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Displaying items by tag: Crime

#BelfastLough - A sea captain has been convicted of being drunk on duty while piloting a merchant vessel in Belfast Lough last year.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, Eugenijus Tulauskas was found to be nearly four times over the legal limit when he was arrested in September 2016 after a harbour pilot was forced to assist in control of the cargo ship.

Tulauskas, who has since lost his job, was fined £1,500 by a judge at Belfast Magistrates’ Court this week after initially contesting the charge, claiming he was not on duty at the time.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough
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#CoastalNotes - A whopping 75kg of cocaine has been seized by the Revenue Commissioners from a torpedo-like capsule on a beach in Liscannor, Co Clare, as Independent.ie reports.

The “suspicious item” containing the drugs, thought to have a value of €5 million, is believed to have been attached below the waterline of a seagoing vessel — but it is not yet known where the drugs originated, nor their intended destination.

The drugs were found on Monday 24 October via a tip from the public through the Customs Drugs Watch Programme, which encourages coastal communities, maritime personnel and people living near airfields to report unusual or suspicious activity to Revenue via its confidential Freephone line 1800 295 295.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#CliffsOfMoher - As much as €20,000 in cash is believed to have been taken in a sophisticated burglary at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre yesterday morning (Monday 3 October).

According to The Irish Times, the building’s security system was disabled after the daring thieves cut its electricity supply, allowing them unfettered access to the visitor centre at one of Ireland’s leading tourist attractions.

Visitors were yesterday warned away from the Co Clare coastal beauty spot while ESB Networks technicians worked to restore power.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#BrayHarbour - Boat owners in Bray are urged to be vigilant after a number of engines were stolen from boats in the harbour last month.

The Wicklow Times reports that a number of boats moored in the harbour were apparently targeted by thieves who struck in the early hours of Monday 22 August.

A number of engines were taken in the brazen raid, as well as radio and GPS equipment.

"We know it happened at low tide when they would have had easy access," said Bray Sailing Club Commodore Mark Henderson.

"Unfortunately all our CCTV could pick up was flashlights as we know the robberies took place between 2 and 3am ... but it was too dark to make out faces."

Anyone in the market for a secondhand engine has been asked to check where it came from, and report any suspicions to the relevant authorities.

Published in News Update
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#Rio2016 - “I don’t think the Irish media know how bad it is over here in Rio…” So Ireland’s Paralympian John Twomey emailed early this morning, as Afloat.ie's Tom MacSweeney writes.

He was reporting how “two good friends of mine who were in Kinsale for the Para Sailing Worlds in Kinsale in 2013” had been held up by two men, one of whom had a pistol, close to their hotel in Rio on Sunday morning. The Australian Sailing and Paralympic Committees have been told of the incident.

Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross were confronted by two men while riding their bikes in a park near their hotel. One of the men was carrying a pistol and while both were threatened, the bikes were the only property stolen during the incident. Both members were unharmed, but shaken, and took part in racing at the 2016 Paralympic Games sailing venue later in the day.

“We were returning from a morning ride when the incident took place,” said Tesch. “We were close to our hotel when we were confronted by two men, one of whom was armed. I was threatened with the pistol and pushed to the ground.

“He took my bike, and the other perpetrator took Sarah’s bike. We are both shaken, but physically we’re both OK.”

Twomey commented: “These two ladies are good friends of mine and were in Kinsale for the Para Sailing Worlds in Kinsale in 2013. I don't think the Irish media know how bad it is over here in Rio. Perhaps you might keep people informed.”

Sailing teams and other athletes are gathering in Rio for final weeks of training and practice before the Olympics and Paralympics – and if they avoid any similar or even more serious brushes with criminal elements, they may be very lucky indeed.

The Sailing Anarchy website reports another incident when two Team GBR RIBs were stolen from Torben Grael’s Rio Yacht Club in Niteroi, which is reported to have been hit by stray bullets from a nearby gunfight in previous weeks.

Two British team coaches found the RIBs on a beach beach in Jurujuba, not far from the US team’s launching location.

Sailing Anarchy reports: “[The boats were found] as they were being stripped. Already VHFs, fuel hoses, tanks, and wiring were already gone, with outboards next to go. The GBR coaches immediate reaction was to threaten the thieves with calling the police. ‘You think that will help you?’ the head pirate said...

"One of the coaches surreptitiously snapped a pic of the pirates and the Rio Yacht Club staff identified one of them as a top drug dealer in the nearby Jurujuba favela, and told the coach he was very, very lucky.”

Published in Olympic
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#Surfing - Lahinch Surf Experience has asked the public to be on the lookout for a number of items stolen from a van outside the surfing school's premises overnight.

According to a Facebook post this morning (Saturday 26 March), some 40 pairs of Alder Edge boots and around 10 O'Neill wetsuits were taken in the burglary.

The business is asking anyone who might be offered any of these items for sale to contact them or Ennistymon Garda Station.

The news comes just hours after the Shielbaggan Outdoor Centre saw the return of a trailer full of kayaks that had been stolen from its premises in Ramsgrange, Co Wexford earlier this week.

Published in Surfing

#Kitesurfing - "Countless" numbers of vehicles belonging to kitesurfers and other beach users have been broken into on Dublin beaches over the past year, according to the Irish Kite Surfing Association (ISKA).

And as the Dublin People reports, the problem only seems to be getting worse - with three cars damaged and burgled at Burrow in Sutton and Dollymount Strand on Bull Island over the weekend of 12-13 October last.

According to ISKA secretary Nicola Murphy, the latest spate of break-ins occurred despite an additional Garda presence for a kitesurfing event in Sutton that weekend.

And the brazen nature of the broad-daylight thefts has both kitesurfers and local beach users concerned, with tourists among those falling victim to what's being described as a very organised criminal activity.

The Dublin People has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing
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#Crime - The Irish Times is reporting that a body has been discovered on Portmarnock Beach in North Dublin this morning (12 September).

The news comes just two days after the body of a man in his 40s was found on Mornington Beach in Co Meath further up the coast.

Gardaí have since launched a murder investigation following that grisly find, according to RTÉ News.

Published in News Update
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#Astrid - The ship's bell and compass are among the items stolen in a dastardly raid on the wreck of the tall ship Astrid near Kinsale, as The Irish Times reports.

Owner of the near-century-old brig Pieter De Kam said that while he is "eternally grateful to the Irish people" for the rescue of all 30 crew on board when the ship struck rocks last Wednesday (24 July), he is "not grateful to whatever Irish people have gone aboard my ship and stolen my compass, my bell and my binnacle".

Breaking the exclusion zone set up around the tall ship - which went down after striking rocks and taking on water in strong winds and heavy seas while taking part in The Gathering Cruise - it appears the thieves slipped in by nightfall at low tide last Friday night (26 July) to grab their ill-gotten loot.

Though the 42-metre sail training vessel remains mostly intact, despite her ordeal, in the water near the Sovereign Islands off Ballymacus Point, it is unlikely that she will sail again due to the severity of damage to her hull.

Published in Tall Ships

#MARINE CRIME - TheJournal.ie reports that investigators the world over are gathered at the Silver Springs Moran Hotel in Cork for a conference on maritime crime. Scroll down for photos of the event by Bob Bateman below.

The International Association of Marine Investigators conference - now in its 15th year - will be discussing topics from drug imports to accident reconstruction.

The full conference agenda is available to read or download HERE.

The I.A.M.I, (Irish Association of Marine Investigators) Conference moved this morning to the premises of Marine Motors, Passage West Co. Cork, where they were welcomed on behalf of Passage West Town Council by Councillor Marcia D'Alton who gave the delegates a very interesting address on Passage West and it's long history of Maritime Associations. She also spoke of the relationship with the first steamship to sail the Atlantic from Passage West under Captain d'Esterre Roberts one of whose direct descendants, Grattan d'Esterre Roberts was also present. Also in attendance were Gerry Greenway, Manager Revenue Maritime Operations, Kevin Higgins of Marine Motors, Michael O'Donovan of Oysterhaven Boats and Robert Kennedy of O'Leary Insurance Insurances Ltd.

Sergeant Liam Grimes of the Garda Water Unit explained the hugely important function of the Association and the co-operation and exchange of information that exists throughout Europe between European Marine Police Units and European Marine Insurance Investigators in their endeavours to combate the ever escalating theft of boats, engines and all marine equipment. Their presentations and methods of detection explained were most interesting to listen to.

The Conference consists of workshops and presentations from all units including the Garda water unit. The Water Unit incorporates the Garda Sub Aqua Unit and this year alone attended the Volvo Ocean Race at Galway, the Tall Ships Race in Dublin and Cork Week to name but a few. They attended events right around the coast and are now based in Athlone. The Conference was opened yesterday at Silversprings Moran Hotel by Cork Chief Superintendent Tom Hayes. It is thefifteenth Annual Conference of the Association and the first to be held in Ireland and by all accounts has proven to be highly successful and enjoyable. It concludes this evening with a function at Silversprings Moran Hotel.

Additional reporting by Claire Bateman

Published in News Update
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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. 

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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