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A Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: Passengers

As The Irish Times reports, passengers from Britain arriving in Ireland will be advised to undertake daily antigen tests for five consecutive days, according to a Government statement issued late on Thursday night.

The first of five tests should be completed on the day of arrival from England, Scotland or Wales and people should self-isolate immediately and seek a PCR test if they develop symptoms or have a positive antigen test.

The statement said the Government had received an updated public health assessment in relation to the Omicron variant.

A number of travel-related measures have been agreed, taking account of relevant factors including the intention to continue to align with the overall European Union approach to travel, and the particular circumstances of the Common Travel Area (CTA).

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the travel advice is not regulatory and it will be up to individuals to comply with it for their own benefit.

Citing advice from the World Health Organisation, Mr Martin said: “We’re not going to stop Omicron, but we can try to delay it as best we can. We are saying to people to be conscious of this.”

For much more on this latest development on overseas passengers arriving in advance of the festive season, click here.

Published in Ferry

Holidaymakers of Brittany Ferries have expressed concern at the way the company is managing summer bookings.

The ferry operator says it is working on the basis that Irish holidaymakers may be in a position to travel to France as early as June – even though the Government’s phased exit from lockdown means people will be unable to travel far from their homes until the second half of July at the earliest.

One customer who has contacted The Irish Times says he was told that, unless they paid the balance in full, his family would lose a substantial deposit they had put on a sailing that they believe is extremely unlikely to go ahead because of the Covid-19 crisis. He says he was also told that, if the ferry crossing were eventually cancelled, he would then be given a credit note instead of a refund.

For more on this story click here. 

Afloat adds since 1978 Brittany Ferries has operated a seasonal service on the Cork-Roscoff route.

The company earlier this year launched a new Rosslare-Bilbao service to northern Spain having abandoned Cork-Santander.  The new route however 'suspended' passengers due to French Government Covid-19 restrictions. 

A second new route from Rosslare Europort to Roscoff was scheduled to have begun in March but again the Covid-19 situation forced sailings not to operate on the continental Europe connection.

According to Brittany Ferries website, all sailing schedules (update today) on the Ireland-France/Spain services will as alluded above commence in June.

Published in Brittany Ferries

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advises mariners that ENI Ireland BV is scheduled to conduct a 2D seismic survey in the Atlantic waters of the Irish Designated Continental Shelf.

The planned start of the survey is mid-April 2013 and, weather permitting, will continue until mid-October 2013.

The proposed survey consists of 18,000km of a full-fold 2D seismic survey in offshore waters beyond the 12-nautical-mile limit, and extends into international (high seas) waters.

The seismic acquisition will be carried out by the seismic vessel M/V BGP Explorer (Call sign HP4919), which will be accompanied at all times by guard vessel M/V Alk Explorer (Call sign HO2639). In addition, M/V De Vrouw Marie (Call sign HP9974) will act as a supply vessel for the re-supply of materials.

M/V BGP Explorer will tow a single solid 10km streamer. The vessel will travel at 4–5 knots and the streamer will be located approximately 10 metres below the surface. All vessels will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

The notice requests all vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, to give the M/V BGP Explorer, the M/V Alk Explorer and the supply vessel a wide berth, and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Details of co-ordinates for the seismic survey are included in Marine Notice No 13 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Notice of this latest seismic survey comes after the news that the European Commission has sought an explanation from the Government over why it has not conducted environmental impact assessments for such operations in Irish waters, which are a designated whale and dolphin sanctuary.

Meanwhile, another recent Marine Notice advises passenger ship operators of the requirements for vessels engaged in the tendering of passengers between ship and shore.

Full details on the relevant provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts are included in Marine Notice No 12 of 2013 available HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#MarineNotice - A recent Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) raises importance of maintenance as highlighted in the MCIB report into the scuttling of fishing vessel Jeanette Roberta in Glandore Harbour in late 2011.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the prawn boat was returning to port on 11 December 2011 when the skipper had difficulty switching the helm from auto-pilot to manual due to a known issue with "sticky solenoids". The boat subsequently veered off course without warning and was holed on rocks on Adam's Island.

The official report into the incident castigated the owner/skipper for continuing to sail the vessel with persistent navigation issues - and Marine Notice No 04 of 2013 reminds all fishing vessel operators to ensure that deficiencies with their vessels are rectified without delay.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that a vessel is maintained and operated at all times in accordance with the requirements of the agreed Code of Practice. Owners of all vessels also have a legal obligation to operate their vessels in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the latest Marine Notice is directed at passenger vessel owners and operators - encouraging them to continue voluntary efforts to improve accessibility on their vessels.

A new questionnaire has been made available to inform the DTTAS about the extent of accessibility improvements introduced to maritime passenger transport services in the State.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 05 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) draws attention to EU regulations pertaining to the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents.

The new EU Regulation 392/2009 came into force last week on 31 December 2012, incorporating provisions of the 2002 protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea, which introduced compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships such as passenger ferries, and covers the liability of the carrier in respect of passengers, their luggage and vehicles.

Full details of the new regulations are available in Marine Notice No 2 of 2013 via the department website HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) highlights the rights of ferry and boat passengers within the European Union under new legislation set to apply from 18 December 2012.

The European Union (Rights of Passengers when Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterway) Regulations 2012 give full effect to Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010, which has the objective of ensuring "a high level of protection for passengers using waterborne transport anywhere in the European Union by establishing certain rights and a minimum quality of service across the EU.

"It provides ship passengers with enhanced rights and includes provisions on non-discrimination and assistance for persons with disabilities and reduced mobility, rights relating to the provision of information to all passengers before and during a journey, assistance to passengers in the event of delays and, in certain circumstances, compensation for delays and cancellation of journeys."

The main elements of the new regulations are summarised in Marine Notice No 63 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Meanwhile, the DTTAS is also reminding shipowners, masters and officers of their obligations as regards keeping a continuous navigational watch while at anchor.

Full details of obligations under the STCW Convention are included in Marine Notice No 62 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Ferry

#TITANIC - Irreverent tech website Gizmodo has marked the 100th annversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a list of the 13 deadliest shipwrecks in history.

The list runs the gamut from well over a century ago, in the early days of passenger shipping - see the SS Sultana, a tragedy overshadowed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the American Civl War - to more recent events.

Included are such as sad tales as that of the Empress of Ireland, the worst disaster in Canadian maritime history in which more than 1,000 died, and much closer to home the Lusitania, which went down off Kinsale in May 1915 after a torpedo attack.

But the worst was arguably suffered by the passengers of the steamship SS Kiangya - which blew up 50 miles north of Shanghai in December 1948, taking as many as 3,920 lives - and the horror that befell the MV Doña Paz in the Philippines in December 1987, where estimates put the death toll at an unbelievable 4,000.

Gizmodo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB

#CRUISE LINERS - Cruise ship passengers will be given a safety briefing before leaving port under new industry rules drawn up in the wake of the Costa Concordia incident, The Guardian reports.

Three organisations representing international cruise lines have agreed that the 'muster drill' - which is currently conducted within 24 hours of setting sail as per maritime law - must now be held before departure from any port.

The move comes after reports that hundreds of passengers who had boarded the stricken vessel hours before it ran aground off the western Italian coast had not yet had any kind of safety instruction.

Muster drills, whereby passengers are shown how to put on lifejackets and directed to exits, are already common practice in the industry.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an Irish couple were among thousands rescued from the Costa Concordia after the incident on Friday 13 January. At least 32 people are believed to have died in the disaster, with 15 recorded passengers still missing.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NEWS UPDATE - The Irish couple rescued from the stricken cruise liner off the Italian coast have spoken of their joy to be back home safe and sound.

Séamus Moore (52) and his wife Carol (50) from Clonmel were greeted by their three children at Dublin Airport yesterday, just two days after the Costa Concordia struck a sandbank and capsized off Tuscany.

“It was a difficult experience but at the end of the day it worked out very well for most people," Carol told The Irish Times. "It’s really, really a relief to be home.”

Commenting on the events of Friday night, Séamus likened their experiences on the sinking cruise ship to the film Titanic.

“When we were sitting on the side of the ship I said to her ‘now we know what Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett felt like’ and she said ‘well at least Kate lived’."

As the boat listed, it also struck Séamus that while "everything was crashing one way, then the next, the one thing I did notice is that the piano player kept playing."

The couple were removed from the ship by lifeboat in the early hours of Saturday and looked after by the staff at the Irish Embassy in Rome before their return.

They were among some 4,000 passengers on the cruise ship, most of whom were rescued within hours of the incident. Six people are confirmed dead following the disaster, with more than 60 injured and 16 people still missing.

The captain of the 114,500-tonne vessel was arrested on Saturday accused of manslaughter and of abandoning ship before all passengers and crew had been evaculated.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]