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Displaying items by tag: Wicklow

Wicklow RNLI Inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 10:30 am this morning (Sunday 16 January) after a concerned member of the public contacted the Coast Guard to report a lone kayaker in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour.

The Inshore lifeboat crew proceeded south towards Wicklow Head and began an immediate search of the area. Weather conditions at the scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force four with good visibility.

At 10:55 am the crew located a kayaker about two miles off the Silver Strand beach. He was not in any difficulty and required no further assistance.

"A lone kayaker was in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour"

Speaking after his first callout as a Helm, Paul Sillery said: ‘We were alongside the kayaker just before 11 am and carried out a quick assessment. The kayak was well kitted out with safety equipment including a marine VHF radio. The man said he was on a training exercise and did not require any assistance, so we contacted the Coast Guard to say he was ok and wished to continue his passage south.’

Paul SilleryPaul Sillery

The lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to the station.

While the kayaker was well equipped for the journey today. It is essential to carry a communications device, such as a VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a mobile phone every time you go out on the water. Carry it on your person and in a waterproof pouch on a lanyard, so you can’t drop it if your hands get cold. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

The crew on the callout were: Helm Paul Sillery, Alan Goucher, Peter Byrne, and Stephen Kenny.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A busy mother of one is among five new volunteer crew members who will be on call for the first time this Christmas at Lough Derg RNLI.

Polish native Ania Skrzypczynska is preparing to swap traditional festivities for the cold waters of the December lake, should the call for help come in.

And as the RNLI continues its Christmas Appeal, Ania is urging the public to help her crew, and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

Ania says she joined the RNLI “because I wanted to become part of the community after moving to Dromineer. After the first few training sessions on the lifeboat, I had got to meet really nice, friendly people and found it to be a great experience.

“Then after passing my first assessment and being allowed to go on the lifeboat, it was like the beginning of an adventure for me.

“Being a mum of a small and very busy boy, I am restricted with the amount of time I have to spare between my full-time job and family life. However, I know that in the future I will be able to get more involved in the life of the station.

“I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified crew member. I like new challenges and I want to channel it towards learning how to help others. And by living so close to Lough Derg, I want to learn more about the lake, its beauty and, its dangers.”

Among the other new crew members at Lough Derg RNLI are Richard Nolan, Ciara Lynch, Eimear Kelly and Ciara Moylan.

For Richard, his knowledge from youth of the work the RNLI did on the lake was a major influence in his decision to join the crew, but he also found that having lived away from home in London for almost 10 years, it was a good opportunity to reintegrate into his community.

Richard says: ‘This is my first Christmas on call, and I know even over the festive period, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water.”

From left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLIFrom left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLI

Elsewhere, Wicklow RNLI have passed out three volunteer lifeboat crew into new lifesaving roles at the station.

Graham Fitzgerald is a new station coxswain, Paul Sillery is a new helm on the station’s inshore lifeboat and John Stapleton is a new mechanic on the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat.

Graham has been a volunteer lifeboat crewmember since 2009, becoming a helm on the inshore lifeboat back in 2013. He has a strong family connection to the station, with his grandfather Billy Kilbride a former lifeboat volunteer.

From a strong seafaring background and working in Dublin Port, the sea is in his veins, and he was involved in the rescue of two children who were blown out to sea on an inflatable earlier this year.

“I like the challenge of going out on a rescue and not knowing what we may face; I’ve been on a few challenging ones and it’s so rewarding to bring people home safe, something that sadly not every family have experienced,” he says.

“As a helm and now a coxswain, I feel a huge responsibility to the crew and the station, thanks to the support of the public we have the kit and the equipment to ensure we can save lives at sea whenever and wherever we are needed.”

Paul Sillery joined the lifeboat crew back in 2009 and has recently passed out as a helm on the station’s D class lifeboat. Like Graham, Paul has a strong lifeboating tradition in his family: his great uncle Parker Keogh was coxswain and his uncle David Sillery was a crew member.

“I knew I was always going to join the lifeboat crew and the minute I turned 17 I was at the door of the station,” Paul says. “People recognise the crew in the street as they see us going out to train and see us leaving for a shout. It’s so humbling to have that kind of community support behind us.

John Stapleton has been recently passed out as a mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat. Born and raised in Dublin, John moved to Wicklow 11 years ago and joined the lifeboat crew in 2015.

“There is a role for everyone in the RNLI and if you have an interest in something you can develop it and train up,” John says. “We have navigators, launching authorities and shore crew — everyone does the role that suits them, and it all works together. The resources the RNLI puts into the training and the kit is incredible.:

John adds: “Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched at 10 pm on Sunday (22 August) after a sailor was reported missing from a container ship 16 miles off the Wicklow coast.

The lifeboat arrived in the search area before 10.45 pm and began an immediate search. The Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to join the search.

During the sector search the casualty was located just after 11 pm by the lifeboat crew. The Rescue 116 Paramedic winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to assess the casualty, before being winched onto the Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital in Dublin.

Speaking after the callout Coxswain Nick Keogh said: ‘We located the casualty 5 miles northeast of the Codling Buoy during a sector search, weather conditions in the area were calm at the time with good visibility.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Tommy Murphy, Tommy MacAulay, Alan Goucher, John Stapleton, and Peter Byrne.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched shortly after 11 pm tonight (Friday 23 July) following a Coast Guard pager alert, to investigate reports of a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat located the yacht twenty-five minutes later, four miles north of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force three.

The yacht with two crew had suffered engine failure while heading north off the coast and was unable to make its way safely into Wicklow harbour. An assessment was carried out and a towline was established with the yacht.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Ciaran Doyle said:’ We transferred one of our crew onto the yacht to assist the two sailors during the tow back to Wicklow harbour’.

The yacht was brought alongside the South Quay at Wicklow harbour at 00:30 am on Saturday morning and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 3pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July) following a report of a man climbing down a cliff to rescue his dog.

The lifeboat volunteers located the man and his dog five minutes later near the water edge south of Travelahawk Beach.

Lifeboat Helm, Alan Goucher said: “It was too dangerous for the owner to climb back up the cliff with his dog. So, we transferred them onto the lifeboat and returned to the station.”

The owner and family pet were landed safely ashore at 3.14pm. Both were uninjured and none the worst after their ordeal.

The RNLI’s key safety advice is for the public is to remember to keep dogs on leads if they are walking close to cliff edges, and that the best thing to do if your pet gets into trouble at the coast is not to enter the water or attempt to rescue them yourself — instead dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

The crew on this callout were helm Alan Goucher, Brid Seoighe and Peter Byrne.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched shortly before 5:30 pm this evening following reports of two swimmers in difficulties on an inflatable toy off the Silver Strand beach south of Wicklow Head.

The Inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 5:38 pm and located four people on rocks near the beach. Two men who were on the beach with their families were concerned about the two young swimmer’s safety and entered the water to help them. They managed to get them up onto rocks near the beach.

Conditions at the scene were wind north-easterly force four with a moderate sea. The inshore lifeboat crew took the four people from the rocks and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat which was standing by offshore. ‘Rescue 116’ stood by overhead as the casualties were transferred to the lifeboat.

The winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to carry out a medical assessment of the four casualties. The two young girls were then transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter and flown to Dublin Airport, where they were met by an Ambulance crew and brought for further medical attention.

The two men, who had rescued the two girls did not require any further medical assistance and were brought back to Wicklow harbour for a well-deserved hot drink at the lifeboat station after their quick intervention to help the young girls.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said, ‘The quick actions of the two swimmers who went to the aid of the young girls resulted in a positive outcome this afternoon and we would urge people not to use inflatable toys on the beach.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The main route onto one of Co Wicklow’s most popular beaches has sold at auction for more than three times the asking price.

And as The Irish Times reports, Wicklow County Council was outbid for the 21-acre site above Magheramore Beach which went for a whopping €700,000.

As previously noted on Afloat.ie, it’s feared that public access to the beach could be interrupted by the sale of the overlooking lands.

The sale has been “the most talked about story in Co Wicklow”, said Local auctioneer Catherine O’Reilly, who also failed to assuage fears with her belief that “the right of way is not registered”.

However, local TD John Brady said any attempt to restrict public access to the beach “will not be tolerated and will be bitterly opposed”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Shortly after 11 pm this Saturday evening, Wicklow RNLI volunteers were assembling at the lifeboat Station following a Coast Guard pager alert.

Ten minutes later at 11:13 pm Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat slipped its moorings at the south quay and proceeded north to investigate reports of a yacht experiencing difficulties south of Greystones.

The yacht with three people on board was located four miles south of Greystones at 11:45 pm. Weather conditions at the scene were good with calm sea and light airs.

An assessment was carried out and the yacht was found to have a rope fouled in the propeller, efforts were made by the lifeboat crew to free the obstruction, but some rope remained tangled in the propeller shaft. This prevented the engine from being started and the yacht from making its own way to port. 

Coxswain Keogh made the decision that undertaking a tow to Greystones harbour was necessary and the safest way to assist the sailors. The yacht was brought alongside Greystones Marina at 00:45 am on Sunday morning and the three sailors landed safely ashore.

The Lifeboat crew then proceeded back to Wicklow harbour arriving back on station at 1:30 am

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘This was the first callout by the all-weather lifeboat crew using the new towing equipment.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Tommy Murphy, Graham Fitzgerald, Paul Sillery, John Stapleton and Ian Thompson.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Public access to one of Co Wicklow’s most popular beaches could be interrupted by the sale of overlooking lands, as The Irish Times reports.

A 21-acre site that serves as the route onto Magheramore Beach, north of Brittas Bay on the Wicklow coast, has previously changed hands a number of times and is once again up for sale, with an online auction scheduled to begin in 25 June.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Wicklow RNLI volunteers Graham Fitzgerald and Alan Goucher have been passed out as deputy coxswains by an RNLI Trainer Assessor, after undertaking months of training and completing a rigorous exercise on the all-weather lifeboat in Wicklow bay.

Graham Fitzgerald who has been a volunteer crew member for the past eleven years, and Alan Goucher who joined Wicklow RNLI in 2011, launched on an operational exercise with an RNLI Assessor during the week. The exercise involved boat handling tests and various emergency situations to test their skills. Both volunteers successfully carried out the tasks and were passed out as deputy coxswains by RNLI Trainer Assessor Alan Pryce after completing the exercise.

Over the last decade, Alan Goucher and Graham Fitzgerald have been involved in many rescues and in July 2014 they were praised for their bravery when they pulled a woman from the water and saved her life at the Silver Strand Beach. Graham and Alan received letters of commendation from the Operations Director of the RNLI George Rawlinson, for their actions during the rescue in 2014.

In the letter to Alan, Mr Rawlinson wrote: 'Your willingness to swim into the cave and use of your local knowledge to extricate the casualty safely ensured a good outcome on this rescue. I commend your commitment and professionalism.'Mr Rawlinson commended Graham Fitzgerald on his quick decision making, saying: 'During the rescue, you demonstrated calm and sound command of the incident, quickly gaining the required information and assessing the risks involved in committing your crew to enter the water.'

Wicklow RNLI Operations Manager, Mary Aldridge said: ‘Alan and Graham have over 22 years’ service between them as volunteers at RNLI Wicklow, and we are delighted with their achievement this week. Both have grained a lot of experience and have been involved in numerous rescues resulting in the saving of many lives. They have both worked extremely hard during the assessment to become deputy coxswains. This was made more difficult in recent times with Covid-19 and the suspension of training for a time. Great credit for Alan and Graham’s achievement is also due to the support from their families, trainers, assessors, and the crew who generously shared their knowledge and experience to prepare Alan and Graham as deputy coxswains.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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