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Displaying items by tag: Health

Waterways Ireland have been notified by the HSE of a number of cases of Leptospirosis reported recently following exposure to the water on the Royal Canal in North Dublin.

Individuals are instructed not to engage in swimming, diving or immersive activity such as deliberate capsizing in the waterway pending further advisory.

Any facilities/activity providers are also requested to ensure, to the best of their ability, that clients do not engage in the same activities.

The HSE further advises all individuals partaking in watersport (and in turn for activity providers to advise their clients) of the risk, which is small but real, of acquiring Leptospirosis from water-based activities.

Persons with symptoms (a flu-like illness) within a three-week period after engaging in a water-based activity should seek medical attention immediately, mentioning any watercourse exposure.

Further information on Leptospirosis is available from the HSE website. Other enquiries can be directed to [email protected] or by contacting the Waterways Ireland Communications Office on 071-9650787.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection frequently found both in domestic and wild animals, which can spread to humans. Leptospirosis in Ireland is usually picked up from rats. The infection is spread through contact with rats, or rat urine generally.

Leptospirosis is a recreational hazard for those who participate in outdoor sports in contaminated areas and has been associated with water sports.

Occupations at risk would include veterinary surgeons, farmers, meat inspectors, butchers, abattoir and sewer workers.

High-risk water includes stagnant, dirty-looking or obviously polluted fresh water found in ditches, drains, ponds, lakes or rivers. Sea water poses less risk.

What precautions should I take?

  • Do not go swimming or boating in water which is known to be or obviously polluted.
  • Cover any cuts or abrasions with a waterproof dressing while swimming or canoeing.
  • Shower thoroughly as soon as possible following water activities.
  • Make sure the sporting clothing you wear minimises your contact with water.
  • Wash your hands after water activity, handling any animal or contaminated clothing and always before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Clean any cuts acquired during swimming, fishing or other near-water activities. Apply first aid as soon as possible.
    Rinsing dogs who have been swimming in high risk water reduces the risk of infection.
  • High-risk workers should always wear their personal protective equipment and clothing at all times when in high risk situations.
  • If you get a flu-like illness within a three-week period after engaging in any of these activities you should visit your doctor immediately, and tell her or him of your concerns and possible exposure to dirty or stagnant water.
Published in Inland Waterways

A woman is appealing for help to bring her fiancé back home to Canada after he was paralysed following a diving incident at the Lusitania wreck last month.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a man was airlifted to hospital and later transferred to University Hospital Galway’s specialist decompression unit after he took ill during a diving expedition at the wreck site off the Old Head of Kinsale.

It’s since emerged that the casualty, James (Kim) Martin, was left with near total paralysis in the aftermath of the incident on Thursday 8 August.

According to The Irish Times, the experienced diver had been due to marry Kristin Chadwick the week after his trip to Ireland. Chadwick first learned of what happened to her fiancé via an online news search.

Within days she was at his bedside and remained in Galway while Martin recovered from a number of serious complications. He is now able to communicate and has “limited use of his upper body” but needs a respirator to breathe.

Now Chadwick is trying to raise $100,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to being her partner back to Canada by air ambulance for long-term rehab.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Diving
Tagged under

There was some disappointment for kitesurfer Eoghan Quinn as his attempt to ride the waves from France to Ireland yesterday (Sunday 30 June) ended prematurely when the wind dropped off Cornwall, just short of the halfway point.

But the 31-year-old, who has Type 1 diabetes and was taking on the challenge to raise funds for and awareness of Diabetes Ireland, arrived in Ballycotton on his support boat yesterday evening to a hero’s welcome.

“A lot of planning went into this but mother nature is the one thing we cannot control, but we achieved what we set out to do which was to raise awareness,” he told RTÉ News.

The route from France to Ireland through the Celtic Sea — dubbed the ‘Kitesurf Road’ — has never before been completed by kite and board.

Quinn had hoped to beat the Cherbourg-Rosslare ferry by crossing in under 16 hours.

Published in Kitesurfing

A Waterford man with Type 1 diabetes is currently kitesurfing over 275 miles of open water from France to Ireland today (Sunday 30 June) in aid of a charity supporting people with the disease.

Eoghan Quinn is attempting to race the Cherbourg-Rosslare ferry and cross the waves of the Celtic Sea in under 16 hours to raise funds for of Diabetes Ireland. (See his EverydayHero fundraising page HERE.)

It’s a route that’s never before been completed by a kitesurfer — and Eoghan will have the added complication of managing his blood glucose and insulin levels along the way.

But such challenges are nothing new to the 31-year-old kitesurfing champion, who has previously completed a 6,000km cycle to Gaza and a 1,000km ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

Diabetes Ireland has more on the story, and you can track Eoghan’s progress HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing

Big wave surfer Al Mennie talks to the Belfast Telegraph about how he keeps fit and healthy between his challenging surfing experiences.

In a candid Q&A, the Portrush surfer — who features in BBC Two NI show Tide this Sunday 16 June at 9.45pm — reveals the extent of the punishment he’s put his body through to ride the biggest swells.

“[From] surfing I have had broken ribs, have split my head open several times and have been concussed. I often think I’ve been very lucky.”

The “extreme” of this sportsman’s chosen field even extends to his diet — or rather, two diets.

“I eat very well and see myself as an athlete and need to fuel my body, but you will see me in a well-known fast food chain the odd time,” he says.

Perhaps understandably for someone who undertakes such a high-stakes endeavour, Mennie confesses he is “full on all the time”.

“Because I am a surfer, people think I must be chilled out — I am actually really far from being chilled out. At night I'm writing books or working on some sort of plan.”

Mennie’s book Overcome or Succumb was published last year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie. And the Belfast Telegraph has more on his story HERE.

In other surfing news, Dublin Gaelic football forward Ciaran Kilkenny tells the Irish Examiner how riding the waves had become a part of his fitness regimen.

“I generally try to go the day after a game, because you get a bit of a recovery in, too,” he says.

“Even for the head, it’s great to go to a place like Bundoran, or Strandhill or Lahinch, the sea breeze, it’s great to go down and get in the water and up on the board.”

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

Waterways Ireland has announced the launch of a walking programme along canal and river routes across Kildare, Carlow and Laois.

The aim of the Waterways For Health programme — in conjunction with Get Ireland Walking, and Local Sports Partnerships from Kildare, Carlow and Laois — is to immerse participants into natural waterway environments with guided support from county walking facilitators from Local Sports Partnerships.

“Waterways Ireland has seen a huge increase in the number of recreational and tourist users on and along all our waterways in recent years,” said Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland>

“With the provision of our Blueway and Greenway trails, we have now created even more opportunities for people to try new recreational activities. This also offers greater health and well-being and social opportunities for locals”.

For more information on the new Waterways For Health programme, its partners and their services, see GetIrelandWalking.ie and www.SportIreland.ie (to find your Local Sports Partnership).

Published in Inland Waterways

#Wellness - The therapeutic benefits of sailing have been highlighted by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s 2017 awardees Sailing into Wellness.

The Cork-based non-profit social initiative provides an opportunity for vulnerable groups to experience a completely new environment on the open sea.

For those with mental health issues, recovering from addiction or from disadvantaged backgrounds, sailing is proven to be a powerful tool in their development, say the organisers.

Working together as a team, individuals are supported to overcome personal challenges in an environment that is both exhilarating and therapeutic.

So help spread the word and bring a friend next time you are heading out for a potter in the bay.

If you’re interested in supporting Sailing into Wellness, contact [email protected]

Published in ISA

#Diving - Planning permission is being sought for a new hyperbaric therapy centre in Galway city centre, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Regularly used for the treatment of damaged body tissues, hyperbaric facilities are also key to the treatment of decompression sickness, or ‘the bends’ – a risk for deepwater divers.

Last November, Cork’s SCUBA diving community announced plans to raise funds for a local hyperbaric chamber, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Diving

#Diving - The SCUBA diving community in Cork is raising funds for a hyperbaric chamber to treat divers with decompression sickness, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Otherwise known as ‘the bends’, the potentially fatal condition is contracted when nitrogen bubbles form in the bloodstream of divers who surface from deep dives too quickly.

However, there is only one hyperbaric chamber required for the necessary oxygen therapy that caters for diving emergencies in the Republic, located in Galway.

That’s prompted the creation of the Munster Hyperbaric Chamber Project, to provide emergency facilities for affected divers in Ireland’s south-west in time for the 2017 diving season. The Irish Examiner has more HERE.

In other diving news, two English SCUBA clubs have shared a top award for their expedition to Ratlin Island off the Causeway Coast, according to the Bury Times.

Divers from Bury and Wigan in the greater Manchester area were awarded the Expedition Trophy at the British Sub-Aqua Club Diving Conference recently for their reef and shipwreck dives out of Ballycastle — including one visit to a cruiser torpedoed during the First World War.

Published in Diving

#OceanWarming - Warming oceans are not only throwing marine ecosystems into disarray, but are also encouraging the spread of water-borne bacteria and viruses around the world, a new study warns.

The Irish Examiner reports on new findings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which says the world is "completely unprepared" for the consequences of ocean warming, which have already been seen as fish and marine mammal species move into cooler northern waters.

Coming in their wake, however, are tropical pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus, related to the cholera bacteria, and potentially toxic algal blooms that could enter the food chain – comprising what scientists are calling the "greatest hidden challenge of our generation".

Rising sea temperatures are already wreaking havoc on corals off East Africa in the Indian Ocean, and affecting the breeding success of seabirds, ocean reptiles, jellyfish and plankton – the foodstuff of large baleen whales and basking sharks, which frequent Irish shores.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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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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