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Tom MacSweeney’s Weekly Maritime Blog July 17


The photograph above and the two following come from Irish diver Rory Golden who is taking part in the latest expedition mission to the Titanic wreck site in the North Atlantic, which he told us about on the last edition of the MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW, No.16, which you can also hear on this website if you have not listened already. Rory’s description of going down the site is wonderful to hear. He has been in touch from the mission to keep us informed about how things are going. And they are going well using the newest submersible in the world, which is pictured above. “The new breed of submersible” as he describes it, named Titan is being used in an “unforgiving and hostile environment.” Fine tuning, alterations and some repairs have been done after the first Mission – “We expect things to break..” says Rory…who reports that there were two memorial services held for those who died, where he read messages from Belfast Titanic Society and the Addergoole Titanic Society-   recalling the 11 passengers from Addergoole in North Mayo who did not survive. We’ll bring more information as it comes in from Rory.

TITAN on the surface in the North Atlantic above the Titanic wreck site. Photo from Rory Golden
An image from the seabed at the Titanic wreck site from Rory Golden and the submersible TITAN


It will be broadcast starting next Monday, July 19, on 18 Community Radio Stations around Ireland and on three Podcast services – Apple, Mixcloud and Spotify and can be heard here on this blog and website. Featuring wlll be the Chief Executive of WATERWAYS IRELAND with whom I will be discussing the future development of the waterways, of which there are 1,000 kilometres under the management of the organisation which is a cross-Border body covering the Republic and Northern Ireland. The inland waterways are a wonderful resource. I recall hiring a cruiser at Carrick-on-Shannon and, with the family, spending thoroughly enjoyable days on the Shannon proceeding along at a sedately pace and living life aboard…… There is a lot happening on these waterways, of which Ireland, North and South, has a thousand kilometres. Two of the major developments are the Shannon Tourism Masterplan, a ten-year framework…. Another is the restoration of the Ulster Canal and creating a Greenway there… I discussed these developments and the future of the waterways with John McDonagh and you can hear the interview on Monday’s edition of the programme and Podcast.


July 25 is the date for the first-ever ‘World Drowning Prevention Day’ and John Leech, Chief Executive of Water Safety Ireland is involved in its organisation and will reveal new statistics about drownings which show that,, despite a reduction in deaths, more men continue to die by drowning than women and that 29 suicides in Ireland were carried out by drowning last year. Worldwide there are 235,000 drownings every year, according to the United Nations.


Amongst my unpleasant sailing achievements and which I have no wish to repeat –  is being the ‘most capsized sailor’ in Dungarvan Harbour in County Waterford during a dinghy racing weekend many years ago, when I could still fit into a 12ft. dinghy. Twice, in two days, I capsized while gybing at the same mark, that’s when the mainsail boom has to be swung from one side of the boat to the other – which can be difficult in strong, gusty winds…. That experience came back to mind when Dungarvan Sailing Club Secretary, Joey Miller, called to tell me about their plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the club … that’s back on August the 2nd, 1946, at a meeting in the Town Hall. When passing through the County Waterford town, where the harbour partially dries out, I’ve noted when passing through the County Waterford town how well sailing has there, with an impressive clubhouse and a pontoon which can host visiting yachts. Joey Miller has been telling me about their celebration plans for this August Weekend, which you can hear on the programme and about their unique approach to record maritime history with the 75 years of the club. It’s a great location – though I’ve been very careful about capsizing in dinghies and never liked the experience!


Dublin Port’s latest cargo figures show a shift in trading patterns post-Brexit. Before Brexit two-third of freight moving out of Dublin went via British ports, now that number has dropped and freight is evenly divided and that includes trucks and containers, half going direct on shipping routes to Continental Europe and to now half to and via the UK.

And the Naval Service is planning to mark its 75th anniversary in September with fleet visits to Dublin and Cork Ports that month and Dun Laoghaire, Galway, Limerick and Waterford later in the year. They will be under the banner “Meet the Fleet – It’s Your Navy.”


Do keep in touch, Your contact is very important to develop the ‘maritime community’ in which everyone is welcome to join. email via the website or to:

Tom MacSweeney

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