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Displaying items by tag: Commissioners of Irish Lights

#MARINE RESCUE EXERCISE-By coincidence two separate emergency exercise practise drills took place yesterday off Dalkey Island, the first involved a 12,921dwt tanker in broad daylight while the second exercise involved lifeboats under pitch-dark conditions, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The tanker Cumbrian Fisher (PHOTO) had arrived in the afternoon, anchoring unusually close to the island, to the south-east off The Muglins Lighthouse (to read more click HERE). While waiting for a berth in Dublin Port, she engaged in a lifeboat-drill practice which involved launching an orange-coloured fully enclosed lifeboat which was lowered into the water from the vessels' stern cradle-crane.

Crew kitted in similarly bright orange coloured sea safety-survival suits entered the lifeboat before it plunged into the water. The activity was observed through the binocular-scope which overlooks Coliemore Harbour with excellent views across the sound to Dalkey Island, Dublin Bay and Howth Peninsula.

The binocular-scope does not require payment to operate and was unveiled in 2008 in memory of local resident the late Dr. John de Courcy Ireland, the 'father' of maritime Ireland (to read more click HERE). He was for 26 years a honorary secretary of the local RNLI station in Dun Laoghaire and a staunch campaigner of Irish maritime affairs.

Each Monday a routine lifeboat practice is conducted by the 47ft Trent class ALB (all-weather lifeboat) RNLB Anna Livia (info and PHOTO). Last night's drill also involved the new D-class ILB (inshore lifeboat) RNLB Réalt na Mara which was named earlier this year by Kathy Kenny, wife of RTE presenter Pat Kenny.

Under the cover of darkness the crew of the ILB Realt na Mara simulated an 'injured casualty' on the island where the casualty was prepared to be taken off by stretcher from the island's small harbour. From there the casualty was transferred to the larger RNLB Anna Livia which lay offshore. During the exercise, powerful searchlight beams from the ALB provided essential light to assist in the transfer operation.

Asides the lifeboats, there is plenty of wildlife to observe on the rocky outcrops at Maiden Rock, Clare Rock and Lamb Island, which forms the second largest island after the main island of 22-acres, where a resident herd of goats have been part of the local community for over 200 years.

As for the South Korean built Cumbrian Fisher, she too has close connections with these waters as she was named in Dublin Port in 2005. She is a frequent caller to Dublin bringing bulk liquid products from the oil refinery in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire which is a major supplier, serving the demands of the capital.

Dublin Port has two oil jetties which cater for four tankers, where bitumen, chemicals, liquid petroleum gases, molasses and oil are handled on a 41-hectare zone with storage for 330,000 product tonnes to include 6,000 tonnes of LPG. In addition aviation fuel is frequently delivered to the terminal to satisfy the constant demand for aircraft using Dublin Airport.

Cumbrian Fisher alongside her sister Clyde Fisher where built for James Fisher & Sons and in recent years they have tended to take anchorage off Dalkey Island and off the Nose of Howth. In comparison the vast majority of vessels anchor in Dublin Bay which is divided into quadrants for the purposes of anchorage allocation.

Before the completion of the South Wall in Dublin Port, which considerably improved safer access of vessels entering the River Liffey, it was the relative deeper and sheltered waters of Dalkey Sound which were used instead as Dalkey acted as the principle port for Dublin between 14-17th centuries.

Vessels would convey cargoes which were taken to and fro by lighter to the coast where it was carried by horse and cart to nearby Dalkey before onward travel across the exposed plains to Dublin City.

To learn more about Dalkey's medieval maritime heritage with its relationship with the capital of Dublin in addition the use of Dalkey Quarry in the construction of (Kingstown) Dun Laoghaire Harbour, visit the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.  To read more go to www.dalkeycastle.com in addition to further information about Dalkey including the local community council newsletters click HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
As part of this year's Open House Dublin event, the striking headquarters of the Commissioners of Irish Lights building in Dún Laoghaire Harbour will be open to the public tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The iconic coastal landmark building built by Scott Tallon Walker Architects in 2008, consists of two-interconnected buildings that house offices and a marine depot. They utilise many eco-friendly and innovative technologies to ensure sustainable building design and energy efficiency.

Regular guided tours will provide a fascinating insight into the work of the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL). The tours (first-come basis) are also available for disabled access and they start from 12 noon to 5pm, noting the last tour is 4.30pm. Location: Harbour Road, Dún Laoghaire.

Like most of the tours and events in Open House Dublin, there is no pre-booking required. Entry is FREE and on a first-come basis. For more information about what to expect from your tour or event, check the How It Works by clicking HERE.

CIL operate the 79m aids-to-navigation tender ILV Granuaile which is based at her homeport of Dun Laoghaire. The 2,625grt tender was built by the Dutch Damen Shipyard group in Galati, Romania. She was then towed to The Netherlands where further outfitting work was conducted. She entered service in 2000 and she is the third tender to be named after the Mayo pirate queen.

Occasionally ILV Granuaile can be seen moored alongside the berth adjacant to the marine depot accessed through Dun Laoghaire Marina, though she mostly calls to the harbour's western bight area, using her DP (dynamic-positioning) mode. Her design is ideally suited for buoy and chain work, search and rescue, salvage and recovery, towing, hydrographic applications, and ROV work.

She is shallow drafted at 4.4m and has heavy lifting equipment including a 20 tonne aft-mounted crane with an outreach of 20m. Accommodation is for a crew of 16 in addition there are cabins for a further 10 persons.

Published in Lighthouses
Dublin docklands property developer Harry Crosbie has been refused permission to relocate the former lightship Kittiwake in front of the O2 Theatre, according to a report in today's Irish Times.
Crosbie had intended to convert the 1959 built Kittiwake into a café and bar after raising the vessel from her River Liffey berth and position onto the campshire of North Quay Wall, opposite the music venue.

Dublin City Council told Crosbie that consent for the use of the campshires for the bar had not been agreed to by the board of the Dublin Dockland Development Authority (DDDA), which owns the quays, "and that said permission will not be forthcoming".

Crosbie had received a letter from the then chief executive officer of the DDDA Paul Maloney in December 2008 saying that the authority was willing to let the development go ahead, subject to consent from the authority's executive board.

This permission will not know be forthcoming but the authority does feel that the ship should be used as a bar on the Liffey itself rather than on the campshires.

The Kittiwake has laid idle since 2007 when the vessel was purchased from the Commissioners of Irish Lights. She was the second last lightship to serve in Irish waters. During the 1980's she and several other lightships were converted from manned operation into automatic light-floats or ALF's. To read more about the last Irish lightship ALF Gannet click HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Yvonne Shields has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. She takes over her new role of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour based General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) next month from chief executive Dr Stuart Ruttle who held the position for the last six years.  
Commenting on her appointment the chairman of Irish Lights, Ms Sheila Tyrrell, "I am delighted that Yvonne has been appointed as our incoming chief executive. She has significant experience within the marine sector, both at national and international level, which will be a great asset to CIL in meeting present and future challenges."

For the last 19 years Ms Shields has worked in the marine sector, most recently as Director of Strategic Planning and Development at the Marine Institute since 2004. In this role she had responsibility for oversight and management of the National Marine Research Programme, EU and International Policy and Programmes, Ocean Energy, Marine Technology and the Marine Data and Information Services Group of the Marine Institute.

Prior to this she held the position of Director of Science and Technology at the Marine Institute with responsibility for Research Vessel Operations, the National Seabed Survey, Oceanographic Services and the National Data Buoy Network. In addition she has worked in the marine tourism, aquaculture and private-forestry sectors.

Published in Lighthouses

Sailing was not the only activity that took place in Dublin Bay last Saturday as the Northern Lighthouse Board's (NLB) multi-function tender NLV Pharos was busy at work, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The NLB is the Scottish equivalent of the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) and it is not unusual for such vessels to share work duties beyond their respective jurisdictions. The 84m NLV Pharos is equipped with dynamic positioning and a 30-tonne main crane on her 300m2 aft-deck.

Overall she is similar in appearance to Irish lights ILV Granuaile which is based out of Dun Laoghaire. The Irish Lights tender built in Romania in 2000 tends to operate more often off the west coast during the summer months due to the more favourable weather conditions.

The 1,300 (dwt) deadweight tonnes NLV Pharos yesterday returned to her base in Oban from her Irish duties. The west coast base was established in 1904 and is also homeport to the service's smaller NLV Pole Star which is equipped with an 18-tonne crane on her 90m2 aft deck.

The facility in 2000 underwent a £4.2 million redevelopment to turn a buoy yard into a multi functional support base which is computer-linked to the NLB headquarters in Edinburgh.

In addition Trinity House which maintains the service for England and Wales operate the tenders THV Galtea,THV Patricia and the fast-response craft THV Alert from their base in Harwich.

Trinity House forms the trio of the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) alongside NLB and CIL. Each member of the GLA co-operate in the allocation of vessel-tender deployment.

Asides the varied and critical role of the tasks performed by the GLA's tenders, they are also available for charter to third parties. Between them the tenders can conduct buoy and chain work, search and rescue, lighthouse re-fuelling, salvage and recovery, towing, hydrographic applications and ROV work.

Published in Lighthouses

The Irish Cruising Club's acclaimed Sailing Directions, in two volumes, offer comprehensive coverage of the entire coast of Ireland, and their price has recently been reduced by £10.00 to £27.50 each (€32.50).
These are the only cruising guides for the Irish coast to be frequently and comprehensively updated, with corrections available free at www.irishcruisingclub.com.
The 310 page South and West volume was reviewed in Cruising magazine, Sept 2010: "If you are intending to cruise these coasts, or even if you are only thinking of doing so, it is essential. As Sailing Directions they are well-nigh perfect."
Written, edited, designed and printed on the island of Ireland, these handsome hardback books are carried as an aid to navigation and pilotage by the Irish Naval Service, the Irish Coast Guard and the Commissioners of Irish Lights, and they are used as a reference source by the UK Hydrographic Office.

ICC_both_SDs

ICC SDs are available from chandlers and booksellers, and are distributed in Great Britain and the rest of the world by Imray, and in Ireland by Todd Chart Services. East and North Coasts Directions ISBN 978 0 9558 199 1 9; South and West Coasts Directions ISBN 978 0 9558 199 2 6.

Published in Cruising
The Commissioners of Irish Lights has said it consulted widely about discontinuing the last remaining fog signals around Ireland's coastline, The Irish Times reports.

Nine lighthouses operated directly by the authority in the Republic and Northern Ireland, along with several others run by harbours or local authorities - including Cork Harbour and Dun Laoghaire - will sound their last fog signals tomorrow.

Capt Kieran O'Higgins of the Commissioners of Irish Lights said the plan was notified to mariners in September 2010, and was taken due to "advances in marine navigation technology".

However Capt Michael Coleman, formerly of the Jeanie Johnston, did not think the plan was adequately publicised. He also noted now many smaller boats without advanced equipment that navigate by charts often reply on fog signals for safe passage.

Even bigger boats that navigate by GPS could be affected in dangerous situations if they suffer a power failure, he said.

On Afloat's official Facebook page, Cork resident Denis Cronin commented: "If this is the last night the [Cork Harbour] fog horn blows, it's a sad night.

"The tune she blows is a comfort for all those at sea and for all those at home for been home safely."

What do you think of the end of Ireland's fog signals? HAVE YOUR SAY on our facebook page HERE!

BBC Article HERE

Irish Times Article HERE

Published in Ilen
Britain is to stop paying towards the cost of funding the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) according to a report in Lloyds List. In an agreement reached between London and Dublin, a formal announcement on the timetable for removing the subsidy is expected shortly.
The Irish Government has agreed to pay for its own lighthouses, buoys and other marine aids to navigation. The UK subsidy is likely to be eliminated during the current parliament if all goes according to plan. That is the pledge made by Mr Penning, UK Minister of Shipping on several occasions in recent months. The phase-out will start in the next financial year.

The total cost of providing these services comes to around £75m ($116.5m) a year, of which Irish Lights accounts for €32m. The UK subsidy to Ireland is between £10m and £12m, with the Irish government contributing some £6m and the balance coming from fees.

All three general lighthouse authorities (GLA) are working on ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies, with a joint strategic board set up to consider how they can work together more effectively.

Published in Lighthouses

Several waterfront buildings in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will be made open to the public on Sunday 10 October as part of 'Open House' Dublin Week (7th-10th October). With over 150 tours and workshops, the free event is Ireland's biggest architecture festival, allowing citizens to explore the architecture of their city. Buildings of all types and periods will open up in an event programme which is organised into areas.

In Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown the following buildings below are all open on Sunday 10 October. NOTE: There are other buildings throughout the borough also open to the public for free admission, for information on contact details see bottom of this page.

Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), Harbour Road. Tours provide a fascinating insight into the headquarters and work of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Sunday 10 October (12–5pm). Last tour at 4.30pm. Regular tours. First-come basis. Disabled access.

Harbour Lodge (HQ of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company), Crofton Road. Built in the neo-classical style, the Georgian house represents the first serious piece of architecture in the town. Sunday 10 October (12–5pm). Last tour at 4.30pm. Regular tours. First-come basis. Disabled access.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Hall, Marine Road. The council's premises have evolved to comprise the original Town Hall, the adjoining 19th century post office and a late 20th century extension. Sunday 10 October (12-5pm) Last tour at 4.30pm. Regular tours. First-come basis. Disabled access.
(Tour includes the recent Old Town Hall refurbishment by DLRCC Architects Department).

Royal St George Yacht Club, Harbour Road. Founded in 1838, the historic building has been extended with a very contemporary addition. Clad in distinctive copper, this extension is connected to the original club by a glass-covered atrium. Sunday 10 October (12–5pm). Last tour at 4.30pm. Regular tours. First-come basis. Disabled access.

National Yacht Club, Harbour Road. A magnificant Class A listed building which has a design hybrid between a French château and an 18th-century country garden pavilion. Sunday 10 October (2–5pm). Last tour at 4.30pm. Regular tours. First-come basis. Disabled access.

Like most of the tours and events in Open House Dublin, there is no pre-booking required. Entry is FREE and on a first-come basis. For more information about what to expect from your tour or event. Contact: Open House Info Desk Tel: (01) 6165220 and check 'How It Works' by logging onto www.architecturefoundation.ie/openhouse/

Published in Boating Fixtures

The Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) withdrew the Codling Bank Lanby off Arklow on 24 July. This was the last Lanby to serve in Irish waters. The Lanby (Large Automated Navigation Buoy) is essentially a floating circular platform with a tower positioned centrally and fitted with a light to ward off potential dangers to shipping, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Lanby was replaced with a Type 1 buoy which has a focal in excess of 5 metres and is fitted with a racon and Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Irish Lights aids to navigation tender, ILV Granuaile towed the former Codling Lanby to Dublin. The Lanby was hoisted out of the water and remains high and dry on the quayside awaiting demolition by the Hammond Lane Company. This final Lanby completes the withdrawal of Major Floating Aids to Navigation (MFAs) throughout Irish waters.

Lanbys were first introduced in the 1960s as replacements for lightships on certain stations. The ALF Gannet, the last Irish lightship, which was converted in the mid-1980's into an Automatic Light-Float (ALF) was withdrawn from the South Rock station off Portavogie in February 2009. The ALF Gannet was towed to Dun Laoghaire and laid-up at Carlisle Pier. Earlier this year ALF Gannet was sold and towed to new owners in the UK.

With modern navigating systems coupled with the amount of traffic and the degree of risk, CIL made the decision to withdraw the MFAs and replace them with Type 1 buoys.

The work of maintaining navigational aids is conducted at CIL's joint marine depot and head-quarters at Dun Laoghaire, which was built in 2008. A marine-depot facility did exist previously at the same site while administrative offices were located in Pembroke Street, Dublin.

In June, CIL celebrated its 200th year since establishment in 1810. The authority is entrusted to maintain, service and update all aids to navigation around the entire coastline of Ireland, providing a vital and invaluable service to mariners.

Assides the use of the tender, ILV Granuaile, Irish Lights also operate the tug-buoy tender, Puffin, also based at Dun Laoghaire.

Codling

The Codling LANBY at  Irish Lights headquarters, Dun Laoghaire in 2009 with tender ILV Granuaile. Photo: Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

Published in Lighthouses
Page 3 of 3

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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