“Bob The Buoy” retires ashore to Valentia Island


The O'Connell family from Co Kerry check out the new resident, Bob the Buoy, who has recently retired on Valentia Island_photo Wendy Bleming, Valentia Light House.

Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point is delighted to announce the arrival of a new resident. After over 20 years of dedicated service in Irish waters as part of the Marine Institute national weather buoy network (www.marine.ie.databuoy), the affectionately named “Bob the Buoy” will see out his retirement as a permanent resident on Valentia.

Bob was a hard working Buoy, having withstood countless storms, reporting hourly weather observations to the Irish Meteorological Service, Met Eireann and European partners. Bob will now enjoy his retirement on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry. Visitors can check out Bob’s new home at the Lighthouse at Cromwell Point where they can avail of the unique opportunity to get a closer insight into our Marine Navigation and safeguarding history.

The Lighthouse Committee have worked closely with the Marine Institute to ensure his journey to his new home is a smooth one. Paul Duff, Lighthouse Committee Member said “Weather Buoys are a fundamental aspect of our maritime history, and it is our hope that “Bob” will emphasise this in his new location here, on Valentia, the most extreme South Westerly Point of Europe. It is fitting that he should be placed here, and we look forward to incorporating him into our visitor experience”.

Lighthouse Committee Chairman, Brian Morgan added, “This is such a fantastic artefact. It is our hope that we can reinstate “Bob”, a working retirement if you like, in order for us to provide a weather feed which we can share through our community, and lighthouse network, utilising the available technology, but we will let him settle in first!”

Dr Guy Westbrook from the Marine Institute said: We are delighted at the Marine Institute that ‘Bob the Buoy’ will see out his retirement at Valentia Lighthouse giving members of the public an insight into the Irish Weather Buoy Network. Designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland, the buoy network provides vital data for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.”