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Displaying items by tag: Mayo

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that umbilical installation and associated works between the Corrib Gas Field and the mainland and Broad Haven Bay in Co Mayo will commence tomorrow 8 May.

The area of activity stretches along the route of the existing Corrib pipeline, and will continue till the umbilical pull-in to Glengad and subsequent lay away of the umbilical next month, followed by further tie-in works in the Corrib field to be completed by mid-July, weather permitting.

A number of work and service vessels will be used throughout the offshore works period, with various tasks from installing the main umbilical to post-lay jetting.

In order to create a safe working environment for the near-shore diving activities and the umbilical pull-in, a Safety Zone around the bellmouth (250m radius) will be identified with red marker buoys spaced at 75m interval around the circumference of the zone.

All vessels in the vicinity are requested to keep clear of the works as these works progress along the pipeline route and to comply with requests from support vessels and safety boats.

Furthermore, all vessels are requested to monitor and comply with the Radio Navigational Warnings that will be broadcast for the duration of the works. All vessels involved in the operations will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

Full details of co-ordinates of the work area and the work vessels involved are included in Marine Notice No 20 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

This important new potoon facility on Clew Bay is located approximately 30 metres from the edge of the permanent pier will allow users of the pier to board and disembark from their boats in a convenient and safe manner.

Mayo Sailing Club, islanders, boatmen and County officials gathered at Rosmoney Pier for the opening for public use of the new floating Pontoon at Rosmoney in April 2013.

Rosmoney near Westport is the base for the Mayo Sailing Club whose members enjoy the excellent sailing grounds that exists among the archipelago of islands in the east of Clew Bay.

Rosmoney is located 8km from Westport town and adjoins Clew Bay. Rosmoney Bay is currently the centre of access to Clew Bay for a wide number of users. Currently there are over 100 marine craft of various descriptions moored in Rosmoney.

The pontoon is made up of a floating pontoon and ramp with safety railings, a water source and power facilities which makes it possible for boats to moor at Rosmoney including local fish farm vessels. Islanders will be allowed to tie their boats to the pontoon while on business on the mainland while other boat users are to use it for loading and uploading.

Published in Irish Marinas
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#MarineNotice - Marine Notice No 15 of 2013 from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises mariners that a hydrographic and geophysical survey operation is being undertaken by INFOMAR for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland till 25 April.

The RV Celtic Voyager (Call sign EIQN) is carrying out the survey operations within an area bounded by co-ordinates included in the notice, available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

The vessel is towing a magnetometer sensor with a single cable of up to 100m in length. It is also displaying appropriate lights and markers, and will listen in on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

Meanwhile, Marine Notice No 16 of 2013 advises that Shell E&P Ireland is deploying a Waverider buoy off northwest Co Mayo to help predict sea conditions for the laying of an offshore umbilical to the Corrib Gas Field later this year.

The buoy is yellow in colour and will flash yellow five times every 20 seconds. The notice includes an image of what the buoy looks like in the water, as well as the co-ordinates of its placement.

All vessels are requested to give the wave buoy a wide berth.

Published in Marine Warning

#MCIB - "Serious weaknesses" in navigational procedures and practices led to the grounding of a passenger boat at Roonagh Pier in Co Mayo last winter, according to the official report into the incident.

The inter-island passenger ferry Pirate Queen - operated by Clare Island Ferry and Clew Bay Cruises Ltd - grounded on rocks at the entrance to Roonagh Pier on the evening of 20 December 2011 as it made a nighttime approach to the pier.

Two crew were joined by three passengers on board at the time, one of whom served as auxiliary crew while another was injured when the vessel was jolted in heavy swell. The vessel itself, though not holed, sustained severe structural damage.

It emerged that the navigational aid lights on the pier - maintained my Mayo County Council - were not fully functioning at the time of the incident and did not illuminate the waters in the vicinity of the pier, making any approach in darkness a dangerous one, particularly at a location where swells were common at the best of times.

However, the Pirate Queen continued on its heading to Roonagh Pier despite its master being made aware of the lighting issue via SMS shortly after leaving Inishturk.

On approach is was noted that the search light was not manned, and when the lookout reported that the vessel was too far to the east, a large swell forced the boat onto rocks on the east side of the pier.

Lifejackets were immediately put on the passengers, while a fellow ferry master returning home on his RIB was hailed to quickly retrieve the passengers from the boat.

As the ferry was rolling and grinding on the rocks in the heavy swell, one of the passengers was thrown against a bulkhead or the hull and suffered a back injury, though luckily avoided head injury due to the lifejacket. All three passengers were transferred ashore safely via RIB.

In its findings, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) initially focused on the pier lighting, both high-level and navigation lights, noting their vulnerability to storm damage and the lack of effective screening.

But upon further analysis, the report highlighted a number of deficiencies in the running of the ferry service itself, such as the lack of crew rosters to ensure a full complement for any sailing, and the absence of an alternative plan in the event of difficulties landing at Roonagh Pier.

In addition, it noted "an over-reliance of visual aids to navigation and a neglect to practice and use the electronic aids on board.

"When one is very familiar with the waters and on regular passages it is very easy to become complacent," the report stated.

It also noted the "hazardous and unacceptable" decision following the incident to move the boat from Roonagh Pier to Clare Island without informing the Irish Coast Guard of the situation.

The MCIB recommends that the ferry operators devise specific approach instructions, ensure that all employees take part "in the full range of emergency procedures" and that crew rosters be drawn up and displayed. The complete report is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#MCIB - The dangers of performing maintenance tasks on boats while machinery is running have been highlighted in the official investigation into an accident on a fishing vessel off Erris Head in Co Mayo last year.

The skipper of the MFV James Collins was seriously injured when his leg was caught in the vessel's propeller shaft while attempting to clear debris from the bilge pump on the morning of 20 April 2012.

Jonathan O'Donnell, aged 26 at the time, suffered significant soft tissue damage to his left leg and broke his trivia, fibia and ankle in the incident. Luckily the leg did not require amputation and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found that the vessel's bilge pump was located in the hold adjacent to the propeller shaft, with access to both prevented by the same covering boards.

When O'Donnell responded to a persistent bilge alarm, he did not put the engine on stop or into neutral and the propeller shaft remained turning when he removed the covering boards to access the pump.

As he put his foot into the bilge beside the shaft in order to reach down and clear debris, his waterproof leggings were caught by the coupling on the shaft and his leg was round around it twice.

The MCIB noted the quick actions of the vessel's crew and the prompt attendance of RNLI lifeboat and Irish Coast Guard helicopter crews as instrumental in O'Donnell receiving swift treatment and not losing his leg.

However, the report also pointed to a lack of attention to proper safety precautions on board, nothing that the skipper was "too intent on solving the bilge pump problem" and that he "neglected basic safety procedures" by not stopping all machinery before accessing the bilge as set out in the Code of Practice for Fishing Vessels.

The report concluded that the "ease with which debris could enter the bilge and block the pump suction" was a contributing factor to putting the skipper in his predicament at the time, and also referenced the ease with which loose-fitting clothing like waterproofs can be snagged on turning machinery.

Moreover, the screening of the propeller shaft by covering boards also used to access the bilge pump did not present adequate protection "enabling it to be easily exposed and present a hazard".

The MCIB recommends that the Code of Practice be amended to highlight the danger of accessing the bilge area when shafts are rotating, and to include assessment of sole boards in fish holds to prevent debris passing through to the bilge tank. The complete report is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has described as "very unusual" a mass stranding of common dolphins on Achill Island last week - which was followed this week by the remains of cetaceans washed up in Kerry.

At least eight common dolphins were found dead on Keel Beach, Keem Beach and Dookinella on the Co Mayo island at the end of January.

And The Irish Times reports that two pilot whales and an "otherwise healthy" dolphin were found washed up at Cuas Croom near Cahirciveen in the last few days.

Commenting on the former incident, IWDG stranding officer Mick O'Connell said: "While there are occasionally live strandings involving groups of dolphins, it is very unusual in this country to see this number of dead dolphins washed ashore over a 10km area."

Strandings of deceased dolphins have also been reported in Donegal, and the IWDG's Simon Berrow suggests that the recent severe weather experienced around Ireland's coast may be a factor.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Lifeboats - TheJournal.ie reports that RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East and Fethard rescued two fishermen from their vessel off the Waterford coast yesterday (14 January 2013).

Rescuers sped to the scene after the 10-metre fishing boat got into difficulty and grounded close to the shore north of Loftus Hall.

Despite the receding tide, the lifeboats managed to tow the vessel carefully off the rocks "without any major damage", according to a spokesperson. The two crew were uninjured in the incident.

It marked the third major call-out in a week off the Waterford coast - following a similar rescue effort last Tuesday, and just days after the tragic loss of a local fisherman on Thursday morning on the sixth anniversary of the sinking of Dunmore East trawler the Pere Charles.

Meanwhile, on Sunday afternoon volunteers with Achill Island RNLI went to the assistance of an injured fisherman off the Mayo coast.

The lifeboat station received the distress call around noon to go to the assistance of a fishing party north of Clare Island, where the crew removed a man from the vessel who had suffered an eye injury from a fishing hook.

He was subsequently transported on the lifeboat to Kildavnet, where a local doctor examined his injury before referring him to Castlebar General Hospital for further attention.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Kitesurfing - “There’s loads of special places in the world, but none of them are Achill,” says kitesurfing instructor Francois Colussi. “There’s something magical here.”

And if this article from TNT Magazine is anything to go by, you'll be sure to agree.

The writer recently spent a short break on the weather-worn but ruggedly beautiful island in Co Mayo that has in recent years become a winter haven for kitesurfers the world over - drawn to the winds and waves that made it the perfect choice to host the Aer Lingus Kite Surf Pro in October.

Those are the same qualities that brought in Frenchman Colussi, who has since turned a former local pub near Keel beach into kitesurfing school Pure Magic.

Indeed, you don’t have to be a professional to kitesurf in Keel. “It’s one of the most extreme sports, but the most accessible. It’s much easier that surfing or windsurfing. You can learn in a weekend,” Colussi tells TNT. “You don’t need huge upper body strength – you’re powered by the wind.”

Even so, at this time of year it's a place for the hardier souls, as Welsh world champ Kirsty Jones describes: “The ocean is pure, Atlantic water. You feel a slap in the face like – Yes! I’m alive!”

TNT Magazine has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing

#MARINE WARNING - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has been advised that subsea rock installation works will shortly commence along a pipeline route from the Corrib Gas Field in Broad Haven Bay off Co Mayo.

Works will commence in the middle of this month (October 2012) and are expected to be completed in 6-10 days. The operation will be carried out by the vessel Tertnes (Call sign PGAN). All vessels in the vicinity are requested to keep clear of the works as these works progress along the pipeline route and to comply with requests from work vessel.

Furthermore, all vessels are requested to monitor and comply with the Radio Navigational Warnings that will be broadcast for the duration of the works. All vessels involved in the operations will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project. All vessels are required to comply fully with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea and to manoeuvre their vessels accordingly.

The attention of all is also drawn to Marine Notice No 17 of 2007, which gives general advice in relation to the activities of vessels engaged in survey work for hydrographic, seismic, fishing research and underwater operations.

Full details of co-ordinates for the current works are included in Marine Notice No 57 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#ANGLING - The going is tough in the last weeks of this year's angling season on Lough Mask, as Mayo Today reports.

Though anglers are still out in good numbers despite the shortening days and drop in temperature, catch numbers are way down on the angling bonanza that marked the beginning of a season that also produced a record-breaking monster trout on nearby Lough Corrib.

The best fishing was seen at the Vintners Federation of Ireland contest on the lough two weeks ago, where the prize-winning catch was a total of seven trout for 4.21kg.

Meanwhile, Celebrity World Cup champ Mick Dunne won the Molloy Cup catch-and-release contest with his catch of five trout measuring 157cm in total.

Elsewhere in Mayo, the River Moy has been more productive, with 199 salmon reported in the seven days preceding 19 September, and Lough Conn and Lough Beltra anglers have also reported some good fishing.

The news makes up for the "relative quiet" on the Newport Rover, and the significant decrease in catches on the Ballisodare Fishery.

Published in Angling
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