Monday 12 – Sunday 18 August 2019
Coaster callers this week included Thea Marieke and Ceg Universe.
Visitors to the port noted included the Beam trawler Bridget Carmel.
Traffic sightings included the tanker Bit Eco, car carrier Schelde Highway, containership Bernard Schepers, ferry W.B Yeats and the large Ro/Ro Ysaline. A notable sighting was the utility vessel Fastnet Sound, southbound out of Dublin for her homeport of Waterford.
The sailing vessel Pelican of London anchored in the bay for a few hours on Friday morning, she weighed anchor around lunchtime to resume passage south for Waterford.
The CIL tender Granuaile was noted working on the South Codling Buoy on Sunday morning, work was completed before lunch and she was noted heading south.
49th Anniversary of tragic accident over Wicklow bay remembered
On the afternoon of 16 August 1970, a formation of replica biplanes accompanied by a film crew in an Alouette II helicopter arrived over Wicklow bay. The plan was to get some aerial scenes for a new movie in production called Zeppelin.
During the filming a biplane and the helicopter collided in view of many spectators watching from various locations around Wicklow. My earliest recollection on the pier is the sheer panic in the aftermath and people shouting to launch the lifeboat.
Sadly, the pilot of the biplane and the four occupants of the helicopter died that day. I remember a memorial mass was held on the Packet pier a few days later for the five men.
Monday 5 – Sunday 11 August 2019
Coaster callers to report this week included Eastern Vanquish, Ceg Galaxy, Alizee and Thea Marieke.
Visitors to the port included the beam trawler Bridget Carmel and historic lifeboat J.W Archer.
Traffic sightings in the bay included the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth – out of Dublin for Southampton. The bulker Sotka northbound for Dublin and the Ro/Ro Celine.
Wicklow Rowing Club hosted their Annual Regatta on the Bank Holiday Monday, the Men’s Senior Race was won by St Patrick’s, while the Wicklow Senior Ladies took line honour’s in their race.
Monday 29 July – Sunday 4 August 2019
No Coaster callers to report
Visitors to the port included the former Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat J.W Archer and Bridget Carmel.
Traffic sightings included Irish Ferries W.B Yeats, the containership Arx and the tanker Thun Lidkoping. The SL44 racing boat Allblack was noted southbound in the bay on Monday, the endurance racing powerboat is based at Arklow and operated by Allblack Racing team, who have set themselves a three-year goal of achieving 11 UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) offshore ocean endurance long distance and speed records.
Aviation traffic over the Wicklow Coast included the Tellus Survey Aircraft, Coast Guard S92 helicopter and an Air Corps CASA Maritime Patrol aircraft.
On Saturday 3rd August a ceremony took place at the Castle Wall, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a tragic accident at Wicklow harbour, which occurred at the Packet pier on the 3rd August 1969. Three occupants of a car sadly lost their lives, thankfully a fourth person survived, and she travelled to Wicklow today with her family for the memorial ceremony.
Relatives, friends and many local people including some who were present at the accident scene, gathered at the Castle wall at 5pm, for the blessing of a commemorative plaque, specially commissioned by the families to mark the 50th anniversary of the accident
Flowers and wreaths were placed by relatives at the plaque before Pat Brennan recited a poem, he wrote about the tragic accident. The ceremony concluded with local clergy blessing the plague, which overlooks the Packet pier.
Many residents of Castle Street including my parents still remember this sad event that took place over the August Bank Holiday 50 years ago today.
Monday 22 – Sunday 28 July 2019
Coaster callers included Liva Greta and Scot Leader.
Visitors to the port this week included the beam trawlers Bridget Carmel and Mary Kate.
Traffic noted in the bay included the work vessel James -northbound for Dun Laoghaire and the Dublin port tug Shacketon southbound for drydocking in Cork.
Monday 15 – Sunday 21 July 2019
Coaster callers this week included the Ceg Universe, Ceg Galaxy and Ceg Cosmos.
Visitors to the port this week were the Polish yacht Brego and the former Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat J.W Archer.
Traffic noted in the bay included the regular’s Peregrine, Ysaline, Schelde Highway and containership Arx. Notable sightings were the tanker Sc Chongqing and the recently built liner Spirit of Discovery.
Monday 8 – Sunday 14 July 2019
Coasters noted at Wicklow port this week included Crownbreeze, Ceg Universe and Isidor.
Traffic sightings noted were Irish Ferries W.B Yeats on the usual Dublin – Cherbourg run. The RNLI Severn class lifeboat 17-46 also went south to Rosslare from Dun Laoghaire. The tanker Bro Nordby was also noted heading south after a call at Dublin.
The liner Viking Sun was noted heading north for an early morning call at Dublin during the week, the larger liner Queen Vitoria was also visible offshore going south for Southampton after a cruise to Norway. Another liner, Seabourn Quest was also noted going south to Dunmore East after visiting Dublin.
Visitors to the port included the beam trawler Bridget Carmel, the former Wicklow RNLI 42’ Watson lifeboat J.W Archer and the Polish training yacht Brego.
Aerial Survey over Wicklow bay
DHC-6 Twin Otter survey aircraft (C-GSGF) was noted working over Wicklow bay on Tuesday. The aircraft is operated by the Canadian Sander Geophysics Ltd, who are carrying out the aerial survey on behalf of Geological Survey Ireland.
The survey is a national programme to gather geochemical and geophysical data across Ireland – in other words, to examine the chemical and physical properties of our soil, rocks and water. The aircraft operates at 60 metres over rural areas and will rise to 240 metres over urban areas. The project commenced in May and will continue up to late Autumn.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter has a top speed of 296km/h, a wingspan of 20 metres and is powered by 2 turbo prop Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines.
Air Corps AW139 helicopter ‘277’ carried out a medevac from a football pitch in Rathnew to a hospital in Dublin on Tuesday. When operating Aeromedical duties, the callsign AC112 is used. The service, a joint project between the HSE and the Defence Forces, means that NAS paramedics now have the assistance of a dedicated military helicopter for the rapid transfer of critical patients to the most suitable hospital. More details here
The Coast Guard Rescue helicopter based at Dublin (EI-ICG) carried out winch exercises with various ships in the bay during the week, on Tuesday it was noted working with Elbcarrier and W.B Yeats the following evening.
Three Air Corps helicopters took part in a Fire fighting exercise in the Wicklow mountains with Wicklow Fire Service on Tuesday. A report on the RTE TV teatime News showed AW139’s ‘274’ and ‘276’ deploy water on a simulated fire using bambi buckets, with EC135 ‘270’ providing support.
Monday 1 – Sunday 7 July 2019
Coaster callers at Wicklow port this week included Ceg Cosmos, Ceg Galaxy and Liv Greta.
Visitors to the port included the beam trawler Bridget Carmel and the former RNLI lifeboat Joseph Soar, it arrived for a short visit from Wexford on Monday morning, after attending the Wexford Maritime Festival over the weekend. The lifeboat moored alongside the East pier and has visited Wicklow on a couple of occasions in the last few years.
The swimming raft Wendy broke from its moorings in the harbour during the week and drifted ashore. It was quickly refloated and anchored again without any disruption for swimmers.
Harbourman Triathlon 2019 was held in the harbour on Sunday morning with well over 500 entries from all over Ireland. The annual event is organised by Wicklow triathlon Club.
The 70-foot UK registered yacht Vittfarne weighed anchor in the bay on Monday morning, and resumed passage north.
Traffic sightings in the bay included Irish Ferries W.B Yeats, working the Dublin – Cherbourg route. Ro/Ro ferry traffic included the Cobelfret operated Peregrine and the recently introduced Ysaline. These vessels maintain a weekly freight link between Dublin and mainland Europe.
The Dublin Airport based Coast Guard s92 helicopter (EI-ICG) was noted in the bay on a training flight on Sunday evening.
Notable sightings included the Sailing ship Pelican of London southbound out of Dublin on Tuesday afternoon, another sailing ship the Volharding built in 1886 was also noted heading north on Thursday afternoon, the vessel was recently acquired by Silvery Light Sailing, a Northern Ireland sailing charity who plan to base the Dutch Sailing Barge at Victoria dock, Newry. We last saw the barge in Wicklow bay during a 12-day delivery voyage from Maldon, Essex to Newry in early May.
Coaster traffic included the Ayress northbound on Friday after delivering a cargo of round timber to Rosslare.
The CIL tender Granuaile was noted working on the Breeches buoy north of Wicklow harbour on Saturday morning, before continuing south to anchor off Arklow the same evening.
There was plenty of aviation activity over Wicklow bay on Saturday as aircraft and helicopters took part in a annual charity event at Newcastle airfield.
The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland ‘Sea breeze’ steam special passed through Wicklow on Sunday shortly after Midday. The train hauled by No.85 Merlin was to run from Dublin Connolly to Rosslare Europort, unfortunately the steam locomotive failed at Gorey and 071 type diesel locomotive ‘074’ was dispatched from Dublin Connolly to haul the train back to Dublin under diesel power.