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Displaying items by tag: castletownbere

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night (Friday 13th August 2021) at 8.20 p.m to go to the immediate assistance of a yacht that had broken away from its mooring at Trafrask on the shores of the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

A member of the public spotted the stricken yacht from the shore and was concerned that the vessel would be washed against the rocky shoreline and become damaged. They telephoned the Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia to raise the alarm.

Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 8.10 p.m. and launched within ten minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Martin Cronin, John Paul Downey and Aaron O’Boyle.

The yacht was located at 8.45 p.m. in a small inlet known as Trafrask Bay near Adrigole – the boat was aground with no persons on board. Coxswain Fenton described the conditions onscene as ‘calm’. The lifeboat launched its inflatable Y-boat with two crew members and attempted to tow the yacht. However, the grounded yacht would not move so then a tow was then attached to the lifeboat. The yacht was pulled clear and reattached securely to the mooring.

Commenting on the callout, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens stated that: ‘However minor the problem may seem at the time, members of the public should never hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard - an early response from the emergency services ensures that situations such as this can be dealt with quickly and effectively’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI were launched this morning (Wednesday 14th July 2021) just before 9.00 a.m. to go to the immediate assistance of a kayaker who had become stranded yesterday evening on the Calf Rock and then went on to rescue his dog ‘Lucky’ who was stranded on the Bull Rock in West Cork.

Yesterday evening, a 50-year-old lone kayaker with his dog landed on the Bull Rock west of Dursey Island. However, when he went to leave the rock, his dog ‘Lucky’ would not come with him. He then paddled to the Calf Rock where he intended to stay the night – however he became separated from his kayak and was stranded on the Calf Rock overnight.

The story began to unfold this morning when a local fishing vessel spotted the man calling for help on the Calf Rock. The vessel raised the alarm and Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio. The lifeboat ‘Annette Hutton’ was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Kyle Cronin, Mark O’Hare & David O’Donovan,

At 9.40 a.m the lifeboat located the stranded man on the Calf Rock and immediately launched a small dinghy to retrieve him. Coxswain Hegarty complimented the crew as landing at the rock required considerable skill as there was a 2/3 metre run of tide. He was found to be safe and well. The lifeboat then proceeded west to the Bull Rock and again launched its Y boat in similar sea conditions to retrieve the man’s dog. Both man and dog were reunited on board the lifeboat.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Luckily, other than being cold last night, neither the kayaker or his dog suffered any ill-effects from being stranded on two separate rocks overnight. Callouts like this highlight the need for anyone using the sea to carry a VHF radio to make contact in an emergency.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens stated that ‘This is not the first time that someone has been stranded on the Calf Rock. In 1881, when the top of the lighthouse was blown off and swept away in a violent storm, six lighthouse keepers spent 12 days on the rock prior to being rescued. Modern lifeboats, dedicated volunteer crew and good weather meant that this kayaker only spent one night there!

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI was launched yesterday evening (Saturday 10th July 2021) just after 7.20 pm to go to the immediate assistance of a lone sailor who had become injured on his yacht off Bere Island in West Cork

Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio yesterday evening after a yacht approaching Lonehart Harbour on the southern side of Bere Island hit a rock and the sailor was thrown forward resulting in injuries to his face and leg. He immediately radioed for help.

The lifeboat ‘Annette Hutton’ was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Martin Cronin, Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, Aaron O’Boyle, Donagh Murphy & David O’Donovan,

At 7.40 pm the lifeboat located the yacht at Island’s End located at the easterly tip of Bere island in calm conditions. A member of the lifeboat crew was transferred aboard to rig a tow and the casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat to receive first aid.

On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station, the injured man was met by paramedics from the ambulance service and he subsequently received medical assessment and attention. Meanwhile, members of the lifeboat crew had motored the yacht to a safe berth in Castletownbere harbour.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘The crew are to be complimented for their very swift response this evening and the rescued sailor seemed to be in good spirits when expressing his gratitude.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Major expansion works were set to begin today (Thursday 4 March) for Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre at Dinish Wharf.

Works on the €23.5 million project, which had been due to begin in late 2018, will continue on the site until March 2022 and include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction of a new quay structure approximately 216m at Dinish Island, including all associated infilling and land reclamation.
  • Dredging of a berthing pocket adjacent to the new wharf extension by dredging to a depth of -8.0m Chart Datum.
  • Dredging of a navigation channel to a depth of -6.5m Chart Datum.
  • Construction of two new breakwater structures.
  • Construction of a reclamation area to act as a quay/storage hinterland area.
  • Provision of all water, electrical and fuels services.
  • Heavy-duty pavement surfacing to new wharf/quay structure area.
  • Ancillary marine facilities and services.
  • Relocation of navigation lights.
  • Revised security and access arrangements for quay facilities.

Civil engineering crews will operate from the adjacent lands, existing harbour infrastructure and from jack-up barges, pontoons, heavy civil engineering plant and machinery, work vessels and platforms. Divers are also employed on site.

For safety reasons, mariners are advised to proceed slowly and with caution in the approach channel to the inner harbour and within the inner harbour area and to give the works a clear berth. Wave-wash from vessels should also be avoided.

Published in Irish Harbours

Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night (Tuesday 10 February 2021) just after 11.00 pm to go to the assistance of a seriously ill skipper on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio last night to go to the assistance of a 30-metre Spanish-registered fishing trawler, located south west of Castletownbere which reported that the skipper had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donogue, John Paul Downey, Kyle Cronin and Donagh Murphy and located the vessel at 12.09 nineteen miles south-west of Ardnakinna lighthouse. Conditions on-scene were challenging with a 3-4 metre swell and gusting east northeast winds up to Force 6.

The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where local pilot went aboard and took command of the vessel. The casualty, a man in his late fifties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. The lifeboat then took the casualty to Castletownbere RNLI station where he transferred a waiting ambulance at 2.10 a.m. He was taken to hospital for medical assessment and treatment. Meanwhile, the fishing was safely berthed at Castletownbere Pier. The lifeboat was made ready for service again by 2.20 a.m.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, complimented the crew on its rapid response, maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols and the safe transfer of the ill casualty’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night at 22:54 to go to the assistance of a seriously will fisherman on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio at 22:46 last night to go to the assistance of a 27-metre locally-registered fishing trawler, with six persons on board, located two miles south of Mizen Head which reported that a crewman had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and located the vessel west of Sheep’s Head.

Conditions on-scene were difficult with a three metre swell and 25-knot south-westerly winds. Two attempts were made to transfer the casualty from the fishing vessel to the lifeboat but were unsuccessful due to unfavourable conditions. The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where the casualty, a man in his late forties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. 

Castletownbere RNLI with Coastguard Helicopter crew on boardThe Coastguard helicopter 115 lowered a winchman onboard the Castletownbere RNLI

The Shannon-based Sikorsky Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 was tasked and met with the lifeboat in Bantry Bay. The helicopter lowered a winchman and the casualty was successfully transferred to the helicopter for immediate evacuation to Cork University Hospital.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Brendan O’Neill, complimented the crew on its rapid response to the call-out and thanked the coastguard for its cooperation in making this call-out successful.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Castletownbere RNLI were launched this morning (Friday 21st August 2020) at 09:03 to assist a yacht which had broken away from its moorings off the Bere Island in West Cork.

The yacht was spotted drifting in the channel between Bere Island and the mainland and being blown towards the shore in very windy conditions. A concerned member of the public raised the alarm requesting immediate assistance. 

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and located the vessel drifting towards the shore in Force 6/7 winds. There was nobody aboard the yacht and no damage was sustained. At this stage, a local boat from Bere Island had the yacht taken under tow and the lifeboat accompanied both vessels to safety. 

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue commended the member of the public for raising the alarm and therefore avoiding the yacht being blown ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew. Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork. Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution. The book Surviving the Storms goes on sale today (Thursday 11 June) with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.

The Castletownbere RNLI rescue from 2018 is included with those of a Northern Ireland lifeboat mechanic who swam into a cave to rescue two teenage boys when they became trapped with a rising tide in dangerous conditions and lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people, moments away from drowning. This book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue.

In an extract from the book Dean Hegarty, who at 24-years old had been on the lifeboat crew for five years and was a recently appointed Coxswain on his second callout in charge, explains what he saw when he and his lifeboat crew came on scene.

‘Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene. What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack. The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion. There were huge swells reaching six metres, the height of a two-storey house, tossing the fishing boat around like a rag doll and pushing her ever closer to the sixty-metre cliffs to the west of the harbour mouth. The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.’

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives. Between them, they’ve helped so many people survive the storms and I’m proud of every one of them.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched early this morning just after 03.30 a.m. to assist a 19-metre fishing vessel which experienced difficulties off the Bull Rock off the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

The alarm was raised when the vessel, with four persons on board, experienced mechanical difficulties eleven miles west of the Bull Rock. The alarm was raised with Valentia Coastguard Radio requesting immediate assistance who in turn tasked Castletownbere lifeboat at 03.27 a.m.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and five crew and located the fishing vessel at 05.20 a.m. 28 miles west of Castletownbere Harbour. There was a 3-4 metre swell and the wind was Force 5 westerly.

The lifeboat took the fishing boat under tow shortly afterwards and brought it to safety within Castletownbere Harbour arriving at 12.00 midday.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Launching Authority Felix O’Donoghue said, ‘The crew are to be praised for their quick response and swift launch this morning. They spent eight and a half hours at sea and thankfully the outcome has been positive.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rowing: Ireland’s Sionna Healy placed seventh in the women’s solo at the World Coastal Championships in Hong Kong this morning. In tough, choppy, conditions, the Arklow woman clung on to sixth for most of a race which was won by Diana Dymchenko of Ukraine. Mette Petersen of Denmark finished fastest of the entire field and took sixth, while Castletownbere’s Miriam Sheehan also finished well to take eighth.

 The best-placed men’s crews for Ireland were Myross, who took tenth in the men’s coxed quadruple, and Bantry’s Andrew Hurley, who was 13th in the men’s solo.

 Belfast Boat Club’s women’s coxed quad took 11th in their A Final.  

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Hong Kong – Day Three  (Ireland crews)

Men

Quadruple coxed – A Final: 10 Myross 24 minutes 45.44 seconds. B Final (18th to 31st): 4 Galley Flash/Kilmacsimon 17:24.36.

Double – A Final:  13 Arklow (J Whooley, A Goodison) 27:01.10.

Solo – A Final: 13 Bantry (A Hurley) 30:52.53; 16 Galley Flash (J Harrington) 32.20.18.

Women

Quadruple, coxed – A Final: 11 Belfast BC 28:06.90; 15 Castletownbere/Myross (Ireland Two) 28:45.75.

Double – B Final (17th to 29th): 1 Castletownshend 20:46.01; 4 Arklow (Kinsella, Kinsella) 22:03.93, 5 Arklow (Jordan, Reid) 22:21.76.  

Solo – A Final: 7 Arklow (S Healy) 32:45.91, 8 Castletownbere (M Sheehan) 32:53.20; 12 Arklow (X Jordan) 33:25.40; 14 Galley Flash (N Hayes) 34:03.40; 16 Arkow (MA Kent) 37:22.22.

Mixed

Double – B Final (17th to 32nd): 11 Kilmacsimon 21:04.85.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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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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