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Displaying items by tag: Navy

Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Wednesday 09 March 2022) just after 22:00 to go to the assistance of a crewman onboard the Irish Navy vessel L.E. George Bernard Shaw who had become injured during sea exercises off the coast of West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre to provide assistance to the man who was on board the naval vessel which was at anchor at Lawrence Cove off Bere Island in West Cork. The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew David O’Donovan, Martin Cronin, Dave Fenton, Seamus Harrington, Marc O’Hare and Donagh Murphy.

At 22:23 the lifeboat arrived on the scene and the conditions were described as very calm. The crewman was transferred by stretcher from the naval vessel to the lifeboat where he subsequently received casualty care. On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station at 22:56, the injured man was met by paramedics from the National Ambulance Service and he subsequently received medical assessment and attention.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens, stated: ‘Thankfully, this was a very straightforward call out and everything went very smoothly – we wish the injured crewman a full and speedy recovery’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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An exhibition about the Naval Service has opened at the Passage West Maritime Museum, recounting how the Cork Harbour village has been a strong provider of Navy personnel.

Intriguingly, it includes a detailed account of 21 years’ service by local man Jim McIntyre, who enlisted at the age of 15 in October 1956. Recalling the days of corvettes and minesweepers, bought from the Royal Navy, he recounts that “crews were scarce in those days.”

Naval Exhibition at Passage West MuseumNaval Exhibition at Passage West Museum

That challenge faces the Naval Service again today, pointed out at the opening of the exhibition which follows the Commission on the Defence Forces Review that highlighted the need to increase personnel and ships.

Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964

The Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Michael Malone, accepts that this is a challenging time for the Service. “But we have seen peaks and troughs over the years. People are slow to engage in joining the defence forces, but we will turn that corner. We will get the personnel we need. Seagoing is something you have to be dedicated to. We will get the personnel we need,” he told me in an interview at the Naval Base.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The Naval Service and Air Corps say they have observed north America, Russian and French vessels both inside and outside Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) over the past week.

These observations include two Russian warships within the Irish EEZ and a third warship believed to be a NATO vessel.

In footage captured between January 31st and February 3rd, the Defence Forces press office say they have also observed a British RAF combat aircraft south-east of and outside the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The international naval vessels are transmitting on the automatic identification system (AIS) and are outside Irish territorial waters – as in the 12- mile limit – the press office states.

Russian Vessel EKHOROVRussian Vessel EKHOROV

The Defence Forces press office says that this activity is “in line with UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) rules for transit through international waters”.

French Navy 793French Navy 793

It says that under UNCLOS, there is “no restriction on warships operating on the high seas inside and outside of EEZs”.

US Navy 80US Navy 80

This point has been disputed this week by Prof Clive Symmons of Trinity College, Dublin, who is an international maritime law expert, and who says Ireland is within its rights to decline requests for military exercises within its EEZ.

However, military ships are allowed a right of freedom of passage under UNCLOS, he says.

RAF Eurofighter TyphoonRAF Eurofighter Typhoon

Images were taken by the Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft “Charlie 252” include a number of US, Russian, French and UK warships south-east of and outside Irish EEZ during daylight hours between January 31st and February 3rd.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon jets were observed in the vicinity of these ships, and the Naval Service patrol ship LE Samuel Beckett was in the area.

Russian vessel 055Russian vessel 055

During nighttime on the same dates, “Charlie 252” observed two Russian warships within Ireland’s EEZ, and a “third warship also in the vicinity which is believed to be a NATO vessel”.

Russian vessel 461Russian vessel 461

All footage and images were taken between 31 Jan - 03 Feb 2022.

Published in Navy
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The actor Niamh Cusack temporarily enlisted with the Naval Service to give a professional reading of a significant poem on board the L.É.James Joyce while alongside Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Her nuanced, balanced and knowing delivery of the work, recorded by the Defence Forces Audio Visual Section, can be viewed below.

For this phase of the Naval Service’s 75th Anniversary year, a poem submitted by a serving member of the Navy was selected by Naval Headquarters to mark the occasion.

The poem is entitled ‘Statio Bene Fida Carinis’ (Latin for ‘A Place Most Suitable For Ships’). It envisages the Navy’s fleet circumnavigating Ireland from its Base in Cork Harbour, touching on Irish maritime historical and mythological events en route.

The poem makes the point that Ireland’s maritime tradition spans the centuries.

More from the Dublin Gazette here.

Published in Navy

“We are mission ready and interoperable with international Navies at home and overseas,” the Naval Service, which celebrated its 75th year of foundation this year, says in the Defence Forces ‘Year in Review’ annual report issued today.

It records a ‘first’ for the Service this year: “In April the Naval Service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Service.”

The Navy arrested nine fishing boats during the year in 269 inspections. Irish, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Belgian and boats from the Faroes were inspected.

The full Maritime section of the report describes Naval activities in detail:

75th Anniversary - The Naval Service celebrated 75 years from its foundation this year. Various events culminated in September with fleet exercises, a review by An Taoiseach and a parade of sail into Dublin and Cork. Naval vessels were escorted by the Air Corps and Irish Coastguard and were met in Cork by their colleagues in the emergency services.

Fisheries - So far this year, the Naval Service has conducted 269 fisheries boarding’s resulting in nine (9) detentions. The Naval Service patrols 220 million maritime acres of sea (over twelve times the land mass of Ireland) representing 15% of Europe’s fisheries. Fishing vessels from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Belgium and The Faroes were boarded and inspected in 2021.

NSDS - The Naval Service Dive Section (NSDS) was deployed to 20 operations so far this year. Military Operations include underwater maintenance of the Naval Service Fleet, maintenance of Service Level Agreements with External Agencies, and berth surveys/clearances for visiting ships. The Naval Service Dive Section was involved in one (1) Search and Recovery operation following a request from the Coast Guard. One (1) deceased individual was recovered in the process of this search and returned to their loved ones.

Search and Rescue (SAR) - There have been eleven (11) separate SAR responses from the NS this year, a number of them attracting media attention.

Protests - During 2021 there were some civilian protests at Cork and Dublin sea ports. The Naval Service provided Rigid Inflatable Boats and personnel providing a safety role.

NATO Operational Capability Concept (OCC) - In April of this year the Naval service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Naval Service and ensures we are mission ready and interoperable with international navies at home and overseas.

Naval Service Variant DPM - On the 1st of May Naval Service Personnel changed over from the GDR rig to our new Naval Service DPM uniform. This uniform was the result of years of research and combines breathability and comfort with increased fire and safety properties while promoting the Defence Forces brand.

L.E.P - L.É ROISIN completed her Life Extension Programme (LEP) in April bringing to a close a 25-month long project which ensures the continued availability of key Naval Assets. Following suit, L.É NIAMH has now entered her LEP which will continue into 2022.

MAOC-N Medal - In October Cdr Cathal Power was awarded the MAOC-N medal in recognition of the work by the Naval Service Operations and Intelligence Team in countering drug trafficking. The Naval Service in conjunction with our Joint Task Force colleagues were instrumental in providing intelligence that led to major seizures by MAOC-N partner agencies this year.

Published in Navy
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Remedial and strengthening works to the steel piles and concrete deck are underway at the Spencer Jetty at the Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork Harbour.

As Afloat reported last October, the upgrade at the Haulbowline Naval Base includes the construction of a raised turning area/parking zone and access ramp to the jetty.

The project provides for an investment of some €1.4m (excl VAT) to provide for the berthage needs at Haulbowline.

The plan is to stabilise the currently unusable Jetty structure and protect the sea entrance to the Naval Service Dockyard and Basin. The upgraded facility will also provide the Naval Service with an additional short term berth.

The project is part of the Plan to increase berthing capacity for the current fleet in three distinct standalone infrastructural projects, with the Spencer Jetty Upgrade delivered as Phase 1. All of these projects are included in the 5-year Infrastructure Development Plan.

When announced in October 2020, it was expected construction would take one year to complete.

Published in Cork Harbour

The Naval Ship LE Samuel Beckett, with Minister for Defence Simon Coveney on board, sailed through Dublin Port and the Tom Clarke Bridge to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay today accompanied by an Air Corps flyover as part of the Naval Service’s 75-year anniversary celebrations.

The vessel berthed alongside the James Joyce, William Butler Yates & George Bernard Shaw vessels which arrived on Monday.

This week’s manoeuvres saw the fleet converge on the capital, first with a Guard of Honour for Defence Minister Simon Coveney in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning at 9.15 am.

At 10 am, the LÉ Samuel Beckett departed Dun Laoghaire for the River Liffey in Dublin under a gun salute from the Army’s 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment.

On arrival in the city, the vessel took a salute from sister ships of the P60 class at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where there was also be an Air Corps helicopter fly-past.

The fleet is open to the public on Wednesday.

Naval Service 75 Year Anniversary Celebrations at Dublin Port. Photo Gallery by Shane O’Neill

Published in Navy

A Spanish registered fishing vessel has been detained by the Naval Service within Irish waters. 

The detention by the LÉ William Butler Yeats was in relation to "alleged breaches of fishing regulations", the Defence Forces press office said.

It did not give the position of the detention, other than stating it was "within the Irish exclusive economic zone". It said it would be escorted to port and handed over to the Garda.

This is the seventh vessel detained to date this year by the Naval Service, which conducts inspections at sea in line with a service level agreement with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.

Earlier, this month a French registered fishing vessel was detained by the Naval Service off Mizen Head.

Published in Fishing
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A French registered fishing vessel has been detained by the Naval Service approximately 110 nautical miles south of Mizen Head.

The detention by LÉ William Butler Yeats was "in relation to alleged breaches of fishing regulations", the Defence Forces press office has said.

It said the vessel will be escorted to port, where on arrival it will be handed over to the Garda Síochána.

It is the sixth vessel detained by the Naval Service to date this year.

Published in Navy
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When Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett became head of our Defence Forces in September 2015, he was the first Navy officer to take the post.

The Mayo man, who learned to sail at Rosmoney and around Clew Bay’s islands, has served several times overseas with the UN and has a PhD in ocean governance. He is passionate about the sea and its potential, and about its future in an era of climate change. He has spoken in several recent issues about climate breakdown as our greatest threat, and climate justice as a major global issue.

Vice Admiral Mellett is due to retire in September, and will be succeeded by former Air Corps search and rescue pilot Major General Sean Clancy.

He spoke to Afloat about some of the issues he has dealt with – from the Defence Forces response to the Covid-19 pandemic to diversity and inclusion in the military.

LÉ James Joyce (P62) one of the Irish Navy's offshore patrol vesselsLÉ James Joyce (P62) one of the Irish Navy's offshore patrol vessels

“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance,” he explains, emphasising the benefits to an organisation of diversity and “disruptive” thinking.

He also spoke about the ongoing issue of pay and retention within the Defence Forces.

“When I look at the quality and the loyalty and the dedication of our women and men within the Defence Forces, you could never pay them too much,” the outgoing chief of staff says.”They are extraordinary servants of the State...

Vice Admiral Mellett spoke about his future plans, and remembered how emotional he felt about looking in at the Mayo coast from the sea and not having a decent berth for a ship on his home coast.

The development of offshore renewable energy may be a gamechanger for west coast ports like Rossaveal and further north, he predicted.

I first asked him about that famous arrest at sea which he received a distinguished service medal for in 1994 – the capture the previous year of the drug-running ketch Brime.

Listen to Wavelengths HERE

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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