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Displaying items by tag: Scotland

#Rescue - Mail Online has more on the dramatic rescue of Aran Islands fishermen from an Irish trawler that sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital with suspected hypothermia after the Iúda Naofa began taking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

But new video from HM Coastguard shows the shocking moment as the crew escaped their trawler just before it disappeared beneath the waves in a mere 35 seconds.

Minutes beforehand, coastguard crew members had attempted to clear the water from the boat with a salvage pump but the vessel was quickly overwhelmed.

Micheál Ó Conghaíle, a deckhand on the boat skippered by his father Mairtín, describes how what was a normal fishing expedition went south after the rough waters "got the better" of their pumps.

Yet he and the rest of the crew are thankful for getting out relatively unscathed just weeks after the loss of eight crew on a cargo ship in the Pentland Firth.

Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#Rescue - Five crew on an Aran Islands fishing trawler were rescued yesterday (Tuesday 20 January) after the vessel sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the trawler Iúda Naofa began tanking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

Three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital for treatment for hypothermia while the others were evacuated to a nearby fishing boat also from the Aran Islands.

According to The Irish Times, the Iúda Naofa is owned by Mairtín Ó Conghaíle of Inis Mór.

Four of its crew are natives of the islands, the fifth being a Romanian national.

Published in Rescue

#Cemfjord - As the investigation into the grounding of a car transporter in the Solent gets under way, at the other end of the UK stormy weather has been blamed for the capsize of a cargo ship in Pentland Firth.

As The Irish Times reports, no trace of the eight crew of the Cemfjord has been found after the 83m cement carrier was spotted upturned in the waters off the far north of mainland Scotland on Saturday 3 January.

A spokesperson for the ship's owners Brise of Hamburg said the ship had sent no distress call before sailing into severe weather.

"It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can't say how much of a factor."

The same vessel was involved in a grounding incident last summer, in which its previous captain was found to be intoxicated while in charge.

Published in News Update

#SeaPower - What's been described as the world's largest planned tidal energy scheme has been given the green light by its financiers, with construction set to begin off the northern Scottish coast in the new year, as The Guardian reports.

Previously detailed last month on Afloat.ie, the MeyGen project – comprising 269 turbines on the seabed off Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland – will see onshore construction get under way next month after developers Atlantis Resources satisfied the conditions to draw down funds from The Crown Estate of Scottish Enterprise.

MeyGen aims to harness the strong currents at the Ness of Quoys in Pentland Firth to generate energy at levels "on a part with wind turbines" but hidden from view beneath the waves - with the first power from the sea to be delivered to Britain's national grid by 2016.

Published in Power From the Sea

#MarineWildlife - Two months after striking up a friendship with fellow 'dolphina-non-grata' Dusty in his travels around Ireland, 'bad boy' bottlenose Clet has moved on again - this time to the west coast of Scotland.

According to the Island News & Advertiser, Clet appeared in the Sound of Mull in the Inner Hebrides during the week - his first confirmed sighting after he was seen frolicking with Dusty in Galway Bay - making for a rare sighting of a solitary dolphin in the area.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time that Clet has been recorded in Scotland, and in fact this is the furthest north he has been recorded to date,” said Dr Conor Ryan, sightings officer with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) also hailed Clet's reappearance, saying: "The addition of Scotland after a two-month interval brings his known tally of passport stamps to five countries and counting, and shows the need for international collaboration when trying to monitor these highly mobile marine mammals.”

But Scottish dolphin-watchers be warned, as Clet may have been involved in an act of aggression towards swimmers near Galway city in early October.

The Island News & Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Kayaking - An abandoned kayak in the fast-flowing River Braan posed something of a mystery for Perthshire locals, and prompted fears of a lost kayaker.

But as local paper The Courier reports, those concerns proved unfounded as two friends from Dublin solved the riddle of their 'ghost kayak'.

James O'Keeff told the paper how they only discovered the puzzle they'd left for locals when they spotted the story online.

Some days before, his friend John Stanley became separated from his kayak at treacherous rapids on the Braan known as 'the Splitter'.

The vessel was later located where it was too dangerous to retrieve, but somehow wires got crossed and the message didn't get to local emergency teams.

The Courier has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

#PowerFromTheSea - The next big renewable energy turbine farm could be underwater off the coast of Scotland, as MailOnline reports.

Scottish firm MayGen has big plans to install a £51 million (€65.2 million) underwater turbine project to harness the powerful currents of their country's coastal waters.

This new project, earmarked for Pentland Firth at Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland, follows separate plans to install the world's largest tidal power facility in the Sound of Islay.

MayGen - which has just won an award for its parent company Atlantis Resources for its "significant contribution" to the marine renewables industry – says its state-of-the-art technology is "on a par with wind turbines" in terms of productivity, but would be hidden from the view of those who find the larger land-based wind farms unsightly.

The Pentland Firth project will be the new design's proving ground, with hopes that it will generate power for nearly half a million homes upon completion in 2020.

MailOnline has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

#Coastguard - Last month's Belfast Coastguard understaffing concerns have been echoed across the North Channel in Western Scotland, with the SNP adding its voice to the chorus of disapproval.

As Glasgow's Evening Times reports, Belfast's repeated staffing issues - the station was manned below risk-assessed levels on eight separate occasions - compounded problems already identified at Aberdeen, which was understaffed for more than half of all shifts in December.

Both stations are charged with protecting the entirely of the mainland Scottish coastline, on top of Belfast's duties for the whole of Northern Ireland.

The SNP's Stuart McMillan has cited both station's staffing records as evidence that the decision to close the Clyde coastguard station in Greenock, northwest of Glasgow, was ill-advised.

These concerns come as Ireland faces its own coastguard consultation efforts that threaten to undermine "30 years of progress in marine safety".

The Evening Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - BBC News reports that three killer whales from a community of orcas off the Scottish west coast have been spotted off the country's east coast for the first time since scientists began monitoring the group in the 1990s.

Mark Hosford of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust described the sighting as "a really exciting development".

He added: "The west coast community is thought to be the only resident population of orca in the British Isles, and understanding their behaviour and movements is crucial to the conservation of these remarkable creatures."

The group's normal range includes Scotland's north and west coasts to the west coast of Ireland, and is thought to comprise just nine older whales - which are also believed to be genetically distinct from other orcas in the North Atlantic, showing much closer similarity to Antarctic killer whales.

As reported on Afloat.ie earlier this year, marine wildlife experts fear that the group is now on the "brink of extinction".

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - Stranraer RNLI's lifeboat was dispatched by Belfast Coastguard on Friday evening (7 June) to rescue men from a stranded personal water craft on the rocks at Corsewall Point.

The men had been travelling on the water scooter across the North Channel from Ballycastle in Northern Ireland to Campbeltown in Scotland and back - a round trip of some 130km - but ran out of fuel on the return leg, and drifted to Corsewall on the north point of the Rhins of Galloway.

The RNLI Stranraer lifeboat launched at 5.20pm from Lady Bay and 20 minutes later arrived on scene, where they discovered that two of the men were cold and one had an ankle injury - although a conflicting report via the Belfast Coastguard says only two men were found.

The men were transferred safely on to the lifeboat and taken to Dally Bay, from where they were taken by road to Stranraer Accident and Emergency Hospital.

But as BBC News reports, they were beset by further problems on their return trip to Northern Ireland later that evening, when the private vessel on which they were travelling also ran out of fuel and had to be towed to Red Bay in Co Antrim.

Belfast Coastguard confirmed to the BBC that the men had been travelling on their water scooter with "no navigational aids" and that "they could not get a signal from their mobile phone".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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