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Displaying items by tag: Portuguese Man O'War

#Ophelia - Storm Ophelia may have brought on a repeat of last year’s infestation of Portuguese men o’war, an Irish zoologist has warned.

As The Irish Times reports, Dr Tom Doyle of NUI Galway is appealing for caution along Ireland’s coastline after isolated reports of strandings of the tropical marine creature, which packs a potentially lethal sting,

“The southerly winds we had during Ophelia will have swept many up from the Bay of Biscay area, but as yet we have not received many specific reports,” said Dr Doyle.

The days preceding Storm Ophelia’s arrival saw a spike in sightings, he noted, with up to 200 counted as of this morning (Wednesday 18 October).

They are not the only marine wildlife that have washed up on Irish shores with the violent impact of Monday’s hurricane-force winds, as Karin Dubsky of Coastwacth says large numbers of shellfish and octopuses have been beached around the coast.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Irish Water Safety (IWS) is alerting the public to exercise caution on our south, west and northwest coastline over the next few days due to jellyfish arriving on our shores, as previously reported by Afloat.ie. 

IWS says Ireland has experienced tropical maritime air for almost two months now with very little northerly winds, in addition sea water temperatures are approximately 15 degrees Celsius, consequently we have seen one of the largest infestations of the Portuguese Man o'war land on our western seaboard in over a hundred years.

There is a new moon on Saturday which will give us spring tides which will mean that we will have larger exposed areas of coastline where we are likely to see these most venomous siphonophores or to most of us Jellyfish. Surfers, kite surfers, swimmers, kayakers, divers and walkers need to keep a vigilant eye open for these creatures which give a very strong sting and to some people can cause anaphylactic shock or seizures. Local Authorities from Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Donegal have reported them on their shores mainly in south and southwest facing bays. There have been reports of in excess of 80 landing on the South Harbour in Cape Clear an in excess of 20 on Keel Bay in Achill. They have been known to kill people such is the severity of their stings.

  • Ensure you don't get stung yourself when aiding others.
  • Remove any attached tentacles with a gloved hand, stick or towel.
  • Do not rub the affected area, this may result in further venom release.
  • Rinse the affected area with sea-water (do not use fresh water, vinegar or urine)
  • Apply a "dry cold pack" to the area (i.e place a cold pack or ice inside a plastic bag & then wrap this package in a t-shirt or other piece of cloth).
  • Seek medical attention if there is anything other than minor discomfort (Please note: The sting can cause anaphylactic shock, if you are feeling unwell go to A&E for treatment).

Members of the public should report the sightings of these two jellyfish to the relevant Local Authority or local Water Safety Development Officer

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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