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Displaying items by tag: Portrush

#NorthCoast - Ireland's North Coast – one of the island's emerging surfing hotspots – was the big winner at the 2016 OutdoorNI Awards, as the Coleraine Times reports.

A third of the accolades presented on the night went to activities and locations around the Portrush coastal region, as voted on by the public.

Among them was the song for Best Coastal Experience, awarded to Troggs surf school in Portrush – while the Causeway Coast & Glens was named Best Adventure Destination for its abundance of opportunities not just for surfing and sea kayaking but also hiking and coasteering.

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#RNLI - Portrush RNLI had their first two callouts of 2016 in quick succession yesterday today (Sunday 10 January).

The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was first launched around 2.30pm following reports of kayakers in difficulty at Kinnego Bay in Donegal.

The weather conditions at the time were difficult as the wind was in a northwesterly direction. Sea conditions were rough and it was bitterly cold.

Fortunately, before the lifeboat and its volunteer crew reached Kinnego Bay, Greencastle Coastguard reported that they had located the kayakers and were transporting them back to safety.

Less than an hour after returning to base, Portrush RNLI had their second call out of 2016, and the ALB was launched at 4pm to reports of a boat in difficulty at Benone Beach.

The weather conditions were difficult as the wind was in a southwesterly direction; sea conditions were moderate but the wind chill made it bitterly cold.

The search continued for some two hours with the coastguard combing the beach and a helicopter deployed to assist. The crew searched an area ranging from Benone beach over to Greencastle and Shrove off the Donegal Coast.

However, with the light failing rapidly and no sign of either a boat or persons in the water, the search was stood down for the night.

Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "We couldn’t believe that we received another call out so soon after our first one of 2016, but once again the crew responded without hesitation. Our volunteers are always ready to go when the pager goes off, even on a bitter January afternoon.

"We searched the designated area for nearly three hours in very cold conditions. This is exactly the type of situations our volunteer crew are trained to do."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Rescue - RNLI lifeguards assisted two stand-up paddle boarders on Whiterocks beach in Portrush on Saturday (11 July) during strong offshore winds.

Senior RNLI lifeguard Bosco McAuley spotted two people in difficulty at 3.40pm approximately 100 metres out to sea within the lifeguards flagged patrol zone on the beach.

The two women were both on stand-up paddle boards when they got caught off guard by a strong offshore wind. Weather conditions were described as overcast and windy at the time, with about 1-2 foot of surf.

After observing the situation, McAuley asked his RNLI lifeguard colleagues Bruce Traill and Ali Boyd to assist. Traill quickly put on his RNLI rescue watercraft kit while Boyd launched the jetski into the water.

McAuley then proceeded to the two paddle boarders and assisted them safely back to shore before going back to retrieve the two paddle boards.

"Offshore winds during the summer season can cause issues on the beaches, when these situations arise we are on scene and can quickly deal with them to ensure the public’s safety," said McAuley after the rescue.

RNLI supervisor Tim Doran added: "Anyone who gets into difficulty the water should try to remain calm, raise their arm and signal for help. Our lifeguards are well trained when it comes to spotting people in danger in the water and are quick to respond."

With numbers on the beaches expected to increase for the July holidays this week, Doran reminded people to be mindful of the RNLI’s key safety advice – particularly for those planning to use the water.

"If you are planning on visiting a beach this summer, choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which mark the safest area to swim and are an indicator that lifeguards are on duty.

"If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call on the help of a lifeguard or dial 999 and ask for the coastguard."

Published in Rescue

#Portrush - RNLI lifeguards on Northern Ireland's north coast who spotted a suspicious object in the sea on Thursday afternoon (2 July) recovered an old sofa that had been dumped in the water.

Senior lifeguard Bosco McAuley and lifeguards Bruce and Shane Traill were patrolling Whiterocks Beach in Portrush around 2pm on Thursday when they spotted something in the water 150m from the shore.

The lifeguards, who couldn’t tell what was in the water using their binoculars, immediately launched their rescue water craft and made their way to the scene to investigate.

Weather conditions at the time were very good as around 200 people were enjoying the sunshine on the beach.

The lifeguards soon discovered that the object was an old sofa which had been dumped into the sea. On recovering the item out of the water and away from public harm, the lifeguards proceeded to put the sofa on one of their trucks and safely disposed of it.

"While on one hand it might appear quite funny that we launched and recovered an old sofa from the sea, it is important to point out that our lifeguards, who are highly skilled and trained, acted in good faith responding swiftly when they noticed something unusual in the water," said RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran.

"We would always encourage visitors to the beach to alert us or phone the coastguard should they notice anything suspicious. We would always rather investigate the incident to find it is a sofa and all is well than not know and then discover too late that someone is in difficulty."

Doran added: "Our lifeguards will deal with a variety of incidents over the summer period and while I hope this will be one of the fewer types of instances, it does highlight the vigilance they show to keep our beaches safe."

Published in Coastal Notes

#Surfing - Two enterprising surfing brothers are one step closer to a £50,000 business grant from Virgin boss Richard Branson.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Ricky and Chris Martin secured enough votes through the online 'Pitch to Rich' campaign to come first out of 897 businesses in the initial round.

And if they make it through to the final, they could present their Skunk Works Surfboards company to Branson himself, with the chance to persuade him to back their idea.

The Portrush brothers were profiled earlier this year for making the most of Ireland's growing thirst for surfing with their key concept - a custom method for manufacturing much more durable foam surfboards, or 'foamies'.

Already the duo have a manufacturing set-up in place and orders for 200 boards on the books.

But Ricky Martin, who also owns the Alive Surf School in Portrush, says pitching to Branson "could ultimately change how we do things".

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#RNLI - Portrush RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew held their annual SOS Day swim on Saturday 31 January.

SOS Day is the annual RNLI crew fundraising day and stations all over the country host innovative and novel ways of fundraising incorporating the SOS initials.

Supporters of Portrush RNLI jumped into the sea at Portrush Harbour and swam round the all-weather lifeboat William Gordon Burr.

It was a bitterly cold day, but many supporters tuned up either to jump, cheer or provide warm blankets for the swimmers when they emerged from the sea.

"This is a fun event that involves our crew, fundraisers, and a great local crowd who turn out irrespective of the weather to support the volunteer lifeboat crew," said coxswain Des Austin.

"The crew themselves take part and their colleagues are on standby to give them a friendly push and also to haul them in at the end of the swim."

The crew also took time to thank Portrush Yacht Club for providing showers for the event and the venue for the après swim, as well as the RNLI lifeguards and local coastguard team who provided safety cover for the day.

After the event, presided over by James Heaney, chair of the lifeboat management group, everyone was treated to homemade soup and sandwiches in Portrush Yacht Club – plus some special SOS cupcakes.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#rnli – Red Bay and Portrush RNLI lifeboat launched in challenging conditions this morning to aid in search for missing woman on the North Coast of Ireland.

In freezing conditions both Red Bay and Portrush RNLI lifeboat crews launched to take part in an intensive search for a missing woman in her thirties. The two lifeboats carried out a search in freezing winds and heavy swells to try and local the missing woman. The lifeboats were launched at 9.20am and joined both the PSNI and local coastguard in a huge agency search.

The lifeboat crews concentrated their search in the Ballycastle and North Antrim coast area. After three hours the woman was located inland by the PSNI and the search was stood down.

Commenting on the Sunday morning callout Red Bay RNLI helm Paddy McLaughlin said 'Conditions were challenging this morning and we are relieved that the missing woman has been found safe.

We would advise people to always tell another person where they are going and that if they are concerned for someone's welfare to make contact with the emergency services. Please also take care around the coastline as the recent weather makes conditions unpredictable.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Summer certainly hit Ireland's North Coast with a bang this week as temperatures topped 27 degrees, and the volunteer crew of Portrush RNLI experienced one of their busiest weeks.

On Monday 21 July, the all-weather lifeboat William Gordon Burr was launched to a motor cruiser at Lough Foyle that had run foul of a chain of lobster pots.

The crew deployed the Y boat off the lifeboat to try to free the ropes from the propeller. The mission was successfully accomplished and the cruiser sailed off to Greencastle to get checked out.

Next out was the inshore lifeboat David Roulston (Civil Service No 52), which had two callouts on Wednesday 23 July, the first around 11am to a small boat who got into difficulty at Dunluce Castle.

Luckily for the boat, a local fisherman arrived on scene at the same time as the lifeboat and towed the boat to Portballintrae.

The next callout was at 9pm, and again another local boat assisted with the small boat who had got into difficulty.

On Thursday morning at 5am, the crew of the all-weather lifeboat were paged once again. This time it was a callout to Ballycastle to assist with the search of a young person who was reported missing.

The coastguard helicopter was deployed and they soon located the young female who was successfully airlifted to hospital.

"So far this has been one of our busiest seasons as we have experienced an unprecedented good summer so our volunteer crew have been kept working," said Judy Nelson, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Portrush RNLI.

"We love to see people coming to Portrush to take advantage of everything the North Coast has to offer, but would ask people to exercise caution when on the beach.

"The RNLI Lifeguards are on patrol on all the beaches and are delighted to offer advice to visitors about safe bathing. The RNLI website will also give all the advice you need, whether it is about swimming, kayaking, surfing or boating."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#Lifeboats - Portrush RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was launched on Saturday 5 July to reports of kayakers in difficulty at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

Although the sun was shining and it seemed like a good day for kayaking, the weather conditions at sea were choppy with a southwesterly wind that picked up what described as a 'freak wave' that capsized the group.

Two of the kayakers ended up on the rocks at Carrick-a-Rede and the coastguard rescue team were deployed to pick them up while the Portrush lifeboat stood by to offer safety assistance.

Two of the kayaking party who tried to make it back to base were found struggling as the tide changed, and were picked up by the Portrush all-weather crew along with their kayaks.

The party and their kayaks were then transported safely back to Portrush Harbour, where the kayakers disembarked. The whole operation took approximately three hours.

Portrush RNLI had a visiting coxswain on board, Anthony Barclay from Moelfre Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, North Wales.

One of Portrush’s previous lifeboats, Richard Evans, was named after one of the RNLI’s greatest heroes, a holder of two RNLI gold medals for bravery who also hailed from Moelfre.

Barclay said: "It was a privilege to cox the Portrush lifeboat today, and myself and the crew were pleased to have brought the kayakers safely back to Portrush Harbour."

In other news from Portrush, lifeboat chair James Heaney and operations manager Robin Cardwell were presented with a lovely gift from Dorma Healey and her son Steven recently.

On behalf of the station, they accepted a silver medal belonging to Dorma's father Sam Cunningham, ex-coxswain of the Portrush Lifeboat.

The medal was awarded to Cunningham for his outstanding seamanship in the rescue of a number of Greek seamen on the ship Argo Delos, which had run aground just off Malin Head on 2 October 1960.

The rescue was long and difficult in very rough weather, and the lifeboat was on service for over 14 hours.

In all 14 lives were saved thanks to the dedicated volunteer crew of the lifeboat. Each crew member received a ‘Thanks on Vellum’ from the RNLI and special tribute, with each of the crew also receiving an engraved silver tankard in recognition from the Royal Navy's HMS Leopard, which had also helped in the rescue.

Dorma Healy was delighted to present her father's medal to the station. This medal is unique in that it comes with an identical miniature silver medal, which was presented to Cunningham’s wife Dorothy.

For this rescue, the second coxswain at that time, Robert McMullan, also received a bronze medal for his courage displayed during the rescue.

This bronze medal is also displayed in the lifeboat station and was presented by his son Robert, also coxswain of the Portrush lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - HM Coastguard has issued a safety warning over dangerous riptides along Northern Ireland's north coast this week after strong currents claimed one life and put two others at risk.

BBC News reports on the death of 25-year-old Stephen Pentony, who got into difficulty while bodyboarding off the popular surfing hotspot of Portrush in Co Antrim last Friday 16 May.

"These waters are known for rip currents," said Coleraine coastguard Chris Little, who said they "can be a very frightening experience".

Meanwhile, the Londonderry Sentinel has news of a lucky escape for two others in nearby Benone on the same day.

The two men were pulled out to sea on their personal water craft after it malfunctioned, but they managed to reach the shore with some difficulty.

One of the men was later treated in hospital.

Published in Water Safety
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