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Displaying items by tag: Forty Foot

The storied Battery above the Forty Foot in Sandycove has a new owner, as The Irish Times reports.

With a price tag of €3 million, the three-bedroom home created on the site of a former Dublin Bay military installation was sold this past July to an Irish buyer, a year after it was put on the market.

At the time, the move prompted a local campaign calling on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to buy the property to “provide space and facilities” for bathers at the famed swimming spot while also “serving to protect our historical and architectural heritage”, as previously reported on

But even the new owner will have to abide by the rules of the architectural conservation area in which the Battery is situated, not to mention that its boundary wall is a protected structue.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty at The Forty Foot bathing area yesterday (Sunday 15 October). The volunteer crew were requested to assist the swimmer after she got caught in a current and was drifting close to a rocky outcrop.

The crew were alerted at 2.05 pm by the Irish Coast Guard that a casualty was struggling to swim ashore, being pulled by the current and drifting around the back of the 40 Foot and out of sight. Their swimming partner had made it ashore moments earlier to call 999 and ask for the Coast Guard. The inshore lifeboat Joval was launched within five minutes, helmed by Andrew Sykes, with volunteer crew members Gary Hayes and Ailbhe Smith aboard, and made best speed to reach the scene by 2.14pm.

Weather conditions were calm at the time with rippled water, however, sea temperatures were considerably lower than those recently.

Some quick-thinking bystanders threw a life ring to a group of kayakers in the water who threw the ring onwards to the swimmer to keep her afloat until the lifeboat arrived. The crew rescued the swimmer from the sea and brought her ashore to safety and into the care of waiting Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard unit, where, although very cold and tired with minor cuts and scrapes from the rocks, she did not require medical attention.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI helm Andrew Sykes said: ‘It was fortunate that the life ring was in position on shore, and we would like to wish the casualty well and commend her partner and the bystanders for raising the alarm and responding safely.

‘We would encourage swimmers to never go alone and to always make sure that their activity is monitored by a colleague. Consider wearing a bright-coloured swim cap and carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch. Conditions can change in a very short time, so we all need to be aware of potential risks and be well prepared before entering the water. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A sea swimmer was taken to hospital after being rescued by the emergency services on Dublin Bay on Thursday afternoon.

The swimmer got into difficulty in big seas off the Forty Foot bathing place.

The RNLI Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Station inshore lifeboat crew recovered the swimmer from the sea and brought the casualty to the Coast Guard crew at Sandycove Beach.

The Dun Laoghaire Coastguard team responded along with Rescue 116 helicopter, RNLI Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Stations ALB and ILB, the National Ambulance Service (NAS) Paramedics, Dublin Fire Brigade Paramedics & Advance Paramedics and An Garda Síochána.

Immediate medical treatment commenced on the beach, and the casualty was transported to hospital in a 'very serious condition', according to the Coastguard.

Dun Laoghaire Coastguard said" "Conditions were not ideal for swimming due to Easterly winds. Please exercise caution when making a decision to swim. Any doubt, don’t swim!".

Last night seas remained big on Dublin Bay, forcing the cancellation of DBSC's Thursday night racing.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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Thursday's (March 9th) north-easterly gale on Dublin Bay has caused extensive damage to steps at the popular Forty Foot bathing spot at Sandycove, County Dublin. 

Concrete steps at the access point known locally as 'Kavanaghs' or 'Bell Rock' on the promontory's western side were swept away by big waves on Thursday night. 

The damage occurs as a contractor is on-site building new concrete steps to the bottom of the archway access point elsewhere at the Forty Foot.

Large waves roll in to Sandycove on Thursday night (March 9th 2023) Photo: AfloatLarge waves roll in to Sandycove on Thursday night (March 9th 2023) Photo: Afloat

Live Dublin Bay webcams here

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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More than 400 people have signed a petition calling on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to buy the Battery above the Forty Foot in Sandycove.

The three-bedroom home created on the site of a former Dublin Bay military installation has been on the market since last month with a price tag of €3 million, as Irish Times Property reports.

Local campaigners have put up posters locally with a link to their petition, which suggests that DLRCoCo could purchase the property to “provide space and facilities” for bathers at the famed swimming spot, while also “serving to protect our historical and architectural heritage”.

The Battery with its old fortifications next to the famed Forty Foot swimming hole | Credit: Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty DalkeyThe Battery with its old fortifications next to the famed Forty Foot swimming hole | Credit: Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty Dalkey

Built from Dalkey granite, the Battery has a military history that extends from the early 1800s until the Emergency during the Second World War. It passed from State hands into private ownership in 1955, when it was subsequently transformed into a characterful family home.

The campaign says: “We have a wonderful opportunity to return the Battery to public ownership and for the council to acquire the space it needs to develop vital facilities, meet its own objectives for creating suitable outdoor amenities that promote community health and wellbeing and to preserve and protect our architectural and historical heritage and our environment.”

One of the posters taped up locally with a link to the petition | Credit: Afloat.ieOne of the posters taped up locally with a link to the petition | Credit:

Despite the Forty Foot’s enduring popularity for bathers, campaigners point out that it “lacks many basic facilities” such as a dedicated lifeguard station with first aid, toilets and showers, drinking water and a “warm safe space” for cold-water swimmers.

For more on the campaign, see the petition on

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

The environmental action group, SOS Dublin Bay, has today launched a detailed policy document entitled - “The water quality crisis in Dublin Bay - what is happening and actions needed to protect the public”.

Download the full documents and survey below.

The Group is calling for urgent steps to better inform the general public of the extent of the problem which it describes as serious and a more significant risk to swimmers than previously thought. It is also calling for urgent action by the government and Irish Water to clean up the Bay, which was declared a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 2015 in recognition of its unique ecological and cultural status. 

The Group has conducted extensive research into data provided by Irish Water and the four local authorities in Dublin which reveals that in the 4 year period 2017 to 2020, a total of 8.875 million cubic metres [1] of untreated sewage and storm waters has been discharged into Dublin Bay from overflow tanks located at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant. This figure does not include other significant discharges from the 410 Storm Water Overflows in the Dublin region which are not measured but are thought to exceed the discharges from the plant. 

This equates to 3,550 full-size Olympic 50 metre pools over the four year period and averages out at 74 Olympic pools full of untreated wastewater each month. These discharges of untreated sewer wastewater usually occur during storm periods where the current Dublin Wastewater Treatment Facility (DWwTF) reaches maximum capacity and cannot cope with the loadings being received.

The scene at Sandycove Harbour in the South of Dublin Bay where sea swimming in the harbour and nearby Foot Foot is a year round pursuit Photo: AfloatThe scene at Sandycove Harbour in the South of Dublin Bay where sea swimming in the harbour and nearby Foot Foot is a year round pursuit Photo: Afloat

In an online survey of over 1200 people conducted in March, more than one in 5 (21.77%) declared that they had been ill or suffered adverse health effects as a result of recreational activity they had recently undertaken in Dublin Bay.

Chairman of SOS Dublin Bay Gerard Jones said the Group were taken aback by how much wastewater is being illegally dumped into Dublin Bay – “Our research has revealed clear evidence of a significant ecological problem of which the public is unaware which is clearly having a negative impact on the health of bathers in particular. We have seen a major increase in year-round bathing in the Bay. People need to be informed about bathing conditions and periods of poor water quality. Dublin Bay is our city’s most treasured public amenity, but it is heavily polluted and causing illness. There a duty of care to protect public health and that obligation is not being met .”

SOS Dublin Bay is calling for a series of short and medium-term actions to be implemented

Short Term Measures Proposed

Systematic year-round survey of Dublin Bay bathing waters incorporating daily sampling and testing over a 24 month period - 365 days a year at 10 separate locations around the Bay. This should commence immediately, continue and conclude in May 2023. Information gained will inform the users of Dublin Bay when it is safe to use the bay for activities such as swimming, kayaking, etc.

The information to be disseminated to the public via real time electronic signage at established bathing locations and through information channels such as local authority information websites and social media channels.

The data to be used or planning and ensure investment in infrastructure is properly targeted at the root causes of the pollution of Dublin Bay.

The Dublin Waste Water Treatment Facility Plant in Ringsend has an Ultra Violet (UV) treatment facility which reduces the microbiological load of effluent from the Plant to Dublin Bay. This UV plant operates only during the Bathing Season (1 June - 15 September) each year. This plant should operate continuously throughout the year. This will result in an immediate improvement of the bathing water quality..

Medium and Longer Term Measures Proposed

More investment is immediately needed in the water infrastructure for the Greater Dublin Region. This will protect public health, achieve compliance with EU Directives meet the duty of care obligation of the State and ensure that Dublin Bay can retain its status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

These measures are :

Expediting the delivery of the new Clonshaugh wastewater treatment plant; this facility is urgently needed. Its future is in question following a decision of the High Court in 2020. The judicial review process is leading to a breakdown in the development of critical public infrastructure investment.

Accelerating the current upgrade at the Ringsend plant. This is due for completion by 2025; we believe the deadline is optimistic and unlikely to be achieved. Current contracts with the existing contractors for the Ringsend Plant upgrade, should be reviewed to determine how delivery can be brought forward.

Implement real-time testing using next-generation buoy based sensors which can test many times each day and transmit results via 5G telecommunications networks.

"There is a crisis in Dublin Bay which has led to the permanent closing of the Merrion beach as a bathing facility. Unless action is taken the bathing water is going to deteriorate further and could lead to more permanent closures of other Dublin beaches and popular bathing areas around the Bay; this is now a major public health issue and requires immediate action by Local Authorities, the Department of the Environment and the EPA" concluded Mr Jones.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer in difficulty yesterday (Tuesday 30 March) who could not get back to shore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard that a swimmer was believed to be in difficulty and finding it hard to get back to shore.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately by a crew of three at 3.21 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.26 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were described as having an easterly breeze causing a moderate sea state with a slight swell, visibility at the time was good.

On arrival the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted and holding on to rocks about 50 metres southeast of Forty Foot. After quickly assessing the situation, the crew came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was very cold from the long exposure to the cold sea temperature but otherwise in good health. The lifeboat transferred the person to land in Sandycove Harbour with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard unit and into the care of an awaiting National Ambulance service crew for a secondary medical assessment.

Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat CoxswainMark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain

Speaking following the call-out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy that the outcome of this call-out was a positive one as things in situations like that can change very fast for the worst. We are glad the person involved was brought back to shore safely and in good health'

'I would like to ask everyone planning on entering the water to check the weather and sea conditions at the time and to never underestimate the sea. The sun may be shining and air temperatures rising but the Irish sea temperature in our area is just above 7 degrees at this time of year. Please be aware that cold water shock is always a risk for people in Irish waters even as we come into the summer'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Coast Guard rescued two swimmers after they ran into difficulty while swimming at the Forty Foot bathing place on Dublin Bay yesterday.

The incident occurred earlier today as the swimmers required help in the choppy sea. The Dun Laoghaire Harbour branch of the Coast Guard confirmed that one of the swimmers also required medical assistance.

Thankfully, all persons are understood to be ok.

Personnel from the National Ambulance Service, Dublin Fire Brigade, RNLI Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Station, and An Garda Síochána were required during the rescue operation.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said: "We have had two callouts this morning involving swimmers. Conditions are unsafe along our coastline and continue to be unsafe for the rest of the week due to strong easterly winds.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

People are being asked to forego the annual Christmas Day swim at the Forty Foot in Sandycove on Dublin bay due to concerns over large groups of people gathering for the annual tradition.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, gardaí, and the Health Service Executive issued the appeal for people to refrain from visiting bathing areas, especially the 40 Foot in Sandycove and at Seapoint this year over the potential risk of spreading Covid-19 at these public gatherings.

In a joint statement, the council, gardaí, and the HSE acknowledged that winter swimming and especially the long-standing tradition of the Christmas Day swim have become increasingly popular in recent years in the area, with very large numbers of people of all ages gathering at bathing locations along the coastline.

In the statement, they said "it is only for this year and is being advised in the spirit of ensuring the safety of all our families and friends".

The statement goes on to say that they are "keenly aware that this is a very significant request being asked of people.

"We would not be asking this if we did not consider that a large gathering would create a potential risk to public health and the spread of Covid-19.

"Personal responsibility has been a significant part of our armoury in the fight against Covid-19 and we urge you to exercise it now and to avoid creating a crowded environment over Christmas at these traditional locations.

"We are appealing to the public to consider their wider communities and to please refrain from visiting these bathing areas this Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day".

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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The Forty Foot in south Co Dublin has emerged as an unlikely battleground in a war between long-time cold-water bathers and a newer breed who have taken to the storied bathing spot with ‘dry robes’ and selfie sticks.

According to The Guardian, signs have been erected near the Sandycove swimming hole by disgruntled regulars warning away those they believe are fad-chasers who come wearing fleece-lined robes designed for athletes to keep warm.

One notice, which referred to the newbie bathers as “dryrobe w*****s”, said the issue was with the newcomers “taking up too much space” by hogging benches with their robes and other items, and occupying limited parking space.

But the fleece wearers have been undeterred, with Viking Marine owner Ian O’Meara reporting a brisk trade in the premium-priced robes.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is one of Europe's biggest yacht racing clubs. It has almost sixteen hundred elected members. It presents more than 100 perpetual trophies each season some dating back to 1884. It provides weekly racing for upwards of 360 yachts, ranging from ocean-going forty footers to small dinghies for juniors.

Undaunted by austerity and encircling gloom, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), supported by an institutional memory of one hundred and twenty-nine years of racing and having survived two world wars, a civil war and not to mention the nineteen-thirties depression, it continues to present its racing programme year after year as a cherished Dublin sporting institution.

The DBSC formula that, over the years, has worked very well for Dun Laoghaire sailors. As ever DBSC start racing at the end of April and finish at the end of September. The current commodore is Eddie Totterdell of the National Yacht Club.

The character of racing remains broadly the same in recent times, with starts and finishes at Club's two committee boats, one of them DBSC's new flagship, the Freebird. The latter will also service dinghy racing on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Having more in the way of creature comfort than the John T. Biggs, it has enabled the dinghy sub-committee to attract a regular team to manage its races, very much as happened in the case of MacLir and more recently with the Spirit of the Irish. The expectation is that this will raise the quality of dinghy race management, which, operating as it did on a class quota system, had tended to suffer from a lack of continuity.