From new ships and historic events to fond farewells and emergency relief in the Mediterranean. It’s been a busy and productive year for the men and women of the Irish Naval Service.
Here is the Irish Naval Service in 2016 – Let’s see how they got on.
The year began with the Rising remembered…
- CPO Damien Murphy of the Irish Naval Service reading the Proclamation during the presentation of the national flag and a copy of the 1916 Proclamation ceremony at Scoil Mhuire Lourdes Boys N.S., Carrigaline
…and a new ship was twinned with a historic town.
- The Port of Waterford was twinned with the L.É. James Joyce. The new offshore patrol vessel was commissioned in September 2015 and replaced decommissioned LÉ. Aoife which had previously been twinned with the historic maritime city.
The tough weather at the start of the year continued….
- Winds of Severe Gale 9 to Violent Storm 11 and Sea State Very High or Phenomenal with wave heights of 14 meters and wind speeds of up to 60 knots ( 110 km per hour).
…but so did the important work as well.
- LÉ James Joyce conducted boardings of Norwegian and Russian factory ships off the West Coast
Divers trained at night for missions ahead…
- The deep diving phase of diver training includes night diving, complex diver rescue drills, search techniques and use of salvage equipment
…and a new ship’s construction was completed.
- The William Butler Yeats, the third Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), was completed in Babcock, England. Read More
The naval service made a call for new recruits….
- The 2016 Officer Cadetship Competition was opened to applications
…and another crew headed off on a humanitarian mission.
- LÉ Róisín undertook a humanitarian search and rescue tasks in conjunction with the Italian authorities. It was part of ‘Operation Pontus’ – the Defence Force’s ongoing humanitarian mission to rescue people attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing by boat Read more
There were gunnery trials for one ship…
- L.É. James Joyce gunnery acceptance trials were conducted over the two days off the South Coast. The Trials were executed by a joint navy-army team and supported by Air Corps Maritime Squadron AW139 and LÉ Samuel Beckett.
….and straight to important work for another.
- LÉ Róisín successfully located and rescued a total of 125 migrants from a rubber craft north-east of Tripoli. This was the first search and rescue operation conducted by LÉ Róisín since she departed Ireland. Read More
We said farewell to a faithful servant…
…and the fleet conducted annual exercises.
- The Fleet carried out manoeuvres as part of its annual exercises off the old head of Kinsale, Co. Cork.
A brand new ship arrived in Cork…
- The Irish naval services’ new ship William Butler Yeats arrived into Cobh for the first time having departed the Devon coast the previous day. Read more.
..and the annual Defence Forces 10 Mile Road Race was run
Divers used their skills and conducted inspections…
- Naval service diving section conducted a ship-bottom search on behalf of Customs and Revenue. The divers are just visible under the draft markings.
…and the navy’s yacht saw good use training young people.
- The Navy’s Sail Training Yacht Creidne assisted in delivering a Sail Training Ireland voyage. Sail Training Ireland allows young people to experience the team-building and confidence inherent in sailing voyages. The Navy assists with this programme which has a particular importance since the sad loss of the beautiful brigantine, ASGARD II.
Heroes were honoured…
- Navy veterans from the LÉ Cliona were finally honoured for saving more than 80 lives on a burning ship in 1962. The ceremony took place aboard the L.É Niamh which was docked in the capital on Sir John Rogerson Quay. Read more
…and a maiden call into Dun Laoghaire was made.
The Irish Naval Service’s newest ship the LÉ William Butler Yeats sailed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on its maiden visit to Dublin’s historic maritime town. Read more
The vitally important work of Operation Pontus continued..
LÉ Samuel Beckett rescued 130 people during a search and rescue operation 22 miles off the Libya coast. Read more
and talk of a hospital ship as a new ship was commissioned.
- The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he supports plans to introduce a navy hospital ship which would respond to humanitarian emergencies worldwide (More about hospital ship). The comments were made as the LÉ William Butler Yeats was commissioned in Galway. (More about commissioning)
A close eye was kept on a super-trawler activity…
- The LÉ James Joyce, as part of their fishery protection patrol duties, conducted an inspection on board the super-trawler Margiris as it trawled off the Donegal coast. Read more
…and medals for outstanding work were awarded.
- The outstanding work by Defence Forces crews in the Mediterranean, as well as on other missions such as Sierra Leone was officially recognised when Minister Paul Kehoe presented the International Service Medal in Dun Laoghaire. Read more
A brilliant documentary about the Naval Service was broadcast…
- The documentary ‘The Crossing’ followed the crew of the LÉ Samuel Beckett for one month of their life-saving mission in the Mediterranean. The documentary shows the harrowing reality and incredible challenges the crew faced every day. A brilliant documentary: Watch it here.
…and there was a warm welcome home for those that had been away.
- L.É. Samuel Beckett returned home after her 3 month humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean. They had set off in September. Read more
All images used belong to the Irish Naval Service.