul de sac to the Ringaskiddy Road. The proposed incinerator is to be built adjacent to this road, before Haulbowline. Therefore, in the event of any accident at the incinerator, road access to and from Haulbowline is threatened. For example, if an accident at the incinerator necessitated local area evacuation, the evacuation of Haulbowline would be denied.

“This cannot be an acceptable situation for those that work at or visit Haulbowline, nor for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base therein.”

That makes the threat to the Naval Service very clear. No nation can accept a restriction imposed on its Naval Service operations. That must be national policy. I am proud of our Naval Service. It is a professional, top-level maritime organisation. Its rescue work in Irish waters has been superb. Its performance on refugee rescue in the Mediterranean has raised the profile of Ireland as a maritime nation. I do not accept that its operations should be threatened. I live in the Cork Harbour area. Through my kitchen window I see three wind turbines and several chemical factories. So harbour industrial development is an accepted part of my daily life, but a threat to our Naval Service is not acceptable.

Also under threat, publicly stated by the Minister for the Marine, is €500m. of marine development investment in the harbour if the incinerator, which he has described as “wrong place, wrong time,” is built. Concern has been voiced about youth sailing close to the incinerator and, if Air Corps helicopter operations are affected, what about the effect on Coast Guard helicopter operations in the area?

This is the 50th edition of THIS ISLAND NATION so a somewhat unusual coincidence of two Naval stories on the programme - that of the legendary boy who stood on the burning deck of the flagship of Napoleon’s fleet at the Battle of the Nile, the three-decked, 120-gun L’Orient and the threat to Ireland’s Naval Service

• Listen to the programme below:

Published in Island Nation
Page 3 of 22

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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