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Displaying items by tag: Aran Islands

The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI on Inis Mór were requested on Tuesday evening (3 May) to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat to go to the aid of a patient on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Under coxswain John O'Donnell with a full crew onboard, the lifeboat launched for the medevac around 6pm in good weather conditions, with a southwesterly Force 3-4 wind, calm seas and good visibility.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was brought safely aboard the lifeboat by the crew and then transferred directly to Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance on the mainland.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “This was a great response time from the volunteer crew who are always there to help anyone in need. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.

“With the summer season fast approaching and the weather improving, we would advise anyone heading to the coast to heed all weather and safety advice.

“If you are planning a trip to sea, always wear a lifejacket or suitable floatation device for your activity, always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back.

“Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Companies throughout Galway have been promoted to more than 50 top tour operators and travel agents from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland at a trade workshop held recently in Scandinavia.

Moycullen-based North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland and Aran Island Ferries (incl. Cliffs of Moher) took part along with 23 other businesses at Tourism Ireland’s 2022 Nordic trade workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At the event, Irish businesses met with Nordic travel professionals, to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time in their brochures and programmes.

The key message was that Ireland is open for business again, and cannot wait to welcome back Nordic visitors.

Asides the Galway City Docks-Aran Islands (Inishmore) route, Afloat highlights those available from Rossaveel, Connemara and from Doolin in Co. Clare. At Doolin Pier there are other ferry operators also connecting to all three Aran Islands of Inishmore, Inishmean and Inisheer.

In addition running out of Doolin, coastal excursions head along to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. 

More from Galway Daily on the tourist trade promotion.  

Published in Galway Harbour

Doolin Ferry Company has set sail for the summer season, with their state-of-the-art ferries operating once again from Doolin Pier to the Aran Islands. Passengers can also opt to board a Cliffs of Moher cruise, or the Seafari experience, which was introduced in 2021.

With the popularity of the Aran Islands continuing to increase year on year, the family-run business now offers up to 20 sailings per day between Inis Óirr, Inis Mór and Inis Meáin.

As a top destination in the West of Ireland, the Aran Islands offer visitors the chance to step back in time and experience Irish culture in its truest and most traditional forms.

The Doolin Ferry Co. Seafari Launch The Doolin Ferry Co. Seafari Launch

Doolin Ferry Co. holds the largest and fastest ferry fleet operating on the Wild Atlantic Way. Doolin Ferry Co’s one of a kind ‘Seafari’ experience takes place onboard an exclusive, private 10 seater rib.

The rib is designed to allow you unrivalled, close up views of the entire Clare Coast while sheltering you from the elements with an optional canopy if the need arises.

Doolin Ferry Co’s private charters allow you to dictate the itinerary so no two journeys onboard are ever the same.

Published in Ferry
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Aran Islands RNLI had a busy Wednesday (20 April) with near back-to-back callouts for medical evaluations.

The first came just after 10am when the Irish Coast Guard asked the volunteer crew to launch for a local man on the island of Inis Mór that was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at the Kilronan Harbour pontoon with the aid of the local fire crew, following all strict COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, the lifeboat launched under coxswain Sean Ginely and a full crew and headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were fair, with good visibility a slight sea swell with a south-to-southeast Force 4-6 wind blowing.

After returning to the pontoon at Inis Mór Harbour, washing down the lifeboat and refuelling, the next medevac call came at 2.15pm for a man on the neighbouring Island of Inis Meáin who was in need of medical attention.

The lifeboat launched under coxswain John Ginely and headed straight for Inis Meáin, where the patient was helped aboard by the volunteer crew and taken to waiting paramedics at Rossaveal.

Speaking after the callouts, Ginely said: “A busy day, but the crew responded without hesitation and we got both patients on their way as quickly as possible. We would like to wish them both a speedy recovery.

“As we head towards the summer months, could we remind everyone to always heed safety guidelines when visiting the coast.

“Never swim alone and if heading out on the water, wear a lifejacket, always bring means of communication with you and let someone ashore know when you are due back.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch just after midnight this morning (Wednesday 22 February) for a medevac for a patient on Inis Mór in need of further medical attention.

The Severn class lifeboat launched under coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew onboard after pagers sounded at 12.10am.

Conditions at the time of launching were challenging with a strong southwest wind blowing and a three-metre sea swell.

With the patient safely aboard, the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance crew to whom the patient was transferred.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “Conditions were challenging, it was a dirty night, but the volunteer crew didn’t hesitate to respond to get the patient on their way to the medical attention needed. We wish them a speedy recovery.

“With the recent weather conditions, we would like to advise the public to follow all weather warnings and if going out to stay safe, stay well back from cliff edges and if you see someone in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteering for the RNLI is truly a family affair for lifeboat crews in Co Wexford.

While Robbie Connolly is looking forward to his first Christmas on call since becoming a helm at Wexford RNLI earlier this year, his father-in-law Eugene Kehoe — a seasoned coxswain at Kilmore Quay — will also be ready to answer the call if there is an emergency at sea.

As the lifesaving charity continues its Christmas Appeal, Robbie and Eugene will skip their dinner for the difficult seas of winter should their pagers sound.

And they are urging people across Wexford — home to five stations at Courtown, Wexford, Kilmore Quay, Rosslare Harbour and Fethard — to help their crews, and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

“I am 10 years on the lifeboat crew at Wexford RNLI,” says Robbie, who is an engineer by day. “I have always had a love for the sea but when I finished college and started working alongside crew members and a deputy launching authority, I was encouraged to join, and I am delighted to be involved.”

As a helm, Robbie is responsible for the inshore lifeboat and his fellow crew during the launch of the lifeboat and while at sea.

“I have had one callout as helm so far and it was to a yacht with three people onboard that had got into difficulty on a falling tide and ran aground as it was coming into Wexford Harbour.

“Where our station is located, there are shifting sands and the channel is changing regularly so time was of the essence and with the callout happening at night, there was the added challenge of working in the dark. But thankfully, we had a safe and successful outcome.

“There are a few differences in being a helm,” he adds, “you are more conscious of looking after your own crew as well as those you are going to rescue and the conditions at sea.

“However, what my helm’s training taught me was to have more confidence in my decision making and skills ability and I suppose in that sense it is about having self-belief and making your 10 years of training and experience become second nature when responding to a callout.”

Shane Crawford joins his brother Colum on the Aran Islands RNLI crew | Credit: RNLIShane Crawford joins his brother Colum on the Aran Islands RNLI crew | Credit: RNLI

Elsewhere, Aran Islands RNLI will have two new volunteer lifeboat crew on call, ready to drop everything and help launch the lifeboat to save those in trouble at sea.

Fisherman and father-of-five Georgie Gillan and NUIG student Shane Crawford are the most recent recruits to join the lifeboat.

Georgie says: “I’ve grown up around the sea and I’ve seen its power and its potential. I’m enjoying the training, and learning a different set of skills, all based around search and rescue and saving others.

“Being out on the lifeboat, you’re part of a team, the feeling of giving back is a great one. The standard of the kit and the training is so high and the support we get to do this job is amazing. I’m grateful to the people who support the work of the lifeboats and keep them at sea all year round.”

Meanwhile, Shane — a first year Arts student at NUIG Galway — knew from an early age that he would wear a lifeboat pager, as helping others is in his DNA.

His mother is the local community nurse and his father served with the local fire service for many years. Shane's older brother Colum is also a member of the Aran Islands RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew and is currently studying to become a paramedic.

Adding his support to the RNLI Christmas Appeal, Shane says: “It has been a dream for me to be on the lifeboat crew ever since I was very young. I feel very at home onboard the lifeboat even though I’m still new to it.

“The communication between the crew when we are out at sea is incredible and you can see the training and commitment of everyone involved. Every piece of kit has a purpose, and the RNLI are always looking to evolve and improve the equipment. It’s maintained to the highest standard and we are aware of the responsibility that comes with that.

“When the pagers goes, no lifeboat volunteer hesitates to answer the call, and these rescues would not be possible without the donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round. Thank you to everyone who supports the appeal this Christmas.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Aran Islands RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather Severn class lifeboat yesterday (Wednesday, 8 December) to go to the aid of a fishing vessel in difficulty, during the aftermath of Storm Barra. The request to launch was made by the Irish Coast Guard at 1.14 pm and was to assist a French registered fishing vessel that had got into difficulty in poor weather off Inis Mór.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and immediately made their way to the scene. The French registered fishing vessel, 28.5 metres in length, was experiencing engine difficulty in challenging conditions with an eight-metre swell and a strong North-Westerly wind.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, a sister ship had taken up the tow of the casualty vessel as Afloat reported earlier here. Following consultation between the casualty vessel and the Irish Coast Guard a decision was made that they would be taken into Galway Harbour under tow. The Aran Islands lifeboat crew stayed with both vessels for the duration of the passage, until they were safely moored, an operation that took over eight hours. The lifeboat crew were met at the docks by lifeboat colleague, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Paul Clearly, who looked after the crew following the long callout.

Speaking after the callout Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: 'Conditions at sea were extremely challenging and the Coast Guard was right to request the lifeboat to stand by and ensure both vessels got to safety. Towing a vessel in these conditions is slow and difficult work and with the force of the waves, it could have easily parted. If that had happened, we were ready to step in and complete the tow. Thankfully both vessels made it to safety, with the lifeboat staying alongside for the entire journey.

‘The island-based volunteer lifeboat crew didn't hesitate to respond to the callout, in what turned out to be a long day for them in difficult conditions. Thankfully everyone came home safe and well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Aran island of Inis Mór is moving closer to energy autonomy, with the installation of almost 240 solar panels on 20 buildings on the island.

The scheme is part of a European renewable energy project currently being implemented by Údarás na Gaeltachta and Comharchumann Forbartha Árann.

The EU Horizon 2020 programme is funding the four-year research project known as ReAct (Renewable Energy for self-sustAinable Island CommuniTies).

The State’s Gaeltacht development agency Údarás na Gaeltachta is a partner in association with Comharchumann Forbartha Árann, along with 23 other partners in 11 European countries.

The REACT project began in 2019 to research energy sustainability on offshore islands.

Inis Mór, Árainn is one of three pilot islands participating in the project along with San Pietro (Italy) and La Graciosa (Spain).

Phase two on Inis Mór has been completed, according to Údaras na Gaeltachta, which means that almost 240 solar panels have been installed on four public buildings, 13 dwellings and two commercial units.

“Using innovative renewable energy technology, it is hoped that this project will lower emissions and energy costs on this Gaeltacht island,” the Gaeltacht authority says.

“It is envisaged that when this pilot scheme is completed that Inis Mór will have the potential to prove that the Island could have energy autonomy not to mention the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” it says.

The technology installed recognises how each individual building uses energy by linking technology, weather forecasts and electricity tariffs, it says.

“The system stores energy in batteries and calculates the optimum time for efficient energy usage, taking the weather and electricity tariffs into consideration,” it says.

It pays tribute to the “pioneering work” of the island’s energy co-op Comharchumann Fuinnimh Árann and the main co-op, Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo.

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the chief project coordinator in Ireland and is working closely with Comharchumann Forbartha Árainn Teo, NUI Galway, ESBN, SEAI, Spain’s Orduna and Mitsubishi.

The ReAct project is being implemented as part of the strategic project An Ghaeltacht Ghlas (The Green Gaeltacht) which forms a core part of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, it says.

“This project will demonstrate how renewable energy projects can address climate change, reduce energy costs using innovative technologies and find stable energy sources for small Gaeltacht communities,” Údarás na Gaeltachta’s chief executive officer Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said.

He referred to the outcome of the recent COP 26 conference in Glasgow demonstrating “the need to act now, not later”.

Such a project could have environmental and economic benefits by linking renewable energy and storage systems with technologies to enable an integrated and digitalised smart grid which could benefit homes in Árainn and along the west coast, he said.

More information is on https://react2020.eu/

Published in Island News
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Aran Islands RNLI came to the aid of two fishermen yesterday evening after their vessel got into difficulty off Nags Head in county Clare.

The volunteer crew were asked by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat to assess the situation at 3.48pm (Monday 22 November).

A 30ft fishing vessel with two people on board was having engine difficulty off Nags Head.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked and was on scene first, establishing no immediate danger to the vessel or its crew.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell with a full crew and headed straight for the vessel.

Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and good visibility.

Once on scene, the crew checked that the fishermen aboard the vessel were safe and well before proceeding to establish a tow line between the lifeboat and the fishing vessel. The boat was then towed to the nearest safe port at Liscannor Harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: ‘The volunteer crew didn't hesitate to answer the call and we were able to get the fishermen back to the harbour before night.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat last night, (Sunday 21 November) at 8.17 pm by the Irish Coast Guard.

A resident on the neighbouring Island of Inis Meáin was in need of further medical attention.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew and headed straight for Inis Meáin.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas, clear visibility, and a light northerly breeze.

Once at the pier, the crew brought the patient safely aboard following Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and transferred the casualty into the care of the waiting ambulance crew.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: ‘We want to wish the person we helped this evening a speedy recovery. There was a great response time from our volunteers tonight which meant we could get the patient on his way to receive the medical attention he needed quickly.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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