Tag Archives: lifejacket

DUKWs and lifejackets

On 31 October 2013 I mentioned the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s safety bulletin about the DUKW fire in London and the DUKW that sank in Liverpool. There is more on the London fire today with a Guardian report on proceedings at the London assembly’s Thames passenger boat investigation committee. The Guardian headline read …

Duck boat passengers not wearing lifejackets when jumping into Thames

… and the story reported the Maritime Coastguard Agency’s maritime safety and standards director as saying that wearing of lifejackets would not have been usual on “such boats” and that lifejackets were safely stowed above the seats. The story also said that

London Duck Tours’ managing director, John Bigos, said the Cleopatra had the required legal number of lifejackets on board and that it was company policy that lifejackets were not worn on tours. He went on: “We have our reasons for this (non-wearing) but they are not to do with commerciality.”

There is a different policy in Ireland, where the Dublin Viking Splash operation says

Lifejackets: At the water entry point, customers are required to put on a lifejacket after the driver delivers an outline about safety on the water. The lifejackets supplied by Viking Splash Tours are Solas and CE approved buoyancy aids […].

The point that strikes me is that, in both UK accidents, passengers had little time to don lifejackets and would have been trying to put them on in a confined space and under less than ideal conditions. It seems to me that Viking Splash’s policy is the right one.

Christmas caption competition

The usual prize of a glass of something or other [and I know the last two prizewinners still have a claim on me] for the best non-libellous caption for this photo, taken today at the launch of WI’s education programme for primary school children. I understand that the materials on WI’s e-learning page are complemented by “an off-line teachers resource pack”, which is what the besuited ones are clutching.

No lifejackets. Photo courtesy of Waterways Ireland, who are not to blame for my decision to use it for a caption competition

Starting at the back, the four chaps are Éanna Rowe, Waterways Ireland’s Marketing Honcho; John Martin, Heid Fector o’ Waterwyes Airlin [as we say in Ulster Scots]*; Ruairi Quinn, Minister for Education and Skills; Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht but, on the other hand, a strong personal supporter of the Lartigue Monorail, which is a point in his favour.

Update 4 December 2012: the press release is now on the WI site.

* In its 2008 Annual Report, Waterways Ireland was, in Ulster Scots, Watterweys Airlann on the cover but Watterwyes Irelan in the Foreward bae the Cheif [sic] Executive, who signed himself as Chief [sic] Executive. By 2009, though it was still Watterweys Airlann on the cover, it was Waterwyes Airlan in the Foreward bae the Chief [sic] Executive, who signed himself as Heid Fector, a title I rather like. By 2010, though the cover remained unchanged as Watterweys Airlann, the body was Watterwyes Airlan in the Foreward, but the Heid Fector title had been dropped, alas, and John Martin was Chief Executive in two languages.

But 2008 was not the Heid Fector’s first appearance: in 2007 John Martin signed himself thus, though the foreword was called Twarthy words bae tha heid yin and the body was referred to in the text as Wattherweys [sic] Irelan.

Back in 2006, the foreword was Innin wi tha Heid Fector, and the body was Watterweys Airlann, with an accent, which I can’t reproduce, over the first e. That was the same as in 2005; in both years John Martin signed himself as Heid Fector.

I’m not sure whether I prefer Heid Yin or Heid Fector, but either seems better than Chief or Cheif Executive. But the real problem is the difficulty that this inconsistency causes for us eager students of Ulster Scots. I realise that change is inevitable in a thriving, developing language or dialect, but perhaps the cross-border bodies could give a lead in standardising the vocabulary and spelling.

Issalon kwahi *

Watery news from the Guardian.

That is, of course, the Nenagh Guardian, not that other provincial stalwart the Manchester Guardian.

Four items in the issue of 2 June 2012 caught my eye.

First, the members of the Nenagh Canoe Club have been cleaning up … the Nenagh River, a laudable endeavour.

Second, a community project in Ballina (Killaloe’s oppo) “will see a new jetty with a thirty-year lease built on the site of the old Lakeside Marina”. The paper says that …

[…] Jim Watkins, Eoin Little and Cllr Phyll Bugler of “The Friends of the Lake” have now initiated a project, which will be funded by Leader.

I have no idea what it’s for; I would welcome more information about the project and about the Friends of the Lake, whereof I know nothing.

Third, the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group (which god preserve), which is coordinated by the  Mid West Regional Authority (who knew?), is holding meetings about signposts. What would be really nice, though, would be if the MWRA took down the pic in its header showing adults and children in an open boat without lifejackets.

Finally, there’s a story about a proposed “fountain auditorium” planned for Birdhill [which was on the old N7, between Nenagh and Limerick, being chiefly famous for winning Tidy Towns competitions and being home to Matt the Threshers pub and eatery]. The “fountain auditorium” was, for reasons that are not entirely clear, to be a temporary operation, running until the end of 2016. It was to be located in a warehouse on the Shannonside Business Park (which is some miles from the Shannon).

The fountain auditorium was to have a pool 20m X 8m and “fountains capable of pumping water 9m into the air through more than 150 rotating nozzles”. The article says that

The proposed development is to serve as a tourist attraction centring on a fountain auditorium, in which audiences would be treated to pre-recorded shows marrying features of water, sound and synchronised lighting. The shows would have a “welcome to Lough Derg” theme, and the centre would provide visitors with information on the likes of walking and cycling routes, accommodation options, and food establishments, together with information on the history of Lough Derg.

It is not clear whether the words “fountain auditorium, in which” mean that the audience would be sitting in the pool or around it. The site was to have a “gift shop and café”. It expected to have 25,000 visitors in 2012 and 40,000 by 2016, after which it would move to permanent purpose-built premises with “a more comprehensive exhibition on Lough Derg”.

Alas! The proposed widening of the R494 road from Birdhill to Ballina, to serve the new bridge over the Shannon, would mean the loss of the space on which visitors’ coaches were to be parked. So, although the project received conditional planning permission on 16 May 2012, the promoters, Glance Promotions Ltd, withdrew their application shortly afterwards. However, that does at least suggest that they were not having any problem in providing the funding, which is good to hear in these difficult times.

* The relevance of the title of this piece will be clear to the many admirers of the oeuvre of the 4th Baron St Oswald.