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Displaying items by tag: Enniskillen

Waterways Ireland advises all masters and users of the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the channel east of Castle Island in Enniskillen will be closed from this Wednesday 7 June to 30 September 2023.

This is for the creation of a water activity zone in the area, similar to that created last year. The designated area will be clearly marked by floating buoys.

Access to Castle Museum Jetty will be maintained when approaching from the north of Castle Island.

Mariners should use the navigation channel to the west of Castle Island and proceed at slow speed with minimum wash, adhering to any instructions or displayed signage.

Mariners should also be aware of small non-motorised craft also operating in the navigation, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the Castle Museum and Henry Street jetties in Enniskillen will be closed to mooring over the coming days to facilitate the Erne Classic coarse angling competition.

The Henry Street Jetty will close from 8am on Saturday 6 May while the Castle Museum Jetty will close from 8am on Tuesday 9 May. Both will reopen from 6pm on Friday 12 May.

Masters of vessels and waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the fishing competition and to be aware of possibility of fishing lines in the water, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System that water-based activities will take place at the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum area of Broadmeadow, Enniskillen on St Patrick’s Day this Friday 17 March.

Boat trips, canoeing, water bikes and other activities will be taking place on the day, and masters of vessels should keep their wash to a minimum when passing the area of the activities, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI were delighted to receive a donation of £1,625 from CrossFit Enniskillen following an eighth anniversary charity workout at their gym.

Over 60 members took part in the event on Saturday 4 February, including one of the Carrybridge crew, Garvan Duffy, in a challenging team workout that took over three hours to complete.

Workouts included completing two marathons on the exercise bikes and one marathon on the rowing machines.

The cheque was presented to Peter Scott from the Lough Erne Fundraising Branch for the Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI stations, on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI praised all those who took part in the workouts for all their hard work and dedication raising money for both lifeboat stations on Lough Erne.

“The funds raised are vital to the continuing work of the RNLI on Lough Erne, both at our Carrybridge and Enniskillen stations, and will assist with future lifesaving operations,” he said. “It was great to see the gym packed with people keen to see the work of the lifeboats on Lough Erne go from strength to strength.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI’s new inland lifeboat station on Lower Lough Erne is complete and fully operational.

The station team at Enniskillen RNLI are now looking for new volunteers to join the crew in several roles including lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authorities and fundraisers.

After being housed in temporary accommodation for 21 years, volunteers at Enniskillen were handed the keys to their new state-of-the-art building on the Killadeas Road at Gublusk earlier this month.

The modern purpose-built lifeboat station is located close to the lough to allow for an efficient launch of its inshore lifeboat.

And the station — which also houses the associated launching tractor and equipment, full crew changing facilities, a workshop, office and training room — will be officially opened at a special ceremony next year.

The build, which took little over a year to complete, was carried out by Omagh-based company Woodvale Construction and handed over to the RNLI on Friday 4 November.

A generous contribution towards the cost of the build was made by the daughter of the late Alfred Russell Wallace Weir from Bangor in Co Down, in his memory.

The building is designed with a heating system which allows the heat to be drawn from the ground, keeping the temperature at an ambient 16C inside. The excess is used to heat the water for showering, washing up and cleaning the vessels. The building is also fitted with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.

In 2001, Enniskillen became home to the RNLI’s first inland lifeboat station based on Lower Lough Erne.

Due to the overall size and complexity of the lough and its high leisure usage, the decision was taken by the RNLI in 2002 to base a second lifeboat on the upper lough at Carrybridge that would work in conjunction with the original lifeboat station on the lower lough at Killadeas.

Last year Enniskillen RNLI launched 33 times, bringing 73 people to safety.

Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in its new boat shed | Credit: RNLI/Rogan WheeldonEnniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in its new boat shed | Credit: RNLI/Rogan Wheeldon

Speaking following the handover of the new building to the RNLI, area lifesaving manager Rogan Wheeldon said he was delighted that the station was now complete.

“From the outset, we wanted to build a modern station with full crew facilities with areas for the crew to change and train and space to keep their lifeboat and lifesaving kit safe,” he said. “We now have those facilities and are very happy to be in a position to take over the new lifeboat station and are delighted with both the design and quality of the building.”

Gary Jones, Enniskillen RNLI lifeboat operations manager said the new station was what the crew deserved and is “a testament of the RNLI’s commitment and dedication to the community here locally and a credit to the efforts of our crew in continuing to bring people to safety on Lough Erne”.

He added: “Our volunteers had an opportunity to be shown around their new station and they are overwhelmed with the structure and facilities that they now have when they come together for call outs and training. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us to get to this stage.

“Now that we have our new building, we are keen to have new volunteers join our team. If you are interested in becoming lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authority or helping in another officer capacity or with fundraising, please contact us to find out more about how you can be involved and help us to continue to save lives on Lough Erne.”

To find out more about how you can volunteer at Enniskillen RNLI, get in touch with Gary at [email protected].

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

An Omagh man who was rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after he was caught in a rip current off a Donegal beach in July has completed the Dublin Marathon in his bare feet to raise awareness of water safety and to raise funds for the RNLI.

A seasoned open water swimmer, Chris Gallagher was visiting Murder Hole Beach when he got caught in a rip current.

“I am an experienced swimmer, having previously been a lifeguard and a world record swimmer as well as swimming all over the world including in Australia but I have never been caught like this before,” he said of his ordeal.

“I wasn’t even 10 metres out into the water when the ferocious rip caught me and threw me about like what I can only describe as being in an industrial washing machine and a racing car at the same time, it was powerful, and I had absolutely no control.

“I felt calm initially as I know how to work my way out of a rip curl as I was caught in Australian waters 22 years ago but nothing I tried worked.

“By the grace of God, a rock was in my grasp as I was being pulled into the rip roaring waters and I managed to get my body out of the water onto that wee rock but I was fighting the waves to stay on as they threw me on and off like a rag doll. I was clinging to the rock for dear life for two hours.”

Given the conditions, the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 was tasked to the scene and rescued Gallagher from the water.

‘I am an experienced swimmer…but I have never been caught like this before’

Since he was rescued, Gallagher has signed up to be a water safety volunteer with the RNLI with a particular interest in highlighting the dangers of open water swimming.

He has also taken part in a series of inspiring fundraising events with his most recent venture to not only undertake the Dublin Marathon but to do it in his bare feet, which he completed successfully last Sunday (30 October). He also completed the Kerry Hardman Ironman triathlon on his birthday in August and in September a 5k swim of Glencar Lough in Sligo.

To round off his series of events, he is running an Eighties-themed night this Saturday 5 November in the Village Inn in Killyclogher. Proceeds from all events will go to Bundoran RNLI and Lough Erne’s two RNLI lifeboat stations, at Enniskillen and Carrybridge in Northern Ireland.

Speaking of Gallagher’s efforts to raise both funds and water safety awareness, RNLI community manager Nuala Muldoon said: “Chris really is an inspiration and his own rescue story highlights how even the most experienced water users can still find themselves in difficulty.

“We are delighted that he is now promoting water safety and are in awe at how adventurous he has been in setting himself courageous challenges in his pursuit to raise funds.

“Thanks to Chris, the proceeds raised will now power our lifesaving volunteer crews to continue their good work in saving lives both at sea and on inland waters.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the power bollards at the Round ‘O’ jetty and at Carrybridge will be isolated on Friday 4 November for the winter period.

Power will be reconnected at the start of the 2023 boating season, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Enniskillen RNLI came to the aid of two people on Sunday (3 July) after their boat ran aground on Lower Lough Erne.

The lifeboat volunteers were paged by Belfast Coastguard shortly before 1.45pm to rescue the duo at Gull Rock, close to Castle Archdale in Co Fermanagh.

At the time of launch, there was a lot of cloud cover and there was a Force 5 wind blowing from the northwest. It was this wind that had pushed the casualty’s boat onto Gull Rock after developing engine problems.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Stevie Ingram and with three crew members onboard, launched immediately. On reaching the reported location, the crew discovered that the casualty vessel had suffered from engine difficulties on the shore of Gull Rock and as a result was taking on water and starting to lean on its side.

Due to the shallow waters, the lifeboat could not get alongside the casualty vessel. The crew assessed the situation and a decision was made for a crew member to swim to the shoreline to reach the boat. The man and woman onboard were safe and well with words of reassurance from the RNLI crew member.

Due to the water intake, a tow line could not be established. The Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 was tasked to airlift the two people and the crew member to the nearby St Angelo Airport in Enniskillen.

The casualty vessel was left in position at Gull Rock with its anchor deployed to ensure it did not become a navigation hazard.

Speaking after the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Stevie Ingram said: “We want to commend the people on the vessel for doing the right thing and calling the coastguard. Sunday’s callout highlights the importance of inter-agency working and we would like to thank our colleagues in Rescue 118.

“The summer holidays got under way this week and we would remind everyone to enjoy their activities on the lough but to always think safety first. Bring a means of communication with you when you go out on, or near, the water. Even if you’re onshore, and you spot something happening on the water the best thing to do is dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Erne System that the Castle and Henry St jetties in Enniskillen will be closed for three periods in the upcoming week to facilitate the Erne Classic coarse angling competition in the Co Fermanagh town.

Mooring will not be permitted at these jetties on Monday 9 May between 7am and 7pm, Wednesday 11 May between 7am and 7pm, and Friday 13 May between 7am and 5pm.

Published in Inland Waterways

The RNLI in Carrybridge and Enniskillen on Lough Erne received a donation of £1500 from Wild Blue Green Yonder following a charity swim around Castle Island in Enniskillen.

The swim was held in September as part of the Festival Lough Erne events and had approximately 30 people in attendance to take part in the 750 metre swim around the island. The group had previously attended an open water swimming course organised by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

The cheque was presented to Peter Scott from the Lough Erne Fundraising Branch for the Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI stations. Peter is also Water Safety Officer for both stations and part of that role is to provide education training around water safety.

Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager, at Carrybridge RNLI praised all those who took part in the swim for all their hard work and dedication raising money for both lifeboat stations on Lough Erne. “The funds raised are vital to the continuing work of the RNLI on Lough Erne, both at our Carrybridge and Enniskillen stations, and will assist with future life saving operations. We are delighted to have strong links to the community here in Fermanagh and would wish to record our thanks to Wild Blue Yonder for the donation we have received.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.