Displaying items by tag: irish sea
#IrishSea - A new observation tower on the Lancashire coastline with views over the Irish Sea has opened a year after construction began.
BBC News reports that the Rossall Point Observation Tower, which reaches a height of 14 metres (46ft), will act as a base for the UK's National Coastwatch Institution.
The view from the top will also be projected on a screen in the education centre to be located in the tower's ground floor for those whose mobility prevents them from accessing the top level.
#Missing - A body recovered from the sea off north Co Dublin yesterday may be that of a man who went missing from Rush at Christmas.
The Irish Independent reports that a post-mortem is being carried out on the body to confirm if it is that of 24-year-old Paul Byrne, who was last seen in the early hours of Christmas Day.
Fishermen in the Irish Sea made the grim discovery in their nets yesterday and brought the body to Skerries harbour after 8pm.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.
Westerly winds will continue to reach gale force or strong gale force this evening and tonight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea.
Severe gusts of 90 to 110 km/h are predicted for Connacht, Donegal and in coastal areas of Munster. Elsewhere winds will gust between 80 and 90 km/hr.
After dark, showers will become increasingly wintry with the possibility of snow and even blizzard-like conditions, especially in the north and west on high ground.
But meteorologists say that any lying snow will melt during the course of tomorrow morning and afternoon as temperatures rise.
The video was shot by surprised researchers with the Wales-based Sea Trust on one of the groups routine survey expeditions between Fishguard and Rosslare on board the Stena Europe ferry.
Cliff Benson of the marine wildlife charity described the sea as "boiling" with dolphins just 10 miles off the Irish coast yesterday morning.
"They were just coming and coming. It was the last thing on earth I was expecting in the winter," he said. "We had at least 250 and that's a conservative estimate. I'm guessing there was as many as 500."
The incredible sight comes just a month after the researchers recorded what they called a "dolphin-fest" along the same route west of Tusker Rock, numbering more than a 100 dolphins and 26 porpoises.
#Lifeboats - The video above shows off a prototype of the RNLI's new lifeboat class, the Shannon, as it undergoes sea trials to determine how it handles the rough weather all too common to the seas around the UK and Ireland.
It's also the second RNLI boat to be designed by an Irishman, after the Atlantic 21 developed in the 1970s by Cork-born Rear Admiral Desmond Hoare at the Atlantic College in Wales.
In other RNLI news, tributes were paid in the Isle of Man this week to the founder of the lifeboat institution in an annual ceremony on the Irish Sea island.
As BBC News reports, Sir William Hillary launched an appeal in 1824 that let to the formation of the RNLI, and he went on to serve as a member of the lifeboat crew at Douglas.
#MarineWildlife - Fears among conservation groups that the UK would enact just a quarter of the proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in British waters have been realised with the news that just 31 out of a potential 127 sites will be designated as protected by the end of 2013.
The original proposals, as reported last year on Afloat.ie, cover the waters around the English and Welsh coastlines - of which only 1% is currently protected - recommending a variety of zones that offer different levels of protection for marine wildlife and plantlife, allowing flexibility for fishing and other activities.
A government decision on the conservation areas was already postponed in November last year after pressure from coastlines users.
But as the Guardian reports, Westminster has now been accused of a "lack of ambition" by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) over the announcement on Thursday 13 December, which the charity says flies in the face of the government's own advisers who have recommended a 'coherent network' of sites around Britain, including the immediate designation for 59 sites regarded as 'highly threatened'.
"We cannot delay protection," said Jean-Luc Solandt of MCS. "We wouldn't stand by and let wildflower meadows and ancient forests be dug up and cleared, and yet heavy fishing gear is dragged across all kinds of habitats, destroying large swaths of the seabed with very little control."
The World Wide Find for Nature (WWF) added to the chorus of disapproval, saying the decision by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) "falls woefully short of what is needed to protect the marine environment".
Ali Champion of WWF UK said: “It’s disappointing and shows a complete lack of commitment to the protection of our seas in a coherent way."
Of the four zones recommended for the Irish Sea area, only one - at Fylde Offshore, off Lancashire - has been chosen by Defra for protection. But as the Blackpool Gazette reports, local campaigners say they will vow to continue the fight to 'save our seas'.
The conservationists with the Sea Trust charity, based in Pembrokeshire, recorded the "dolphin-fest" from the deck of the Stena Europe ferry en route from Fishguard to Rosslare.
Sea Trust director Cliff Benson confirmed the sighting of "a pod of eight Risso's dolphins, 40-plus common dolphins [and] four porpoises" among others as soon as the ferry headed west of Tusker Rock.
Altogether in the three-hour passage across the Irish Sea, the volunteer surveyors recorded a total of 99 common dolphins, 10 Risso's dolphins and 26 harbour porpoises. "That's not bad for a winter trip," said Benson.
He added that while there are threats to the Irish Sea's cetaceans from scallop dredging and the like, "to date our surveys show this area is teeming with life.
“This is Wales and Ireland we are talking about not Bermuda so get this amount of dolphin and porpoise activity with whales thrown in as well is incredible."
Stena has welcomed Sea Trust volunteers on board its vessels since 2004 to check on cetaceans and other marine wildlife in the waters between Ireland and the UK on a monthly basis.
And as reported previously on Afloat.ie, Seatruck Ferries has also been providing free passage to UK marine wildlife researchers to discover how many dolphins and seabirds make their home in the Irish Sea.
Meanwhile, BBC News reports that a pod of more than 100 bottlenose dolphins was recently spotted off the Isle of Man.
The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch said it received a number of sightings from the east and west coasts of the island in the northern half of the Irish Sea, reporting a hive of activity.
"The group sizes tend to be relatively ginormous," said Tom Felce of the group. "So if they are here you can't miss them."
#LIFEBOATS - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Trearddur Bay in Anglesey, north Wales have received a kind donation and a thank-you card from the owner of Daisy, a cow recently rescued after falling from a cliff into the Irish Sea.
Danielle Bosustow, aged eight, was so touched that the crew had rescued her pet she put pen to paper to thank them. Her thank you card reads: "Thank you so much for your help rescuing my cow Daisy. I am so happy to see her again."
Along with the thank you card was a kind donation from Danielle’s grandfather, a local farmer who visited the station to show his gratitude to the RNLI.
The volunteer crew sprung into action on 22 October last, following reports that a cow had fallen from a cliff at Porthdafarch.
The lifeboat launched and with the help of the local farmer, Daisy was located and towed to safety using a bridle. She was taken to a bay close by where she could safely reach dry land.
Alf Pritchard, press officer for Trearddur Bay RNLI said: "We were shown some photographs which were taken after Daisy’s ordeal and it was good to see she is none the worse for her experience.
"It’s so nice when people come back to let you know that what you have done is appreciated. As a charity, the RNLI also very much appreciates the donation."
UK Laser sailors Steve Cockerill and David Summerville embarked on a challenge of a lifetime last May when as they sailed Laser dinghies across the Irish Sea from from Howth (Ireland) to Holyhead (Wales) to raise funds for Mind and the John Merricks Sailing Trust. The total time involved was 13 Hours 37 Minutes, a distance of 115 nautical miles as this latest video reveals.
#LIFEBOATS - Volunteers with Douglas RNLI in the Isle of Man were presented with Diamond Jubilee medals from the Queen last week in recognition of their tireless service to saving lives in the Irish Sea.
And they couldn't have found a better place to present them than the Fort Anne, the former home of RNLI founder Sir William Hillary.
The medal recipients included lifeboat crew Neal Corran (Coxswain); Juan Howland (Emergency. Cox); Tony Radcliffe (Mechanic); Peter Cowin (Emergency Mechanic); Donald Bottomley Emergency Mechanic); Simon Bushe (Emergency Mechanic); Peter Washington (Emergency Mechanic); Emily Heaton; Richard Coase; J Noel Farrell; Mark Versluijs; Richard Forrest; Graeme Cushnie; and Nigel Smallwood; plus shore crew Mary Corran (LOM); Paul Cunningham (Head Launcher); Alex McBride (Winch Operator); Robert Corran MBE; John McCreadie; and Paul Zywicki.