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The second race of the May league for the 'Genaveve Plate' was raced at Schull Harbour Sailing Club in West Cork on Saturday in near 'tropical' conditions, according to organisers.

The fleet started downwind from the harbour line in a light northerly breeze, rounding the Cush Buoy off Long Island and then heading for the Amelia Buoy.

On approaching the mark, the wind dropped to zero, which allowed the back markers to rejoin the fleet while they all drifted around for a period before restarting in a light northeasterly for a final leg into the harbour on a shortened course.

The Murphy family's  Shelly D, a Moody 30, took the win in the Schull Harbour Sailing Club for the 'Genaveve Plate' as part of the club's May LeagueThe Murphy family's  Shelly D, a Moody 30, took the win in the Schull Harbour Sailing Club for the 'Genaveve Plate' as part of the club's May League

Flor O Riordan's Three Cheers took line honours, however, victory in both IRC and Echo went to the Murphy family in Shelly D, with Peter Duggan's Manzanita and Schull Community College's Athena taking second and third in Echo, while Athena was second in IRC ahead of 3 Cheers in third.

Published in West Cork

The opening race of the 2024 summer sailing season at Schull Harbour Sailing Club in West Cork was staged on Saturday in near-idyllic weather as the mixed cruiser fleet competed for the Rossbrin Boatyard Trophy.

After starting in the inner harbour in a light easterly breeze, the course took the competitors around the Calf Islands and Amelia Buoy.

Peter Duggan's Quarter Tonner Manzanita (IRL 2076) and Tom Newman's Contessa 32, Sittelle (IRL 2323) during Schull Harbour Sailing Club RacingPeter Duggan's Quarter Tonner Manzanita (IRL 2076) and Tom Newman's Contessa 32, Sittelle (IRL 2323) 

Gabby Hogan's Growler led the fleet to take line honours but had to settle for second place in both IRC and Echo, from Peter Duggan's Manzanita, who showed the benefit of a major winter overhaul by winning both divisions.

Michael Moody's 30 Shelly D (IRL148) at the Perch mark during Schull Harbour Sailing Club RacingMichael Murphy's Moody 30 Shelly D (IRL148) at the Perch mark during Schull Harbour Sailing Club Racing

The Murphy family sailing the veteran Shelly D for the 45th consecutive year finished third in both IRC and Echo.

 Winning Manzanita skipper Peter Duggan with crew Daniel Duggan and John Molloy (a former owner of Manzanita) at the Schull Harbour Sailing Club prizegiving for the Rossbrin Boatyard Trophy Winning Manzanita skipper Peter Duggan with crew Daniel Duggan and John Molloy (a former owner of Manzanita) at the Schull Harbour Sailing Club prizegiving for the Rossbrin Boatyard Trophy

Published in West Cork
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The first cruise ship of the season in West Cork was welcomed by Cork County Council to its harbours, Schull and Kinsale, located in Ireland’s largest county.

The ultra-luxury expedition cruise ship Seabourn Venture, as Afloat previously reported visiting Killybegs, made another inaugural call to Schull on Tuesday, which represents the vessel’s first of two visits to Cork County Council’s harbours this week.

The 172-metre Seabourn Venture, which was launched in 2022 for US-based operator Seabourn Cruise Line, carries 264 passengers, offering their guests an intimate, private yacht-like atmosphere. All of the accommodations feature ocean-front suites with veranda, and among the expedition equipment is a 6-person submarine.

Seabourn Venture was built to polar class standards and has 120 crew members to operate in the Arctic and Antarctica. The visits of the 26,315 gross tonnage cruise ship to Schull and Kinsale come at the end of a 28-day cruise itinerary for passengers.

To mark the inaugural calls to West Cork, as of tradition, a delegation from Cork County Council was on board the Seabourn Venture, where Cllr. Caroline Cronin made a presentation to Captain Sasha Skladnoi on behalf of the council.

More from the Irish Independent on the rising number of small cruise ship calls to the region and to where cruise-goers went to various tourist attractions.

Published in Cruise Liners

Baltimore RNLI in West Cork successfully rescued Dixie, a terrier mix dog, after she fell from the cliff at the Beacon on Tuesday morning.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the launch of their inshore lifeboat shortly before 10 am, after Dixie's owner raised the alarm. It was the first call out for the new helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat. The crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll assisted him.

Arriving on scene below the Beacon, the Baltimore RNLI Atlantic 85 crew observed Dixie sheltering and waiting under a rock ledge after she managed to swim ashore. Crew members Kieran Collins and Eoin O’Driscoll  entered the sea and retrieved the dog, bringing her safely back onto the lifeboat and back to shore to her relieved owner

The weather conditions were favorable at the time, with a force 2-3 wind and a calm sea with up to a half-meter swell and good visibility. The crew arrived at the scene to find Dixie sheltering under a rock ledge after swimming ashore. Kieran and Eoin braved the sea and retrieved the dog, safely bringing her back onto the lifeboat and to her owner.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, praised Dixie's owner for raising the alarm and reminded dog owners to be careful when walking their pets near the coast. She advised them not to go into the water or mud after their pets but to move to a safe place and call for help.

New Baltimore helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat with crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll   New Baltimore helm, David Ryan, who launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat with crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, and Eoin O’Driscoll 

Dixie, though shaken and cold, is safe and sound. The RNLI commended all their crew involved in the rescue and congratulated David on his first call out as helm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It seems a new comedy movie, working title "Carry On Smuggling", may be in the early stages of production in West Cork. Articulated trucks being sent down one-lane cul de sacs near supposed "secret coves" that everyone happens to know about, giant fast RIBs conspicuously present in suspicious circumstances, and several other absurdities. Maybe it's horribly real, for you just couldn't make it up.

The Irish Times has the story here

Published in West Cork
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In the latest edition of 200 Voices, the RNLI podcast, Pamela Deasy has vivid memories of January 2012 the loss of five crew on a fishing trawler in Glandore Harbour and the subsequent establishment of a lifeboat station at Union Hall, West Cork.

In My Lifeline, which became available on Thursday, 25 January, Pamela, who is a volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Union Hall RNLI, remembers the morning the ‘Tit Bonhomme’ foundered on Adam Island at the entrance to Glandore Harbour with the loss of five crew. She recalls the month-long search to recover the bodies of the lost fishermen and a letter she wrote to the RNLI appealing for a lifeboat station at Union Hall.

This year, in September 2024, Union Hall RNLI will celebrate its 10th birthday, supported by a team of volunteers and fantastic community support and fundraising.

In 2019, Pamela was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the podcast, which marks 200 years of the RNLI, she tells the story of her personal battle and recovery supported by the ‘RNLI family’ and eased by the comforting presence of the sea.

The unique podcast series hears from people connected to the RNLI in Ireland and those whose lives have been touched by the lifesaving charity. Hear from locals with a special kinship to their lifeboat station, a crew member who’s been on service for a generation, or the family of someone rescued by an RNLI frontline lifesaver – each episode is sure to take the listener on a journey through a touching story.

Available across all podcast platforms and the RNLI’s website, listeners can hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more from across Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and beyond.

Listen to the RNLI’s 200 Voices, wherever you get your podcasts or at RNLI.org/200Voices.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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ESB Networks has appealed for vigilance at sea in relation to submarine cables after a fishing vessel cut power to West Cork’s Bere Island last week.

ESB Networks restored power to some 280 affected islanders at 11 pm on Friday last, January 5th, some 31 hours after supplies were cut suddenly on January 4th.

The operator confirmed that the outage occurred “ as a result of a fishing vessel accidentally coming into contact with a cable running from Castletownbere to Bere island”.

It said that “repair efforts started immediately, which included a diver safely locating the damaged cable so ESB Networks crews could carry out the required restoration work”.

Power was restored to all impacted customers by 11pm on Friday night,it said, and it apologised to all those affected by the disruption.

There was considerable upset at the incident at a particularly difficult time of year and with islanders dependent on freezers to store food supplies.

An ESB Networks spokesman declined to confirm the cost of the repairs, or whether the fishing vessel had offered to contribute.

The non-governmental organisation Coastwtch said the incident illustrated the “damage large powerful fishing vessels can have on the fragile nature” of the seafloor.

It called on the State to recover costs from “those who caused the damage”, and said that “our heart goes out to families left without power in winter cold”.

Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky questioned why the island was dependent on one power cable and said a Heritage Council study 20 years ago had flagged concerns about this.

Given that submarine cables are set to increase during offshore wind development, she said it was essential that the cable “isn’t just fixed but that the cause is determined and published with planned action” to avoid a recurrence.

The ESB said that “damage to our network by third parties can occur from time to time – generally on overhead and underground cables on land - and we run extensive public campaigns on staying safe and staying clear of our network”.

“This incident serves as a timely reminder that similar vigilance should be applied by those at sea to submarine cables”,it said.

More information on its public campaigns is here.

Published in Marine Warning

West Cork’s Bere island has been left without power for over 24 hours after an undersea electricity cable was damaged.

ESB Networks said a total of 281 customers remain affected by the power outage, which also affected the Castletownbere area of West Cork.

It said it was hoped to have all supplies restored late on Friday night as crews worked to identify the fault and make emergency repairs.

The power fault was reported at about 3.30pm on Thursday and affected some properties in Castletownbere and the entire island community on Bere.

While supplies were restored in Castletownbere, the ESB said it had to commission specialist divers to inspect the undersea cable.

It said it believed the damage was caused by a fishing vessel.

Published in Island News
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The former Glenans Sailing Centre in the West Cork coastal village of Baltimore has been sold to a private developer, despite the local community's campaign to preserve it for a maritime heritage centre.

The long saga of Baltimore Railway Station, which had been a Glenans centre for many years, has ended in disappointment for the coastal village community’s efforts to get the dilapidated but historic building on the waterfront acquired as a maritime heritage and community amenity centre.

The building had been used for several years as a sailing centre by the French Glenans organisation.

A local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway StationA local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway Station

It was owned by Fáilte Ireland.

One of the community leaders, Mary Jordan, told me of the local disappointment from the sale to developers.

“We are devastated,” she says. “Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan tried his best with Fáilte Ireland, but it was all sewn up. Where does our maritime heritage and history stand in this country? Just trampled on.”

Published in West Cork
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A resident of Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated for medical assistance following an accident on Sunday.

Baltimore RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew received a call at 12.39 pm and launched their all-weather lifeboat to provide medical assistance.

The crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 12.59 pm and transferred the casualty aboard the lifeboat via stretcher after assessment by a Casualty Care lifeboat crew member.

The lifeboat departed Cape Clear Island at 1.09 pm and returned to the station in Baltimore at 1.39 pm.

The casualty was then handed over to the HSE ambulance crew. The call out was the second medical evacuation from Cape Clear Island in two days.

On Friday, a man living on the island also required medical assistance and was evacuated to the mainland by the lifeboat crew, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The crew consisted of five volunteer members, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Sean McCarthy, Brian McSweeney, and Micheal Cottrell.

The weather conditions during the call out were good, with a northwesterly force 2 to 3 wind, a 2m sea swell, and good visibility.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer expressed satisfaction over the evacuation and the team's efforts in providing medical assistance to the residents of Cape Clear Island.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At A Glance – National 18 Dinghy Specifications

The new National 18 ‘Ultra’ Specifications

Designer Phil Morrison
LOA 5.49m
Beam 2.36m
Hull Weight 160kg
Sailing Weight <200kg
Crew Weight No Limit
Main & Jib 22.5 m2
Kite 21.0 m2
PY 910
Construction Vinylester Foam Sandwich

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