Harbour highlights showcased in event

ONE of the world’s finest harbours celebrated all it has to offer at the weekend.

Dozens of events took place across Cork Harbour on Saturday as part of an open day event designed to showcase its wide range of both on and off-water amenities.

Among the highlights was the World Rescue Challenge involving up to 300 firefighters from around the world.

They took part in various extrication challenges at the Port of Cork’s North Custom House Quay in an event which challenges emergency service personnel and raises awareness of the global problem of road death and injury. It is the first time the event has been held in Ireland.

The Irish Navy’s LÉ Aoife berthed at Horgan’s Quay and was open to the public.

And Dreamer, the fastest rigid inflatable boat (RIB) in Ireland, was on show at the Port of Cork city marina where RNLI crew members offered free sea-safety checks on life-jackets.

The 10-metre RIB, which was built by Gale Force Ventures in Carrigaline and which can reach a speed of 65 knots, is owned by Phillip Fitzgibbon from Co Kerry.

He holds the record for the fastest time round Ireland in a RIB – a time he hopes to beat in a new craft.

Cobh Tourism held a crab-fishing event along the town’s promenade and free tours of Spike Island were available. The annual Cobh-to-Blackrock sailing event also took place.

A farmers’ market was held in Crosshaven; Camden Fort as well as Crosshaven RNLI Station were open to the public and Blackrock Castle Observatory held free public tours. And Atlantic Sea Kayaking offered two-for-one deals on trips down the Lee.

The idea for a harbour open-day emerged from discussions between stakeholders involved in developing and implementing the Integrated Strategy for the Harbour, which was completed in May 2008.

A group comprising representatives from UCC, the Port of Cork, and the city and county councils coordinated the strategy.

Fine Gael TD Deirdre Clune the open day provides a “great opportunity for the people of Cork to see all the wonderful amenities along the Cork coastline”.

She also said the strategy highlights the need for those involved in the development and use of the harbour area to develop a greater appreciation for its value.

* www.corkharbour.ie

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