17th July

Decommissioning of LÉ Aoife

After 35 years of "outstanding service to the State" and more than 600,000 nautical miles - or 28 world circuits - the Irish Naval Servcie vessel LÉ Aoife has been decommissioned.


At the ceremony on the quayside in Waterford City, Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul Keogh, paid tribute to the crew of the longest serving vessel in the fleet. He acknowledged their detention of 440 fishing vessels and 4,700 boardings at sea as part of  the vessel's role in fishery protection as well as search and rescue missions. 

Under the replacement programme, LÉ Samuel Beckett was handed over at the end of April 2014 and LÉ James Joyce is scheduled for delivery "in the coming months," he said. 

Lough Swilly RNLI to receive first Shannon class lifeboat in Ireland

The first Shannon class lifeboat for Ireland is under construction at Lymington in the UK for the Lough Swilly Lifeboat Station. The €2.4m 13m long, 18 ton vessel, is the first class of lifeboat to be named after the Irish river, and is expected at the Donegal station next April, replacing the station's all-weather Tyne class lifeboat Robert & Violet.


Shannon class lifeboat. Photo RNLI

The Shannon is the latest class of all-weather lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet and the first to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it extremely agile and manoeuvrable.

Read more: Lough Swilly RNLI to receive first Shannon class lifeboat in Ireland

Ireland ratifies the Maritime Labour Convention

Ireland's ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention which sets standards for working and living conditions for seafarers, will cover both Irish-flagged ships and international ships calling at Irish Ports.


Dublin Port: The MLC covers both Irish-flagged vessels and international ships calling into Irish ports. Photo Gillian Mills

Effective from July 21, 2015 work is now underway to inspect and certify Irish ships, according to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohue and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.

Read more: Ireland ratifies the Maritime Labour Convention

US marine is remembered at Whiddy Island

A commemoration in June remembered a young US marine who was killed in a seaplane crash in October 1918 while returning to Whiddy Island on the south coast of Ireland. 

The event began with a wreath laying ceremony at the crash site attended by 25 boats out of Bantry, followed by the unveiling of a memorial on the island by Lt Col Sean Cosden, Defence Attaché to the American Embassy and US Air Corps.

whiddy commemmoration

 Also among the gathering were County Mayor Alan Coleman; Col Barry Hanon, Irish Air Corps; Comdt Keohan, Irish Army; representative of the Irish Naval Service; local politicans; members of the American Legion; the Castletownbere Lifeboat and Bantry Inshore Search and Rescue.

Read more: US marine is remembered at Whiddy Island

Launch of Maritime Safety Strategy public consultation

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar called for a major change in attitude to maritime safety, when he launched a new consultation process on maritime safety: Sea Change – Building a new Maritime Safety Culture.

Minister Varadkar highlighted the 134 maritime fatalities that have occurred since 2002, almost half of which related to recreational craft.

9.4 fisheres safetu at sea

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport with Jason Whooley, BIM chief executive and Simon Coveney, Miniister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine at the launch of the sea-safety initiative in Union Hall, July 2013. Photo Gillian Mills

“We all need to take a fresh look at how we use the waters in and around our island, and build a culture of maritime safety in our communities. This requires a radical change of culture in our attitude to safety.”

 He added that the sea and any open water can be hostile and dangerous environments and demanded total respect.

Read more: Launch of Maritime Safety Strategy public consultation

Virtual marina safety awareness game-based simulation wins award

Valentia Island-bsaed company, MYMIC Global, was honoured with the 2014 Innovation Showcase Award for Training at Seawork International - the leading commercial marine and workboat event in Europe. 


Thomas Mastaglio, MYMIC Global, with  sponsor Paul Duckworth, Smith & Williamson (left) and Paul Clifton BBC South

The Spirit of Innovation award ackowledges companies that have introduced innovative products or services withn the past twelve months.

Read more: Virtual marina safety awareness game-based simulation wins award

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