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The insurance loss related to collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge outside the port of Baltimore, USA this week is likely to be multiple billions of dollars.

That’s according to Lloyd’s of London John Neal, who told Bloomberg that the incident on Tuesday (26 March) “has the potential to be one of the largest marine losses in history”.

Barclays analysts estimate that marine insurers face claims of up to €3 billion, with more than €1 billion of that figure for the bridge collapse alone — while there may be further liability related to disruption to one of the US east coast’s busiest ports.

As Marine Industry News reports, large sections of the 2.57km bridge collapsed after one of its supports was hit by the cargo ship Dali, which reported losing power minutes before the incident.

The bodies of two members of a construction crew who were working on the bridge at the time have been recovered, but four others remain missing.

Marine Industry News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Baltimore RNLI in West Cork successfully rescued Dixie, a terrier mix dog, after she fell from the cliff at the Beacon on Tuesday morning.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the launch of their inshore lifeboat shortly before 10 am, after Dixie's owner raised the alarm. It was the first call out for the new helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat. The crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll assisted him.

Arriving on scene below the Beacon, the Baltimore RNLI Atlantic 85 crew observed Dixie sheltering and waiting under a rock ledge after she managed to swim ashore. Crew members Kieran Collins and Eoin O’Driscoll  entered the sea and retrieved the dog, bringing her safely back onto the lifeboat and back to shore to her relieved owner

The weather conditions were favorable at the time, with a force 2-3 wind and a calm sea with up to a half-meter swell and good visibility. The crew arrived at the scene to find Dixie sheltering under a rock ledge after swimming ashore. Kieran and Eoin braved the sea and retrieved the dog, safely bringing her back onto the lifeboat and to her owner.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, praised Dixie's owner for raising the alarm and reminded dog owners to be careful when walking their pets near the coast. She advised them not to go into the water or mud after their pets but to move to a safe place and call for help.

New Baltimore helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat with crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll   New Baltimore helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat with crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll 

Dixie, though shaken and cold, is safe and sound. The RNLI commended all their crew involved in the rescue and congratulated David on his first call out as helm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Late on Wednesday night, Baltimore RNLI received a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation for a man living on Cape Clear Island, located off the coast of West Cork. The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew, consisting of seven volunteer members, launched their lifeboat at 10:50 pm and arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island in just 35 minutes.

After assessing the medical condition of the patient, a casualty care lifeboat crew member brought the patient onboard the lifeboat, and the team departed the island at 11:28 pm. Battling poor visibility and a fresh south-easterly force 5 wind, the team arrived back at the Baltimore station at 11:55 pm, where the casualty was handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew.

Maria Coleman Joins RNLI Crew

The Baltimore RNLI team consisted of Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Brian McSweeney and crew members Kieran Collins, Don O’Donovan, Jerry Smith, Stuart Musgrave, and 2000 Olympic sailor and Baltimore local Maria Coleman. Interestingly, the same medical evacuation was carried out from Cape Clear Island exactly two weeks prior to this evacuation. But, it was different for Maria Coleman as this was her first shout as a fully qualified member of the Baltimore Lifeboat crew.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, said: “Congratulations to Maria from all at Baltimore RNLI. Please remember if you find yourself in a medical emergency while on an island, call 999 or 112.”

The Baltimore RNLI team is known for its incredible rescue operations and its dedication to saving lives. The team has once again shown its unwavering commitment to serving their community.Baltimore RNLI requested to provide a medical evacuation from Cape Clear Island

Baltimore RNLI was requested to provide a medical evacuation last night (Wednesday, 6 March) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 10.50 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation for a man living on the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11.25 pm and after a quick assessment by a Casualty Care lifeboat crew member, the casualty was brought onboard the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Cape Clear Island at 11.28 pm and returned to the station in Baltimore arriving at 11.55pm. The casualty was then handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Brian McSweeney and crew members Kieran Collins, Don O’Donovan, Jerry Smith, Stuart Musgrave and Maria Coleman. Conditions during the call out were fresh with a south easterly force 5 wind and poor visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Whilst this callout was very similar to a medevac carried out from Cape Clear Island exactly two weeks prior, it was very different for Maria Coleman as this was her first shout as a fully qualified member of the Baltimore Lifeboat crew. Congratulations to Maria from all at Baltimore RNLI. Please remember if you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A woman living on Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated by the Baltimore RNLI on Wednesday night. The Irish Coast Guard had requested the medical evacuation, and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11:07 PM. The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11:33 PM, where the casualty was assessed by some of the Casualty Care lifeboat crew members. After the assessment, she was transferred via stretcher onboard the lifeboat and taken back to Baltimore station, where she was handed over to the HSE Ambulance crew. 

The call out was made under fresh conditions with a southwesterly force 5-6 wind and a choppy sea, but the seven-strong volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Stuart Musgrave, David Ryan, and Don O’Donovan, managed to complete the mission safely. 

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, said, “Baltimore RNLI often provides medical evacuations to residents and visitors to the islands off the coast of West Cork, including Cape Clear, Sherkin, and Heir. If you find yourself in a medical emergency while on an island, call 999 or 112.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The former Glenans Sailing Centre in the West Cork coastal village of Baltimore has been sold to a private developer, despite the local community's campaign to preserve it for a maritime heritage centre.

The long saga of Baltimore Railway Station, which had been a Glenans centre for many years, has ended in disappointment for the coastal village community’s efforts to get the dilapidated but historic building on the waterfront acquired as a maritime heritage and community amenity centre.

The building had been used for several years as a sailing centre by the French Glenans organisation.

A local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway StationA local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway Station

It was owned by Fáilte Ireland.

One of the community leaders, Mary Jordan, told me of the local disappointment from the sale to developers.

“We are devastated,” she says. “Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan tried his best with Fáilte Ireland, but it was all sewn up. Where does our maritime heritage and history stand in this country? Just trampled on.”

Published in West Cork
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A resident of Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated for medical assistance following an accident on Sunday.

Baltimore RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew received a call at 12.39 pm and launched their all-weather lifeboat to provide medical assistance.

The crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 12.59 pm and transferred the casualty aboard the lifeboat via stretcher after assessment by a Casualty Care lifeboat crew member.

The lifeboat departed Cape Clear Island at 1.09 pm and returned to the station in Baltimore at 1.39 pm.

The casualty was then handed over to the HSE ambulance crew. The call out was the second medical evacuation from Cape Clear Island in two days.

On Friday, a man living on the island also required medical assistance and was evacuated to the mainland by the lifeboat crew, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The crew consisted of five volunteer members, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Sean McCarthy, Brian McSweeney, and Micheal Cottrell.

The weather conditions during the call out were good, with a northwesterly force 2 to 3 wind, a 2m sea swell, and good visibility.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer expressed satisfaction over the evacuation and the team's efforts in providing medical assistance to the residents of Cape Clear Island.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Friday morning (28 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey at 10.44am following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a resident of the island.

The Baltimore crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11.08am where the casualty and the island nurse were waiting. The casualty was transferred onto a stretcher and then onboard the lifeboat, which departed at 11.30am and arrived in Baltimore half an hour later.

The casualty was then transferred from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance and care was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions during the call-out were windy with a south-westerly Force 4-5 wind and a large sea swell.

Speaking later, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork. If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Stuart Musgrave and Emma Geary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew carried out a rescue mission during storm Agnes on September 27th.

The Irish Coast Guard called for assistance to rescue a yacht in trouble in the Ilen River in West Cork. At 3.48 pm, the Baltimore lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat and reached the yacht at 3.59 pm.

Despite the storm-force winds gusting to force 12 (65 knots), the volunteer lifeboat crew managed to tow the yacht to safety. The yacht with one person on board had gone aground and required a tow to the nearest safe and suitable port in Baltimore Harbour.

Due to the severity of the storm, Coxswain Pat Collins requested the launch of Baltimore's inshore lifeboat to assist the all-weather lifeboat in berthing the casualty vessel to a secure mooring within Baltimore Harbour.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 4.23 pm and attached a line to the mooring to expedite the attachment of the yacht. The all-weather lifeboat arrived at the mooring with the casualty vessel in tow, and the volunteer lifeboat crew on the inshore lifeboat passed a line to the two volunteer lifeboat crew on the yacht, who then secured the vessel to the mooring.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue mission was carried out by seven volunteer crew members on board the all-weather lifeboat, including Coxswain Pat Collins, mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Jerry Smith, Michael Cottrell, Don O'Donovan, Colin Whooley, and David Ryan. Four volunteer crew members were on board the inshore lifeboat, which included Helm Kieran Collins and crew members Kieran O'Driscoll, Rob O'Leary, and James Kitt.

Baltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'BrienBaltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue operation was also assisted by Rianne Smith, Marion MacFeely, Seamus O'Driscoll, Brian McSweeney, and Sean McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.08pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac a visitor from the island.

Conditions during the call-out were good, with a north-westerly Force 5 wind, smooth sea and good visibility.

Arriving at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 9.33pm, the lifeboat crew performed a care assessment of the casualty before transferring him onboard the lifeboat and taking him to the station in Baltimore, where he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew shortly after 10.10pm.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is the second medevac carried out from an island within two days. On 30 July a man on Sherkin Island who had suffered an injury required the lifeboat to bring him out to the mainland for treatment.

“Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during Monday night’s call-out: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Kieran Collins, Brian McSweeney, Colin Whooley, Emma Geary and Stuart Musgrave.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Baltimore RNLI provided a medical evacuation on Sunday morning, July 30th, from Sherkin Island located off Baltimore in West Cork. The request for assistance came from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate an injured man from the island.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8:09 am and arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 8:18 am. Once there, the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member before being transferred onto a stretcher and taken onboard the lifeboat.

The crew returned to the Baltimore station at 8:47 am, and the casualty was handed over to the care of the HSE Ambulance crew.

The crew consisted of seven volunteers, and the conditions in the harbour during the call-out were choppy with a westerly force four wind and reasonable visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.