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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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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Friday morning (28 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey at 10.44am following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a resident of the island.

The Baltimore crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11.08am where the casualty and the island nurse were waiting. The casualty was transferred onto a stretcher and then onboard the lifeboat, which departed at 11.30am and arrived in Baltimore half an hour later.

The casualty was then transferred from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance and care was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions during the call-out were windy with a south-westerly Force 4-5 wind and a large sea swell.

Speaking later, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork. If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Stuart Musgrave and Emma Geary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew carried out a rescue mission during storm Agnes on September 27th.

The Irish Coast Guard called for assistance to rescue a yacht in trouble in the Ilen River in West Cork. At 3.48 pm, the Baltimore lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat and reached the yacht at 3.59 pm.

Despite the storm-force winds gusting to force 12 (65 knots), the volunteer lifeboat crew managed to tow the yacht to safety. The yacht with one person on board had gone aground and required a tow to the nearest safe and suitable port in Baltimore Harbour.

Due to the severity of the storm, Coxswain Pat Collins requested the launch of Baltimore's inshore lifeboat to assist the all-weather lifeboat in berthing the casualty vessel to a secure mooring within Baltimore Harbour.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 4.23 pm and attached a line to the mooring to expedite the attachment of the yacht. The all-weather lifeboat arrived at the mooring with the casualty vessel in tow, and the volunteer lifeboat crew on the inshore lifeboat passed a line to the two volunteer lifeboat crew on the yacht, who then secured the vessel to the mooring.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue mission was carried out by seven volunteer crew members on board the all-weather lifeboat, including Coxswain Pat Collins, mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Jerry Smith, Michael Cottrell, Don O'Donovan, Colin Whooley, and David Ryan. Four volunteer crew members were on board the inshore lifeboat, which included Helm Kieran Collins and crew members Kieran O'Driscoll, Rob O'Leary, and James Kitt.

Baltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'BrienBaltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue operation was also assisted by Rianne Smith, Marion MacFeely, Seamus O'Driscoll, Brian McSweeney, and Sean McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.08pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac a visitor from the island.

Conditions during the call-out were good, with a north-westerly Force 5 wind, smooth sea and good visibility.

Arriving at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 9.33pm, the lifeboat crew performed a care assessment of the casualty before transferring him onboard the lifeboat and taking him to the station in Baltimore, where he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew shortly after 10.10pm.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is the second medevac carried out from an island within two days. On 30 July a man on Sherkin Island who had suffered an injury required the lifeboat to bring him out to the mainland for treatment.

“Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during Monday night’s call-out: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Kieran Collins, Brian McSweeney, Colin Whooley, Emma Geary and Stuart Musgrave.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Baltimore RNLI provided a medical evacuation on Sunday morning, July 30th, from Sherkin Island located off Baltimore in West Cork. The request for assistance came from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate an injured man from the island.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8:09 am and arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 8:18 am. Once there, the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member before being transferred onto a stretcher and taken onboard the lifeboat.

The crew returned to the Baltimore station at 8:47 am, and the casualty was handed over to the care of the HSE Ambulance crew.

The crew consisted of seven volunteers, and the conditions in the harbour during the call-out were choppy with a westerly force four wind and reasonable visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI responded to a distress call on Thursday, 27 July, to assist a 12m sailing yacht with engine failure near Baltimore Harbour, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7 pm after the Coast Guard requested their assistance.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at the vessel at 7.15 pm, and the crew decided to tow the yacht.

The inshore lifeboat, with the casualty vessel under tow, returned to Baltimore Harbour and arrived at 8.45 pm. There were four volunteer crew members onboard the lifeboat.

The conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm, advised the public to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard in case of an emergency at sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical emergency on Thursday evening (20 July) to Heir Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.06pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance to a woman who had sustained an injury while visiting the island.

Arriving at Heir Island within 15 minutes, coxswain Aidan Bushe requested the immediate launch of the lifeboat’s Y-boat with two volunteer lifeboat crew, Rob O’Leary and Don O’Donovan, on board in order to quickly access the beach where the casualty was.

Due to the nature of the injury, and having spoken to a medical professional who was also assisting on the beach, Bushe felt that a medical evacuation by air was necessary and contacted the Irish Coast Guard to request a helicopter.

A HSE ambulance crew had arrived at the lifeboat station so while the two lifeboat crew remained on the beach, the lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore, collected the two paramedics plus an additional lifeboat crew member and quickly returned to Heir Island.

The two paramedics were then transferred onto the beach by the Y-boat and care was handed over as they awaited the arrival of the coastguard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115, who airlifted the casualty to hospital for further treatment.

Conditions during the call-out were relatively calm with a northeasterly Force 2 wind and very little sea swell.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is a great example of a multi-agency rescue with Baltimore RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service all working together to assist in this medevac.

“We would like to wish to casualty a speedy recovery. If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Pat Collins, Don O’Donovan, Stuart Musgrave and Rob O’Leary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Both Baltimore RNLI lifeboats were called out on Thursday morning (6 July) to assist a sailor whose yacht ran aground on rocks near Sherkin Island within Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched both their all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat shortly after 11.30am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a yacht which had run aground on Great Globe Rock near Sherkin Island.

Both lifeboat crews arrived at the yacht at 11.35am and after helm Jerry Smith and coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation, it was decided a tow was necessary as the casualty vessel was unable to float free due to the strong southerly wind.

Volunteer inshore crew member Eoin O’Driscoll was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist rigging a tow from the all-weather lifeboat, and the yacht was towed off the rocks at 11.53am.

The all-weather lifeboat continued to tow the casualty vessel to Baltimore, the nearest safe and suitable shelter, arriving at the pier at 12.09pm. The tow was then passed to the inshore lifeboat for berthing, and the casualty vessel was secured alongside the pier in Baltimore Harbour at 12.12pm.

Conditions during the call-out were very fresh with a Force 6 southerly wind, a slight sea swell and poor visibility.

Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “This call-out was a great example of both our lifeboats and volunteer crews working together in difficult weather conditions, and being able to assist this sailor very quickly.

“If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

The all-weather lifeboat crew included coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Pat Collins, Emma Lupton and Brendan Cottrell. On the inshore lifeboat were helm Jerry Smith and crew members Eoin O’Driscoll and John Kearney. Assisting at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith, Seamus O’Driscoll and Micheal Cottrell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI responded to a mayday call earlier this afternoon. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 2.55pm this afternoon after the Irish Coast Guard picked up a mayday call from a yacht with five people on board which was in distress near Sherkin Island, off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the scene just south of Sherkin Island a few minutes later, where a 40ft yacht which had become caught in old fishing nets, lost steerage and had been pushed up onto rocks by a strong tide. A vessel skippered by Jerry Smith, a Baltimore RNLI crew member, had also picked up the mayday and was standing by until the lifeboat arrived. Jerry was in communication with Baltimore lifeboat and was able to report that all five people on board had managed to get off the yacht onto the rocks and were away from immediate danger.

Due to the conditions at sea and the location of the passengers, Coxswain Aidan Bushe decided the best course of action was to launch their small inflatable Y-Boat from the all-weather lifeboat with two RNLI crew members on board. David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll were able to manoeuvre the Y-Boat around to a more sheltered area of the rock where one by one they were able to pick up the passengers and bring them to the safety of the lifeboat.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, arrived on scene at 3.35pm and stood by, ready to provide assistance if required. Once all the passengers were aboard, Baltimore RNLI crew members recovered their Y-Boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, arriving back at the station at 4.16pm. After the lifeboat crew made certain that all were okay, the passengers departed the lifeboat station.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter reported to Baltimore RNLI that at 3.50pm the yacht had sunk.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Don O’Donovan, David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with an easterly force 5-6 wind making for a challenging rescue.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Jerry Dowling, and the Vice-Commodore is Tim Carpenter.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
 
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
 
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
 
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club". 

At A Glance – Royal Irish Yacht Regatta 2023 Dates

  • RS Feva East Coast Championships - 6th May to 7th May 2023
  • Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta - 6th-9th July 2023
  • Cape 31 Irish National Championships
  • RIYC Junior Regatta
  • J Cup Ireland 2023 - August 26th/27th 2023
  • Annual Pursuit Race

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