Appeal for artefacts as Courtmacsherry RNLI recalls the tragic sinking of the ‘Lusitania’

 The sinking of the  ‘Lusitania’ by a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale, 1915.  Image: Three Lions/Getty Images

The sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ by a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale, 1915. Image: Three Lions/Getty Images

 

Courtmacsherry RNLI Lusitania Centenary Committee is appealing for artefacts, stories and memorabilia to be part of an exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania off the Cork coast in 1915.

They are also calling on family members of those lost or saved in the tragedy to contact them to share their stories, which will then be compiled and included in the exhibition.

The commemoration will be held on the May bank holiday weekend 2015 with the centrepiece being a Lusitania exhibition in the lifeboat station and other local venues.

Courtmacsherry lifeboat responded to the tragedy and to coincide with the exhibition, the crew will re-enact the call to service and row out to the site of the disaster.

Operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “We are making this call early so that people can see if they have any memorabilia or stories they would like to be part of this exhibition.”

The Lusitania was a British ocean liner and briefly the world’s biggest ship. On May 7th, 1915, on passage from New York, she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of more than 1,200 lives.

Courtmacsherry lifeboat Ketzia Gwilt, under coxswain Timothy Keohane and 14 crew, was tasked to respond to reports of a large four funnel steamer in distress south west of the Seven Heads. However, in calm conditions, the sails were of no use, so the distance of over 12 nautical miles had to be rowed.

Meanwhile, the station has taken part in a BBC documentary to be presented by renowned journalist, author and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman to commemorate the centenary of the first World War.

The sinking of the Lusitania was a significant event in drawing the US into the war. The documentary is due to be aired in spring 2014. Anyone with information or memorabilia can contact lusitaniacentenary@gmail.com. All artefacts will be returned.

The September issue of the Atlantic Salmon Trust’s newsletter makes for interesting reading, particularly in relation to promoting alternative technologies for salmon farming. The argument over the validity of international research – published by the Royal Society in 2012 on the subject of farming amplified sea lice impacts on wild Atlantic salmon – has now ended.

“Statements from authors of the paper remove the last vestiges of doubt by pointing out that the data are facts and, while others may hold different opinions, there is no room for argument as far as the integrity of conclusions of the research is concerned,” the newsletter said.

The trust can therefore move forward to find effective methods of establishing a biological firewall between wild fish and the salmon aquaculture-generated parasite, Lepeoptheirus salmonis.

During the month, research director Prof Ken Whelan attended a summit meeting in West Virginia, organised by the Freshwater Institute and Atlantic Salmon Federation, to update participants on technologies for land-based salmon grow-out using freshwater recirculation systems.

With at least one salmon- farming company operating a commercial model in Canada, and other companies in Europe and elsewhere close to establishing commercial production units, it seems there is a sea- change going on in the salmon aquaculture world. (Full report in next news-letter.)

“Some of Britain’s fisheries need restocking – not with fish but with a netful of better management,” according to the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM). To meet the need, new courses for those seeking to switch careers includes a one-year certificate – £380 (€449) – and two-year degree level diploma – £900 (€1,064), recognised by the Open University.

“The IFM is proud of its training which for more than 30 years has started many students on their first steps into the industry.” IFMs Ian Wellby said. Students may register at ifm.org.uk.

When invasive species become established they cause significant damage to fresh-water ecosystems and fish populations. Next to habitat loss, invasive species are considered the greatest threat to native biodiversity.

Anglers play a vital role in protecting the native fish stocks and waterways. In this context, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Institute of Technology, Sligo, are looking for anglers to take a short online questionnaire called “Angling and invasive species”. Further details at info@fisheriesireland.ie.


*angling@irishtimes.com