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Displaying items by tag: Coast Guard helicopter

“The boy stood on the burning deck,” is one of the most famous lines in literature and particularly relevant in the maritime sphere. Many people can quote the next line…”Whence all but he had fled…” But why was he there, on what ship and in what circumstances? On this week’s edition of THIS ISLAND NATION we tell you the full story. While listening to it, I compared it with a following story on the programme, the threat to the operations of the Irish Naval Service by a commercial company.

It seems ludicrous that a fully operational Naval Service is under threat, but so it is and the warning has come from the Department of Defence, so it is the opinion of Government.

“This cannot be an acceptable situation….for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base…..” Those words, from the Department of Defence, are blunt and were made in a major intervention at a public inquiry held by Bord Pleanala into the Indaver Ireland waste company’s third attempt to build a hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour, close to Naval Base headquarters. The Department went further, stating that the location of the incinerator would also affect Air Corps operations, which “may be forced to impose a ‘no-fly’ restriction” around Haulbowline Island. “In addition, Haulbowline Island is accessed by road as a sort of cul de sac to the Ringaskiddy Road. The proposed incinerator is to be built adjacent to this road, before Haulbowline. Therefore, in the event of any accident at the incinerator, road access to and from Haulbowline is threatened. For example, if an accident at the incinerator necessitated local area evacuation, the evacuation of Haulbowline would be denied.

“This cannot be an acceptable situation for those that work at or visit Haulbowline, nor for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base therein.”

That makes the threat to the Naval Service very clear. No nation can accept a restriction imposed on its Naval Service operations. That must be national policy. I am proud of our Naval Service. It is a professional, top-level maritime organisation. Its rescue work in Irish waters has been superb. Its performance on refugee rescue in the Mediterranean has raised the profile of Ireland as a maritime nation. I do not accept that its operations should be threatened. I live in the Cork Harbour area. Through my kitchen window I see three wind turbines and several chemical factories. So harbour industrial development is an accepted part of my daily life, but a threat to our Naval Service is not acceptable.

Also under threat, publicly stated by the Minister for the Marine, is €500m. of marine development investment in the harbour if the incinerator, which he has described as “wrong place, wrong time,” is built. Concern has been voiced about youth sailing close to the incinerator and, if Air Corps helicopter operations are affected, what about the effect on Coast Guard helicopter operations in the area?

This is the 50th edition of THIS ISLAND NATION so a somewhat unusual coincidence of two Naval stories on the programme - that of the legendary boy who stood on the burning deck of the flagship of Napoleon’s fleet at the Battle of the Nile, the three-decked, 120-gun L’Orient and the threat to Ireland’s Naval Service

• Listen to the programme below:

Published in Island Nation

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. 

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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