Displaying items by tag: Northern Ireland
Rollout of the normal seasonal lifeguard service was halted at the end of March due to the measures put in place by the Northern Ireland Executive to control the spread of Coronavirus.
Despite the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the charity will be running a restricted lifeguard service on some Northern Ireland beaches. However, this service will not be starting until later in June.
“As we move to a gradual relaxing of restrictions as advised by the Northern Ireland Executive and we experience the good weather, we expect many people to be eager to visit the coast,” said Karl O’Neill, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor.
“We ask those who are visiting beaches to continue to be aware of the inherent dangers and to avoid taking risks.
“The RNLI’s water safety campaign is advising people to keep their family safe when they are at the coast, avoid using inflatables and if they see anyone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”
Anyone planning a visit to the coast should remember and follow RNLI safety advice:
- Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage.
- Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water.
- Don’t allow your family to swim alone.
- Don’t use inflatables.
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
- In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the coastguard.
- The RNLI’s safety information can be found at rnli.org/safety/beach-safety
RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew in Northern Ireland remain on call and are expecting to see an increase in callouts as the good continues and lockdown restrictions gradual ease.
The charity that saves lives at sea appeals to the public to please take extra care and follow water safety advice.
Earlier this week, RNLI chief executive Mark Dowrie published an open letter saying that England’s relaxing of lockdown rules without prior consultation with the charity had put it “in an impossible situation” with regard to its provision of lifesaving services.
The incident on the Grange River in Co Derry on Thursday 21 May affected a significant stretch of water near the village of Desertmartin, according to a local angling club.
It’s understood that the spillage originated from an over-ground slurry tank, but the circumstances are still being investigated.
The incident comes just weeks after anglers in Co Armagh expressed anger at the killing of more than 1,000 wild brown trout by pollution in the Glenavy River.
Two years after his dream of a riverboat barge on the River Bann was lost to the Irish Sea, a Northern Ireland marina owner is making plans for Ireland’s first floating hotel, as Belfast Live reports.
Seamus Carey, who owns the Cranagh Marina Complex, has filed a planning application for a 70-metre barge he’s found in Norway which he intends to renovate into three-star accommodation with 36 cabins, a restaurant and function room.
He said “surge” in visitor numbers at his marina complex before the Covid-19 lockdown moved him to reflect his plans — which initially sank with the loss of the Mississippi-style paddle steamer MV Oliver Cromwell off the North Wales coast in May 2018.
Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.
Following more easing of Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Northern Ireland Executive, plans are being made by Waterways Ireland to reopen its navigations north of the border — the Erne System, Lower Bann and on the Shannon-Erne Waterway — to boating from next Friday 29 May.
The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it is working to roll out health and safety procedures and protocols to ensure the safe return of both staff and boaters to these navigations.
Private boaters undertaking short trips on the water, as permitted under the new restrictions, are reminded to proceed with caution as navigations and their facilities have not been fully maintained since lockdown began in late March.
“It will take time to reopen the above navigations,” Waterways Ireland said in a statement. “We expect they will reopen on May 29th.
“Waterways Ireland’s locks and service blocks will remain closed in line with the five-step roadmap to recovery [in Northern Ireland]. We recognise the situation is constantly changing.”
It added that updates prior to reopening will be made via marine notices, on the Waterways Ireland website and via social media channels.
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) yesterday welcomed to the return of boating to Lough Erne with a list of recommendations to keep everyone safe on the water.
Alliance’s John Blair was responding to the decision by DAERA Minister Edwin Poots to allow the gradual reopening of public fisheries to local anglers from tomorrow, Monday 18 May as part of Northern Ireland’s ‘roadmap to recovery’ plan.
The move, which comes two weeks after a limited return to fisheries began in the Republic, has been welcomed by angling representatives in the North.
But Blair says the announcement “came out of the blue” and has left “major questions” to be answered over maintaining the health and safety of both anglers and fisheries staff.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
Anglers are individually responsible for compliance with their government’s advice and guidance. Anglers should keep up to date with the latest advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland.
Loughs Agency offices remain closed and the normal licence distributor network is also still under lockdown conditions. Therefore, anyone wishing to purchase a licence should do so through the elicence website.
For anglers requesting carcass tags when they purchase a licence online, these will be posted to your address. Anglers should take this into account when purchasing.
For anglers purchasing a Loughs Agency endorsement licence, please ensure you have already purchased a full season licence or concession licence from DAERA or a full season or district licence from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Loughs Agency carryout checks with our colleagues in DAERA and IFI to validate licence purchases.
If you require a Loughs Agency permit for Foyle, Finn or Greenbraes, please contact the Loughs Agency on +44 (0) 2871 342100 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).
Illegal fishing or pollution concerns can be reported through the Loughs Agency’s Waterwatch reporting tool online or through the 24-hour response line on +44 (0) 2871 342100.
If you require any further assistance, call the Loughs Agency at the above number during normal weekday office hours or email [email protected]
Anglers in Co Antrim have expressed their anger after more than 1,000 wild brown trout were killed in a pollution incident at the weekend.
An initial count of some 500 dead fish was later doubled to over 1,000, linked to what the angling club suggests was a pollution incident close to the Gobranna Road in Glenavy.
“Hundreds, possibly thousands” of other, smaller fish such as stone loach were also “wiped out” in the fish kill, says club chairman Anthony McCormack.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
In Northern Ireland, the Loughs Agency has been working in partnership with the Woodland Trust, NI Water, angling clubs, landowners and others to plant in excess of 20,000 native trees to help improve fishery habitats.
Native tree planting is a great way of improving land and aquatic habitats as it delivers many benefits, says the agency for the Foyle and Carlingford fishery areas.
Tree root systems stabilise uplands and reduce the risk of landslides into water courses. Rainfall is intercepted by trees which slows river flows and flood damage is reduced. Debris from fallen trees protects against bank erosion and provides cover and food for fish and invertebrates.
Most importantly, riverside planting keeps rivers cool and protects salmon and trout during hot droughts.
Sharon McMahon, Loughs Agency chief executive, said: “The threat from climate change to river ecosystems cannot be ignored.
“Trees, shrubs and other vegetation create valuable shade, reducing the temperature of our waterways and deliver a range of other ecological benefits. Loughs Agency are continuing to find innovative ways to mitigate against the effects of climate change to keep our rivers cool for freshwater wildlife.”
In recent years, the Loughs Agency has conducted several large-scale, native tree planting projects. Thousands of saplings have been planted at the Reelan and Cronamuck rivers in the Finn catchment, the Glenedra and Burntollet Rivers in the Faughan catchment and the along the River Roe.
And the Loughs Agency says it is always eager to develop collaborative projects with local partners. If you belong to an organisation which is interested in protecting and improving local aquatic habitats, contact [email protected]
The confirmation comes from Edwin Poots, Stormont’s Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, who said: “The message is clear to our anglers, many of whom are in the older age group, stay safe – stay home.”
While NI Water supports the minister’s stance for angling waters under its purview, the Loughs Agency has not yet moved to close the Foyle and Carlingford areas to local anglers.
But it said anglers, angling clubs and fishery owners in advised to adhere to UK Government and Public Health Agency advice and new regulations under which no one may leave their home without ‘reasonable excuse’, such as shopping for food and medicine, or travel for key work.
In a new interview with RYANI development officer Mary Martin, founder Chris Cardwell sings the praises of the predominantly online club — an impactful, open platform which “provides immediate access to the largest group of sailors in NI”, currently comprising more than 2,000 menders.
These members come from all the sailing clubs in Northern Ireland, keeping everyone in the loop on upcoming meetings and events, crewing opportunities and buy/sell deals.
But many are based further afield, in Ireland and across the UK. And the group is also open to members with various marine-related interests, from kayakers and cruisers to fishermen and emergency crews.
“We encourage members to post their activities on the group to inspire others,” says Cardwell. “This is particularly true over the winter period when many are out of the water.”
RYANI has more on the story HERE.