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Displaying items by tag: Storm Desmond

#StormDesmond - With many parts of the country still recovering from the effects of Storm Desmond earlier this month – and Galway in particular facing a €12 million clean-up bill – it might be surprising to learn that some people turned the conditions to their advantage.

But that's exactly what a group of intrepid kayakers did in Ennistymon, Co Clare, as the floodwaters turned part of the Cullenagh River into raging rapids – and local TD Timmy Dooley happened to be there to record it all on video, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Elsewhere, Northern Irish big wave surfer Al Mennie wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to paddle out to the 20-foot swells generated by the storm, captured in all their glory in a photo gallery on Uproxx.

Published in Kayaking

#Shannon - The worst flooding in two decades could fall upon the Shannon catchment in the coming days as spring tides accentuate the effects of last weekend's Storm Desmond.

According to The Irish Times, the Office of Public Works has told the National Emergency Co-ordination Committee that the River Shannon from Limerick to Athlone is the one area "giving most concern", with all gauging stations on the waterway showing only rising levels.

And spring tides this coming Friday and Saturday (11-12 December) are set to combine with "the fluvial flood wave coming down the Shannon" that is rated "in the severe category", warned the OPW's Jim Casey, who noted that the Erne catchment is also rising.

Meanwhile, the ESB has increased the flow of water from Parteen Weir at Ardnacrusha to help manage the Shannon's flood waters – but this too may lead to flooding of streets in Limerick city and suburbs.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#StormDesmond - Mike the donkey has a lot to be cheery about as volunteers for Animal Heaven Animal Rescue helped rescue him from floodwaters in Kilorglin, Co Kerry yesterday (Sunday 6 December).

As TheJournal.ie reports, Suzanne Gibbons from the animal rescuers put out an appeal on social media after she was altered to the fate of the donkey, who had bolted from his field after Storm Desmond blew the gate over and got trapped in a nearby flooded river.

It wasn't long before two local men brought a boat with a rope and life ring to help tow back onto dry land the grateful animal who's since been named after one of his rescuers.

Rising water levels across the country in the wake of Storm Desmond have prompted a marine notice from Waterways Ireland advising all masters and owners of vessels at public harbours, jetties or moorings against boating in extreme conditions such as storm-force winds and heavy rainfall.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Rescue - A 15-year-old girl who was one of two teens rescued of Hook Head yesterday (Sunday 6 December) was unconscious when she was taken out of the water, it has emerged.

As RTÉ News reports, the girl is one of four from a Dublin scouts group who were washed into the sea from the rocks by a surprise wave as the remnants of Storm Desmond passed over Ireland.

Two managed to swim to shore, but the others – the girl and a 15-year-old boy – got into difficulty in what the Irish Coast Guard described as "confused" heavy seas.

As of this morning (Monday 7 December) the girl was said to be in a critical condition at University Hospital Waterford. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#StormDesmond - It was a 'red' alert for western coastal counties this weekend as Storm Desmond blew in from the Atlantic with extreme gusts and downpours.

But amid the damage and disruption across the country, Galway-based photographer Cathal Devlin took to social media to share his dismay at the recklessness of two would-be divers who decided the stormy conditions presented the perfect time to take a dip.

Devlin's video of the "stunt" at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill – which clearly shows the young men ignoring basic water safety advice by diving into rough seas, with blasts of spray occasionally obscuring the pier – has gone viral in the 24 hours since he first uploaded it to Facebook. But he says he did not post it for entertainment purposes.

"I do not know if they are strong swimmers or not, that is not the case," Devlin writes. "If any one of them got into difficulties there was no one there to do anything for them.

"The voluntary and rescue services are kept busy enough without having to worry about this type of stupid behaviour."

Published in Water Safety

#Weather - Met Éireann has issued a rare Status Red rainfall warning for western counties as Storm Desmond barrels in from the Atlantic later today (Friday 4 December).

The Irish meteorological service warns of "incessant falls of heavy rain overnight and for all of Saturday" from Kerry to Donegal, with "accumulations in excess of 70mm expected" particularly on higher ground.

Slightly less rain is expected in Cavan, Limerick and Cork but accumulations of up to 70mm are likely, and will result in "flooding and treacherous driving conditions" throughout the western half of the country.

A Status Orange wind warning is in effect for the West Coast, with mean wind speeds of up to 75kmh from the southwest, gusting to 120kmh and strongest in coastal areas.

Met Éireann has declared Status Yellow for wind in Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Leinster and much of Munster with 100kmh gusts expected.

For those at sea, southwesterly gales will develop on all Irish coastal waters and in the Irish Sea as the day progresses, increasing to storm force this afternoon between Loop Head and Fair Head. A Status Yellow small craft warning is in effect.

Published in Weather

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. 

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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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