Friday, 10.30 - 11pm

    Seascapes Friday 28 August 2015



    The maritime programme for this island nation presented and produced by Marcus Connaughton .


    Seascapes Friday 28th August 2015

    features the CEO of The Commissioners of Irish Lights -Yvonne Shields and Captain Robert McCabe and The Great Lighthouses of Ireland initiative; Explores Club Flag destined for Titanic Belfast with Rory Golden; music from Stan Hugill; Colm Plunkett on a narrow escape wearing a life jacket....

    Hello  and welcome aboard this week’s edition of your maritime programme Seascapes , this week  the Taste of Greystones Regatta is in full swing  this weekend on the East Coast ; the National Model Boats Show is on  in  Dun Laoghaire ;  Colm Plunkett a listener to Seascapes  writes with first hand experience of a narrow escape and survival wearing a lifejacket , Rory Golden has been in touch to let us know that  the Explorers  Club Flag from onboard the Titanic Discovery Expedition  thirty years ago goes on display this week at Titanic Belfast  – first this week on your maritime programme to the headquarters of the Commissioners of Irish Lights  in their spectacular building   between the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club  and the Royal Irish Yacht Club   where  we recently  met up with Yvonne Shields  whom we first met in Newfoundland over a decade ago,    we talked  about the recent  tourism  initiative where you can find your way to where the land meets the sea to the Great Lighthouses of Ireland....Seascapes spoke   to the Commissioners of Irish Lights - Chief Executive Officer–  Yvonne Shields and  Yvonne explained the work of the commissioners.........


    Yvonne Shields CEO of The Commissioners of Irish Lights , You can visit    to see and read more about our lighthouse service  and also or  the Seascapes webpage.......

         Next to Captain Robert McCabe  whom we last met as President of the Nautical Institute  in Liscannor  last year –he and I  talked  as we admired the panoramic Seascape  that is the view from the Commissioners of Irish Lights Headquarters in  Dun Laoghaire..... .....

    Captain Robert McCabe of the Commissioners of Irish Lights...

    The Taste of Greystones Cruiser Regatta  takes place this weekend off the Wicklow coast. Now in its third year , this weekend will be the climax for Wicklow sailors and  includes the East Coast Championships for Cruisers 2 & 3 and the  visiting ISORA fleet.

    Two races will be held on Saturday afternoon for the East Coast fleet who join the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta fleet for Sunday's finale. Olympic race officer Jack Roy whom we met at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta last month   will officiate.

    Feeder races from Poolbeg , Bray , Wicklow and Arklow are confirmed as well as the ISORA fleet race which will arrive on Saturday evening and participate in Sunday's events.


    NATIONAL MODEL BOATS SHOW  takes place - this coming Sunday 30th August  in the Dun Laoghaire Club and Garden, 3  Eblana Avenue, Dun Laoghaire  - commencing @  1’ o clock and running until . ---until 5pm.    Its  a  National Heritage Week event run in conjunction with the Heritage Council.........

    2.30p.m. Video on model boats and talk with GARRY MOONEY of the Irish Model Boat Club.

    3.30p.m. RMS  Lusitania in the centenary year of its sinking -a talk by DAVID SNOOK.

    4.30p.m. THE GUINNESS BOATS discussed by Dr. EDWARD BOURKE.

    ALL are WELCOME - voluntary donations  are requested  to help cover costs. You can get more information  by calling 087-9007466

    Next  here on Seascapes to the legendary Stan Hugill , who was born in 1906 at Hoylake near The Wirral  , this classic from the man who was responsible for the shanty mans bible “Shanties of the Seven Seas” ...taken from the album Sailing Days this is “A Rolling Down the River”

    We got this note from Colm Plunkett  a Seascapes listener  following last Friday nights advice from Dick Robinson and many others  about the issue of safety near the water ,


    “I ‘m writing to you today in the hope that other fishermen will follow my example and survive a fall / being washed into the sea. I was fishing at the end of the Beara peninsula, in west Cork, last Sunday when a rogue wave washed me into the sea. I spent the next 55 minutes fighting for my life. Fortunately I was with my 16 year old daughter, Orlaith, who immediately called the coastguard. Upon entering the water my life jacket automatically inflated and kept me on the surface of the sea. The sea appeared fairly calm from the shore but once   in it   the 3 to 4 foot  swells (some with little white crests) showed its darker side. Even though I kept my back to the wind I spent 30 minutes or so fighting to get air into my lungs whilst spitting the sea water out of my mouth; as the waves broke over my head and the water ran down my face and the currents drove me out to sea.


          Much to my relief the current then pushed me back towards the land and to the calm waters of Dursey channel (between the mainland and the island). Although I was in calm water the current and my state of exhaustion and hypothermia prevented me from reaching the shore. My daughter (the hero of the day) shouted to me that the coastguard was on the way and for the first time my spirits rose. I noticed the buoy of a lobster pot ahead of me and managed to move my position in the current and drift into it.




         And then I hung on for dear life as I did not want the experience of the open water beyond it with its innocent looking waves. After hanging onto the buoy for 10 minutes or so the inshore rescue boat from Derrynane, Co. Kerry (my other heroes) sped into the sound to pull me aboard. The men from Kerry just beat the life boat from Castletownbere and the helicopter from Shannon. I was brought to shore with a life threatening low temperature and handed over to the land based unit of the coastguard and the ambulance team (EMTs and a paramedic) of the HSE; from there I was brought by helicopter to Cork University Hospital for further assessments and treatment.



            My main message IS: I wasn't lucky.... I was prepared but not nearly as much as I needed to be. A splash hood on my life jacket would have saved me from an experience somewhat akin to water boarding; a personal locator beacon (PLB) would have brought the coastguard directly to me should I have continued out to sea (and initiated a distress call should I have been fishing on my own, which I often do).

             The life jacket saved my life; the prearranged plan with my daughter (should one of us fall in) saved my life; the mobile phone saved my life; the emergency services saved my life. And if through telling others of my harrowing experience, on a 'calm' sea, I can get other fishermen to wear a life jacket then it is an experience worth having but definitely not worth repeating!

    Please help me to get the message out that life jackets are not a luxury item but an essential piece of kit if you go near the water.

    Sincerely, Colm Plunkett


     A cautionary tale from Seascapes listener and angler Colm Plunkett –


    To  mark the 30thanniversary on the 1st September, when a team led by American oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard and French diving engineer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the world’s most famous ship’s final resting place, Titanic Belfast will be exhibiting The Explorers Club Flag connected with the discovery throughout September.   The Explorers Club Flag, which was on board the 1985 Titanic Discovery Expedition,  is the flag’s  first time  here and marks the second time an Explorers Club Flag has been displayed as part of an exhibition.

    Rory Golden, Explorers Club Member who worked to secure the flag for Titanic Belfast, and the first Irish man to dive to the resting place of the Titanic, described the significance of the flag, “The history of this flag is like no other due to its connection with Titanic. The 1985 expedition to Titanic was shrouded in secrecy; therefore, there was no official application for the Explorers Club Flag. However, Ralph White, Explorer Club member and cameraman, felt it was important to have one on board and had one secretly made! When Titanic was discovered, he unveiled it to mark the occasion.”  You can read and see more on  or on the Seascapes webpage.......


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