Canadian navigation buoy washes up in Clare

Canadian navigation buoy washes up in Clare


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

A massive navigation buoy, believed to have drifted across the Atlantic from Canada, has washed up in Co Clare the second such incident in the county this year.

The green rusted buoy was discovered on Friday morning on the beach at Seafield near Quilty.

The buoy, which is estimated to be about 3m high/2m wide structure weighs several tonnes. The words “Transport Canada” can be clearly seen welded into the buoy while other letters and numbers are harder to identify.

Massive chains attached to the underneath to help keep such buoys in a given location appear to have broken away while the upper pylon, estimate to be another 3m high, is also missing.

The Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island was notified of the discovery and sent volunteers from the Kilkee unit to investigate.

The words ‘Transport Canada’ can be seen welded onto the structure – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Clare County Council was also alerted however, as the buoy is on the beach, it’s expected the local authority will assume responsibility for its safe recovery.

Transport Canada has also been advised of the discovery however its marine division has yet to comment on the matter.

The buoy could have represented a danger to small craft or even larger vessels if they had collided with it. It appears however that the buoy drifted thousands of kilometres across the ocean with incident before washing up at Seafield.

Last April, another Canadian buoy was recovered from the sea just 10kms from this latest discovery. The 5m high/2m wide buoy, weighing several tonnes, was discovered drifting in Pulleen Bay between Kilkee and Doonbeg. Its chains and upper pylon were still attached.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

In July 2015, a suspicious object washed up at Spanish Point just a few kilometres north of where Friday’s discovery was made.

A section of the beach was sealed off as a precaution while photos of the tank-like object were sent to Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts in Cork.

Measuring 15 feet (4.5m) cylindrical tank, with a diameter of a metre and rounded at both ends, was found on Spanish Point beach. Authorities later confirmed they believed it to be a pontoon that broke free of its moorings although its still now known where it originated.

Irish Coast Guard members at the scene at Spanish Point in July 2015 – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The object was later safely removed from the beach by Clare County Council.