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Articles: Newsletter Archives

The Coastguard Cutter Vol4 No1
January 2006:
At the beginning of a New Year we would like to send Best Wishes to our Readers and to Coastguard Organisations Worldwide. A monthly magazine called "Ryde Beacon", published in the Isle of Wight, England, was sent to me recently. It contained an extremely interesting account of the shipwreck of the SS Eider on the 23rd. January 1892 at Atherfield and the saving of 379 people on board. There was also an article on "Ryde Coastguard Station" contributed by Tony Gale.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No12
December 2005:
We are approaching the end of the year and have gathered some flotsam and jetsam from the sea of life to entertain you. I would like to thank you for your help during the year and we look forward to the New Year.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No11
November 2005:
The majority of Coastguards in Ireland were on an Island away from home. Contacts with relatives would have been extremely difficult. This placed a lot of families under stress and strain. The Coastguard and his family were under Navy discipline and his work was onerous and dangerous. Many Coastguard wives watched in terror on the beaches as their husbands battled with the fury of the sea. Stress is not a modern invention, it was always there in the background.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No10
October 2005:
In late Victorian times many people thought that Coastguard duty was an easy chore for sailors based on land. Although the reduction of taxes on spirits and tobacco in the 1850's had reduced smuggling to a large degree, the Coastguards still had onerous duties around the coasts. Many in the service had very active careers behind them before taking up Coastguard posts.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No9
September 2005:
Although they worked long and arduous hours the Coastguards seemed to have hours which they dedicated to other pursuits. Gardening was one of their major hobbies but they had other ways in using their spare time.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No8
August 2005:
Although the Coastguards were essentially a land based force their previous Naval service and yearly refresher exercises made them very proud of their coast-patrol ships and cutters. These vessels also kept them in touch with Headquarters in Dublin and also supplied them with with food and necessities at their lonely out-posts.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No7
July 2005:
Off duty the Coastguard could tend his little plot of land and provide fresh vegetables for his family. He could enjoy the company of his wife and children. Women played an important part in the home and also in the case of Elizabeth Fry with her desire to furnish his home with books to while the hours away or to learn of other countries. In times of danger at sea women were as ready as men to lend a helping hand in rescue.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No6
June 2005:
Lifesaving or following in fathers foot-steps. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. Members of the Coastguard families would have been quite aware of the ferocity of a violent sea on their doorsteps. This does not seem to have deterred them in any way from rushing to the aid of distressed persons at sea.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No5
May 2005:
There were many records of life-saving by men of the Coastguard stations. A small number were awarded medals for their acts of heroism, many were not. This did not deter these men from continuing acts of bravery in aid of their fellow brothers of the sea.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No4
April 2005:
The Coastguard Service took part in many humanitarian deeds as is stated in the reports of the Flooding in Bray, County Wicklow in 1905.This is only one of many tasks undertaken by them to assist the local people in the neighbourhood of their stations.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No3
March 2005:
In the nineteenth century Fairy Tales generally started thus, "Once upon a time there was a young girl, etc." but this was not a Fairy Tale but a story of the bravery of Grace Darling and her father, keeper of the Longstone Lighthouse in saving the lives of nine passengers of the 'Forfarshire'. This was a brave well executed rescue in which Grace played a major part, she was no more than five foot tall and not strong, she died only a few years later of consumption at the age of twenty-six. The nation went overboard for Grace Darling, well known artists queued up outside the Lighthouse to paint her portrait...

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No2
February 2005:
A little bit of bad news just arrived from Ballyheigue, Co.Kerry. It seems that a small private Maritime Museum has closed due to lack of support. This is very unfortunate as the old Curracloe Coastguard Station Rocket Cart, in very fine condition, was housed there and I wonder what its future will be. A missing link to the past as it was used till recent years in many rescue attempts.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No1
January 2005:
This is the third year during which we hope the Coastguard Cutter, the "Lady Margaret" will continue to bring you items of interest from the stations that circled our Irish coast till 1922. While we will be delving into the past, may we be allowed today, to look into the future.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol2 No12
December 2004;
We will take a little time to look back at the past before we move on to next year. The Coastguards of yesteryear lived in a different world. Yesterday has fond memories for all but no one can live in the past.

The Coastguard Cutter Vol2 No11
November 2004:
Life on the islands off the West shore of Ireland can only be described as harsh. On the Aran Islands, as like some of the others hereabouts, there are no trees, only low growing shrubs like the spindle tree, hawthorn and hazel. The Islanders have painstakingly created fields by piling layers of sand and seaweed on top of crushed rock. Seaweed, known as the black weed, was used as fertiliser. Scraping a meagre livelihood from farming and fishing to put food on the table left no time to look on Coastguards and Police with friendly eyes so they dodged the Law whenever they could. Illicit Poitin (aka Poteen) making became a cottage industry.