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Displaying items by tag: Kerry

A pair of killer whales from a unique group have been sighted off the Kerry coast, as Radio Kerry reports.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has identified the two male orcas seen off Bray Head on Valentia Island this week as the last known surviving members of the Scottish West Coast Community Group.

And according to the Mirror, it marks the second sighting for the pair in this area within the last three months.

Studied for years by marine scientists due to isolation their genetic distinctiveness from other orcas in the North Atlantic region, these marine mammals commonly feed in the Hebridean Islands.

But they’ve previously been found as far as Scotland’s east coast, Lough Swilly in Donegal and four years ago off the Blasket Islands, likely in search of food.

Experts have feared for some time that this orca pod has been nearing its end. It last calved more than 30 years ago and has shrunk from around 20 individuals in the 1980s to just two known members, John Coe and Aquarius, as of 2016.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Anglers who wish to catch and keep wild salmon from the Waterville catchment in 2022 are being advised that ‘brown tag’ regulations to boost conservation efforts are coming into force from Monday 17 January.

The measures are included in the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Under brown tag regulations, an angler who wishes to ‘harvest’ a wild salmon and keep it must attach a brown tag as well as a standard blue tag to the fish.

To help conserve stocks of wild salmon within the Waterville catchment, a total of 64 brown tags will be available for the season to anglers with a 2022 rod licence through a lottery system.

Three draws are set to take place in 2022 and these will be held on Monday 10 January (to allocate 24 brown tags), Monday 28 February (to allocate 20 brown tags; applications will be open 14-25 February) and finally on Monday 28 March (to allocate the remaining 20 brown tags; applications will be open 14-25 March).

Anglers may only fish one brown tag over the full season, and multiple applications will disqualify.

Meanwhile, anglers with a 2022 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon on a ‘catch and release’ basis in the Waterville catchment, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

The brown tag regulations come into force on the Waterville catchment from Monday 17 January and will remain in place until midnight on Thursday 12 May.

Any anglers that are interested in entering the January draw are being asked to email their request to [email protected] up to midnight on Friday 7 January, providing their name, contact address and phone number and quoting their 2022 Salmon Licence number.

Further details are available by phoning Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Macroom office on (026) 41221.

Published in Angling

A trio of dolphins who surrounded a swimmer rescued after hours at sea off the Kerry coast earlier this week have been identified as a group from Scottish waters more than 1,000km away.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the swimmer was recovered by Fenit RNLI north of the Dingle Peninsula after a 12-hour ordeal on Sunday evening when rescuers spotted dolphins circling around him.

It soon emerged that the casualty was well-known Northern Ireland entertainer Ruairí McSorley, who shot to fame in his school days as ‘Frostbit Boy’ when a video clip from a TV voxpop went viral online.

Already an incredible story, it took another astounding turn when the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) identified the so-called ‘Fenit 3’ dolphins that helped alert rescuers as belonging to a population from the Moray Firth in the north-east of Scotland.

But the IWDG says this is not an unprecedented occurrence, as they come from the same marine wildlife group as miracle dolphin Spirtle who spent the summer of 2019 off the South West Coast.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

The swimmer rescued off the Kerry coast on Sunday (22 August) after a lifeboat crew spotted him surrounded by a pod of dolphins is the star of a popular online video, it’s emerged.

As Independent.ie reports, Ruairí McSorley shot to internet stardom as ‘Frostbit Boy’ when a clip from a TV vox pop as he walked to school in the snow took off with millions of views in a matter of days.

He’s since applied his quirky mannerisms into a career as a cruise ship entertainer. But with that industry grounded amid the coronavirus pandemic, he relocated to the Dingle Peninsula from his home near Derry.

McSorley had been at sea for at least 12 hours when he was recovered by the crew of Fenit RNLI on Sunday evening and was rushed to hospital for treatment for hypothermia.

Now making his recovery at University Hospital Kerry, the 24-year-old explained how he made the spur-of-the-moment decision to drop his things on the beach at Castlegregory and swim out — one that’s never recommended in any water safety advice.

“I just jumped in, and that was it,” he said. “I saw Fenit lighthouse out in the water, and I said, right I’m going towards it. I wouldn’t have got in to start with if I didn’t know I was going to be grand.”

The Irish Independent has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

Eccentric boat designer O'Brien Kennedy's picaresque life story attracted fascinated attention when we ran a Sailing on Saturday feature on it ten days ago. But for Professor Felix Muller of Berlin, it was like stumbling on an unexpected oasis in the midst of the desert when he happened on it last weekend.

The Professor had been renewing his until-then frustrating search for more detailed material about a Kennedy-design Kerry Mark II which he bought last summer in the Baltic, a necessary task as the 42-year-old boat came with nothing remotely resembling an owner's manual. However, the little Leitrim-built classic (of which 26 were built in the beamier mainly GRP Mark II version) had passed her survey with flying colours, such that Felix and his crew want to up-grade the boat to pristine condition, and ideally they'd like to have a complete set of plans to do this, or at the very least a fairly detailed original sales brochure.

He has concluded that he owns probably the only Kerry in the entire Baltic, though you'd think there'd probably be one or two others elsewhere in Germany. However, there doesn't seem to be anything like an active Kerry Class Owners Association anywhere, though there are dozens of organisations and products which have the evocative name.

Yet many of these have precious little direct association with the great Kingdom of Kerry that might provide any economic benefit to the citizens thereof, so perhaps this goes some way to explain their sometimes disgruntled attitude towards the people of Ireland in particular, and the rest of the world in general.

And come to think of it, the Kerry 6-tonner fits precisely into this category, so maybe we'd better take this line of thought no further. But meanwhile, in semi-locked-down Berlin, there's a Professor being sustained by thoughts of getting to work on his beloved Kerry down at the old Hanseatic port-town of Stralsund just as soon as possible, and if in the meantime we can forward him further detailed information about the Kerry, it will be a good deed in this wicked world.

If any Kerry 6-tonner owner reading this can help, do please let us know - it will all be done electronically, so you won't lose any precious original documents. Thank you.

Advertisement for the Kerry Mark II in the April 1972 Afloat Magazine. The boat referred to at bottom right as being available for trial sails on Belfast Lough was completed from a bare hull by Frank Smyth at Bangor Shipyard, and was last reported as being based at Oban on the West Coast of ScotlandAdvertisement for the Kerry Mark II in the April 1972 Afloat Magazine. The boat referred to at bottom right as being available for trial sails on Belfast Lough was completed from a bare hull by Frank Smyth at Bangor Shipyard, and was last reported as being based at Oban on the West Coast of Scotland

Published in Historic Boats

Today’s Sunday Independent reports that Government ministers have shot down proposals for a seal cull by rifle from boats off Cork and Kerry.

Internal emails show that Minister of State Malcolm Noonan rejected the suggestion as being “politically unacceptable”.

And both he and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien shared the view that a compensation scheme for fishermen who say seal predation on fish stocks has harmed their livelihoods “would be a better approach”.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, inshore fishermen in Kerry have argued that the depletion of fishery stocks and damage to nets in and around the Blasket Islands is “unsustainable”.

But suggestions that fishermen be given the green light to cull seals from their vessels with high-powered rifles were branded as “insane” by a conservation expert.

The Sunday Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Plans to allow for the culling of seals by fishermen with high-powered rifles have been branded as “insane” by a conservation expert.

According to the Irish Examiner, the Government is looking into the granting of licences that would permit fishermen to shoot seals in order to protect their catches.

The move follows claims by local fishermen in Kerry that seal colonies in the Blasket Islands — a Special Area of Conservation — and elsewhere are largely responsible for depleted fish stocks and damage to nets, a situation which they say is “unsustainable”, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

While a licence for the Blaskets was refused, one of four others this year has been approved, and the rest — across Kerry and Cork — are being considered by Local Government Minister Darragh O’Brien.

“There are concerns about this approach to seal management, given the potential safety concerns arising from using high-powered rifles on moving platforms,” the minister said in a written response to Kerry TD Micael Healy-Rae.

"Nonetheless, my department is examining the potential for a pilot scheme which would test this approach and determine its efficacy in protecting fishermen’s catches.”

However, Irish Wildlife Trust’s Pádraic Fogarty said the idea of “shooting seals with rifles from boats is insane”, and suggested that chronic overfishing and bottom trawling have had a greater impact on available catches.

His comments echoed those of the Irish Seal Sanctuary earlier this year. Its co-founder Brendan Price told RTÉ that culling seals by gun is “essentially wasting a bullet, it’s futile”.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Independent.ie reports that a major search and rescue operation was launched last night (Wednesday 26 August) for a sea angler on the Kerry coast.

The man reportedly fell into the water while fishing at Kerry Head.

His angling partner entered the water after him to attempt a rescue, but got into difficulty and was recovered shortly after.

Elsewhere, the body of a fisherman who went missing from his boat of Teelin in Co Donegal just hours before was found late last night.

And a young man has spoken of his role in a ‘terrifying’ rescue of a 10-year-0d boy in difficulty in the water off Com Dhíneol in West Kerry yesterday afternoon.

Twenty-two-year-old Mícheál Keogh sprang into action with another man, Dan Sullivan, to assist the boy’s two uncles in retrieving the youngster amid the strong current.

“It’s a very dangerous place to swim,” Keogh told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland. “None of them could swim so it was mad altogether but we were able to get them out.”

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

It was a most unusual callout for Fenit RNLI yesterday evening (Tuesday 25 August) as they were tasked to a dolphin in the shallows near Fenit Pier in Co Kerry.

Locals out for a stroll in blustery conditions that trailed Storm Francis spotted the solo cetacean, and the local lifeboat crew sought help from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) as for how to proceed.

Their advice was to encourage the dolphin into deeper water if possible, and Fenit RNLI went into action, assisted by local sea vessels in the area the time.

Thanks to their joint effort, the dolphin was gently steered in the direction of open water — and its hoped the marine mammal is now safety swimming at sea.

Lifeboat press officer Jackie Murphy said: “This is an opportunity to remember that the lifeboat crews are volunteers and this is one of the rare occasions where Fenit RNLI experience saving an animal.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The Irish Seal Sanctuary has said a seal cull is not the answer to the woes of Dingle Peninsula fishermen, who claim a booming population of the protected marine wildlife is putting their livelihood at risk.

Sanctuary co-founder Brendan Price told RTÉ News that “you’re essentially wasting a bullet, it’s futile” as “an apex predator such as a seal is controlled by the available food source”.

Late last year, inshore fishermen who work around the Blaskets, which is a Special Area of Conservation, blamed the local seal colonies for depleted fish stocks and damage to their nets, arguing the situation was “unsustainable”.

Now the fishermen say they are “at breaking point”, with one claiming that seals actively follow their boats to target their catch.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award

This unique and informal competition was inaugurated in 1979, with Mitsubishi Motors becoming main sponsors in 1986. The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs. 

In making their assessment, the adjudicators take many factors into consideration. In addition to the obvious one of sailing success at local, national and international level, considerable attention is also paid to the satisfaction which members in every branch of sailing and boating feel with the way their club is run, and how effectively it meets their specific needs, while also encouraging sailing development and training.

The successful staging of events, whether local, national or international, is also a factor in making the assessment, and the adjudicators place particular emphasis on the level of effective voluntary input which the membership is ready and willing to give in support of their club's activities.

The importance of a dynamic and fruitful interaction with the local community is emphasised, and also with the relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level. The adjudicators expect to find a genuine sense of continuity in club life and administration. Thus although the award is held in a specific year in celebration of achievements in the previous year, it is intended that it should reflect an ongoing story of success and well-planned programmes for future implementation. 

Over the years, the adjudication system has been continually refined in order to be able to make realistic comparisons between clubs of varying types and size. With the competition's expansion to include class associations and specialist national watersports bodies, the "Club of the Year" competition continues to keep pace with developing trends, while at the same time reflecting the fact that Ireland's leading sailing clubs are themselves national and global pace-setters

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award FAQs

The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs.

A ship's wheel engraved with the names of all the past winners.

The Sailing Club of the Year competition began in 1979.

PR consultant Sean O’Shea (a member of Clontarf Y & BC) had the idea of a trophy which would somehow honour the ordinary sailing club members, volunteers and sailing participants, who may not have personally won prizes, to feel a sense of identity and reward and special pride in their club. Initially some sort of direct inter-club contest was envisaged, but sailing journalist W M Nixon suggested that a way could be found for the comparative evaluation of the achievements and quality of clubs despite their significant differences in size and style.

The award recognises local, national & international sailing success by the winning club's members in both racing and cruising, the completion of a varied and useful sailing and social programme at the club, the fulfilling by the club of its significant and socially-aware role in the community, and the evidence of a genuine feeling among all members that the club meets their individual needs afloat and ashore.

The first club of the Year winner in 1979 was Wicklow Sailing Club.

Royal Cork Yacht Club has won the award most, seven times in all in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015 & 2020.

The National YC has won six times, in 1981, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2012 & 2018.

Howth Yacht Club has won five times, in 1982, 1986, 1995, 2009 & 2019

Ireland is loosely divided into regions with the obviously high-achieving clubs from each area recommended through an informal nationwide panel of local sailors going into a long-list, which is then whittled down to a short-list of between three and eight clubs.

The final short-list is evaluated by an anonymous team based on experienced sailors, sailing journalists and sponsors’ representatives

From 1979 to 2020 the Sailing Club of the Year Award winners are:

  • 1979 Wicklow SC
  • 1980 Malahide YC
  • 1981 National YC
  • 1982 Howth YC
  • 1983 Royal St George YC
  • 1984 Dundalk SC
  • 1985 National YC (Sponsorship by Mitsubishi Motors began in 1985-86)
  • 1986 Howth YC
  • 1987 Royal Cork YC
  • 1988 Dublin University SC
  • 1989 Irish Cruising. Club
  • 1990 Glenans Irish SC
  • 1991 Galway Bay SC
  • 1992 Royal Cork YC
  • 1993 National YC & Cumann Badoiri Naomh Bhreannain (Dingle) (after 1993, year indicated is one in which trophy is held)
  • 1995 Howth Yacht Club
  • 1996 National Yacht Club
  • 1997 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 1998 Kinsale Yacht Club
  • 1999 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club
  • 2000 Royal Cork Yacht Club (in 2000, competition extended to include class associations and specialist organisations)
  • 2001 Howth Sailing Club Seventeen Footer Association
  • 2002 Galway Bay Sailing Club
  • 2003 Coiste an Asgard
  • 2004 Royal St George Yacht Club
  • 2005 Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • 2006 Royal Cork Yacht Club (Water Club of the Harbour of Cork)
  • 2007 Dublin Bay Sailing Club
  • 2008 Lough Ree YC & Shannon One Design Assoc.
  • 2009 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2010 Royal St George YC
  • 2011 Irish Cruiser Racing Association
  • 2012 National Yacht Club
  • 2013 Royal St George YC
  • 2014 Kinsale YC
  • 2015 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2016 Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • 2017 Wicklow Sailing Club
  • 2018 National Yacht Club
  • 2019 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2020 Royal Cork Yacht Club

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