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Displaying items by tag: drowning

RTÉ News reports that an 18-year-old man has died by drowning off the island of Arranmore (Árainn Mhór) in Co Donegal after getting into difficulty while swimming.

The incident occurred on Monday afternoon 3 January at the beach at Leabgarrow (An Leadbh Gharbh) shortly before 3pm, according to the Donegal News.

Despite the best efforts of emergency personnel, the casualty was pronounced dead at the scene and the body has been taken to Letterkenny University Hospital pending a post-mortem.

Published in Island News
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In the lead-up to the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Minister of State in the Department of Transport has issued an appeal to anybody engaging in coastal or water-based activity to pay close attention to their personal safety.

Today’s (Tuesday 27 July) water safety appeal by Minister Hildegarde Naughton alongside staff and volunteers of the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI comes in the wake of more than seven water tragedies in seven days.

The latest of these occurred yesterday, Monday 26 July, when a 14-year-old boy recovered from Hollywood Lake in Co Monaghan on Sunday died in Dublin’s Temple Street Children’s Hospital, according to the Irish Mirror.

Also on Sunday 25 July, as The Irish Times reports, a man in his 60s was recovered from the water at Tramore in Co Waterford and was later pronounced dead in hospital.

“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of those we have lost at sea on their heartbreaking and untimely loss,” the minister said. “This loss of lives in as many days provides a stark reminder to us all as to how quickly serious accidents can happen.

“This Bank Holiday weekend we can all make personal decisions which will go a long way towards staying safe in the water, such as ensuring that swimmers are accompanied, not using inflatables and letting friends or family know your planned return time.”

The August Bank Holiday weekend is by tradition the peak holiday period, and with many people holidaying at home this summer it is likely that even greater numbers will avail of coastal and water-based activities.

The Marine Safety Communications group, which is coordinated by the Department of Transport, has identified three key safety areas:

  1. Inflatable toys should never be used on the beach or inland waterways.
  2. Swimmers should always ensure that they are accompanied or that their activity is being monitored by a colleague ashore. Open-water swimmers and.or longer-distance swimmers should wear a high visibility swim cap and use a tow float to ensure that they are visible at all times. Only swim in lifeguarded beaches or on beaches that are in regular use, be alert to local safety warnings and always ensure that somebody is aware of your planned return time.
  3. Users of Jet Skis and personal watercraft are asked to be mindful of swimmers by avoiding swimming areas and by observing local bye laws.

The Irish Coast Guard says it has seen a major growth in demand for assistance this year and to date has coordinated responses to a total of 1,763 incidents, an increase of 400 for the same period last year and 150 more than any year over the last five years.

Minister Naughton reminded anybody engaged in outdoor activities to always check the weather forecast and tide times and local conditions.

In addition to familiarising ourselves with tides we should also be mindful of the risk posed by local currents and in particular rip currents. These most typically form at low spots or breaks in sandbars, and near structures such as jetties, piers and the speeds under certain tide and beach profiles can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the water.

The minister also appealed to coastal walkers to avoid any areas with which they are not familiar and stay away from coastal and cliff edges. It is important to dress appropriately for the conditions, to wear a high-factor sunscreen, carry a fully charged, water-protected mobile phone and to bring enough food and water for the planned trip. (See below for a guide to safe coastal walking.)

Minister Naughton added: “I recently attended a meeting of the Search and Rescue Stakeholders Forum where I saw constructive engagement between the Maritime community, SAR coordinators and SAR providers I want to thank all those at the frontline of Search and Rescue in particular the three Coast Guard Coordination centres at Malin, Valentia and MRCC Dublin, coastguard and RNLI Volunteers, coastguard Helicopter crews and Community Inshore Rescue crews, as well as support provided by Navy and Air Corps resources.”

She concluded by encouraging everybody to attend to their personal safety, stating: “Remember, water will win if we do not observe basic water safety measures.”

Safety Guidelines for Coastal Walking

  • Stay in Contact — Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back, it is always best to be accompanied.
  • Tides — Pay attention to local tidal times and local conditions. Be alert to the danger of getting stranded or cut off. www.Safetyonthewater.gov.ie
  • Weather — Check the weather forecast.
  • Route — Familiarise yourself with your planned route and any associated hazards. Seek local knowledge if you are unsure of the area.
  • Phone — Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting out and carry it in a water proof container.
  • Sunset — To avoid walking in darkness, be aware of the time the sun sets. If you know both this and the expected duration of the walk, you’ll have an optimum start time to set off.
  • Sun Protection — Wear a hat. Wear a high factor sun protection.
  • Safety Signage — Pay attention to any safety signage identifying hazards.
  • Clothing — Dress appropriately and wear suitable walking footwear. Be visible: aim to wear at least one item of bright colour such as red or orange so that you remain visible to the people in your party or rescue services if needs be.
  • Food and Water — Bring enough food and water for your journey and some extra rations in case your excursion goes on for longer than expected.
  • Children — Ensure children are always supervised, keeping small children close to parents or adults during any coastal walking activity.
  • Coastal and Cliff Terrain — Stay away from exposed coastal and cliff edges.
  • Sea Conditions — Do not underestimate the unpredictable nature of sea conditions where swell or wave activity can change dramatically and sweep a person without warning from a rock edge into the sea. Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry.
  • Dogs — Keep dogs under control and do not enter the water to rescue animals. Ring 999/112 for assistance.

For more information on how to stay safe this summer, visit www.gov.ie/summerready

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

The number of drowning tragedies around Ireland this week has risen to six after the deaths of a man in his 60s and a teenage boy.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the man was recovered unconscious from the water at Dollymount Strand in north Dublin yesterday afternoon (Friday 23 July).

Despite the vest efforts of lifeguards and off-duty medical personnel, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Elsewhere, a 15-year-old boy rescued after getting into difficulty in Lough Sheelin on Tuesday (20 July) died in hospital on Thursday evening (22 July).

Their deaths bring the toll of drownings this week on the island of Ireland to five, following incidents in counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh and Down, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in News Update

Four people have drowned in separate tragedies around the island of Ireland yesterday, Wednesday 21 July, as the Irish Independent reports.

In Co Cavan, a woman in her late 20s died after entering the water at Loch Gowna to rescue her nine-year-old son who had got into difficulties.

Separately in Co Leitrim, the body of a man in his 70s was recovered from Spencer Harbour in Drumkeeran after he failed to return from snorkelling.

And a 55-year-old man died after entering the water in the Lough Melvin area in Co Fermanagh, just days after another Northern Ireland tragedy that took the life of a 13-year-old boy in a lake near Scarva in Co Down.

The Irish Independent has more HERE.

Published in News Update
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#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety, the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather.

On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight — and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water-based activities.

The joint appeal includes the following water safety advice to avoid summer tragedy:

  • Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Never swim alone.
  • Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap. This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
  • Supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys in open water. The recent multiple rescue off Fethard is testament to the dangers of using inflatables where a sudden current can put lives under threat.
  • Swim at lifeguarded waterways listed by Irish Water Safety, or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ring buoys present to conduct a safe rescue.

 If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:

  • Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
  • Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
  • Throw a ring buoy or any floating object, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Waterways Ireland is also running a campaign with Irish Water Safety to encourage the wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices on the Shannon Navigation during the 2018 summer boating season.

The awareness campaign will aim to emphasise the importance of wearing lifejackets at key focal points along the Shannon.

You may notice some new signage which will be erected at key locations – locks and marinas — encouraging water safety. Information leaflets will also be distributed to water users at these key locations on the water.

Waterways Ireland encourages the safe use of its waterways by all. The wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices is not only an effective way of enhancing water safety, it is also a legal requirement on all pleasure craft in Ireland.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#LoughErne - BelfastLive reports that a man has been charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in Lough Erne earlier this year.

Lu Na McKinney was recovered from the water by emergency services in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 35-year-old mother of two from Donegal was believed to have slipped from the deck of a boat while checking it was tied to the jetty.

Yesterday a PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a 41-year-old man had been charged with her murder and was due before Omagh Magistrates’ Court this morning (Tuesday 5 December).

The man is also charged with possession of a Class C controlled drug, a classification which includes a number of tranquilisers.

Published in News Update

#Shannon - Tributes have been paid to a Longford teen who drowned at a marina on the River Shannon yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 18 July), as RTÉ News reports.

Damola Adetosoye, 17, was among a group of 20 teenagers who were swimming at a marina near Termonbarry when he got into difficulty.

The tragedy comes less than a month after Irish Water Safety (IWS) issued its annual summer advisory to the public for National Water Safety Awareness Week (19-25 June).

IWS noted that the majority of drownings — some 62% — occur inland in Ireland’s lakes and rivers, while 80% happen within the victim’s home county.

“Such statistics reinforce the importance of learning how to stay safe in, on and around water,” said the water safety body.

Published in News Update
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#LoughErne - A Donegal woman drowned after a boating accident on Lough Erne late on Wednesday night, as RTÉ News reports.

The woman is believed to have fallen overboard from a hired vessel she and her husband and children has been using for the Easter holidays.

It’s thought the 35-year-old slipped from the deck while checking the boat was tied to the jetty at Devenish Island, near Enniskillen, in the early hours of Thursday 13 April.

The Belfast Telegraph adds that the woman’s husband dived into the lough to attempt a rescue after hearing a splash but could not find her in the dark.

Her body was recovered by emergency services 40 minutes later just metres from the stern of the boat. CPR was attempted at dockside but she was later died in hospital.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Drowning - A post-mortem was expected today (Monday 11 July) on the body of a woman who drowned off the Co Clare coast yesterday morning.

RTÉ News reports that the 53-year-old woman from Eastern Europe but living in Co Tipperary was with a fishing group at Ballyreen when a wave swept her into the sea.

She was recovered some time later around 1km from the spot where she was washed in.

Despite best efforts by volunteers and Irish Coast Guard crew to save her, she was pronounced dead after she was flown to University Hospital Galway.

Published in News Update
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#Galway - BreakingNews.ie reports that two people are dead after separate drowning incidents in Galway city yesterday afternoon (Saturday 11 June).

North of the city, the body of a 19-year-old man was recovered from the River Corrib near NUI Galway around 2pm.

At the same time, the body of a woman thought to be in her 40s or 50s was discovered in Galway Docks. BreakingNews.ie has more HERE.

Published in News Update
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Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage

 

Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020

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