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Regular news and views from Ireland’s leading maritime newspaper. The printed February edition will be in all good shops this week and available online now as a digital download, covering all the major developments as reported by Ireland’s leading maritime newspaper. Click on links above to purchase your annual subscription!

Tom MacSweeney's MARITIME PODCAST - February

On the February edition of Tom MacSweeney's Maritime Podcast: On the February edition Government Ministers with different views about public consultation to protect the seas around Ireland; The maritime history of Valentine’s Day – and which are best to save life in an emergency at sea – flares or electronic signals?

News 24th February:
Wicklow RNLI assist fishing vessel with rope fouled propeller

Three fishermen were brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI on Thursday afternoon (22 February), after their vessel developed mechanical problems three miles southeast of Wicklow Head.

Wicklow RNLI team post call out

The all-weather lifeboat RNLB Bridie O’Shea slipped its moorings at 2.50pm from the South Quay and put to sea under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh. Full story here

News 16th February:
Government has not acted in the best interest of Ireland’s fishing communities

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said Government has not acted in the best interest of Ireland’s fishing communities, as he expressed concerns for the future of the fishing industry.

Addressing the Dáil on Thursday, Deputy Pringle said: “For those who aren’t from a fishing community, it can be hard to understand how much of a negative impact the EU and Brexit have had and the devastating downturn these communities have experienced in recent decades. Killybegs was once known as a very prosperous town, with ‘the herring running free’, as the famous song goes. Full story here

News 14th February:
Minister announces Public Consultation on a Review of Trawling Inside the Six Nautical Mile Zone and the Baselines

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, has launched a public consultation today on fishing with trawls inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines and is seeking the public’s opinion on the matter.

Minister McConalogue said: “Five years ago, in December 2018, a transition to a ban on vessels over 18 metres trawling in inshore waters, inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines, was announced following a previous public consultation. This ban had a strong support base but was overturned following legal challenge. In view of changes in activity and issues concerning the marine space since then, I think it is important that this issue is reviewed and reflected on in an open, inclusive process.” Full story here

Baltimore lifeboat crew honoured by RNLI for eight-hour rescue that saved the life of a sailor who capsized

Three volunteer lifeboat crew with Baltimore RNLI were honoured recently, at a local event, for their part in a rescue that saved the life of a single-handed sailor, after his catamaran capsized off the coast of Baltimore, in West Cork. Coxswain Aiden Bush, Helm Brendan Cottrell and crewmember Brian McSweeney, received individual framed Letters of Thanks, signed by the Chair of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. RNLI Council member Ian Venner presented the awards, which was held at a station dinner, in Caseys of Baltimore.

Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Tom Bushe, Lifeboat Helm Brendan Cottrell, Coxswain Aiden Bush, RNLI Council member Ian Venner, Baltimore RNLI crew member Brian McSweeney with Baltimore RNLI volunteer Declan Tiernan

The lifeboat callout began at 5.40pm on 19 July 2022, after the Coast Guard requested Baltimore RNLI, go to the aid of a sailor onboard his capsized catamaran, 70 nautical miles off the coast of Baltimore. The sailor was participating in a single-handed yacht race from France to the south coast of Ireland and back to France. The Coast Guard helicopter from Shannon was also tasked but due to the rough seas, gale force conditions and a tangle of wires and netting on the vessel, it was deemed too dangerous to attempt a rescue from the air. Full story here

News 6th February:
Arranmore RNLI bring fishing crew to safety after 26-hour rescue mission

Lifeboat crew from Arranmore RNLI finally got to their beds at 1.20am this morning (Tuesday, 6 February) after spending over 26 hours at sea to bring a fishing vessel, with five people onboard, to safety. The Coast Guard requested the Donegal lifeboat to launch on Sunday evening at 10.50pm, after the vessel, which was 48 miles north of Arranmore, reported being in difficulty.

In challenging conditions for the lifeboat crew, with swells of up to five and half metres and winds of up to 60kph, a decision was taken, when on scene, that the safest option would be to establish a tow to bring the fishing vessel to a suitable safe port. Full story here

News 25th January:
Union Hall RNLI volunteer reflects on community loss and a personal challenge in West Cork

In the latest edition of 200 Voices, the RNLI podcast, Pamela Deasy has vivid memories of January 2012 and the loss of five crew on a fishing trawler in Glandore Harbour and the subsequent establishment of a lifeboat station at Union Hall.

In My Lifeline, Pamela, who is volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Union Hall RNLI remembers the morning the 'Tit Bonhomme’ floundered on Adam Island at the entrance to Glandore Harbour with the loss of five crew. She recalls the month-long search to recover the bodies of the lost fishermen and a letter she wrote to the RNLI appealing for a lifeboat station at Union Hall. Full story here

News 22nd January:
Freeze Iceland Bid for Irish Blue Whiting
Ireland Must Show Teeth at EU-Iceland Talks and Demand Reciprocal Deal

The Government must seriously ‘up its game’ at EU talks on Iceland’s bid to access Irish fishing waters, say fishing leaders. They must fight for our fishing industry the way other EU Member States do, says Aodh O Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO).

“The Irish Blue Whiting quota is worth around €15 million for 2024,” says O Donnell. “If this new deal goes ahead, Iceland can catch almost the same amount of blue whiting in Irish waters as we do. They have a population of less than 380,000 compared to our population of over 5.2m. They are not an EU member. How is this a fair deal?” Full story here

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