Displaying items by tag: diving
The wireless Marconi telegraph was instrumental in saving more than 705 passengers from freezing Atlantic waters when the ship sank after striking an iceberg off Newfoundland in April 1912 with the loss of almost 1500 lives.
As Afloat reported previously, the ambitious project to retrieve the most famous marine radio in the world from 2.5 miles down in the Atlantic has finally secured legal approval.
The new expedition planned by RMS Titanic Inc, the salvor-in-possession, will be led by Dr David Gallo and French former naval officer Paul Henri Nargeolet.
Dublin-based Golden, who was the first Irish diver to visit the wreck site in almost 4,000 metres of water, has been engaged as a consultant to the company which has recovered over 5,500 artefacts in eight previous expeditions.
The former managing director of Virgin Records Ireland was dive safety operations manager for the Operation Titanic 2000 project which recovered 800 items - including the main ship’s wheel which he spotted. He returned in 2005 for a second dive, which was recorded in a BBC documentary.
In March 2013 he was a member of the team sponsored by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos which salvaged five Apollo F-1 rocket engines from 4200 metres in the North Atlantic, including one from Apollo 11 which launched a man to the moon in 1969.
Golden’s participation is one of several Irish connections to the new diving expedition which is expected to cost at least 10 million US dollars.
A Mayo community’s support for the new venture also helped to secure recently approved US Admiralty Court permission for it.
A letter to the US Admiralty Court from Addergoole Titanic Society director Toss Gibbons, secretary Mary Rowland and public relations officer Frank Gibbons urged that it would “give its blessing” to RMS Titanic Inc to undertake the expedition. The society remembers 11 of the ship’s fatalities from the Mayo village of Laherdane and surrounding area.
“We spent a lot of time in Ireland, in Belfast and with the folks in Addergoole to put a plan together which would satisfy the court,” RMS Titanic Inc president Bretton Hunchak said.
The recovery of the Marconi telegraph is crucial to understanding “the story of all of the survivors”, Hunchak explained.
“Ultimately, the Marconi radio system remains an unsung hero, responsible for countless generations of families that exist only because the radio cried out on behalf of their ancestors,” he said.
“ For that reason, we must recover this incredible piece of history, to rescue the radio that saved 705 lives from being taken from the world that fateful night."
Hunchak said the original plan for the expedition was within a weather window between June and August of this year, and that might still take place.
“Obviously, with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have questions now and will make a decision on timing very shortly,” he said.
“The Marconi telegraph is recognisable, from our underwater photography, but if we recover it there will be considerable conservation required before we can take it around the world as part of our exhibition of artefacts,” he said.
Golden said the project was “fraught with a lot of unknown and known variables, such as the condition of the roof area, the wreck itself, currents, visibility” and other factors, but has “a very good chance of succeeding”.
The wreck of the Titanic was discovered by Dr Robert Ballard and Jean Louis Michel in a joint US/ French expedition on September 1st, 1985, some 963 miles northeast of New York and 453 miles southeast of the Newfoundland coastline.
More on the Sunday Times report here
Divers of the Naval Service which form an elite unit in the force is operating at less than a quarter of its intended capacity as a result of the Defence Force’s retention crisis.
Naval Service Diving Section according to The Irish Times, is the only dive team in Ireland capable of carrying out deep sea operations. It has a wide variety of roles but its most prominent function is carrying out search and recovery operations for missing persons.
It carries out an average of 15 missing person searches every year, some of which last for up to two weeks at a time.
The diving section has an establishment strength of 27 divers but is operating with just six as a result of highly trained personnel leaving for the private sector. Moreover, the problem is compounded by a lack of replacements coming through.
The diving section has not been at full strength since before the reorganisation of the Defence Forces in 2012 which was marked by significant cuts to resources and a new manpower limit of 9,500.
Click here for further reading on the story.
Last Sunday, Wexford Sub Aqua Club, presented the Kilmore Quay branch of the RNLI, with a cheque for €1,000. The presentation was done just before the crew went out for their scheduled morning training exercise.
This money was raised by members and friends of the club at their annual Christmas Swim.
This year’s swim was noticeable due to the temperature of the water, which swimmers commented on as being the coldest since the club started to do the event.
Swim organiser, Ivan Donoghue said that “it was so cold, that while swimmers walked to the waters edge, the sand was cracking under their feet. We braved the water for a few minutes, but the members of all the RNLI face such conditions on every call they go on. We thank everyone who took part, those who sponsored the swimmers and the Kilmore Quay RNLI for being there to protect the people who use the waters around the Saltee Islands”
The club’s next event is on Sunday April 22nd at 10.30am. It is a 5 mile fun run/walk around the scenic Kilmore Quay village and registration is at our clubhouse overlooking the Saltee islands. €10 entry for adults.
The club are currently in the process of teaching our five new members how to dive.
RTÉ News reports that an investigation has begun into the death of an Irish boy in a boating incident in the United States last week.
Harry O’Connor, 8, died on Saturday (29 July) three days after he was involved in a boat capsize in the Cape Cod Canal near Boston.
According to TheJournal.ie, the boy — who was on a day trip with his parents — was trapped under the capsized vessel for more than 20 minutes.
O’Connor had moved to Boston with his family from Clonmel and also had ties to Duleek in Co Meath, where his funeral will take place this Thursday (3 August).
In other news, a post-mortem was set to take place yesterday (Monday 31 July) after a 57-year-old man died in a diving accident off Donegal last Friday (28 July)
John Alwright’s oxygen mask was dislodged after he was swept into a cave by an underwater current, as Independent.ie reportss Independent.ie reports.
Despite the best efforts of his diving companions, Alwright was unresponsive when he came to the surface.
#Rescue116 - More than 100 divers have joined a major search since early this morning (Saturday 22 April) for Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith, the two Irish Coast Guard crew members still missing after the Rescue 116 tragedy over a month ago.
According to The Irish Times, an exclusion zone around the wreck site at Black Rock off Co Mayo has been lifted for the search, thought to be the largest ever co-ordinated dive in the history of the State.
Naval Service and Garda divers are joined by specialists in sub-sea search and recovery in combing the sea bed of at the western and south-western parts of the island, following the completion of a ‘360-degree’ terrain survey by the Army and Garda crime scene examiners.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
An eighth person was subsequently recovered from the water and airlifted to Sligo Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118, which was diverted from the ongoing search for the missing crew of Rescue 116.
Independent.ie reports that the latter diver was in serious condition, and that a second diver was later hospitalised.
The committee heard from Terry Allen of the National Monuments Service that the incident would have occurred even with supervision by an archaeologist.
But committee chair Peadar Tóibín said Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys has “questions to answer” as the decision to allow the dive to one of Ireland’s most important wreck sites unsupervised was itself a “significant break” from protocol.
A subsequent dive led by Eoin McGarry on behalf of the Lusitania’s owner Gregg Bemis recovered a separate telegraph machine from its bridge, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
Marine salvage specialist Brian McAllister will talk the challenges of raising the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, a pioneering effort that involved the greatest minds and hands in the industry.
Renowned wreck diver Barry McGill discusses the struggle to control pivotal shipping waters in the North Atlantic off the Irish coast during the First World War by the use of U-boats and mines.
On a similar war theme, Irish-born but France-based diver and photographer Catherine Connors surveys the remains of the Second World War’s Operation Overlord, better known at the D-Day landings.
Closer to home, Tosh Lavery gives a brief history of the Garda Underwater Unit and its work on missing person and murder cases alike.
The Dive Ireland International Expo is the event of the year for all underwater enthusiasts, featuring two days of talks, trading and networking on Lough Ree that also includes the AGM of the Irish Underwater Council (CFT) on Sunday 5 March.
More details are available from DiveIreland.ie
Regularly used for the treatment of damaged body tissues, hyperbaric facilities are also key to the treatment of decompression sickness, or ‘the bends’ – a risk for deepwater divers.
Last November, Cork’s SCUBA diving community announced plans to raise funds for a local hyperbaric chamber, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
Otherwise known as ‘the bends’, the potentially fatal condition is contracted when nitrogen bubbles form in the bloodstream of divers who surface from deep dives too quickly.
However, there is only one hyperbaric chamber required for the necessary oxygen therapy that caters for diving emergencies in the Republic, located in Galway.
That’s prompted the creation of the Munster Hyperbaric Chamber Project, to provide emergency facilities for affected divers in Ireland’s south-west in time for the 2017 diving season. The Irish Examiner has more HERE.
Divers from Bury and Wigan in the greater Manchester area were awarded the Expedition Trophy at the British Sub-Aqua Club Diving Conference recently for their reef and shipwreck dives out of Ballycastle — including one visit to a cruiser torpedoed during the First World War.